Should we buy expensive smartphones

Cheap or expensive? Use these tips to find the right smartphone

Top class smartphones are expensive. Buyers currently have to shell out up to 2,000 euros for the flagships of major brands such as Apple and Samsung. Good smartphones are much cheaper to buy. We show recommended cell phones from different price ranges.

That depends entirely on what demands are made of the device, says Alexander Spier from the specialist magazine "c’t". Entry-level devices do not have the latest technology. If you only want to use a few apps, surf the Internet a bit and make a phone call, a cell phone around 150 euros is a good choice.

Inexpensive devices: Buyers have to make these compromises

Users often have to compromise when it comes to the camera - and the devices are usually not that fast. It can be a bit jerky when scrolling: The RAM is relatively small, the processor rather slow. Buyers of entry-level models also have to put up with the design, as cheaper models are often made of plastic. The advantage of this: the devices are less sensitive and do not break so quickly.

Entry-level devices cannot keep up with the screen either. Premium models rely on high-contrast OLED technology with high resolution. However, it is very expensive. Those who are not particularly tech-savvy do not necessarily need an OLED screen: Modern LCD displays are now so good that you often do not even notice the difference in everyday life. Much more important are the brightness and the resolution.

Editor's recommendation: the entry-level smartphone Huawei Y6 (2018)

Huawei offers a solid smartphone for users with little demands for a little more than 100 euros: the Huawei Y6 (2018). It still looks chic: The plastic back is surrounded by a metal housing frame. The display of the 5.7-inch smartphone has a resolution of 720 × 1,440 pixels, which is a little small for this size. But the display is sufficiently bright that it is easy to read overall.

If you want to buy a new smartphone, you shouldn't be blinded by numbers such as the number of megapixels on the camera. "Whether the camera takes good photos depends much more on the interaction of the technologies and software installed," says Alexander Emunds from the telecommunications portal "teltarif.de".

How much storage capacity do you need?

However, buyers can orientate themselves on other technical guidelines: If you want to save a lot of photos and videos, you need a correspondingly large internal memory. "16 gigabytes are very little," he says.

It should also be remembered that the software itself occupies a large part of the memory. Many smartphones offer the option of retrofitting storage with a microSD card. Such an external storage medium cannot replace the capacity of the internal storage, because it works faster. However, large files such as photos and videos can easily be transferred to a memory card.

If you shoot a lot of photos and want to install games, you should choose at least 64 GB of memory. Those who like to film usually need more. Before buying, make sure that the memory can be expanded. With Apple, for example, this is not possible and you have to decide before you buy.

The correct resolution of the display

Since savings are often made on the display, buyers should pay attention to a resolution of at least 720p in width, says Emunds. WQHD or 4K don't necessarily have to be. Which resolution is optimal ultimately depends on the display size. Here buyers can use a simple formula for orientation: the larger the display, the higher the resolution should be.

It is also important to know that cheaper smartphones have a less bright display. If you often need your device outside for navigation or want to read on it on a summer vacation on the beach, an entry-level device with a low display brightness is not a good choice.

Middle class performs well

In the middle class, the performance of the smartphone is better: the device runs more smoothly, the display is usually higher resolution and can be set brighter, the functions are more diverse. The smartphones have a fast processor and a good camera.

Editor's recommendation: the Honor 8X mid-range smartphone

With the Honor 8X, the parent company Huawei has a real price-performance hit on offer: The mobile phone has a 6.5-inch Full HD + display in the 19.5: 9 format in an almost borderless design. This is otherwise only available with the top models.

A 20 MP dual main camera, a 16 MP front camera, 65 GB storage space with 4 GB RAM, a powerful battery, dual SIM and a fingerprint sensor make the mid-range smartphone an attractive device. Not a matter of course in this price range: The Honor 8X supports Bluetooth 5.0, WLAN-ac and NFC for mobile payment. A 3.5 mm headphone jack and an FM receiver are also included.

The higher the price, the more the decision-making plays a subordinate role. Luxury smartphones run smoothly and are equipped for all situations. This is why additional gimmicks come to the fore: inductive charging, for example, or the higher-contrast OLED displays. Significant differences to cheaper smartphones can be seen in the top models, especially in the case of the camera. "This is where the latest technology is installed - that plays a major role in marketing," says Christian van de Sand from Stiftung Warentest.

Other alternatives to the Honor 8X: These smartphones are also good.

The battery: enough power for the whole day

The performance of the battery is also becoming increasingly important when buying: the camera, games and above all the display consume a lot of energy. Your cell phone needs a large battery and an efficient processor to run for a long time. The battery capacity is specified in milliampere hours (mAh). In the best case, your new cell phone has a battery between 3,500 and 5,000 mAh.

Editor's recommendation: the upper-class smartphone iPhone 11 Pro

The iPhone 11 Pro is Apple's current flagship: three cameras on the back, the fastest processor on the entire cell phone market and a sharp OLED screen characterize the upper-class smartphone. However, buyers also have to spend over 1,000 euros for this. The design is very high quality with matt glass and stainless steel. The device is unlocked via Face ID, a 3D face recognition. Compared to the Android competition, Apple has been offering all security updates for much longer.

Disadvantages, on the other hand, are the high surcharges for storage space: the basic version for € 1,149 has 64 GB storage that cannot be upgraded at a later date. So you need to decide how much storage space you will need before buying. For an extra 170 euros you get 256 GB of storage space. The top model for 1,549 euros has 512 GB of storage space. Because of the long update guarantee, the outstanding hardware and the long service life, Apple is our recommendation in the Smartphone Champions League.