Q&A Opinion: Smartphones are a waste of money

Spawn

Administrator
Verified
Staff member
Jan 8, 2011
21,053
Title says it all.

For those looking to buy their first smartphone, borrowing money or looking to upgrade their existing handset.

Spending your savings on mobile phone technology is not worth it.

Feel free to disagree.
 

mazskolnieces

Level 3
Jul 25, 2020
116
Spending your savings on mobile phone technology is not worth it.

Unless you need a phone for work (and your employer will not provide one to you), a mobile phone is a terrible waste of savings.

People are addicted to their mobile devices. Therefore manufacturers know they can set rip-off prices and people will pay. The manufacturers certainly have no real incentive to lower prices except if they want to gain market share against their competitors (like Apple is doing with the iPhone SE 2020 and forthcoming iPhone 12).
 
Last edited:

Nightwalker

Level 22
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
May 26, 2014
1,156
A flagship model of the year is a waste of money, but the smartphone as a device per se isnt, it is a great piece of technology that makes live much easier, fun and comfortable.

I could list many uses and advantages to have a smartphone nowadays, but those are pretty obvious right?

Just buy a discounted flagship of the last year or a cheap mid-end current year model and you will be fine.
 

mazskolnieces

Level 3
Jul 25, 2020
116
A flagship model of the year is a waste of money, but the smartphone as a device per se isnt, it is a great piece of technology that makes live much easier, fun and comfortable.

I could list many uses and advantages to have a smartphone nowadays, but those are pretty obvious right?

With only two or so years of updates, Android is a rip-off even at $250.

It's not just the cost of the device itself. Mobile phone carriers charge rip-off level monthly service fees. It isn't unusual to spend 100 GBP per month for a couple of phones and that does not include the cost of the phones themselves.
 

Nightwalker

Level 22
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
May 26, 2014
1,156
With only two or so years of updates, Android is a rip-off even at $250.

It's not just the cost of the device itself. Mobile phone carriers charge rip-off level monthly service fees. It isn't unusual to spend 100 GBP per month for a couple of phones and that does not include the cost of the phones themselves.

It is your opinion and I respect that, but I cant agree with a word of it.

100 GBP is almost 685 Brazilian Reais, this is what I spent in a year with my mobile phone carrier and here in Brazil electronics devices and services are very expensive, so those 100 GBP is insane.

Android updates are overrated anyway, the important aspect is the security patchs, not the major versions and in three years I want a new device.

So I can assume that you dont have a smartphone? I am a public lawyer, it would be impossible to work without one and I would lose too many things in my personal life without it.
 
Last edited:

mazskolnieces

Level 3
Jul 25, 2020
116
I am a public lawyer, it would be impossible to work without one and I would lose too many things in my personal life without it.

In Europe (many countries), Australia, the US and Japan, phone monthly fees start at a minimum of 160 Reais per line. Then if you add features it is quite easy to go over 600 Reais per month for just two phones.

In many places, mobile phones are much more of a really high expense in relation to the convenience they provide. The only time it makes sense to have the financial burden of a mobile phone is when you need it for your job - as you do.

You obviously are OK with buying a new phone every couple of years, so you are the exact type of consumer that the mobile device manufacturers prey upon. Mobile devices are predatory capitalism and consumerism.
 

roger_m

Level 34
Verified
Content Creator
Dec 4, 2014
2,325
I spent less than $100 for my used Redmi Note 4X, nearly two years ago and I most likely won't replace it for a few years. I am not a plan. I just buy credit every month or so. I bought my previous phone new, for little over $100 and I used it for over three years.

I agree that spending a lot of money on a phone can be considered a waste. But in my case, I don't have the need for a high end smartphone.
 

oldschool

Level 61
Verified
Mar 29, 2018
5,029
My phone is a low-end Samsung J3 (about $150 US) which I use mainly as a phone. We pay $100+ US/mo for 3 phones monthly, including my step-daughter's.
the important aspect is the security patchs, not the major versions
Spending your savings on mobile phone technology is not worth it.
Instead of a new phone, my next treat is having my Telefunken Jubilate 5153W radio refurbished. It's on the work bench now. I will get daily enjoyment out of my rebuilt beauty vs. getting a new phone.

I am a radio addict. Oh, the beauty of analog and vaccuum tubes! 🙃
1599970939863.png
 

shmu26

Level 85
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
Jul 3, 2015
8,072
I spent less than $100 for my used Redmi Note 4X, nearly two years ago and I most likely won't replace it for a few years. I am not a plan. I just buy credit every month or so. I bought my previous phone new, for little over $100 and I used it for over three years.

I agree that spending a lot of money on a phone can be considered a waste. But in my case, I don't have the need for a high end smartphone.
Like the man said, you don't have to spend a lot of money on a smartphone, especially if you need it mainly for Waze, Whatsapp, and to receive SMS messages. In other words, for basic survival in the modern world.
 

Gangelo

Level 5
Verified
Jul 29, 2017
215
Buying the latest smartphone every year IS a waste of money.

Smartphones in general are not a waste of money if you are a sensible buyer (keep your device at least 2-3 years, get a mid-range affordable phone, or a previous generation flagship as @Nightwalker said).

They are quite useful for work & connecting on the go. I cannot imagine myself carrying a laptop to check work emails in public transit for instance..
 

Thales

Level 12
Nov 26, 2017
572
People are willing to spend a lot of money to buy a piece of metal because it is well marketed and hyped by other people. Without naming Iphone :)
I understand it is a good product but you buy the hype and not the "software" (as others claim). Same goes for all brands.
This is my opinion.
I would rather buy an expensive laptop but never spend a lot of money on phone.
 

SpiderWeb

Level 6
Aug 21, 2020
253
I don't agree. Living in a big new city, I couldn't orient myself if my life depended on it. Having a smartphone that has maps, allows you to call someone immediately, take photos and videos, and allows you to pay for stuff has been essential. It's absolutely an essential device when you live in a 21st century city. Rural area? Even more so if you have no idea where to find something and how to get around. Never have to carry a physical map, never have to carry a heavy camera, never have to use a gross payphone and having to carry coins so you can use it in the first place AND a phonebook so you know who you want to call in the first place! I have so many secure documents stored on my device that have saved me a trip back home just to pick them up. I don;t have to go home to check my emails or even mail (there are services that scan in your letters for you if you want to). I can check if the business I am about to buy something from has a good reputation. Smartphones have made fastpaced life more manageable, more secure, and less annoying.

Now this is coming to Android 11 and the next iOS:
Android 11 will add support for secure storage and retrieval of verifiable identification documents, such as ISO 18013-5 compliant Mobile Driving Licenses.
 

Thales

Level 12
Nov 26, 2017
572
I don't agree. Living in a big new city, I couldn't orient myself if my life depended on it. Having a smartphone that has maps, allows you to call someone immediately, take photos and videos, and allows you to pay for stuff has been essential. It's absolutely an essential device when you live in a 21st century city. Rural area? Even more so if you have no idea where to find something and how to get around. Never have to carry a physical map, never have to carry a heavy camera, never have to use a gross payphone and having to carry coins so you can use it in the first place AND a phonebook so you know who you want to call in the first place! I have so many secure documents stored on my device that have saved me a trip back home just to pick them up. I don;t have to go home to check my emails or even mail (there are services that scan in your letters for you if you want to). I can check if the business I am about to buy something from has a good reputation. Smartphones have made fastpaced life more manageable, more secure, and less annoying.

Now this is coming to Android 11 and the next iOS:

It's ok. I agree a smartphone is mandatory.in the 21st century but a good cheap phone (not garbage) does all the thing.
 

Moonhorse

Level 30
Verified
Content Creator
May 29, 2018
1,949
I think smartphone is still a must nowadays, i dont want to go to my desktop to check something from google when i can do that straight from my mobile device, and low/mid price phones can do this . Social media is waste of time, since ive been without snapchat, instagram, facebook for a half year now ive never been as happy as i am now. Spending time on hobbies and with the family is what i rather spend my time on
 

SpiderWeb

Level 6
Aug 21, 2020
253
It's ok. I agree a smartphone is mandatory.in the 21st century but a good cheap phone (not garbage) does all the thing.
I agree but unfortunately most cheap phones come with malware and adware preinstalled and don't commit to security updates and honoring your privacy. iPhones are very expensive but not even the US government can crack them when they are up-to-date. It's amazing actually. How much would you be willing to pay to have a high-end touchscreen computer that not even the government can crack and gives you 5 years of security updates?
 
Last edited:

ZeePriest

Level 6
Jul 2, 2020
273
Smartphones aren't a waste of money. They are very useful in many ways and they make life easier. They are a waste of money when you own a samsung s10 and you go buy an s20. If you have the money and can afford a flagship phone then go for it but if not then go for a mid-range phone or lower and don't change your phone every year. My phone is an s7 edge and I don't plan to change it or spend money on a new phone because it still works great and it's fast and does the job well. I'll change it when it stops working.
 

monkeylove

Level 6
Mar 9, 2014
268
I also use it to call or text relatives and co-workers or anyone during emergencies, for getting rides, for being guided to places when I'm calling, to photograph accidents for insurance, etc., to avail of apps-only discounts, to order products for delivery, to make calculations and conversions in stores that sell hardware supplies, furniture, etc., as an emergency flashlight, and to listen to music or audio drama while waiting (sometimes, I also use the radio).

Before smart phones, I had to rely on payphones and pagers, small calculators, a portable tape player or disk player, maps that were sometimes not updated and street signs that were non-existent, etc.

Given that, what I usually do is just get a nice budget- or mid-range model, but I enjoy listening to Western classical music, so something with a good audio component would be great. Concerning that, I hear LG phones do very well.
 
Top