How much would you pay for a phone? (poll results)

How much would you pay for a phone?

Less than $350
22.47%
Less than $650
53.6%
Less than $1000
18.08%
$1000+ is not a problem
5.85%

The upwards average price swing of phones this season, compared to the previous year, can be attributed to the shift towards taller and narrower screen designs, the widespread use of more premium materials for the casing, and a bevy of features that phone makers have to offer now to stand a chance, like dual cameras, or neat biometry tricks for unlocking. Still, our disposable income hasn't really changed all that much in the span of a year, that is why we asked you last week, in the year when top-shelf phone prices swung from $650+ on average, to $750+, how much are you really willing to pay for a phone?

Well, more than a half of our 4000+ respondents are only fine with last year's flagship cutoff of $650 and below, while more than a fifth are satisfied with entry level phones at $350 and below. Just 24% of our respondents in total are prepared to pay what manufacturers are asking this season for their high-end devices, and we'd wager to bet that iPhone users are skewing the bill here, as they don't really have any other option if they want to get the latest and greatest from Apple. Not to rain on the phone makers' parade, but these results clearly show that folks would do with less pissing contests and piling of features, and more value-for-money offerings that don't close in on the $1000 mark.

Samsung opened the floodgates when it charged a Benjamin more for its Galaxy S8 and S8+ than the starting price of the S7 and S7 edge last year, then priced the Note 8 at $830. Apple one-upped it with the $999 iPhone X, but also charges more for the iPhone 8 than it did for the iPhone 7 before it, while Google went all out with a 128 GB Pixel 2 XL that lands at $950. 

Oh, let's not forget the LG V30, launched at $830 starting price. Even Huawei, which has now reached the third spot as phone maker, both in market share and profitability, is asking $900 for the Mate 10 Pro. This worrying trend may be spreading downhill, too, as value-for-money offers like the OnePlus 5T are priced $500, compared to the $480 that the OnePlus 5used to command at launch, and so on. Moreover, it's never been easier to nab a midrange or even lower-end handset that will do the vast majority of your tasks with "good enough" results, compared to something twice as expensive, too.

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15 Comments

1. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Ideally, I'd prefer to pay as less as possible. I bought the Nexus 5 for $250, and bought my S6 about one and a half years ago for $400!

2. josephnero

Posts: 778; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

500$ is my sweet spot. I usually buy fairly new xperias

3. Boast_Rider

Posts: 534; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

I think around $500 is the sweet spot for what people are willing to pay. Oneplus is hitting it in the right spot, though they are constantly screwing up with the camera. No OIS in a 2017 flagship is unacceptable.

4. Arashmahmoodi25

Posts: 130; Member since: Apr 07, 2017

500$ is the sweetest spot for everyone , when it comes to buying a smartphone.

5. sleepypandaeyes

Posts: 370; Member since: Apr 12, 2015

Most people pay close to a grand anyway if it's subsidised through a monthly plan. I would never pay a grand outright for a phone but I pay £40 a month for my S8 which will come up to £960 after 2 years.

7. weatherlover1

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 04, 2017

Most people can't afford to buy a phone outright anymore so they have to go with a payment plan through their carriers. I refuse to pay 30 dollars a month for a phone I don't care how few bezels it has. But now these phones better have a 3-4 year lifespan at least. I was finally able to upgrade when the Pixel 2XL was on sale at Verizon. 22 dollars a month is still a lot a month for a phone but that is my limit. I don't care about face unlock I care more about affording the phone at this point. Flagship phones used to be 250 dollars and now they are 900!?! That is crazy. :/

9. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I'm pretty sure the US version of the Note 8 launched with a price of $930 and I am sure you meant to put that, the 8 and 9 are right next to each other after all. Just fix that real quick though because everyone should know that LG is the only big OEM that launched their bezel-less phones at reasonable prices.

10. Tythas

Posts: 38; Member since: Jul 30, 2015

I think the answer varies greatly depending on what we want from smartphones. I'm ready to pay a dime for something stunning.

11. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Personally I say $850 and bellow but I do feel that $500-$650 is the sweet spot. All in all I suppose it really comes down to rather or not I feel the device is worth it's price tag. Although the G6 is really the only bezel-less phone worth the asking price at lauch, sure it uses last years soc but the SD821 is more than a match for the SD835 as the G6's performance and battery life is much like that of the S8.

12. GameKing95

Posts: 30; Member since: Jan 10, 2013

Nexus 5 Nexus 5X Mi A1 I'd rather spend on my PC

13. fyah_king unregistered

People voting for $1000 and up are mostly on payment plans.lol

14. tokuzumi

Posts: 1862; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

$500 is my limit. Even that makes me cringe a little. Mainly because I'm cheap.

15. Acdc1a

Posts: 473; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

I'm never buying an expensive phone again. I have the Moto E4 Plus and it meets all of my needs very well and goes FOREVER without being plugged in.

16. jmonteiro829

Posts: 261; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

The problem with people is that they can't wait to get the flagship... if they waited about 6-7 months those 1k phones would be in their sweetspot of about 500-600. Prices of these phones drops drastically a few months down the road. I got my S8 with Gear VR for about 600 unlocked a few months after launch.

17. fyah_king unregistered

$200 is the limit. I got my essential phone for $165 and super happy.

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