7 signs you don't need a flagship smartphone

7 signs you don't need a flagship smartphone
You can't argue with facts, and those state that the most popular individual smartphone models are ones that fall into the flagship group -- the manufacturer's highest of high-end devices. Of course, that doesn't mean that everybody has a Galaxy S5 or an iPhone 6 in their pocket, but if you happen to be the 'tech guy' in your circle, you'll know that even people that are absolute beginners are usually intent on getting the hottest models on the market, even if you explicitly point out that, for their needs and purposes, that would probably be an overkill and even a waste of money.

It's true. People looking to buy new devices usually start out by asking the wrong question -- which is the better between X and Y, regardless of whether those unknown devices are actually in a class more appropriate for their needs. Instead, it's usually best to start out by asking yourself some realistic questions, like what exactly you're looking to do with your smartphone and how often you think you'll do those things on average. For most people, those needs will usually be taken care problem-free by a lower-end device. 

Of course, if you do want the hottest thing on the market, there's nobody stopping you, and neither should anyone try. But if you're the kind of person that wants to make the best of what is pretty much always a limited budget, and the below signs apply to you to a large extent, then perhaps you may want to consider a mid-ranger -- those have gotten awfully good for what they cost.

 

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78 Comments

1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

3G and 4G picture lol.

7. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

◔ ⌣ ◔

20. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Hey dude, I can do this too....

26. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

◔ ⌣ ◔

47. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

48. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

What the hell ◔_◔

52. DnB925Art

Posts: 1167; Member since: May 23, 2013

◔ ~ ◔

2. uzimafioso

Posts: 469; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

Then again Moto G (1st Gen) FTW!!!

45. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Those ppl that don't need high end phones, buy iphones.

56. faptastic

Posts: 65; Member since: Aug 19, 2014

Exactly. An iPhone is only high end in the price department and single core CPU performance. Beyond that its comparable with midrange devices and in some parts even a Lumia 530 offers things an iPhone doesn't offer. People on websites like this don't understand why people buy high end devices, they don't for the features, they don't for any other reason besides it being fashion. Like buying expensive jeans, nobody needs expensive jeans but they buy them still. Don't forget most carriers also push the high end devices due to the ability to sell more expensive plans with them for increased profit. Anyway back to the main point, you don't buy an iPhone for quality, performance or any other reason a geek would buy a phone, no, people buy it to fit in and pretend it makes them look sophisticated, and able to afford a useless overpriced piece of plastic. Others buy high end android devices to show how they are not like the iZombies, but yet again they buy a device to make a point. Because face it, if people would buy a device for quality vs features vs price we would all be running around with a Lumia and you know it, well, unless you have no experience with a Lumia, in that case that knowledge will come whenever you do.

67. Leo_MC

Posts: 6616; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

We might be off because this article is about mid-range devices and iPhone is a high-end but, Your argument is based on bias because: - I live in EU and I travel a lot; the iPhone is the phone to buy to be sure you can connect to all the carriers when in roaming. - The iPhone (any iPhone) has a well balanced display (the newer the phone, the better the display), power and other features that makes it a good device to be used for a period of 3-4 years (even the 4 years old iPhone 4 is great as a mid ranger); that's why, Apple's products keep their value better over time (with buy-back the newer device becomes free). - Because I travel (by car), I appreciate it's compact form and the fact it can be used with ease even with one hand (attention: don't talk and drive!); I might consider a larger device when voice assistants will be able to take full control. Also, when driving, I don't need a laggish device that makes me take the eyes off the road. - Apple's app ecosystem. Need I say more? - When I give a device to a child, I want to make sure the thieves are elss tempted to steal it (because of iCloud lock). This are high-end features, released by Apple even for mid-end devices (if 4s and 5/c/s can be called that).

74. faptastic

Posts: 65; Member since: Aug 19, 2014

I'm always baffled when I read replies like yours, they are both factually incorrect, based on assumptions and feelings with no real life evidence. Your point nr. 1: The iphone until version 5S had the least support for mobile networks. Basically ANY phone would have a more reliable and faster connection than any iphone before the 5S. The iphones didn't support 4G in most of Europe while other phones did for a year. The chips for the mobile network and the antennas are COMPLETELY the same as in any random Samsung (yes, even the cheaper models), that's because .. Samsung makes them for Apple. If you really want to connect to all carriers, any current smartphone will do, as they all use basically the same chips and hardware to connect. Though with one difference: the iphone has relatively speaking the weakest antenna, so you will lose signal on an iphone while others will still be making happy calls. I travel a lot, and that's been my personal experience. The iphone display then, it's well balanced for sure, mostly for price and mostly for Apple. It's a display they used to buy from LG, now they buy from Sharp if I'm not mistaken. It's a midrange display that isn't good enough for LG to put in their high-end devices, but is good enough for Apple to put in theirs. The iphone 6 has a display currently that's exactly the same as some devices that are a third of it's price. And power? Really? The iphone4 has a single-core CPU that was outdated at it's release. The 4S had a dual core, that wasn't impressive back then either. The 5/5S/6/6plus etc. have better CPU's with good single-core performance, but they are still dual core. All other high-end devices (and midrange) have quadcores now. Less per core performance, more overall performance. Travel by car, you mean how all devices can use any car charger BESIDES the iphone? There are also other compact devices and personally I've recently went from iphone to Lumia, and Lumia is easier to use with one hand for me, even though it's bigger. But judging by your arguments you have no experience with other high-end devices anyway. App ecosystem? yes, you need to say more. A lumia needs less apps as it has more built-in features and it's ecosystem is sufficient for almost all of it's users. And Android has no lesser of an app ecosystem. Name me one app you would miss from it's ecosystem on other platforms please. Icloud lock? It's the only cloud storage system that's been hacked so far. And both Android and WP support more advanced implementations. I can control what my kids download on their Lumia remotely and wipe and lock etc. It's more advanced than with my iphone, Icloud is embarrassing compared to Onedrive and the family safety system my Lumia has. I could prevent children from buying apps remotely 3 years ago. This has only recently been fixed by Apple. For you this is all high-end, but you fail to realize what you call high end, the rest of us see as expected on low-end devices.

76. Leo_MC

Posts: 6616; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

In EU, 4G in roaming started to roll out at the end of 2013 (Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Nederlands, Romania midle 2014), with Switzerland offering it in the middle of 2013. So, it's great to have 4G in 1900, it is even greater if you have something that one is able to use it (like NFC: all the phones have it, none - or maybe 0.001% use it). LTE is a part of the SoC (which might be produced by Samsung but it's designed by Apple). I look at my phone from ofer 30 cm, which means I see no pixelation over 300 ppi; I have no use for 2k, 4k etc in a small device (maybe you can tell us what can we do with a 1080p-2k 4-5" phone display?!); on the other hand, I like the iPhone's color reproduction and the fact that I can read it in (not very) bright daylight (I also have an HTC and there's no comparison between the two). iP 4 processor was technicaly advanced for the time and it is still powerfull enough to run usual phone applications; if you think Apple's iP dual-core isn't impressive, you should know that Phonearena has an article proving you wrong, showing it's power is somehow better than 805's (Huawei uses a octa-core which - acording to you - should be better than every other device; S4 - for Koreea - also had a octa; benchmarks and day to day usage proved the quad - and iP dual - cores beat the cra* out of that octas, so it's a moot point to talk about performance, based on paper specifications). My car (and every car sold after the birth of Mathusalem) has an usb slot. I'm glad Lumias need less apps (I also keep a minimum number on my phone); i"m sure one can find everything one needs (or will find in the near future); just that iOS already has them and, by the look of it, will have most app before all the other OSes I also like OD (now that I can use Touch ID with it I simply love it); you can control what your kids download before they do it or after that? If it's before, kudos to MS (I have only used Android, BB, Symbian and Win Mo as a smartphone os, maybe I will buy a Win in the future). As I understood it, iCloud accounts were hacked mainly because of the users easy passwords; sure, Apple is to blame too (but OD also changed the way one logs in recently). iCloud lock is something else, it is the ability to make a stolen/lost Apple device unusable through the iCloud account (you might have heard of Find My iPhone). I'm not trying to say iPhones are the best, I'm just saying are way better than you have showed them to be - for me / for now - are way better than the others.

62. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

If this is some sort of longevity contest you newbs all lose by a long shot. Lol

3. enthasuium

Posts: 150; Member since: Nov 21, 2013

8. You dont have money

65. nvrhde

Posts: 77; Member since: Nov 10, 2012

9. You don't read this blog

4. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

This is a really good topic for many to think through. IMO, a lot of people end up with a "flagship" phone because they want a phone that is well made, has a high quality clear screen (regardless of ultimate resolution), has app support, has accessories available, want 2GB+ RAM instead of 1GB for web browsing, etc. In short, while there are reasons not to get a "flagship" phone, I think there are also reasons to get one as well.

33. bob_monkeywarts unregistered

You're describing my moto g, you know.

39. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Moto G is a good value for the money, but the screen quality is a step down from a "flagship" and it only has 1GB RAM. http://www.phonearena.com/phones/Motorola-Moto-G-2014_id8898

68. Leo_MC

Posts: 6616; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

How can one play Angry Birds without 174 TB of RAM?! I'm now saying more RAM is useless, I just say I have never felt the need for more with an iPhone; maybe the optimization of OS and SoC architecture can overcome what you think is a drawback. I'm saying that because LG G3 (3 GB of RAM) lags far more than my 5s when using the same apps. I'm sure there are better Android phones, I'm just saying more RAM does not equal better experience.

75. faptastic

Posts: 65; Member since: Aug 19, 2014

Android needs more memory because it supports background tasks and applications, you can't download (legal ;) torrents in the background on iOS for example, you can on an Android device. iOS does not support this, thus it doesn't need the ram. This is the same for WP, where most devices have less ram than Android counterparts, as WP does support background apps, just in a more limited fashion. Iphones are more limited like that, but that's a choice you make when buying one. Iphones also have an extremely simple interface and system behind it, much more simple than Android and WP, thus they require less performance. But you do pay for that in features and customization on iOS, any Android and WP offer more native features and customization. With Android offering more than WP and WP being smoother in performance. But don't forget, the old Lumia 920 beats the iPhone 5s in some browser benchmarks. Talk about optimization right there. But we've seen before that you tend to forget and ignore facts in favor of iOS.

5. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

Even basic budget phones nowadays are very capable.

46. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

There are also basic, capable, but not budget phones. Right? That doesn't stop many ppl to stay on queue for them.

6. darkkjedii

Posts: 30830; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Needs and wants, are two different things, smartphones are highly enticing. I remember having a Palm Treo 750p on sprint when the OG iPhone dropped, after watching those commercials, I was too enticed not to get one. Now I can't see myself not having one. The do everything on one device, is heaven to a techie. Not even sure why feature phones even still exist, they have a market though.

12. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

I see kids 'want' smartphone even though they don't 'need' it.

19. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Peer pressure, stature, and to "look cool." Sad as it is, but if all your friends are pulling out smartphones, and you pull out a feature phone your not going to feel so great and maybe even at that age kids will make fun of you.

22. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

I use SE C905 as my daily driver and I don't know what you're talking about :D

24. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

You must be a great guy then.

27. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

It gets me through at least 1.5 week on single charge and is durable as f&ck, survives water, sand and dropping down, so I think I'll stick to it for a while. Fun to see how my friends have to charge their phones twice per day and use cases just to not have any scratch on phone while in pocket. :D

23. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

When i was kid i used to play on grass , all day out , with thorns pricking my feets. Now i see kids playing candy crush on their phones.

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