Most smartphone manufacturers released or are planning on releasing a flagship device that will be priced at around $1000. A few years ago you could get a top of the line smartphone for $600-$700 but nowadays even OnePlus manages to sell their best smartphone at $900, with bigger names easily going over $1000. Technology has evolved a lot and I do get the increase in price. Screen and batteries are getting bigger, smartphones are more powerful and come with more features and many more cameras, but this evolution trickled down to mid-range and low-budget devices as well.
Just now, a low-budget smartphone that is just $100 has better specs and features than a $400 one had a few years ago. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the Umidigi A7 Pro which was being sold two days ago for 99$ on AliExpress. It has a 6.3″ FullHD+ LCD screen, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and 4 cameras on the back. Yes, it is powered by a low-end Helio P23 chipset, but again, it costs only $99. Even the higher-end Umidigi S5 Pro was $250 and it has an AMOLED display, a high mid-range Helio G90T CPU and can ran any game and app without a problem. I know what you will say: these are B-brand smartphones and are not very reliable! But we can go even further, with the mid-range offerings from Realme, Redmi, and Poco. These are well-known brands and their smartphones have excellent build quality and great software support.
Actually, it was Realme’s and Poco’s latest smartphones that pushed me into writing this article: the Realme X3 SuperZoom and the Poco X2 Pro. If for most other devices that are priced lower you can complain of either missing features, poor software support or low performance, there is little you can complain about in these two. Each has it’s pros and cons and are not perfect, but you do get 90% or maybe even 95% of a true flagship but at half the cost.
The Realme X3 has great camera and even includes a periscope lens with great zoom. Not “Samsung S20 Pro” level, but pretty close. Build quality is good, software support is good and the Snapdragon 855+ chipset inside can run any app or game without a problem. It is the second-best mobile CPU out there. You also get a 120Hz high-refresh-rate screen with FullHD+ resolution (LCD though), quick charge and good connectivity options. The Poco X2 Pro has slightly worse camera configuration (no periscope lens) but still manages to take great photos. It is even powered by the most powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 CPU and includes an AMOLED display. Again, all flagship-level components.
You are missing on a few features by going with any of these. The Realme X3 does not have 5G mostly because including this cheap and the X55 modem would have increased price significantly due to the monopoly that Qualcomm has. Neither Poco nor Realme have wireless charging or water resistance rating for their device, but you are only paying around 499€, almost half of what other flagships cost. And I know, the extra 10% in features and performance cost a lot. I am not here to say if the prices are just or not. What I am saying is that 99% of people don’t really need the 1000$ flagship, but instead can be extremely happy and can get all the features needed from a well-build and well equipped $499 “flagship-killer”… maybe even a decent mid-range at even less than that.