Are we paying too much for smartphones?


More often than not I get to answer a question why I always hold “mediocre” smartphones than top  flagships as deemed by my peers. Here they go; It surprises us why you, a gadget reviewer will hold such a phone in favor of a top of the line smartphone? To which I have decided to come up with this feature to put all qualms to rest.

First thing first, what do I consider a good smartphone? We’ve written several posts on this but hey, its not bad to have recap.

  • Good Processing Power

A good smartphone not only has to go with oomph and with the processing prowess too, lest it can’t cope with my multitasking. The only profound reason I carry a laptop is because my profession entails me to otherwise a smartphone alone would be just fine. However, for one to qualify as my daily driver, you have to burn silicon without necessarily heating up or taking a dent on my battery juice. These characteristics are now becoming staples in flagship killers selling for half the price.

  • Good design and build

I like it attractive, not bulky but an eye catcher. Above all, I like durable but the durability shouldn’t kill off  its sexiness. A blend of plastic and metal is any eye opener. Glass would be good but its susceptible to breaking and drops which necessitates rugged covers thus killing the  one reason i’d love it, attractiveness!

  • Vibrant display

As a design professional, accurate color reproduction for all my work submissions is paramount. How best get such results? A good display especially on the go comes in handy. I don’t mind a Full HD (1080p) display with dense pixels given the differentiation from a QHD one cannot easily be recognized by the naked eye.

  • Wow,the camera

This captures our daily lives as we deem fit. Smartphone cameras are the reason why Instagram and SnapChat are exploding. People are in love with visuals, motion or still. While we document these, we need a suitable companion that doesn’t disappoint at detail, color reproduction, lighting (especially low lighting) since these have come to define a good smartphone camera before software comes at play. A smartphone that beats such criteria outright joins my gadget ranks.

  • Battery

Well we could play with all the above but without power to see them live a day is total disappointment. What better way to see them alive than a good battery? So in all my smartphone purchasing decisions and now yours, the battery juice is as important as the oxygen we breath.

  • Price

Given it echoes with the header, it outright qualifies for whatever purchase decisions we’re to make of our smartphones. A good smartphone should exhibit the above traits but shouldn’t have a prohibitive price tag that breaks the bank while cheaper but competent (at times better) alternatives loiter around.

And it’s for that reason why new upstarts like Xiaomi, OnePlus, Oppo,LeECo  and locally Tecno, Huawei have been able to make top dogs like Apple and Samsung shed market share. Apple has counteracted with the the iPhone SE while Sammy shrunk its smartphone portfolio and introduced budget lines that have somehow revived its prospects.

With the above said, it brings me to the question if indeed only top of the line flagships deliver on the above? A sane mind would outright say no and with yesteryears flagships playing second fiddle to today’s mid-rangers leaves me no choice than declaring that coughing out extra bucks for a flagship isn’t a win-win for everyone.

Take an example of the Xiaomi’s Mi5 that bests some this year’s flagships selling within the sub $200 range while not compromising on the above and in some instances beating many hands down (Visit the benchmarks)! The flagships it contests with fly north of $700 and revelations have come to accuse many of  them of not costing more than $200 after they leave production lines in Chinese factories. Doing the maths suggests that vendors profit off in percentages of 250%. I now leave the question to you.


Brand affinity, love for luxury, gimmicks, inflated advertising budgets, distribution, corporate greed, different regulatory environments among others add up and are always reflected in the final purchase price of our lovely devices. So how much are you willing to pay for a smartphone? Hit us up in the comment section below.

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About The Author
Remmegious Ssewankambo
I couldn't become them so I write about them? Techjaja: Senior Reviews and Features Editor