So you finally decide to get a smartphone to enhance your productivity via apps and provide entertainment for you on the go but you do

Pitfalls of Buying a Budget Smartphone

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budget smartphones

So you finally decide to get a smartphone to enhance your productivity via apps and provide entertainment for you on the go but you do not have enough cash for the fancy Galaxy phones or Apple’s iPhone. You decide to go for a mid-range to lower-end smartphone model which is friendly on your pocket and which still affords you the opportunity to use a smartphone. This is all well and good but you must be informed that there will be certain tradeoffs and I’ll quickly run through some of them.

Battery Life
The first major trade-off that you will notice is that the battery life of your budget smartphone may not be as stellar as you want it to be. Most times you might find yourself looking for places to charge earlier than you expected.

This is not necessarily true. There are a number of budget smartphones with far better battery life than their higher-end siblings. Examples: BlackBerry Curve 9320, and Nokia Lumia 610. Sometimes, the smaller displays and lower-power processors mean that budget smartphones have better battery life than more powerful counterparts. – Editor-in-Chief

Another huge trade-off that manufacturers make when producing a budget smartphone is to include a display that is not as good as obtains on higher end models. Another thing to note is that the said display might not be equipped with superior screen technology such as Corning’s Gorilla Glass display which protects the screen against scratches and falls.

Memory space is also something manufacturers tend to skimp on when making budget smartphones even sometimes equipping the phone with as low as 256 megabytes of RAM. In-built storage is most times equipped with the bare minimum, good luck installing those huge memory consuming games. A thing to note however is that most manufacturers include expandable storage slots via micro-SD card.

Software upgrades/Support
Your budget smartphone may never be offered a software upgrade or even minor patches due to the fact that it may not be the flagship device of the manufacturer. Forums like XDA-Developers may not have a forum thread for your budget Android smartphone for example so you’re stuck and alone when anything happens.

These are some of the pitfalls of buying a budget smartphone. It is important that you understand these to avoid unrealistic expectations from your budget smartphone. If you own a budget smartphone what has your experience with it been like? Do share in the comments section below.


  1. Good to know this before making such purchases. Sometimes I encourage those with less money to buy used high-end smartphones rather than buying a brand new budget one.

  2. I own a Samsung galaxy fit. Its as budget as they get. 189mb ram, 600mhz processor, not so great screen, etc. I’ve had it for about a year now.

    My experience with it has been mostly positive. I was able to upgrade officially to Android 2.4.6 but that’s where the support ends. after rocking that for a bit, I got it in my head that I wanted to have jellybean on here so I loaded that in as a custom rom (CM10). Galaxy fit as well as gio and ace has a very vibrant community that ports every new cyanogen mod and many other Roms to it, so that atleast debunks one of yourpoints. The limitations of the hardware shine through when a custom rom is installed though. for instance, the camera could not take pictures on jellybean, Google search(Google now) did not work, no wifi hotspots, etc. I eventually got tired of jellybean and am now using miui Tom based on cm7.2

  3. Well, u would not know what “budget” means, exactly.

    If that term encompasses midrange (as regards pricing), I guess it depends alerted you look.

    there are mid range devices that give surprising value for money, and do not suffer from the ills mentioned here!

    I guess it depends, more, on the model with which you flow.

    All things being equal (are they- ever?), I guess what you pay for – is what you get, though..

  4. Budget and mid-range are very different things. I have a mid-range Android phone as well as a budget one – different manufacturers, very different expectations. Having said that, some manufacturers mid-range is like the budget range of another.

    The budget Android has less memory, poorer camera (pixel-wise), not as good a display and takes ages to start. The mid-range phone on the other hand has a great camera, much better display and despite the lag, works brilliantly.

    For someone buying a first phone I would suggest a used mid-range as opposed to a budget phone, but then it really depends on how they intent to use it.

  5. I would never encourage anybody to get a cheap or budget device, I was almost seduced to going cheap. comparing the screens of last year’s flagship and this year’s leqves much to be desired going budget is only gonna leave you with device envy

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