Do you really need an expensive flagship phone for more than bragging rights?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Do you really need an expensive flagship phone for more than bragging rights?
There's nothing wrong with following trends and buying flashy things, if it brings you joy. I don't necessarily do it, but I understand why many people do. I'm sure most of us are willing to admit that getting the latest iPhone or something like a Galaxy Z Flip isn't done for practical reasons as much as it is something we do to impress the people around us – a status symbol we get to show off every day.

It's okay to not follow trends

What if you don't care about trends and status symbols, or you simply want to be different, so you choose to go in a different direction than the people around you? Say you – like me – got up and decided one day that you'll buy a Xiaomi phone – a lesser-known brand that most people don't view as glamorous, especially not as compared to a flagship Samsung smartphone, or an iPhone.

Then gradually you realize that the phone you bought is fantastic, reliable, and does all you need it to do perfectly. What a nice surprise, because you did take a risk with something that may have been unfamiliar to you!

Would you feel ashamed to pull up that phone when you're hanging out with friends, who all have iPhones and Samsung phones? Or would you feel unique in a good way, because of that?

Don't let marketing choose for you

Nowadays mid range smartphones are arguably so good, that almost all users would be more than happy with one such well-priced phone, over spending thrice the price for a flagship smartphone. Less trendy smartphone manufacturers often don't (or can't) spend as much on marketing as the Samsungs and Huaweis of the world. And don't get me wrong, I see that marketing works – people do start viewing a smartphone as more desirable when a popular actress is seen promoting it, or you get glamorous-looking ads for it all the time.

But when you buy that same well-marketed phone, you're paying extra for that marketing, as the manufacturer wants to make the money it spent on advertising back. You don't need to pay this tax, and many other hidden ones, if you just get a smartphone that you found on your own.

The benefits you get from a flagship big-brand phone are minimal at best

If you're after the best camera quality – then yes, you should invest in a flagship smartphone. If you care about how others perceive you, then again, nothing beats a status symbol phone. But what else are you getting for those extra hundreds you had to pay for such a smartphone?

The screen may be slightly better, usually in a way that's unnoticeable unless you look for it, but do you really care if the resolution or refresh rate are higher? It's a tiny screen. And on flagships, the battery life may actually be worse, as such phones are often designed with a strong focus on thinness and lightness, which means a smaller battery.

That's not to undermine flagship smartphones such as the Galaxy Note, which clearly comes with its unique benefits. Quality of life features such as NFC, wireless charging and dust and water resistance, which many flagships have, may also be important to you. But nowadays, plenty of less expensive phones also come with such features.

So, buying an expensive phone, are you really getting more than a status symbol you can show off? Did you actually pay for specific flagship features that no other smartphones offer? Be honest with yourself. Regardless of your reasons, they are valid, and I'm not undermining them.

How do you feel about all of this?

Again, I believe that there is nothing wrong with following trends and buying flashy things if it truly brings you happiness and you're doing it for yourself. But I also want people who feel pressured into following trends to know that it's okay to get a less popular smartphone, just as much as it's okay to wear whatever clothing makes you comfortable, and live your life in whatever way you feel is best for you.

What phone are you using, and what really made you choose it? Let us know in the comments if you agree or disagree with this article, and why.
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