The law of diminishing returns for a consumer dictates that, sometimes, spending more on a particular product is foolhardy when cheaper alternatives do the job just as well.
There is an argument that in the world of smartphones, that logic has finally come to pass.
For so long, Apple has all but monopolized the industry with each of their iPhone generations, and only Samsung is nipping at their heels at the premium end of mobile handsets. The likes of Blackberry and Sony have all but fallen by the wayside.
In days gone by, the advantages of Apple and Samsung were tech-based – they simply produced better devices than most of their rivals.
Congrats to @OnePlus on the launch of the new OnePlus 9, powered by the #Snapdragon 888 #5G Mobile Platform. This beautiful new smartphone delivers Snapdragon Elite Gaming, #WiFi 6 support, and other next-gen features sure to delight and excite users. pic.twitter.com/6DIhbhenxO
— Qualcomm (@Qualcomm) March 23, 2021
But today? It has to be said that the competitive advantages at the top-end of smartphone production are being eroded, with a number of new generation handsets at the budget price point – think the Galaxy A Series, OnePlus Norde, and the Moto G9 Power – able to compete as far as common specs are concerned.
So the question remains… do you really need to own an expensive smartphone in 2021?
Devil’s in the Detail
What if we told you that there was a smartphone that costs barely $200 (£150) that delivers the same technical performance as the iPhone?
Motorola is hardly operating at the edge of cool like Apple, and it would take a marketing effort of extraordinary brilliance to reposition the firm as the mobile provider of choice.
But the specs of their G9 Power handset really do stand up to scrutiny. Powered by the leading Snapdragon CPU unit, the Motorola device has a screen resolution of 720 x 1640 pixels – that is genuinely of the highest order, and perfect for streamers and gamers alike.
Other functionalities – the battery lasts for two days when used in moderate fashion, plus a triple-lens camera – also ensure the G9 Power stands up to the toughest of scrutiny.
This isn’t a puff piece for Motorola either, by the way, because there are other budget smartphones that deliver premium performance too. It’s just one example that highlights how the gap to the iPhone is closing with each passing year.
— The Verge (@verge) March 24, 2021
Of course, there are advantages to some of splashing out on a higher-end handset. Gamers in particular will relish higher frame rates and more powerful processors, so if you use your phone for taking down your friends at Fortnite or FIFA then clearly investing in an appropriate device like the Black Shark 4 will improve your experience exponentially.
However, many prefer ‘soft’ gaming, and today’s budget smartphones are more than adequate vessels. Take online casino gaming for example. There is no discernible advantage to be had playing a slot game on the latest iPhone over any lower-end handset, given that these titles don’t require ultra-powerful performance. In fact, most operators will offer full ranges of ever-changing titles without the need for constant downloads and patches. Casual gamers can access hundreds of slots and table games from one place, and whether someone has splashed out £50 or £500 for their device, the rules of engagement are the same.
So, you see, there might be cool points and street cred to be earned from carrying the latest Apple tech, but as far as spec and performance are concerned there are – arguably – more cost-effective smartphones currently on the market. Will you take the plunge?