It doesn’t feel like it was all that long ago that there was a huge difference between “affordable” phones, and the flagships that sat at the top of the pyramid. Companies like HTC, Samsung, LG and plenty of others were more than happy to sell the flagship with a high price tag, and then fill out the bottom of the ranks with much cheaper, usually significantly less powerful devices.
Everything is eventual, though, and now we live in a world where technology has made powerful devices pretty much standard practice. Yes, flagships will always take the precedence when it comes to specific technology, and, perhaps even more importantly, the cheaper handsets will find shortcuts to keep costs down.
But, those shortcuts are quickly becoming less heartbreaking, and less of a deal breaker. Back in the day, the difference between an affordable smartphone and a flagship wasn’t just a major leap between price tags, but also in the processor, storage, and especially the camera. That’s not always the case anymore.
For instance, just look at the Z1 from ZUK — a company based in China and backed by Lenovo. This thing packs a 1080p HD display, a quad-core processor clocked over 2GHz, 64GB of built-in storage, a 13MP camera on the back and an 8MP camera on the front. Not too long ago that would have painted a pretty great flagship device. Now? It’s just another entry in the “affordable phones” race.
But for all of that you’d expect a handset that costs almost $500. Nope, less than $300 right now. That could change when it finally gets an international launch, but who knows. Right now the Z1 is a ridiculously cheap device, but with specifications that easily make that purchase worth it to many.
Before the Nexus 6 launched, and after the Nexus One saw the light of day, the Nexus lineup was the same way. Powerful devices with relatively cheap price tags, making them an easy buy for those that wanted a contract-free handset without breaking the bank.
And let’s not forget OnePlus, Xiaomi, and Motorola.
So my question to all of you is whether or not you’ve dropped the traditional flagship device and opted to save some cash by going with these other powerful, affordable devices. Let me know!