Stop paying for big brand overhead; Buy an unlocked phone online (Xiaomi)

I’m currently in the review process for the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and it is undoubtedly the most attractive phone I’ve ever seen in person. It’s also about $800. That kind of money used to be what you’d pay for a model with upgraded memory or some kind perks. Now, Samsung appears to be making it the new normal.

First, lets get a couple facts out of the way. The Samsung Galaxy S7 retails for $669 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge comes in at $779 at my carrier of choice, T-Mobile. That breaks down to $27.92 a month with zero up front for the vanilla Galaxy S7, and $30 a month with a $59.99 down payment for the curvaceous S7 Edge. Add in tax (~7% here in Ohio) and you’re well over $700 or $800 for your phone of choice. That’s a lot of money.

I think it’s time we stopped putting up with this.

These phones are marvels of technology for sure. But, at $800 you have to ask yourself what you’re really buying. Through bulk rate buying, Samsung can get the component cost down to about $255 for the Galaxy S7.  Add in other overhead like advertising, manufacturing and human costs,  et. al, and you have a recipe for one of the most expensive phones out there.

Samsung spent $45 million advertising the Samsung Galaxy S6. Forty. Five. Million. Dollars. For a phone that wasn’t that good.

I’m sorry, flagships. I just can’t anymore.

Alternatives

I love phones. I never seem to get burned out on them, no matter how many times I’ve switched. And I’ve switched a lot. I love experiencing what a new phone has to offer. I love seeing a company’s vision for what the mobile space should look like. I just love phones.

Browsing through Gearbest’s listings shows me that I don’t have to wait two years between new experiences. I don’t have to spend $800 to get a well built phone with great specs. Here are some of my favorites currently on Gearbest for literally half (or less) of a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro

  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 hexa-core
  • RAM: 3 GB
  • ROM: 32 GB
  • Camera: 16 MP/5 MP
  • Screen: 5.5″ 1920 x 1080 FHD
  • Battery: 4000 mAh
  • Other features: Fingerprint scanner, metal body, expandable memory
  • Price: $245
  • Website

Xiaomi Mi5

  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
  • RAM: 3 GB
  • ROM: 32 GB
  • Camera: 16 MP/4 MP
  • Screen: 5.15″ 1920 x 1080 FHD
  • Battery: 3000 mAh
  • Other features: USB Type-C, Quick Charge 3.0, Bluetooth 4.2, fingerprint scanner
  • Price: $439
  • Website

Xiaomi Mi4C (Advanced Edition)

  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core
  • RAM: 3 GB
  • ROM: 32 GB
  • Camera: 13 MP/5 MP
  • Screen: 5.0″ 1920 x 1080 FHD
  • Battery: 3080 mAh
  • Other features: Edge tap, USB Type-C, Infrared
  • Price: $258
  • Website

Xiaomi Mi4S

  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core
  • RAM: 3 GB
  • ROM: 64 GB
  • Camera: 13 MP/5 MP
  • Screen: 5.0″ 1920 x 1080 FHD
  • Battery: 3260 mAh
  • Other features: Fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C, expandable memory
  • Price: $348
  • Website

Conclusion

Elephone is just one company putting out top tier phones for a fraction of the price. Gearbest and other sites like Amazon and B&H Photo offer a lot of great unlocked options for really good prices. These phones prove that you don’t have to buy overhead to buy a great phone. Keep your eyes peeled to our Twitter for more of these posts and some great deals on great phones.

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