Price vs. Experience: Is It Only About The Specs?
Let’s start with the latest piece of news: OnePlus (acclaimed flagship killer) won’t upgrade OnePlus 2 (released in August 2015) to Android O. Meanwhile, Apple just announced iOS 11, Apple 5S (released in September 2013) will be supported with the update besides other models like 6, 6S and 7.
Talking about myself, I am a fan of the Xiaomi brand and I love the way they offer great hardware for the price tag (subjective to where you buy them). I bought Redmi 1S for almost 90$ and Redmi Note 3 – 32GB for 150$ (both outside Nepal) and I am absolutely happy for what I got out of them. Also, Xiaomi has the largest forum (MIUI Forum) for discussions on consumer experience, be it about the latest build of software or about the hardware, the developers and end users conversation is probably the easiest with this brand.
The downside though, there were many occasions when I had to go deep into the process of flashing and rooting (geeky stuffs) to make them perform their best; on one occasion, the over the air (OTA) update was not working for Redmi Note 3 and I had to flash the latest update externally (there was a serious bug draining the battery and latest firmware update was very important). With this kind of experience, I won’t be able to recommend this brand to my parents and friends (non-geek) with the same amount of confidence that I have for myself (I’m planning on buying Mi6).
Again, another piece of news: HMD Global has launched Nokia 3310, 3, 5 and 6 globally. Nokia 3310 and 3 has initially been made available in Nepal. The price for Nokia 3 is around NRs 15,800 with 2GB of RAM, 16 GB ROM, Mediatek (MT6737) processor and latest build of Android 7. Nokia has assured that these models will be continuously updated with security patches (very important) and latest stock android builds. I will definitely recommend this phone for the budget oriented customers instead of more spec’d budget lineup from others brands like Coolpad, Xiaomi, Oppo and Huawei. Having experienced the hardware quality of Nokia, stability of their software and the customer service of Paramount Electronics (authorized Nokia distributor), I am sure the experience will be better.
With all this in the backdrop, I would like to reiterate that when it comes to overall experience, specs are just a portion of the picture. Post sale support, software updates, hardware endurance and the brand value are other aspects that we often ignore. Remember, iPhone has the least spec’d hardware for the price, but the customer satisfaction and total life span of their smartphones is the highest its category.
Further, to give you an overview, a table has been presented below with brief information on the hardware and software that is on offer for different price segments in Nepal.
|Brand||Model||Price, NRs (June, 2017)||Specs Highlight||Software|
|Xiaomi||Redmi 4X||18,500||2GB RAM, 16GB ROM, Snapdragon 435, FP Scanner||MIUI 8-Android(6)|
|Nokia||3||15,650||2GB RAM, 16GB ROM, Mediatek MT6737||Stock-Android(7)|
|Oneplus||3T||54,900||6GB RAM, 64GB ROM, Snapdragon 821, Dash Charge||Oxygen-Android(7)|
|Apple||7||89,000||2GB RAM, 32GB ROM, Apple A10, IP67 dust & water res.||iOS 10.3.2 (soon 11)|
|Xiaomi||mi 5S||49,000||3GB RAM, 64GB ROM, Snapdragon 821, ultrasonic FP||MIUI 8-Android(6)|
|Samsung||S8||88,000||4GB RAM, 64GB ROM, Snapdragon 835, Infinity Display, IP 67||Samsung Experience-Android(7)|
|Nokia||6||25,000*||3GB RAM, 32GB ROM, Snapdragon 430, 16MP and 8MP Cam||Stock-Android(7)|
|Oppo||F3||35,000||4GB RAM, 64GB ROM, Mediatek MT6750T, 16 MP FC||Color-Android(6)|
|Samsung||J7 Pro||35,000*||3GB RAM, 64GB ROM, Exynos 7870, Super Amoled||Samsung Experience -Android(7)|
* – Expected
PS: When it comes to Samsung, Sony, etc. the experience below the price bracket of NRs. 30,000 is pathetic. They heavily moderate the Stock Android and discontinue software updates after 1-1.5 years. Experience on their higher end models is better.