Times have never been better for smartphone buyers. An abundance of smartphones to suit (almost) any budget. From entry level phones of up to $100 to the lower mid-tier of around $200 to the higher mid-tier (around $300) to the top tier of above $400. All manufacturers have various models to span all budget ranges. Some examples of the ranges and type of phones for a better understanding:
|Entry-level||up to $100||Motorola Moto E, Nokia X, Lumia 520, Samsung Galaxy Pocket, LG L40|
|Mid-tier (lower)||$150 – $200||Motorola Moto G, Lumia 630, LG Optimus L9, Xperia M|
|Mid-tier (higher)||$200 – $350||LG G2 Mini, Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, HTC One Mini|
|Top-Tier||$450 and above||iPhone 5S, Galaxy S5, LG G3, Xperia Z2, HTC One M8|
One question though any buyer of a phone should ask themselves is if you should buy this years’ top offering in the respective tier or rather last years model who’s price has reduced to move into a lower tier bracket.
I want to illustrate this based on the current higher mid-tier range which consists primarily of the mini versions of the various flag-ships:
- LG G2 Mini
- HTC One Mini 2
- Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini
These phones cost around $300 to $350. Phones in this category have ambitions of being stylish and reflecting at least some of the design and functional elements of their top-tier relatives.
For the same amount of money you could also buy the flag-ships of 2013, such as:
- LG Optimus G
- Sony Xperia ZL
- Huawei Ascend P6
Reasons why you should consider last year’s flag-ships are:
- 720p HD screens (even 1080p for the Xperia ZL and 768p for the Optimus G)
- Quad Core processors that will easily cope with Android 4.4
- 2GB Ram
- 4.7″ screens
- Upgraded to 4.4 Kitkat (or confirmed to get upgraded)
- Real premium elements in each of the phones
- Sony: 5″ full-HD display
- LG: fully Gorilla Glass covered
- Huawei: slimmest smartphone on the market
In comparison there isn’t really anything that speaks in favor of the mid-tier phones other than that you are buying a phone which is earlier in it’s product lifecycle.
So what are your thoughts and recommendations?