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Smartphone. What's the difference between cheap and expensive?

PepPep Posts: 501
edited October 2017 in The cake stop
I am now going to buy my 1st smartphone.
I want to use it for email, browsing, gps navigation, photos, online shopping, flight check-in, music, podcasts, radio ...
Maybe Skype, hotspot wifi, office documents, whatsapp...
No games or videos.

The price range is very huge, say from 50 to 1000 pounds.

I find hard to imagine even the cheap ones will not give me what I desire.

What's the difference between cheap ones and expensive ones?
Thanks

Posts

  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Large chunks of money.

    Cheaper ones will have limited memory, crappy screens etc. Pointless having smart features if it takes an age to process them.
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  • What IS your budget?
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  • vimfuegovimfuego Posts: 1,783
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  • shortfallshortfall Posts: 3,287
    vimfuego wrote:

    You beat me to it Vimfuego. My own opinion is that flagship phones are absolutely brilliant no doubt but they come at an eye watering price. If you've got a grand burning a hole in your pocket the fill ya boots and get a Samsung S8 or the latest iPhone if you can put up with Apple's quirky way of doing things. However you can get something that'll do 99% of what they do for around 50% of the price. I'm currently saving up to replace my own handset with either the Oneplus5 which is £500 or the UMIDIGI S2 Pro. The Oneplus is available through 02 so will have UK sales support but the UMIDIGI is via a Chinese distributor which is the only thing holding me back because it's less than £300 and is a lot of phone for the price. Even the bottom end of the market stuff like Moto and Lenovo offer some great specs so it's not always a question of price.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    I've a Oneplus3T that I'm very happy with. You can pay silly money for the latest model from the big boys - so you can easily go to an earlier version and you're not missing much.
  • hopkinbhopkinb Posts: 7,129
    I had a Galaxy S6 which was up for replacement in April/May. I ummed and ahhed about getting an S8 or switching to a cheap SIM only deal, because it still worked fine, but I eventually decided to get an S8 and donated the S6 to the boy (who bust it in 3 months). The S8 is super quick, and the camera and screen are great, but for day to day use, I could have quite happily kept the S6. I can see myself keeping the S8 and moving to a cheap SIM only deal.
  • ricky_h-2ricky_h-2 Posts: 119
    My Samsung Galaxy S4 finally gave up the ghost a few months back and was replaced by a Moto g5 with 3gb ram (important for running apps) for 160 quid.
    Can't fault it and would only say it is missing the NFC payment option. Other than that, it'll do all you need.
  • vimfuegovimfuego Posts: 1,783
    I have a G5 too. Love it. Absolute steal
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  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    It depends how often you want to buy a new phone, flagship phones now are basically what cheap phones will be in 3 or 4 years.

    Galaxy S4 specs were:
    Display. 5.00-inch.
    Processor. 1.6GHz octa-core.
    Front Camera. 2-megapixel.
    Resolution. 1080x1920 pixels.
    RAM. 2GB.
    OS. Android 4.2.
    Storage. 16GB.
    Rear Camera. 13-megapixel.

    Moto G5 specs (currently techradar's best budget phone)

    Android Nougat 7.0.
    5.0in 1920x1080 touchscreen, 441ppi.
    1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor.
    Adreno 505 graphics.
    2 or 3GB RAM.
    16GB storage.
    13MP main camera, LED flash, support for 1080p video at 30fps.
    5MP front camera.

    so i guess you are buying 4 years of better smartphone
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  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    After a few years of smart phone use (me and my family) I've found that the things that really matter are:

    1. Large clear display - more important the more you want to do with it (I use it for spreadsheets, image editing, coding, internet access, ..., ..., ...). In my case possibly influenced by middle-aged eyesight that means I have the brightness turned up to max. Which brings me on to...
    2. Battery. Many, many causes and solutions to this, but my Note 4 now (even with a new, genuine Samsung battery) can't last the whole day unless I literally never touch it. All smartphones eat electricity ridiculously fast but they do vary.
    3. Storage is an issue - we've had a couple of cheap phones (and an ipad) that have become unusable due to getting filled up with junk: not just slow performance but, among other things, unable to add new apps. Factory reset is then the only option unless you're rooted (my phone gets a regular delving into hidden folders where junk accumulates - something you can't do if not rooted).
    4. Robustness / reliability - except that it's almost impossible to measure accurately. I've never had a phone break, crack the screen, fall down the toilet or have any internal failure - and I'm fairly sure that the majority of damage happens in a way that would happen to any model. I would go for water-resistant, though.

    Apart from that, for me it's like all consumer stuff - bikes, hi-fi, whatever - pay more and you'll get something better, mostly, but at the cost of diminishing returns. I'm not sure what I'll do when my 3yo Note expires or I itch too much for novelty - I rate the Note 8, but the price is eye-watering, so I'll certainly wait a year or so: by which time we'll be able to covet the Note 9 and the iPhone XI, or whatever.

    TLDR: I don't know.
  • I changed from a Sony to Moto G4. The best thing about the Moto, No manufacturer bloat ware. The Sony was full of the stuff and used up all the space.

    The Moto is also considerably cheaper.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    We got fed up of wife's brother not being able to call us because he'd run out of credit on his early bronze age PAYG Nokia, and him getting stung by the bank because he couldn't access his account online and kept going overdrawn (long, sad story)
    So we marched him into Tesco and signed him up for a new, smart Motorola for £7.50 a month, DD from my account, more texts and minutes than he'll ever use and he can check his (lack of) finances from the comfort of the WiFi hotspot in the pub (a component of said long, sad story...)

    So I'd say the difference between cheap and expensive is about £60 a month?
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    The best phones are free. Company phone, unlimited calls and data, gets stuffed in my Camelbak when riding, and if it breaks or gets stolen I get a new one. (I haven't lost or broken one ever, but other idiots do.)
    New phone every two years.
    Just end up year behind the latest and greatest releases but I can happily live with that.
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  • shortfallshortfall Posts: 3,287
    On batterys, the Oneplus2 and 3 are famous for mega battery life and I expect the 5 to be similar, plus it has Dash Charge which effectively means plugging it in for half an hour gives you a day's use. The UMIDIGI S2 Pro reputedly has 2 day battery life.
  • lesfirthlesfirth Posts: 1,283
    keef66 wrote:

    So I'd say the difference between cheap and expensive is about £60 a month?

    To me cheap is" free" with £13.50/month contract. Expensive is an extra £60 up front! i.e.£60 times 1,not a month! I took the cheap option and it does all I want. If I knew more I would know what I am missing. However I am happy ( and wealthier) in my ignorance.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    cooldad wrote:
    The best phones are free. Company phone, unlimited calls and data, gets stuffed in my Camelbak when riding, and if it breaks or gets stolen I get a new one. (I haven't lost or broken one ever, but other idiots do.)
    New phone every two years.
    Just end up year behind the latest and greatest releases but I can happily live with that.

    Me too. I was happy with my old Nokia but they forced me to have a new iPhone. [email protected]!
  • spatt77spatt77 Posts: 322
    Yeah, I`ve had top of range phones in the past and have now got a Moto G5, have to say its excellent apart from lacking NFC its the only phone you`ll ever need! also an absolute bargain!
  • ayjayceeayjaycee Posts: 1,277
    My response to the original question is not a lot for a shedload of money. I'll also give another vote for the Lenovo Moto G5 which is an all round brilliant bit of kit (especially for the price) with everything that I personally need from a mobile. I replaced a 1st generation Moto G with it and it's a quantum leap ahead. Having also used recent iPhones, IMHO the G5 is the equal or better in all departments that I care about.
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  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    you have to factor in future software updates, storage for apps, ram is important for longevity, if it runs stuff ok now it probably won't in a year or two.

    Like i tried to say earlier, a cheap phone will work just as well for what you want as a more expensive one will today but fast forward a year or two and the more expensive ones will still work fine whereas the cheaper ones will be slow and buggy.

    Whether you'll get 3 cheap phones life out of a more expensive one is a bit of a gamble though.
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  • shortfallshortfall Posts: 3,287
    Chris Bass wrote:
    you have to factor in future software updates, storage for apps, ram is important for longevity, if it runs stuff ok now it probably won't in a year or two.

    Like i tried to say earlier, a cheap phone will work just as well for what you want as a more expensive one will today but fast forward a year or two and the more expensive ones will still work fine whereas the cheaper ones will be slow and buggy.

    Whether you'll get 3 cheap phones life out of a more expensive one is a bit of a gamble though.

    Fast forward a year or two and the (usually sealed) battery in your flagship phone will likely be showing it's age and running out of charge part way into the day. Replacement is likely to be pricey. The same will be true of any cheaper alternative of couse but it's cheap enough that you can just bin it and buy the latest handset or in the case of the Moto G5 just buy a new replaceable battery.
  • Wife has a Galaxy S7 as main phone but she wanted a second cheap payg for when out riding. Bought a Blu on Amazon. What an utter PoS! So so slow and any apps that require a reasonably large amount of processing power it’s slower than a retard crawling through treacle
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