In the past few years, there has been a lot of talk about smartphones being very expensive. They say that new items cost so much that it is simply unrealistic to buy them. In general, I agree, and sometimes it even seems to me that manufacturers are competing not only in how many megapixels they have in the camera, but also how many numbers are on the price tag. Big brands have long stopped trying to lower prices compared to competitors. Only young sub-brands like Realme can afford it. But their example shows that it will not be possible to reduce the price indefinitely. Even OnePlus has already started making money on its devices and stopped giving them away for next to nothing. The question is what is meant by an expensive and cheap smartphone. Today we'll talk about two extremes. I say right away that the conclusions will be ambiguous.
Balance of cost and function. This is what you should strive for when buying a smartphone.
Which smartphone to buy for …
When buying a smartphone, first of all, you should understand for what purpose it is being purchased. Some people need high performance and maximum fps in games. Others require a premium look from the gadget, while others just want to talk on the phone, occasionally watching traffic jams on the way from work.
These are all completely different categories of devices. At the same time, there is a function that is important for almost everyone – a good camera. It is this indicator that is important for most buyers and it is on it that not only future users pay attention, but also marketers when they think about how to sell a new product to them.
Indeed, the camera is important. This is due to the fact that modern smartphone cameras can replace not only “soap boxes”, but even in some cases DSLRs and system cameras. Especially when it comes to the ratio of the camera size, its constant presence at hand and the quality of photos, even in automatic mode.
That is why the camera occupies a very important place in any device, and many people choose a smartphone, focusing mainly on it. Everything is logical and there is nothing wrong with that.
Now let's just take a look at the most inexpensive smartphone and the most expensive of those that are now officially on sale and are not exclusive. We specifically do not take gold cases, ruby buttons and collaborations with top brands from the fashion world. We are only interested in how they differ from each other technically.
The cheapest smartphone
Let's start, of course, with the most inexpensive smartphone. At the time of this writing, I couldn't find anything cheaper than the DIGMA LINX ALFA 3G. I came across another smartphone called OYSTERS Arctic 450, but it raised strong doubts about its existence. Moreover, I could not even order it with some kind of vague wording on the part of the seller.
That is why we will talk specifically about DIGMA LINX ALFA 3G for 1500 rubles. The price speaks for itself. It is definitely not worth waiting for something outstanding, since it has only 512 MB of RAM, although it is running more or less fresh Android 8.1. It looks especially fresh against the background of the fact that you can still find models that work out of the box on earlier versions of the OS.
This is DIGMA LINX ALFA 3G.
If you look at the rest of the characteristics, you can understand that there is nothing to expect from this smartphone. Only if it doesn't hang when trying to dial a phone number.
The diagonal of the screen is only 4 inches, but even this does not make it “weak”, remember, for example, the Sony Xperia XZ compact, which had flagship features just in a miniature body. The DIGMA LINX ALFA 3G screen resolution is only 800 by 480 pixels. Let me remind you that many complain about the insufficient resolution of 1440 by 720 pixels. The number of pixels of our ultra-budget device per inch is 233, and the aspect ratio is generally incomprehensible 5: 3.
The resolution of the main camera is 2 megapixels, and the front camera is only 0.3 megapixels, which is critically small and, as it seems to me, it was better not to install it at all, but instead improve something else in this smartphone. Selfies in 0.3 megapixel resolution are just a pain, and it's better to take a picture with the main camera, turning the smartphone backwards.
The smartphone runs on a chip MediaTek MT6580M with a frequency of 1300 MHz and a Mali-400 MP1 graphics core. The RAM, as I said above, is 512 MB, and the built-in memory is only 4 GB. Considering that half of this will be consumed Android, the user will be lucky if a little more than 2 GB is left for applications and media.
In the era of bezelless, the smartphone looks a bit outdated.
Of course, playing on such a smartphone will not work, but it was not made for this either. Although, to be honest, I don't really understand why buy a smartphone in order to just make a call. When I needed an inexpensive device for a couple of calls, I bought just a push-button phone for about the same money and it was much more pleasant than such an attempt to make an ultra-budget device. If you use DIGMA LINX ALFA 3G and think that I am wrong, write about it in the comments – we will discuss it.
You can find several smartphones for about this money, but they will all be approximately the same and built on the same ready-made platform. Therefore, this particular device was chosen exclusively as a representative of the segment, which at the time of writing the article cost even 50-100 rubles, but cheaper than the others. Now let's move on to the tops.
Most expensive smartphone
The most expensive smartphone for today is Samsung. At the same time, we do not take the Galaxy Fold, which costs about 150,000 rubles, and the Galaxy Z Flip, the prices of which from some dealers simply go into space. These smartphones have a chip that is very expensive in itself and therefore their price is significantly higher. It would be more correct to take for example the same candy bar as our first option.
You will ask why not iPhone 11 Pro Max, which is on the official website Apple from 99,990 rubles to 131,990 rubles. I did not take it for comparison due to the fact that you can buy this maximum configuration from dealers for 99,600 rubles. The purchase will be at your own peril and risk, but it is possible, and in this case it is more correct to compare that way.
How much memory does 1 minute of 8K video take in Galaxy S20? Lots of!
Returning to the device that I chose, namely the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra for 99,990 rubles, I don't have to go into its technical details on their own. It is clear that they are very good, and the smartphone itself belongs to the legendary line, which since the days of the very first Samsung Galaxy S2 began to prepare the world for OLED displays will be our future.
Instead of a scanty listing of the characteristics that you all already know, we will simply compare them with the DIGMA LINX ALFA 3G.
Cost. The difference in price is 98,490 rubles. That is, if you bargain, you can just knock out this difference and take DIGMA LINX ALFA 3G for delivery. For comparison, some of the original Galaxy S20 Ultra cases cost more than $ 50. That is, almost three times more than the entire DIGMA LINX ALFA 3G. The novelty from Samsung is 66.66 times more expensive than the given ultra-budget device.
Memory. The Galaxy S20 Ultra has 12GB of RAM, or 24 times more than the DIGMA LINX ALFA 3G. Built-in memory is 32 times more, and memory cards are supported 16 times more. As a result, the maximum memory together with the expansion can differ by almost 20 times.
The Galaxy S20 is a great smartphone, but with RAM it is really overkill. Especially in the top configuration
CPU. Here, the comparison in numbers won't be as clear-cut, but the performance will be different, like Wasserman's beard and Scarlett Johansson's figure. Nevertheless, I would like to note that the difference in processor frequency is twofold. But there are many other metrics that are more important than frequency.
Camera. The difference in the resolution of the main sensor is approximately equal to the difference in cost – 2 MP versus 108 MP. As you can see, here the numbers speak for themselves. Moreover, the Galaxy S20 Ultra has six sensors on both sides, while the DIGMA LINX ALFA 3G has only two. At the same time, the resolution of the front camera differs by 133 times.
Battery. Everything is simple here. 1400mAh at one end and 5000mAh at the other. The difference is almost 3.5 times.
Pros of an expensive smartphone
It is not the intent of this article to belittle ultra-budget smartphones or to justify the absolutely hefty price tag of the Galaxy S20 Ultra. I just wanted to show you what a big difference there is between the cheapest and the most expensive mass-produced smartphone.
The numbers are really impressive. But there is also experience of use that cannot be expressed in numbers. Expensive smartphones will definitely be nicer in this indicator. But now you can understand how insignificant the choice is between a smartphone for 20,000 rubles and a smartphone for 23,000 rubles. As usual, taking it to extremes, we got a serious difference, and the extra “couple of parrots” in the performance test mean absolutely nothing.