A friend of mine who recently lost her phone contacted me to recommend a replacement and while doing some research I began to finally accept something that had been at the back of my head for a while: You don’t need to spend big bucks anymore to get yourself a smartphone that will perfectly handle all your mobile device needs and then some.
Remember those days where if you wanted to get a decent experience on a smartphone, you needed to get the top of the line model from whatever brand you favoured? Where, if you wanted a silky smooth touch experience while navigating your phone’s user interface, no annoying warnings telling you there’s no space to install the latest apps/mobile games, and that fancy camera that allowed you take beautiful selfies with little effort, you had to break the bank and get that year’s iPhone, the new Samsung Galaxy Note/S model, or the latest and greatest from any of the other major smartphone manufacturers out there. Buying anything other than a ‘flagship’ device left you with a terrible user experience and poor quality hardware? Yeah, those days are long gone now.
Over the past couple of years though, things have changed for the better. Whether it’s because of software optimization or better quality hardware from companies who didn’t seem to give a damn before, cheap smartphones are no longer shitty smartphones. Suddenly, we have manufacturers releasing devices that offer day-to-day performance comparable to expensive high-end devices at a fraction of the price. Choosing to spend ₦20,000 on a phone no longer meant you had to put up with a phone that made you regret being cheap or poor every couple of hours. Yes, they don’t have all the bells and whistles of that new ₦200k Samsung phone but the user experience is close enough that you really don’t feel like you’re missing much. Besides, most of those bells & whistles are gimmicks that never really see much use in the first place. Some may say that this doesn’t apply to Apple’s iPhones but the truth is that they are smartphones too and in terms of actual functionality you can get a comparable and sometimes better experience from devices in other ecosystems.
So why do people still buy these super expensive smartphones when they know they can get more or less the same experience from more affordable devices? Well, it’s for the same reason people have been buying expensive stuff forever: because they are status symbols. No self-respecting Big-man, Madam, Baby boy, Runs Gehl (or Yoruba Demon😈) would be caught dead without her Rose Gold iPhone 6 Plus and Silver Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. However, if you feel like you don’t have anything to prove and your swag is independent of what phone you carry, go ahead and get yourself one of them new Infinix or Tecno phones. Honestly you won’t be missing much.