Fancy Phones: Now An Even Worse Deal

About twelve years ago, Apple released the first iPhone.1 It was an expensive device, but the original iPhone had all sorts of features that the competition lacked.

In 2012, the year the iPhone 5 was released, there were still significant differences between the latest, high-end phones and phones that were sold at lower price points.2

Today, things are different. Hardware has continued to improve, but it’s not clear that hardware improvements have had much to offer to the typical consumer. Today, you can get an unlocked Motorola G6 or G6 Play without any carrier subsidy for less than $200.3

The G6 performs well for the sorts of things typical consumers use their phones for. The phone’s cameras are pretty good. It has a fingerprint reader. Hell, the phone even does pretty well in terms of aesthetics. I’m struggling to come up with meaningful limitations it has compared to higher-end phones. It’s not waterproof?

Perhaps the high-quality of low-end phones these days explains why the latest iPhone models haven’t sold well. I don’t mean to suggest that higher-end phones don’t have some advantages. They do. Having a top-of-the-line phone these days may matter if you’re an Instagram star, you want to play intense mobile video games with top-notch performance, or you want to make your friends jealous. If you don’t care about those use cases, you can save a lot of money without forgoing many useful features.


  1. The first iPhone was released on June 29, 2007. See Wikipedia’s History of iPhone article.
  2. The iPhone 5 was released on September 21, 2012. See Wikipedia’s article on the iPhone 5.
  3. At the time of writing, Amazon charged $139.99 for the “Prime Exclusive” version of the G6 and $179.99 for the standard version. Archived Amazon page here. The photo of the G6 comes from Motorola’s website.

4 thoughts to “Fancy Phones: Now An Even Worse Deal”

  1. good day,
    I spent about a half an hour bouncing around on your site. I understand you earn commissions for directing us to certain providers. I like that. I don’t mind anyone making money is giving me the best advice in the broad overview of the Internet and phone service in our area. We are presently with T-Mobile and are grossly dissatisfied with the 821 Samsung phones for your purchased. I have about 12 months left on the contract. We also have T-Mobile at her home and U-tube station at a cost of about $50 a month.. We are paying just upwards of $150 a month and I think that there is probably a better deal out there. I understand the 50 MPBS you spoke to in one of your articles. My wife and I are both in our 70s play no games do not download anything however we do use the Internet to search. We would like to find somebody locally skilled in home electronics to set us up with something you think is good for 2 people in their 70s. My daughters have an office right in Homestead Plaza only get to use as much of their equipment as we deem necessary any time. Would like to hear from you by any method you prefer. Phone number [removed] your help will be appreciated by 2 old people.

    1. Hi Edward,

      Sorry to be so slow responding! Did you mean A21 or 821? And is your dissatisfaction with the phones themselves or the quality of service/signal they receive?

  2. looking forward to hearing from you. And giving us direction which I will be happy to pass on. At our age everybody needs an expert in electronics media Internet and cell phones. I hope you are that expert.

  3. Hello, thanks for sharing your info, it has helped our family immensely. I purchased a new moto g fast 1.5 years ago and mid-2022 motorola stopped supporting the phone (OS updates). This was disappointing because the phone is still a great phone, although is running very slowly now as it hasn’t had an update in quite a while. I am wondering if others have experienced early discontinuation of their moto phones. If this is the case, are there any other recommendations for phones? Thanks!!

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