How do you figure out the best value for your buck?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
When is the last time that you walked into a wireless retail location, whether it be a corporate store or third-party site, and had no idea what you were looking for? You walked in, ready to upgrade, but just not entirely sure which phone you wanted to walk out with. You've done your research, sure, and maybe you've even whittled the choices down to a few, rather than many, but for the most part you're just unsure of what to go with.
I did this the last time I went into a store to pick up a phone. I knew about all the devices, and there were plenty to select from, but I had absolutely no idea which device I'd end up walking out with. The sales reps just let me walk around, playing with each, weighing in only a little bit. (Which I was thankful for.)
In the end, I didn't walk out with a phone that day, but I know a lot of people do. More often than not there's usually one or two, maybe even three or four, phones out there at one time that you'd be more than happy to purchase. That's whey when I'm asked, "Should I get this phone or that phone?" I always offer up some key details, but end with going into the store. To test out the devices yourself. To see which one you like better when it's actually in your hand.
In today's competitive market, trying to find the device that gives you the best deal for the dollars that your throwing at it is crucial. Manufacturers know this, in most cases, and seem to follow with that train of thought -- sometimes. We've watched as devices with LTE-connectivity have dropped from $300 to $200 in just the course of a year, and now there are many high-end devices that launch with a price tag under $199. (These include contracts, mind you.)
Finding the right device for you isn't entirely about the specifications of the device. It may never have been, but it's even more the case today. You have to find the right phone for what you want to do, plus find the price tag that works with what you're wanting, or can, spend. It's a balancing act, but thankfully there are plenty of choices.
It's about finding the best value for your dollar(s).
Unsurprisingly, this is completely up to the person, though. What they're looking for. What's important to them in features, specs, and what they can afford. It's always changing, and it's a different experience for each person. But that's what I'm curious about. I want to know from all of you what you consider a value for the money you're willing to spend on a new phone.
There are two recent examples, both sitting on one end of the pricing spectrum, that I feel are perfect for this piece. The first, on the far left end of the bar and sitting in the "cheap" section is Motorola's new Moto G. A device that's meant to target specific niche markets and consumers, and one that could very well do that. Maybe even better than any other "cheap" phone out there.
The Moto G starts at $179 for the 8GB model, and it boasts 4.5-inch 720p HD display, with a quad-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz, and a 5-megapixel camera on the back. It's customizable (not as much as the Moto X, but it's still a nice addition) thanks to shells you can attach to your device at will, and it's running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out of the box with a promised update to Android 4.4 KitKat right around the corner. It's not meant to be a high-end phone, as you can tell from the specs, but you can also tell that from its price point. It's meant to be affordable.
On the other end of the spectrum is a BlackBerry 10 device, but this one's been decked out by Porsche Design. This device is not meant to be cheap. It's a stainless steel device, with a 4.2-inch 1280x768 display, 16GB of storage, a microSD card slot, and a dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz. It's running BlackBerry OS 10.2, but it's customized, and it features custom analog and digital clock faces by Porsche Design. It also features a backside that's made from hand-wrapped Italian leather, just for good measure. The price? More than $1,600.
So, that's about as good as you'll get to see two devices, with almost similar specs in some cases, not so much in others, but priced ridiculously far apart. The question I have, how do you judge what's a good value for the dollars you're spending? Is a phone that has an HD display, a ridiculously good camera, plenty of memory, and a fast processor worth splashing down over $600? Or are you better off going for the mid-range device that's closer to $300 rather than $700?
Let me know what you think, and how you gauge what's the best value for your money, especially with Black Friday shopping right around the corner!