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Are companies releasing too many Android phones?

Google Pixel 4 XL, Galaxy S10+ and OnePlus 7 Pro
Google Pixel 4 XL, Galaxy S10+ and OnePlus 7 Pro (Image credit: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

One of the best parts about Android is the level of choice it brings to the smartphone market. Being an open-source platform, companies are free to take the OS and throw it on whatever kinds of devices they want — giving you and me a ton of handsets to choose from.

Recently, however, it's become easy to feel overwhelmed with just how much hardware is being released. Samsung, for example, just announced the Galaxy S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite ahead of the expected Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra. OnePlus is also expected to up its number of phone offerings with the OnePlus 8, 8 Pro, and 8 Lite.

Some of our AC forum members recently got to talking about this onslaught of choice, with them saying:

Is it just me or are phones getting ridiculous now? Look at Samsung for example... This past year they've had the Galaxy S10/S10+/S10e, the Note 10/10+. Both of those lines already have budget models essentially... So now we are getting two huge budget models being the S10 Lite/Note 10 Lite? This just really seems both confusing and redundant to me. And every year, devices seem to be getting...

gray2018

I think phones are getting really boring now due to them looking almost identical to each other. But I'm glad Samsung made the S10e, it's basically the only truly compact high end phone of last year. Even smaller than the Pixel 3 and Galaxy A40. I wish there were more keyboard phones (I'd have paid well over a grand for an S10e with a sliding portrait mechanism like the BB Priv for...

the_boon

Choice is for sure nice but now we have to weed out paying for gimmicks and/or features, that in the grand scheme of things make little difference in day-to-day use. Does allow manufactures to tack on a few more $$ because of them though. For me small was in but now my eyesight has informed me bigger is better LOL. There is a limit though as to how much bigger and thankfully moving towards...

Elky64

What do you think? Are companies releasing too many Android phones?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

12 Comments
  • Choice is good. If you do a little homework and have a budget and stick to it choosing a phone isn't that difficult.
  • Too much choice is a nice problem to have. I don't think anyone that isn't super anal retentive will find this at all confusing. I suppose some people would become dysfunctional if the grocery stores stocked 18 kinds of detergent. What to do what to do. Let miscellany abound!!
  • It really doesn't matter to me. If they can make money while releasing a bunch of phones with different features then great. It gives people choice. The only issue I have is that phones are made with planned obsolescence in mind. Most of the time there is a tiny, non-replaceable battery that will go bad within two years and/or updates are for some reason limited to 2 years even though most phones cost as much or more than a lot of laptops now days. People would be up in arms if a PC only got 2 years of updates. Hopefully people wise up and stop buying a new phone every two years so that they start getting made and supported better.
  • +1 to this. I would like to say more phones equal faster innovation but to see Apple ticking along with some of the best hardware and still supporting their phones for 5 years, it makes you question how quickly other phone makers abandon updates.
  • Yes. Years ago companies released a new phone about 18 months instead of every 12 months and budget phone in between .
    If they do this then phones should be able to be traded back in on the newer ones with the balance being canceled. Those phones could be refurbished and sold with the original balance plus 10% mark up for people who are looking for a good deal. Would eliminate the need for budget phones.
  • I like having so many variations of a phone. However, they absolutely need to pair this with good naming and a clear website as to which are the higher end versions. Think BMW 3 series, 5 series, 7 series....this needs to be better.
  • Having a large variety of phones at various prices is a good thing to me. If a person wants to get a quality phone for $300 (still a good chunk of change) instead of paying $1200, they should be able to do that. I do wish Samsung phones got updates for a longer period of time. I'm rocking the Note 8 and realize I won't get anymore major updates. After having the Note 2 and Note 4, I'm thinking of dabbling with an iPhone just for a change of pace.
  • I tell ya, my son just got the iPhone 11 and it's amazing. An older iPhone 6 we have in the house just had a software update. Can't argue with apple in that regard.
  • Having a lot of choices is a good thing, just means anyone can find what fits their needs.
  • Right. As long as you don't plan on buying all of them, what's the problem? Most of the alternatives won't end up in your particular market anyway.
  • Having many choices and options is a good thing in my opinion. You just have to do your own research. I never rely on sales people to suggest what phone I should purchase. I research every big ticket item I buy.
  • Far too many devices. And as noted prior support is the key. To not do so is so wasteful!!!