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Joined on: January 9, 2017
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I think it really depends on what the user is looking for and their budget.
With carrier subsidies, you can get a decent phone from a carrier for around $100 or less.
A good example would be the ZTE Blade Z Max from Metro PCS.
However, buying an unlocked phone outside of a carrier, you aren't likely to get a quality device for less than $200.
Having said that, with the prices of flagship devices these days, getting a quality device for under $300 is considered a great deal IMO.
Devices under $200 don't usually perform well enough to make spending a little less worth the trouble.
ZTE has always made great budget devices though, so it will be interesting to see what they come up with for the USA after their sabbatical this year.
agree. I think 150-200 is where I think a "budget" phone would be. Though it really depends on what the device has to offer. I would not mind if it goes even up to 250 if it has a good combination of hardware and essential features.
I have to go with tiers. I would consider $200 and below a budget device for my income and means of living. However that's all relative to each person. A college student or single parent might consider $100 and less to be budget. It also depends if any carrier would be providing a discount or "BOGO" type deal. So going off of what I would consider, and what phones currently cost today, I put it into four tiers:
$0-$199 would be budget to me Blade Zmax, LG Stylo series, Galaxy A series
$200-$349 would be low-mid tier Blade V8 Pro and Axon 7 Mini, or Honor 8X
$350-$599 would be high-mid tier Axon 7, OnePlus 6 and 6T, Huawei Mate 10 Pro
$600 and above would be flagship Galaxy series, Apple, Huawei P20 LG V40
All Android phones should have at least a 3GB/32GB config. If you want lower hardware, switch to Android One OS.
What I would expect for hardware and features for each range is a whole other story, so I'll save that for another day
my thoughts are similar to @hollap It also depends if its a carrier branded device which carrier and whether its a prepaid carrier. If its was with one of the current big 4 then $200-300 price would much higher expectations than $200-$300 on a prepaid carrier or unlocked.
Personally if the device is a solid winner than $200-$300 would be reasonable for me but theres also many variables that would be factored in as well
My thoughts are similar from previous response, at the end all comes down to Specs/hardware.
I don't mind paying from $200 - $300 for a device with : SD636 / 4GB / 64GB / 6" / 18:9.
But anything below those specs should be price below the $200 price range.
E.g. Pocophone , Excellent specs at $300+ price range, I bet if that device had US band support, a lot of people would be all over it.
I see the price ranges to be in segments also.
$0-100= ultra low end android one devices that may likely include some prepaid minutes.
$101-200 = budget friendly devices. These devices should prioritize a utilitarian focus where the goal is to get the highest possible value and avoid unnecessary compromises. e.g., no compromising on a component in order to meet another check box feature that will likely go unused.
$201-350= Utilitarian flagship; The device should have a high end SOC, and 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal stroage. A decent screen, and a single front facing camera, and a single rear facing camera. This is one area where most devices fail, a company will go after features that are not possible to implement properly in the price range and end up with situations where they have a dual rear camera module that offers poor low light performance, all while costing more than the single camera unit in a device like the galaxy s8.
$400-550= a no a no compromise core functionality device. Single rear camera using the best available ~1/2 inch sensor. Single front facing camera. High quality display, user replaceable battery. Front facing speakers, backlit capacitive buttons, 6+ GB of RAM, 64GB+ UFS 2.1 storage, micro SD card slot, headphone jack, and a 4000+ mAh battery.
$600+= no compromise core functionality, and future looking/ concept phone like features. E.g., a single half inch rear camera module, and a sliding protective plate revealing a 0 flange distance micro 4/3 sensor in which a user can attach some DSLR style lenses to the phone (where users adapt their favorite lenses to fit their phone, via a flange adapter).
Software defined transciever with support for a wide frequency range, thus allowing custom apps to be written that can use the SDR, for everything from monitoring a range of frequencies, to transmitting to control off-camera flashes from various brands, as well as provide TTL information.
The super premium should really be for offering the best of today's technology, along with 1 or 2 concept features.
I feel most people would not be happy with the per of $100 or less phones. I really like the 200-300 range for an unlocked phone with decent, but not flagship quality. Replaceable if it breaks, but not so pricey that I do not use it all of the time because I fear dropping it.
In sticking with the question, I think passing that $200 make you leave "budget" territory.
I think the 100-200 range is considered budget friendly. It seems the consensus here is pretty close on the different tiers.
I think budget means different things to different people. I'd rather spend less on a phone these days. If $100 phone can send messages, play an occasional video and surf without closing everything out then thats a good deal..lol I think most of us want decent specs and to stay under $300. Once I've gone $250.-$300. I no longer feel it has anything to do with budget.
$100-$200 price range to me seems the most fair for a budget phone; as long as it has decent battery life, processor, maybe 3gb to 4gb of ram, 1080p screen, decent enough camera, and so on. Just needs to be fast and smooth performer in terms of software; near stock Android.
_i chose lowrs or under $100, but I got my Zte free with transfter of phone number & new service,cuz was a bit more & with the turn on charge,so that's all I had to pay. I didn't have the money for a cell. They just cost too much & no way I'd pay over $150 with all included,tax etc. No way $300 for no phone. Much less $500-$800 some pay. Insane. Even if had it.