All the major mobile manufacturers, except for Apple and Google, have announced their flagships for the year. So it is a good time to sift through them all and find out which is the best value flagship phones of 2019.
Note that I did not say the best flagship phones of 2019. Those are pretty obvious – just pick the most expensive smartphone by any of the top brands and you are good. But if you are not looking for the most powerful, most capable flagship smartphone, but rather the flagship phone that offers you the best bang for your buck, this article is for you. Let me explain.
Most smartphone brands release at least two flagship devices each year. For example, OnePlus has the 7 and 7 Pro this year. One costs more than the other. But the more expensive one does not necesarrily offer the better value for money. Why? In reality, the ₦295,000 or $800 you spend on the OnePlus 7 Pro is almost double the $450 you will pay for the OnePlus 7.
The question then is: Do the extra features of the Pro justify that extra cash? That is how to think of the concept of better or best value flagship phone. In other words, you can get a flagship without spending top dollar or naira.
The best value flagship phones to buy in 2019
And now, we take a look at the flagship lineup of each of the most high profile smartphone brands, namely: Samsung, Huawei, OnePlus, Xiaomi, and Google.
What will be our yardstick for picking the best value flagship phone from a lineup? One: it must have the same processor (or a very close one) to the processor in the top model, it must offer most of the features that the top model offers, and it must have a significantly lower price than the top model.
Having clarified that, let’s jump in.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Series
There are three smartphones in this flagship lineup: Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10e, and Galaxy S10 Plus. They have different screen sizes, memory options, and battery sizes. But the share the same Snapdragon 855 procesor.
The S10e costs ₦230,000 (about $650). The slightly bigger S10 costs ₦255,000 (about $720), while the largest model, the S10 Plus sells for between $790 (₦280,000) and $1,100 (₦380,000), depending on the RAM/storage options you pick.
So which of these three models is the best value flagship phone – Galaxy S10 or Galaxy S10e? It is a tough one. The price difference between the two is not huge – only $55 or ₦20,000. I am going to leave this to you.
Huawei P30 Series
In Huawei’s flagship lineup are also three smartphones: P30, P30 Lite, and P30 Pro. The competition here is between the P30 Pro and P30, as they share the same top-end Kirin 980 processor. The P30 also has much of the photography prowess, among other features, of the Pro.
Reviewers around the world have hailed the P30 as almost as capable a cameraphone as the Pro, and it is just as capable in terms of performance.
With a price difference that is as much as $330 or ₦118,000, the P30 is clearly better value for money of the two, making it the best value flagship phone in the Huawei P30 series. See the Huawei P30 specifications.
OnePlus 7 Series
Here we have two flagship phones: OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro, and we already did a preliminary analysis of the two. They share the same processor, though the Pro has a bigger display and bigger battery. It also has a motorized pop-up selfie camera. The Pro maxes out at 12GB of RAM while the standard OnePlus 7 has up to 8GB of RAM.
The price difference is massive though – as much as $400 (N140,000). Methinks that the regular OnePlus 7 is the better value flagship phone of the two. Have a look at the OnePlus 7 specifications.
Xiaomi Mi 9 Series
Let’s see… Xiaomi has the Mi 9, Mi 9 SE, Mi 9T, and Mi 9T Pro. That is a total of 4 smartphones. This is going to be tougher. Or maybe not.
The top model, Xiaomi Mi 9, has a Snapdragon 855 processor. The only other model in the Mi 9 series that has that same processor is the Mi 9T Pro. But it costs as much as the Mi 9 – and in some places, even more.
But the Mi 9 is already great value anyway, costing as low as $425 or ₦150,000 in the market. For a Sanspdragon 855 smartphone, that is great value. If you are considering a Xiaomi flagship phone, just buy the Mi 9.
The Xiaomi Mi 9 has variants with 6GB RAM or 8 GB RAM, and storage of 64GB or 128GB. See the full Xiaomi Mi 9 specifications.
Samsung Galaxy Note Series
Samsung has a second showing, because, well, Samsung. The Galaxy Note series is a flagship lineup separate from the Galaxy S series, so we have a look at it too.
The Galaxy Note used to be just one device but has evolved into two – the Note10 and the Note10 Plus. Yes; the big guy now has a bigger twin.
The difference between the Samsung Note10 and the Note10+ is primarilly a difference in screen size. The two devices share the same processor and cameras. The differences include battery size, RAM and memory.
The difference in price between the two – $1,000 (₦330,000) versus $1,100 (₦385,000) – amounts to about $155 (₦55,000). Are the differences worth that margin? Wjile the Note10 Plus has more to offer, I do think that of the two, the Note10 offers the better value.
The best value flagship phones of 2019: Conclusion
There will be exceptions, but it is clear that, as a rule, the best value flagship smartphones of 2019 are either the middle or lower models, never the top models. The top models are for those who want everything and money is not a problem.
The best value flagship phones are for those who want most of what the top models have but for far less. And that is what they derive their great value from.
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Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.