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Thread: What do "good" phones do that cheap phones don't do?

  1. #1
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    What do "good" phones do that cheap phones don't do?

    I was just reading an article about Android phones.

    One line said, "If you want a really cheap phone, buy (Phone X) for $225."

    Apparently, the author and I differ on the definition of "really cheap".

    My previous phone was a Cricket-branded Alcatel OneTouch Flint. I paid $50, carrier locked, and unlocked it after 6 months on Cricket.

    It made phone calls, sent and received text messages. It ran all the apps I would ever need to run. It cost $50.

    About 6 months ago, a friend gave me a used, unlocked (was MetroPCS) Samsung Galaxy S7. Apparently it was a generous gift - at the time, they were still selling used on swappa for around $400.

    It too makes phone calls, sends and receives texts, and runs apps. It does everything the Flint did, but with a smaller screen.

    If you can answer without being condescending or snarky, will you please tell me the difference between something that does everything I expect of it for $50 and something that does everything I expect of it for $400?

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    I am not specifically familiar with the Flint, but as a former S7 owner, my guess is that the S7 had a significantly better camera, in terms of speed of focus, low-light imaging, etc. Camera quality is the main reason why I bought the S7 (and why I buy, in general, premium-tier phones).

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    I think part of the answer lies in "what I expect of it." What you expect of it a phone and what another expects are different. A higher end phone typically do all that anyone would need it do so rather than just a few people.

    For example you said all the apps you would ever use were able to be downloaded and used on your $50 phone. I can tell you weren't using alot of apps not were you switching between them at the same time. All the apps that I use and would like to use or test out wouldn't fit on a $50 phone.

    On a more expensive phone you will have more power and more memory/space to download large apps, pictures and other files.

    Think of phones as cars. All cars will get you to point A to point B (call, text and data) however the amount of people and luggages you can fit in your car on a cheaper car/smaller car. A larger car will run more smoothly and fit more just based on size. And similarly today phones mid range phones can be likened to the most popular midsize sedans (thing Honda Accord and Toyota Camry). They can do everything we and for the majority of the populations to needs. The really exp ensive phones are the luxury cars. Engine is a little more premium and May run more smoothly and have extra features.

    One area where the car analogy has its limits is reliability or longetivity. Not only would the $50 phone not be as powerful and spacious I would not expect it to last as long as a more expensive phone before an update to the phone's operating system or an large app makes the phone useless after awhile. My parents use to get the free or cheap phones and would complain about something within a year. 3 years ago I bought them $200 Moto G phones and they are still running well. Phones are not investments but I do think there are minimums for phones.

    *Excuse my spelling errors. I am typing on my phone and too lazy to edit right now.


    Sent from my Pixel XL using HoFo mobile app

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    The difference is in better components, more features, or better specifications.

    An example of a better components might be an OLED screen instead of LCD.

    An example of more features might be a gyroscope that many low end phones don't have.

    An example of a better specification might be a higher resolution screen.

    For someone that is not picky the low end phones generally work great. I am currently using the boost lg tribute hd that I got on sale for $20 and it works really good.

    However, if you are picky you might not like a low end phone. For example, you might be picky about wanting really good photos and a high end phone might have a better camera.

    I think the low end phones are a better deal and often the low end phones are just a few years behind the high end phones. Also with a low end phone you won't feel as bad if it breaks because it is cheaper to replace.

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    I recently switched to a mid range Moto G 6 ($250.00) from a now older Samsung s5 (originally $600.00 new). Now I realize my older phone was a few generations old since I have had it for 4yrs now but it has always done everything I needed it to do and more albeit a little sort on internal memory for apps.
    I can tell you from my perspective the Moto G6 was an upgrade in nearly every way. Its faster has a bigger screen, more memory and every feature I seem to need or use. The only reason I can think I would need a Higher end phone is if I used it for gaming which I don,t so its all I need.
    Now I also realize that this is not a so call Cheap phone either, its somewhere in the middle. I can not imagine why I would ever pay more for a phone in the future.

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    Just looking at the specs alone the flint vs the s7 I can see many differences such as s7 has double the processor speed over 2 times the ram, double the storage space, screen resolution is much higher... etc. However you actually have a great point its all in the perspective of the user that will be using each of those phones. You buy what you want for the feature set you want. I personally want a IP68 rated phone because I love the water and I don't want a dip to kill my phone.

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    I feel better, thank you all. I suppose there are some people who have a legitimate need for $500+ phones, but I suspect most people buy them out of some sense of prestige.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eggsalad View Post
    I feel better, thank you all. I suppose there are some people who have a legitimate need for $500+ phones, but I suspect most people buy them out of some sense of prestige.
    I actually think, for the most part, that it is the opposite. Most people get samsung or apple because they know those brands. They likely have invested in the ecosystem of apple or are used to using samsung. Both companies have spent fortunes building mindshare so that people know the brands. They are unlikely to choose unknown brands (to them) or do significant research on features, etc. It is the path of least resistance to go to the t-mo, verizon, att store and see the newest from samsung or apple and just get that. It is a known, safe choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eggsalad View Post
    I feel better, thank you all. I suppose there are some people who have a legitimate need for $500+ phones, but I suspect most people buy them out of some sense of prestige.
    I think they buy them because they want to be able to take good photos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eggsalad View Post
    I was just reading an article about Android phones.

    One line said, "If you want a really cheap phone, buy (Phone X) for $225."

    Apparently, the author and I differ on the definition of "really cheap".

    My previous phone was a Cricket-branded Alcatel OneTouch Flint. I paid $50, carrier locked, and unlocked it after 6 months on Cricket.

    It made phone calls, sent and received text messages. It ran all the apps I would ever need to run. It cost $50.

    About 6 months ago, a friend gave me a used, unlocked (was MetroPCS) Samsung Galaxy S7. Apparently it was a generous gift - at the time, they were still selling used on swappa for around $400.

    It too makes phone calls, sends and receives texts, and runs apps. It does everything the Flint did, but with a smaller screen.

    If you can answer without being condescending or snarky, will you please tell me the difference between something that does everything I expect of it for $50 and something that does everything I expect of it for $400?
    Generally, it will do everything a cheaper phone does, but better and faster.

    Every phone is a compromise. The trick is find one with the compromises that you can live with

    More expensive devices generally have better processors which means they can multitask more, and do so faster. They can handle larger apps and gaming. The cameras are usually significantly better and have better software to control them. They often have large ram/rom built in. The screens are usually much higher resolution that can be seen better outdoors.

    Like I said above, every device is a series of compromises. You have to decide what features you want and what you can live with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberstoic View Post
    Generally, it will do everything a cheaper phone does, but better and faster.

    Every phone is a compromise. The trick is find one with the compromises that you can live with ...
    That is pretty much my experience. I have flagship phones, a $20 Alcatel Ideal, a $20 Maven, a $30 Maven 3 and a $80 Phoenix 2.

    The Alcatel Ideal is junk. It is slow, the screen is unresponsive and smudges easily. I could use it if I was poor, but It wouldn't be fun. The other $20 and $30 phones are ok, except the camera, but only have 8 GB storage - a lot of which is taken up by unremovable junk apps.

    The $20 and $30 phones only have 8 GB storage. That is not enough to load more than a few small apps. I don't have a lot of apps, but a few is not enough.

    The cameras on all but the flagships are mediocre at best. That may or may not be important to someone else.

    The Phoenix 2 is very nice except for the camera.

    I actually prefer the medium screen resolution of the cheaper phones. The high resolutions of the flagships makes things on maps too small to see.

    Newer flagships may have fingerprint readers, NFC for wallet apps, and all kind of other bells and whistles that I don't use and could not care less about. They are also faster and more responsive. The Phoenix 2 is more than adequate in that regard for my light use.

    There is no way I would pay $600 and up for a phone to jam in my pocket with the keys and coins, drop or lose, when I can get what I need for much less.

    I buy flagships that are a few generations old new or new-other off eBay for ~$130. My Galaxy S3 and S4 are still going strong and do everything I need.

    My requirements for a daily phone are:
    Good, but not necessarily excellent camera
    Camera must have a flash - mostly to use as a flashlight
    Medium to high resolution screen
    Smudge resistant screen glass
    16 GB or more storage
    Adequate performance
    5 GHz Wifi is nice
    Phones that are not new must have a removable battery

    A Moto G6 would fit the bill if I was buying new.

    Phones are not a status symbol for me. They pretty much all look the same in a case anyway. No one in my circle of acquaintances cares what my phone is. They only care if I forget to silence it in social settings.

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    Cheap means, depending on opinion, device less than $50.
    There are at least a couple of Alcatel smartphones (for Tracfone) :
    (*) No screen rotation
    (*) Difficult to remove back cover
    (*) Low storage capacity
    (*) possibly become unreliable in some way within a year

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    Expensive phones are just more of a style statement because an average Chinese branded phone can do almost everything that a good phone can do.

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    I was wondering why people were so crazy about Apple/iPhones. I've never had one, but what do people usually choose them for over other nice phones? The platform it runs on or the phone itself (or both?)

    The nicest phones I have are 16gb phones LG Fiesta, LG K8 2017, and LG Phoenix 2.

    My cheapest phones that I can still use as WiFi rigs are the 8gb Alcatel Ideal, Alcatel Pixi Unite, ZTE zFive2, ZTE Cymbal T and an about to be deactivated ZTE n817, although that one is kit Kat 4.4.4 and getting less functional partly due to limited memory. 8gb doesn't work for my purposes anymore.

    I rarely use cameras so I ignore the cam or video settings. My critical features are the speed or responsiveness of the phone in general, and browser function. I use Bluetooth, WiFi, Hangouts, Google Voice, Drive, and not much else.

    OTG connection has become an attractive option for me now since it may help me to print directly using cable from my phone when I can't use WiFi or WiFi direct. I have phones that are OTG capable but as yet not a printer that can do it.

    A phone with more memory, say 32gb and up would be worth paying more for but it should have quality construction so it can be slender yet not feel brittle, and definitely slick silky glass instead of the cheap smudgy sticky glass on some cheap phones. The back should come off and reinstall more easily without marring the case by prying. The battery should hold a charge for a good long while like the LG Fiesta. And for people who like taking pix, good quality camera (adjustable shutter speeds would be a huge plus, I never get sharp pix and a faster shutter speed would help).

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    I think apple global smartphone market share is 18%.

    Some apple phones cost $1000 now.

    One reason I think a lot of people buy apple is because it is like a status symbol because people will think you are rich if you use one. It is cheaper than buying an expensive sports car to make you look rich.

    Another reason I know some people buy apple is because they are not very computer savvy and they think it is easier to use.

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