When shopping for a smartphone, the most expensive is not necessarily the best. The gap between the top of the line phones and the lesser known, lower priced phones has narrowed over the years. Now, no matter what you pay, you can get a smartphone with the features and quality you need. Here are five reasons to consider a budget model when you’re looking for your next smartphone.

Technology Spreads

While Apple and Samsung were initially the go-to brands, the technology that powers those phones spread industry-wide. The less-costly Android models now incorporate that same technology into their phones. Less expensive phones, formerly slower and lacking the hardware of the other phones, caught up once technology stabilized. Most phones today, regardless of the maker, include larger displays, high-quality cameras, and tech-pleasing specifications — all the features the user needs.

Comparison Shop

Image via Flickr by pestoverde

The newest iPhones and Galaxies just hit the market. There are some cool features like facial recognition security and even larger screens, but the actual phone technology is virtually unchanged. Furthermore, Apple advertises wireless charging on the latest versions, but once you buy the phone, you realize wireless charging needs a special mat charger. That’s an extra cost you probably didn’t include in your budget.

Samsung’s newest phone features an edge-to-edge screen, which is worthless if you use a protective case. Compare that to the LG K20 Plus from a reliable network like T-Mobile, which offers a 5.3-inch HD screen, fingerprint identity sensor, high-pixel camera, removable battery, and rear-facing and front-facing HD camcorders. Even with all of these features, the LG K20 sells for around $500 less than the new Apple and Samsung devices.

New Features Problems

The latest and greatest features introduced on new phones also bring about new problems. Part of the reason is the manufacturers rush to offer innovations they consider game changers before all the bugs are out. Fingerprint scanning had reliability issues when introduced in 2011. It took several years to perfect the fingerprint sensor. Samsung had issues with battery malfunctions on some earlier phone editions. Providing new features sometimes causes more problems than it solves. Nothing irritates a buyer like a phone that needs to be fixed as soon as it’s bought.

Money Versus User Experience

Wanting the newest, coolest features is fine, but are you really willing to spend twice as much for an edge-to-edge screen that looks great but functions the same as any other screens? Plus, if you use a protective case it covers the edges anyway. Before you spend your hard-earned money, ask yourself if different is necessarily better.

It all comes down to a functioning smartphone that gives you the features you need. The new, cheaper phones save an average of $200 to $300 and still give you the cool tech you expect. Most of today’s smartphones offer larger screens, high-quality cameras, and exceptional performance. These lower-end phones concentrate on value, not flashy flourishes.

Newer, Not Better

The latest Samsung phones feature a nearly bezel-less, edge-to-edge screen. The bezel edge on phones, watches, and other glass items keeps the glass in place and helps prevents damage. Yet LG offers a comparable screen that has an ultra-thin bezel without compromising the strength of the screen. It’s strictly an aesthetic feature, but iPhone plans to offer it as well.

Elimination of the headphone jack introduced on iPhones in 2016 caused much concern among consumers. The change, allowing for a bigger battery, also paves the way for more streamlined devices in the future. Even so, users complained of the inconvenience more than they embraced the change.

Another feature, 3D touch, came on iPhones before the operating system caught up. The update to IOS came a year later. So that feature was useless until the operating system caught up with the screen. Many critics feel the 3D touch technology stills needs improvement to reach its potential and is not worth the extra cost.

Buying a less expensive phone gives you the useful features you need and lets you stay within your budget. It only makes sense to spend less and still get what you need.

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