Welcome to 2017, when the best phones from almost every company that makes high-end smartphones will cost just shy of $1,000. And plenty of people are buying them.
I'm not wondering why people are buying them. If you want to play, you have to pay and it's not like you're going to be able to call up Samsung or Google and make a deal. The phones themselves are better than ever, the parts inside of them are better than ever and even the way you can buy them — 0% interest for 24 months, anyone? — is better than ever.
Enthusiasts, as well as people who need the features that come with a top-of-the-line phone, have to pay the sticker price. I get that. Heck, I'm one of the people buying them, just like many people reading this are. If we want the flagship model with the most memory and biggest display, we're paying for it.
I just can't shake the feeling that paying $1,000 for a phone is crazy. Even while I'm doing it and can honestly recommend you do it, too.
Let me stop for one second and call out LG. We don't know when an unlocked V30 will be sold in the U.S. but we do know places like B&H already have a listing for it. We also don't know the price, but most people are assuming it will be in the vicinity of $750 or so. We do know what U.S. carriers are going to charge (right around $850) and LG usually sells an unlocked model just a bit cheaper than a carrier does. $750 is a lot of money, too, but it happens to be about 75% of the price everyone else making a superphone at the end of 2017 is charging. And it's just as feature-packed and awesome as any of the others.
Where to buy the LG V30
And yes, there's an LG V30+ that's just the LG V30 with an extra 64 GB of storage. (Why, LG? Just stop.) Of course, you can only buy it through Sprint ($900) and U.S. Cellular ($800) because LG just does things like this. If you count those, and I don't because even LG knows that hardly anyone will be able to use them and nobody is switching to Sprint for 64GB of storage, then LG is creeping up on the $1,000 mark, too.
I'm not saying any company is trying to play a bit of the price gouging game. I sincerely don't believe that and don't want to believe that. But I know that I can buy a 2000 Honda Accord V6, with a warranty, for the same price as a new Note 8. I'm pretty sure the Honda uses even more premium metal and glass and a whole lot of Gigabytes would fit in the trunk. All that's missing is an S Pen.
While comparing a Note 8 (or any of these phones) to a 17-year-old Honda is silly, you can make the same comparison with a laptop. While you can spend $2,800 on a Surface Pro or $4,200 (WTF?) on a MacBook Pro, you can also buy a really nice Dell XPS13 for about $850. It can do everything your new Note or Pixel or iPhone can do, has an even bigger QHD+ display and is made of "premium" materials to be thin, light, and beautiful. Even the new Pixelbook, which everyone says is outrageously priced, is nicely spec'd at $1,000.
Anyway, let me circle back around to the beginning. I know why we pay so much: we have no choice. I know why we want to pay so much: these phones are really cool and we want or need the best. I just don't know what makes them worth the prices being charged.
Maybe someone out there can make a case better than "small stuff is more expensive" and help me figure it out.
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