Just Me (Maybe)

Why I preferred cheap phones over the high-end models

Being a Software Engineer and technology enthusiast, I’m being exposed to the latest and coolest gadgets available to date. It is normal within my peers to be hooked up with the latest and the greatest gadgets every time the tech giants like Apple and Samsung announces their new lineup for the year.

To be honest, I always check on the promotional videos and tech reviews of these so-called “Cool” gadgets, but I never bought one. The following are my reasons:

Cheap Phones are getting better, flagship phones are getting more expensive.

I just bought a Nokia 7.2 last December 2020 after my Motorola G5S’ vibration motor broke and the battery drains faster compared when it was brand new. I bought that Motorola phone for ₱10,000 last February 2018, then used it until December 2020, so that’s almost 3 years. Then I bought the Nokia 7.2, priced at ₱10,500. I hope it will last me for at least 2 years.

My experience with these phones is definitely not great, but at the same time, it doesn’t disappoint me. With my old Moto G5S, I can play games, even running a PSP emulator on it, I can run social media apps without any problem, and media apps like Youtube are perfectly fine. My messenger apps, phone app, and email apps are working the way I expect them to be. I definitely don’t have any issue with the phone, just the camera quality. It is definitely not the best or one of the best cellphone cameras, but it is not the worst. And with the price, it is already expected.

Now, with my Nokia 7.2, it is a 2019 model, so basically, the hardware is already outdated at the time I purchased it, but with the Android One program, I can still get software updates until 2022. For an additional ₱500 compared to my Moto G5S, I got higher internal specs, a better camera (actually the camera is great for its price), a bigger screen (which I don’t really like, I actually want a smaller form factor for better one-hand use), and quality that Nokia brand is proud of.

If you’re thinking if I have tried playing hardcore games on my phone, actually I don’t (well I tried Mobile Legends and the performance is good). I really don’t like playing games with my phone simply because, for me, the main purpose of it is for communication. And I prefer gaming on PCs compared to mobile phones.

I bring my phone with me whenever I go, that includes work, so I avoid putting apps that might affect my productivity. I have some casual games on my phone like Sudoku and Minesweeper, but I use those on my daily commute, and they are not very addictive.

With the way I use a smartphone, I just found the price of higher-end model phones to be too much. I don’t see myself spending more than ₱30,000 just to do some emails, do some messaging and calls, playing casual games that are not too demanding, social media browsing, and taking some photos in which phone camera is enough for a decent quality photo. Then, when you include the life span of a phone with an average of 2 years, it’s like your paying ₱1,250 per month for a ₱30,000 phone just to do stuff that I can also do with a ₱10,000 phone, that’s only ₱416.67 per month.

And take note, a ₱30,000 is not yet a flagship phone. It sits in the higher-mid level category. The base model of an iPhone 12 Pro Max is around ₱68,990 as of this writing. So that’s ₱2,874.58 per month if it going to last you 2 years, or ₱1,916.39 per month for 3 years. That excludes Apple Care, accessories, the “charger”, and repairs (just in case you dropped it).