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Bodhitree

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 5, 2021
1,962
2,078
Netherlands
I was browsing some of the news around the Samsung A52/A72 and the new OnePlus phones and I have to admit, the spec sheets seemed quite impressive. A lot of features from the flagship line from the last couple of years appear to have trickled down, and if you want a phone with multiple camera lenses and good overall specs you seem to be able to get that for about €450.

I am seeing less and less reasons to buy a flagship phone in the future, and for the first time I am wondering whether the economics for buying iPhones may not have shifted definitively. My experience has been that iPhones tend to last longer, mostly because of the durable construction and the software updates, but I hear that Samsung are now supplying 3 years of OS updates on many phones.

All of which means that buying mid-range phones every three years may work out better than buying a flagship every six years, even if the money works out pretty similarly.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 604
Dec 19, 2004
7,330
4,719
Georgia
As long as you don’t care about performance. From what I can find that snapdragon 720g CPU in the A72 is going to be about that of an iPhone 7.

Have you considered used of eBay? You can get way more bang for the buck. Getting a two year old flagship. For less money with better performance, excellent screen and cameras. Sell it in a year and get the next model.

Perhaps even go with year old flagships. Selling each year. All in all you’ll spend about as much over time. For much better phones than new midrange models.

I just got an XS for less. With a super camera and battery life. I could have bought a Galaxy S10 for less or a Pixel 4 for even less.
 

Tarzanman

macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2010
1,304
15
It depends on what you mean by 'last'. Metal construction is robust. In the past decade, 10 years has been too long to switch between phones. I have done so every 2-3 years by purchasing flagship killers or the flagship from 1-2 years past.
 

The_Interloper

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2016
686
1,412
I recently picked up an Oppo Find X2 Neo here in the UK for £380. It is a beautiful device. 5G, 12Gb RAM (!), 256Gb (!!) storage, a stunning 90Hz 6.5" AMOLED edge-to-edge display and a battery that charges in under 30 minutes. Truly excellent cameras, including OIS, ultrawide and 2x optical zoom. Outstanding build quality. Oh, and charger, headset and clear case all in the box.

I'm starting to seriously get tired of iPhone pricing and the features-to-cost ratio.
 

ian87w

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2020
8,704
12,636
Indonesia
I recently picked up an Oppo Find X2 Neo here in the UK for £380. It is a beautiful device. 5G, 12Gb RAM (!), 256Gb (!!) storage, a stunning 90Hz 6.5" AMOLED edge-to-edge display and a battery that charges in under 30 minutes. Truly excellent cameras, including OIS, ultrawide and 2x optical zoom. Outstanding build quality. Oh, and charger, headset and clear case all in the box.

I'm starting to seriously get tired of iPhone pricing and the features-to-cost ratio.
Well, for Oppo, the problem is that nice hardware won't be supported for longer than 2 years, or maybe 3 at best. That's the issue with Android planned obsolescence, great hardware obsoleted through the lack of software and security updates.

But having said that, it's not an issue for frequent upgraders. If you upgrade every year or two, it's a non issue.

What I'm trying to say iphones are not necessarily more expensive if we measure by the shelf life of the device.
 

Steve Adams

Suspended
Dec 16, 2020
954
684
You are 100 percent correct. The A52 raised the bar for mid rangers. Good processor, awesome screen, ip rating, expandable storage, 3 cameras, 3 years of updates, and great battery life. The need to buy flagship now is gone. Samsung has realized they can sell 10 of these to every flagship and make more money. Other companies are doing the same. Offer the main features people want like IP, good screen and updates. How many people keep their phones for 5 years? Not many. 2-3 is the usual turn around. Apple is even offering last generation devices now as SE models at lower prices as they figured out that not everyone wants or needs the latest or greatest.

If you do not put two phones side by side you will not notice the speed difference either.
 

ian87w

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2020
8,704
12,636
Indonesia
I was browsing some of the news around the Samsung A52/A72 and the new OnePlus phones and I have to admit, the spec sheets seemed quite impressive. A lot of features from the flagship line from the last couple of years appear to have trickled down, and if you want a phone with multiple camera lenses and good overall specs you seem to be able to get that for about €450.

I am seeing less and less reasons to buy a flagship phone in the future, and for the first time I am wondering whether the economics for buying iPhones may not have shifted definitively. My experience has been that iPhones tend to last longer, mostly because of the durable construction and the software updates, but I hear that Samsung are now supplying 3 years of OS updates on many phones.

All of which means that buying mid-range phones every three years may work out better than buying a flagship every six years, even if the money works out pretty similarly.
There's a reason the A5x series are Samsung's bestseller. They provide the good enough all around phone for the price. The IP67 rating is an excellent addition.

Samsung 3 years of updates is misleading though. Yes, recently Samsung promises 3 OS updates for most of their phones, but their mid range series suffer from delayed releases and only quarterly security patches. Only their flagships enjoy monthly security patches. And forget about their 4 year of security updates. On the 4th year, it's just bi-annual security updates.

I am a fan of bang for the buck though, and current mid range Android or even cheaper devices offer excellent value for the money.

iPhones also offer good value for the money (based on US MSRP), especially since Apple only use older flagship iphones for their lower priced "mid range". Eg iphone SE offers flagship A13 and IP67 for $400. That's actually not too shabby. Of course, international pricing is a different story.

I agree definitely there's no need to spend the money on expensive flagships for majority of people. This is even truer in markets where the likes of Xiaomi and Realme exist, where they can offer most of the flagship features for less.

Competition is definitely more fun in this mid range category. Can't wait what Samsung can deliver for an S21 FE.
 

Steve Adams

Suspended
Dec 16, 2020
954
684
There's a reason the A5x series are Samsung's bestseller. They provide the good enough all around phone for the price. The IP67 rating is an excellent addition.

Samsung 3 years of updates is misleading though. Yes, recently Samsung promises 3 OS updates for most of their phones, but their mid range series suffer from delayed releases and only quarterly security patches. Only their flagships enjoy monthly security patches. And forget about their 4 year of security updates. On the 4th year, it's just bi-annual security updates.

I am a fan of bang for the buck though, and current mid range Android or even cheaper devices offer excellent value for the money.

iPhones also offer good value for the money (based on US MSRP), especially since Apple only use older flagship iphones for their lower priced "mid range". Eg iphone SE offers flagship A13 and IP67 for $400. That's actually not too shabby. Of course, international pricing is a different story.

I agree definitely there's no need to spend the money on expensive flagships for majority of people. This is even truer in markets where the likes of Xiaomi and Realme exist, where they can offer most of the flagship features for less.

Competition is definitely more fun in this mid range category. Can't wait what Samsung can deliver for an S21 FE.
The updates process is changing however. As far as I have read, the flagship will get the updates first but midrangers will still get all security updates and 3 years of OS versions.
 

MarkX

macrumors 65816
Sep 10, 2015
1,147
1,385
Fochabers, Scotland
As long as you don’t care about performance. From what I can find that snapdragon 720g CPU in the A72 is going to be about that of an iPhone 7.

Have you considered used of eBay? You can get way more bang for the buck. Getting a two year old flagship. For less money with better performance, excellent screen and cameras. Sell it in a year and get the next model.

Perhaps even go with year old flagships. Selling each year. All in all you’ll spend about as much over time. For much better phones than new midrange models.

I just got an XS for less. With a super camera and battery life. I could have bought a Galaxy S10 for less or a Pixel 4 for even less.
As long as you don't care about performance! What nonsense, for day to day use the 720g is more than adequate. Everyone these days gets so hung up on specs that they are missing out on some great phones for no where near as much money as a flagship.

In front of me right now I have a Realme 7 Pro (720g) and a S20 FE 5g (865), if I use one after another and scroll Facebook, Insta etc on one and then pick up the other I cannot tell a difference in performance. Even opening and closing apps the difference is negligible. Battery life on both is excellent, also the Realme 7 Pro has 65 watt charging and will go from 0 - 100 in 35 mins or so, the S20 FE on the other hand has 25 watt charging and takes over an hour to fill up. For the record, the XS was regarded as having a poor battery and so was the Pixel 4 and S10 you mentioned.

I'm not against buying a flagship phone at all, I'm a phone whore and buy lots of phones because I can, I buy all types, however, I would never suggest that buying a midrange phones these days is a bad move, that is just flat out wrong. For most it would actually be the smart move ?
 
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Bodhitree

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 5, 2021
1,962
2,078
Netherlands
The A52 raised the bar for mid rangers. Good processor, awesome screen, ip rating, expandable storage, 3 cameras, 3 years of updates, and great battery life. The need to buy flagship now is gone. Samsung has realized they can sell 10 of these to every flagship and make more money.

It makes me wonder what Apple’s response will be. For people looking for a consumer-type “Pro” experience with wide-angle, ultra-wide and telefoto they will be making the comparison with the A52/A72 and the iPhone 12 Pro, and they will find there is not that much difference in the photographic experience if you’re not a professional. But there is a huge price differential which will move the market, I believe.
 
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ian87w

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2020
8,704
12,636
Indonesia
The updates process is changing however. As far as I have read, the flagship will get the updates first but midrangers will still get all security updates and 3 years of OS versions.
Yes, mid rangers will also get 3 years total of updates, but the frequency of the updates is more delayed (for OS upgrades) and only quarterly (for security patches). I don't think that policy has changed.
 

ian87w

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2020
8,704
12,636
Indonesia
It makes me wonder what Apple’s response will be. For people looking for a consumer-type “Pro” experience with wide-angle, ultra-wide and telefoto they will be making the comparison with the A52/A72 and the iPhone 12 Pro, and they will find there is not that much difference in the photographic experience if you’re not a professional. But there is a huge price differential which will move the market, I believe.
I'm in the camp that think iphone and mid range Android have different segment. People who wants an iphone will get an iphone. Apple is leveraging its brand so people would simply want an iphone.

Galaxy A series have a much tougher challenge as they're not going against iphones, but they're going against the Chinese mid rangers, which are boasting specs for less. For example, in my country, for the price of the Galaxy A72, I can get a Xiaomi Mi 10T that comes with SD865 and 144Hz display. Now the A72 doesn't sound as great anymore, does it. :D
 

Bodhitree

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 5, 2021
1,962
2,078
Netherlands
I'm in the camp that think iphone and mid range Android have different segment. People who wants an iphone will get an iphone. Apple is leveraging its brand so people would simply want an iphone.

I feel the market is a bit more fluid, and money talks. This past year the iPhone SE (2020) was instrumental in helping Apple recapture the number 1 spot in total volume of phones sold, and they have a presence in a variety of price segments, although they don’t do budget.

So I reckon these feature-rich mid-range Android phones will recapture market share from the SE, and will also take some customers away from all types of flagship phones. If Apple is smart, they will respond with an update to the SE to bring it more into line with the rest of the price bracket, feature-wise.
 

Sensamic

macrumors 68040
Mar 26, 2010
3,036
656
I'm in the camp that think iphone and mid range Android have different segment. People who wants an iphone will get an iphone. Apple is leveraging its brand so people would simply want an iphone.

Galaxy A series have a much tougher challenge as they're not going against iphones, but they're going against the Chinese mid rangers, which are boasting specs for less. For example, in my country, for the price of the Galaxy A72, I can get a Xiaomi Mi 10T that comes with SD865 and 144Hz display. Now the A72 doesn't sound as great anymore, does it. :D
Mi 10T is an amazing value, but has an IPS display. That's why I'd go for the A72 or A52 first.

I've been the most happy with smartphones whenever I bought a good mid-range one, like the Huawei Nova Plus or my actual A71. Great hardware and experience for the price. What I love the most of mid-range phones is that they tend to have amazing battery life, unlike most flagship phones.

Yesterday I got 1 day and 12 hours total with 6 hours SOT on my A71. Amazing. Huawei Nova Plus was also king.

I REALLY don't want to pay flagship prices anymore. For me, a phone shouldn't cost more than 600/700€.

However, there's one problem with mid-range phones, and that is bugs. I had a terrible "bug" with my Huawei Nova Plus, and that was that audio recording in video was simply unusable. I had to sell the phone just because of that, and I loved that device. It was so well made and fast.

Same goes for my A71. OneUI 3.1 has so great features, and the battery... Is my main priority in recent years. But I do have another annoying "bug" with WhatsApp notifications, and I need perfect notifications for work, so I might sell it and buy an iPhone, although I don't want one, just because I know it will get more attention software wise to address any issues.

I don't even trust going with a S21 or another Android manufacturer. Most of them take months to fix small issues with their devices. I can't have that while working.

I wish I could get a perfect mid-range phone with no bugs. Paying 300/400€ and getting a good phone is amazing in a market where some phones cost well over 1000$.
 

Steve Adams

Suspended
Dec 16, 2020
954
684
The main reason I am moving to Samsung is the Microsoft connection. Samsung phones work with windows 10 better than iPhone works with MacBook. You can even mirror aps in full screen on windows 10 from your phone. It's like blue stacks but awesome and without the annoying ads and game garbage.
 

Steve Adams

Suspended
Dec 16, 2020
954
684
It makes me wonder what Apple’s response will be. For people looking for a consumer-type “Pro” experience with wide-angle, ultra-wide and telefoto they will be making the comparison with the A52/A72 and the iPhone 12 Pro, and they will find there is not that much difference in the photographic experience if you’re not a professional. But there is a huge price differential which will move the market, I believe.
I am a professional photographer, and I would NEVER use my phone for work. So, who cares. All the mid rangers can hang with my iphone 11 for my personal images from our family trips that won't be posted to our blog. If I am using a camera for professional work, it's going to be my olympus or fujis, NOT a phone. The A52 represents tremendous value as you said. I don't know if apple is going to bother to compete in this space. I think they have the fashion market and are letting the others have the cheaper but awesome phones.
 
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macdogpro

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2020
656
494
Just bought a used Pixel 3a.
This 170 bucks phone is so great that I don't mind using it as my primary phone, replacing my 12 mini.
Stock Android 11 is smooth so far.
And the perks of Android: I could mess around with old school games emulator as nostalgia ?
And the single camera portrait mode is a killer ?
 
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MarkX

macrumors 65816
Sep 10, 2015
1,147
1,385
Fochabers, Scotland
Just bought a used Pixel 3a.
This 170 bucks phone is so great that I don't mind using it as my primary phone, replacing my 12 mini.
Stock Android 11 is smooth so far.
And the perks of Android: I could mess around with old school games emulator as nostalgia
And the single camera portrait mode is a killer

Makes you wonder if there is any need spending 1000 odd bucks on a flagship
 

Gandek

macrumors 6502
Dec 7, 2017
275
203
I wouldnt buy a Android mid-ranger new unless it’s a Pixel. You’re saving money so logically you would also want that phone to last a decent amount of time and Pixels actually get updates frequently AND most importantly for me on time. Used mint iPhones with a fresh battery are also another great option.
 
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iHorseHead

macrumors 65816
Jan 1, 2021
1,378
1,624
As long as you don’t care about performance. From what I can find that snapdragon 720g CPU in the A72 is going to be about that of an iPhone 7.

Have you considered used of eBay? You can get way more bang for the buck. Getting a two year old flagship. For less money with better performance, excellent screen and cameras. Sell it in a year and get the next model.

Perhaps even go with year old flagships. Selling each year. All in all you’ll spend about as much over time. For much better phones than new midrange models.

I just got an XS for less. With a super camera and battery life. I could have bought a Galaxy S10 for less or a Pixel 4 for even less.
A72 is way better than iPhone 7. What are you talking about+
 

iHorseHead

macrumors 65816
Jan 1, 2021
1,378
1,624
I've been using motorola 6e, because I needed a new phone due to my iPhone shutting down out of the blue and showing that the battery is empty.
It's an ok phone. It cost under $100 brand new. The battery lasts the whole day and I can watch YouTube and Netflix and use my bank app on it.
Samsung A72 is ok too, but a bit of a disappointment compared to A71.
 

mi7chy

macrumors G4
Oct 24, 2014
10,495
11,155
You'll run out of RAM long before you run out of SoC cycles. I'd take more RAM over fake bloated dorkbench results anyday.
 
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