Yes; a lot of people not only in Nigeria but also worldwide are so much fascinated about the high-end Android devices that come from manufacturers like Samsung, HTC and LG, to name but a few. But the question remains if these phones are really worth the price.
I understand that some of Mobility readers must have been thrown off by the mere mention of Chinese in the title of this post. Believe me; it is not unusual to be uncomfortable with the word ‘Chinese’ because we all know what China can offer – the very good and the useless. I remember a few years back before the advent of Tecno phones how the phrase ‘Chinese phone’ was (and still is) a synonym for a salvage value scrap phones. Are we sure that things are ready to turn the other way round?
In February 2013, I bought a Samsung Galaxy Y Pro for N28,000. Its specs include: OS 2.3,3.2MP Camera, 270MB RAM, 170MB internal, 3.5” screen, and a host of other features you would expect from a low-end device. 3 Months later, I bought another Android phone, a Chinese one – Tecno N7 for N29,000 with the following specs: OS 4.0, 5MP back camera, 0.3MP front camera, 512 RAM, 4GB internal with free 8GB SD, 5.0” screen and a host of other higher end features. In terms of hardware, software and battery, my Tecno N7 is far better than the Samsung Galaxy Y of similar price. So I ask the question again: Why pay more for Android phones when Chinese models offer you more for less?
A look at the high-end Android phones
Let’s talk about the expensive Androids from Samsung to LG and see what makes them this expensive. Many times, these gadgets are this expensive because they have extra innovative technologies that are not found in some Chinese Android phones. These technologies include:
- Super-powerful display and resolution
- Sleeker User Interface
- Better camera editing features and sometimes with 3D technology
- Better sensors, eye-tracking facility, blah blah blah…
- And others like durability of screen, design, software, etc.
But wait, some Chinese Android phones like the ones from Huawei, iMax, Gionee, Tecno, Gionee, Infinx, etc have just many of these extra techie features that hike the price of these so-called ‘powerful’ phones. But assuming Chinese Androids don’t have these features at all, I ask how important are some of these new inventions?
Here are a few questions for you to ponder:
- How often do you notice or appreciate that your phone’s display isn’t LCD but SUPER AMOLED?
- How many times do you use extra camera features like smile detection, etc, before you take a shot with your powerful phone camera?
- How often do you use your special sensors to watch your pictures or remotely play songs from your media player? I had to turn mine off because it was carrying out commands at every little gesture I made, which was confusing!
- How often do you realise for sure the difference between a 12MP, 8MP and 5MP camera images?
Yes; I know that the Geeks will really point out all these differences but the same geeks make up very little percentage of mobile phone users. We have also seen that some Chinese mobile Androids pack more specs at lower prices than the so-called powerful devices.
Apart from the reasons I have already highlighted, the other major reason is because of the brand value. Yes; this is true. The name of the manufacturer of a phone carries value that reflects in the cost of their products. People valued my “nonsense” Samsung Galaxy Y Pro very high simply because it is a Samsung device. When I got my Tecno N7, people praised the phone at first sight, thinking it is worth N100, 000 or so and many others mistook it for a certain Samsung Galaxy phone. But you need to see the disappointment on their faces when they found out that it bore the Tecno brand!
But at the end of the day, you must decide what you really need your smartphone to do for you and what you can afford. Check your purse and know if it is wise to purchase a device that will render less service (at the huge price) to you but will only catapult you into the first-class phone owners. Should you be interested, I have reviewed some really good Chinese Android phones here.