Today, smartphones come in all shapes and sizes – and in a variety of prices, of course. There is one smartphone for pretty much every pocket, ranging from ultra-affordable handsets to flagships with prices through the roof. But like smartphones, people are also very different – they have different lifestyles and jobs. As such, they have different needs when it comes to communication – and they need different smartphones to satisfy all their necessities.
Flagships are by far not the best-selling smartphones today’s manufacturers have to offer. They are, in turn, the handsets that everyone talks about – a kind of an etalon, the best of the best, showing off all the innovations and new technologies that have emerged since the release of the previous iteration. As such, flagships are expensive – and not for everyone, not by far.
I can’t think of anyone that actually needs an iPhone 11 Pro or its Android-based direct competitors. Of course, it is exciting to have the strongest and best handset of the year… but this excitement passes, and the phone itself will be overtaken by an even stronger, faster, flashier one in a year, at most (almost exactly a year, in the case of an iPhone).
Smartphone gaming is all the rage today – it is the most lucrative and fastest-growing segment in the global gaming industry. One of its strong points is that it reaches pretty much every demographic, from three-year-olds to seniors – with different games, of course. Surprising as it may sound, the best-selling and most profitable smartphone games are not the most complex, hardware-hungry titles but simple and entertaining ones – like the Candy Crush series, for example, that has generated revenues worth $1.5 billion in 2018 alone.
There are several high-profile smartphones built with gamers in mind but. The number of games that actually require such powerful hardware is, in turn, very limited when compared to those the vast majority of smartphone users play. Way more of them play puzzles, match-3 games or even the best mobile pokies they can find than download a big, power-hungry game on their phone.
Gaming phones come with extra amenities that make them attractive but this is not necessarily about the hardware – most of the highest-profile games will run pretty well on a mid-range handset as well. Gaming phones are for the hardcore fans of one franchise or another – think PUBG, ARK: Survival Evolved, Fortnite, and their likes – who want to play their favorite games on a high-performance, stylish smartphone.
The “mid-range” is the most profitable segment for smartphone makers all over the world. These phones offer a balance between innovative features, decent processing power, and a relatively affordable price. They can be used for pretty much everything an average smartphone owner needs, from communication and media to gaming. The mid-range phone is probably the safest choice for the vast majority of smartphone owners out there: it doesn’t cost a fortune but still has a more than decent configuration and an attractive feature set.
The “mid-range” is perhaps the best-selling segment for smartphone manufacturers. In the second quarter of 2019, Samsung’s Galaxy A50 and A40 were the best-selling smartphones in Europe, while the flagship Galaxy S10 didn’t even make the top 5 – but the iPhone XR did.
If you’re not keen on playing games on your phone and don’t use it to store many photos, music or videos but you still need a constant internet connection and services like instant messaging, email, and web browsing on the go, a lower-mid-range or an entry-level smartphone may be the best choice for you. These already come with acceptable hardware (and they improve with every new generation) and a great price, especially if you are not very picky about the brand (Xiaomi handsets tend to be cheaper than Samsung phones and offer comparable, perhaps even better hardware).
Last but not least, let us mention a huge category that’s by far the least covered by the media but it’s exciting nonetheless: that of the so-called “dumb” phones… that is not as dumb as it seems. Billions of people still use feature phones, either because of their lack of financial possibilities or because the precarious infrastructure in their area makes it virtually impossible to use a smartphone. But not even these people will be able to make do with a feature phone. If you only use your phone to phone and text, perhaps with a few instant messaging services in between, you will most likely be completely satisfied with a handset running KaiOS.
These handsets are capable of connecting to WiFi and mobile broadband (4G), they can run simpler apps and even some games, and they are supported by a variety of service providers ranging from Google to Facebook and beyond. At the same time, they have a battery life few smartphones can match, and their price is also in the “very affordable” category. And the brands selling these advanced feature phones are not some “noname” ones either: you can find KaiOS-powered phones among those sold by Nokia, CAT, Alcatel, and Reliance Jio.