Is it Worth Spending $1000 on a Smartphone? The Lo-Down

08/26/2019     Author: Billy Gray

Most flagship smartphones are now pushing the $1,000 mark – especially now that 5G technology is upon us. But is it really worth spending so much on a smartphone?


Everyone wants the latest gadget, no? Such a thing comes with a guarantee of compatibility, convenience, and the best possible specifications. But the newest released from smartphone manufacturers tend to cost more than $1,000. One has to ask: Is there actually any reason to spend that much money on a phone? Or am I better off opting for a mid-range handset for $500?


In this post, we’ll take a look at what you’re actually getting when you drop half a month’s salary on a smartphone. Ultimately, we’ll give you an idea of whether spending that much is the right decision for you, based on what you want to get from your phone.

We’ll give you some suggestions of mid-range smartphones that you could opt for instead of the top-of-the-range options from Apple and Samsung. We’ll also have a look at some top-end phones and see what they can do.

Why spend $1,000 on a smartphone?

If you’re about to buy a new phone, then you should sit down and think about what it is that you want it for. If it’s just for everyday casual use, then there isn’t much point in investing a ton of money into your next handset. If you’re a serious mobile gamer, then you should consider a more powerful handset, but you still don’t need the absolute top-of-the-range.

If you’re looking for an excellent camera – as so many customers are now – then you can actually go for mid-range phones and still get a great (possibly even better than the ‘best’) camera. So what exactly is it that propels the price of phones up so high?


The upcoming Huawei Mate X is set to cost around $2,500 – so what the hell is in that thing that makes it so pricey?! Well, first of all, it’s a foldable phone. This means that there is a screen on either side and you can unfold it to make it one giant tablet. This is important to consider not necessarily for the function itself, but for the fact that it’s new technology.

New technology is always expensive for the first year or so. After that, the technology becomes more available and companies find methods of making it cheaply. Thus, the price goes down. In other words, one of the main reasons that you’ll be paying an arm and a leg for a new smartphone is that you’ll be one of the first people to get your hands on a new form of tech.

This is cool and many people are willing to pay for it. Realistically, however, having a foldable screen and wireless charging aren’t essential things. You can do perfectly well without them and save yourself thousands of dollars in some cases.

Brand new technologies like the latest chipset or wireless charging can seriously ramp up the price of your phone. So, consider, do you need that – or can you make do with what was the most cutting-edge chipset on the market just two years ago?

Mid-range smartphones – Best option?

When it comes to mid-range smartphones today, you’d be amazed at the quality that you get for such a lower price. As mentioned above, these phones don’t come with the latest gizmos, but they often still feature the best chipsets and tons of RAM and storage. They also often have the best cameras available.

Essentially, these phones are the same as the top-of-the-range flagships, they just don’t feature the latest new technological advancements. Most of these, however, you don’t need for everyday use of your smartphone anyway. Thus, this is, in our humble opinion, the best price-range to shop in.


Google Pixel 3 ($799)

When it comes to cameras, the Google Pixel 3 is still widely considered to be the best on the market. The mid-range handset is a perfect example of how you don’t need to spend top dollar to get the best hardware.

The Pixel 3 only actually sports on rear camera lens, but the Google machine learning incorporated into the phone means that the camera is able to understand what it’s shooting and thus adjust the camera settings accordingly. This means that it produces incredibly detailed and vivid shots that aren’t overexposed and look great even in low-light settings.

If camera phones are your thing, then the Pixel 3 is probably the best you’ll find on the market. Full stop. So, think twice before assuming that mid-range phones will only give you middle of the range features.


Redmi Note 7 ($260)

If ever there was a way to get a premium phone for less than $300, this is it. The Redmi Note 7 is manufactured by Xiaomi and while it is a little laggy at times, it looks, feels, and generally works like a premium handset.

Xiaomi are able to produce cheap smartphones that actually work well thanks to their being located in China on ground zero for phone manufacturing. They have the component suppliers, the logistics, and the business culture to back them.

Xiaomi actually only looks to make a few percent profit on each phone that they sell. They make the rest of their money from other services like cloud storage. That means that they can sell their phones for much cheaper. To put this into perspective, Apple aims to make more than 60% profit on all their iPhones. That gives you an idea of why Xiaomi phones are so cheap – they’re going for market expansion over profit margins and it means that you can get a great deal from them.

With the Redmi Note 7, you get 4GB RAM, 128GB internal storage, a 48MP main camera lens (!!!) supported by a second rear lens for depth photos, and an Octa-core Snapdragon 660 chipset. That’s a bloody good spec layout for $260! We haven’t even mentioned the 6.3-inch display.


iPhone 6S (around $300)

If you’re looking for an Apple, then you’ll be happy to know that you can actually get an iPhone 6S for just $300. The iPhone 6 was the first in the series to radically change the design to the ‘modern’ smartphone look. It inspired most smartphones that have followed since.

While you won’t get an advanced camera and the specs are now fairly low, it’s still a decent smartphone and you can access all the iOS apps with it. You can connect it to an Apple Watch and all that sort of thing. Some people just can’t get over Apple – we sort of feel otherwise about the company, but each to their own, and the iPhone 6S is certainly a worthy smartphone if you don’t want to spend much and insist on having an iPhone.

One point to note is that the iPhone 6S won’t be updated with iOS 13. The cutoff device for the update is the iPhone 7, so you may want to spend a bit more to get one of those, instead.


Moto G7 Plus ($300)

The Moto G7 Plus has lower specs than the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7, but it’s still a formidable phone for a cheap price. It comes kitted out with 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, a dual-lens 16MP + 5MP rear camera, and a Snapdragon 636 chipset. This is a good deal for less than $300.

The Moto G7 Plus has limited availability, which means that some countries might have to buy it online – this means that customs fees could apply (although this is unlikely) and you won’t have any warranty on it. That could be a problem for you – although, consider that it is a very cheap deal anyway, so this might not be the biggest threat in the world. Quite simply, you could just try not to lose it.


OnePlus 7 ($640)

Widely considered to be the underdog smartphone of 2019, the OnePlus 7 offers a stunning smartphone experience for an affordable price. It packs either 6 or 8GB of RAM, plus 128 or 256GB internal storage, respective of RAM. It also houses a Snapdragon 855 chipset – one of the very best on the market right now.

The camera setup is top notch as well, with a Sony 48MP main lens and a 5MP supporting one for depth shots. In short, the OnePlus 7 is bloody incredible and can easily stand up to the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the iPhone XS. If you really want to push your budget, then you could go for the OnePlus 7 Pro, although this is in the top price range and it’s basically just OnePlus showing off.

The wrap-up

So, overall, we don’t think that it’s necessary to spend $1,000+ on a smartphone today because there are just so many cheaper options that provide fantastic specs and cost a fraction of the price. Google are a good contender, but realistically, it’s the Chinese manufacturers that you want to look out for – these guys are providing stunning value. Happy shopping.

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