How much are you willing to spend on a smartphone?

New phone season gets heated up in a big way next week when Samsung shows us the Galaxy S9. Two things are guaranteed once we start to see whatever it is companies making phones want to show us: there will be something from some company we really want, and it will be expensive. More expensive than last year because that's how anything that uses money seems to work. That got me to thinking; how much is too much? How much money will you spend on a phone?

We all have our own limit on what we'll pay. It's going to be higher for some than it is for others but I think 2017 got close to everyone's limit with phones like the Galaxy Note 8, Pixel 2 XL, and iPhone 8/X in range of a $1,000 price. I know it reached mine. Even mid-range phones are getting more expensive, as companies like OnePlus have higher prices. I have two thoughts on all this and wanted to share them and see what others think.

Phones got better

One thing positive we saw were phones in the middle of the price spectrum get "better". The OnePlus 5 and 5T are the company's best phones yet, and not by just a little bit. The same goes for high-profile companies like Motorola and for names we don't hear as often like Alcatel.

I'm not saying this made any price increase worth it because that's something everyone needs to conclude for themselves. Better internal specs (because companies like Qualcomm also made better stuff) and better construction from better materials and even better software don't come free, though. Add in inflation, higher component costs because of trade policies and preparing for new trade policies and prices had to go up.

People we're not afraid to spend a lot more

Three phones stand out when talking about the price tag: The Note 8, the Pixel 2 XL, and the iPhone X. All three approached or exceeded $1,000 depending on options included, and all three outsold projections of the companies that made them. But other phones, including the Galaxy S8 which is the driving force of the Android ecosystem, also got more expensive and sold amazingly well, too.

I'll admit I was a bit concerned that the price hikes would make a difference in sales all around, but I was wrong and phones flew off of shelves the same as they have in previous years.

Following my train of thought (sometimes a dangerous practice but whatever), I have to wonder when we're going to see a price that's just too much for most people, if ever.

1,000 is a magic number

From people I've spoken to as well as my own thoughts, $1,000 is a limit. No matter how good a phone is or how bad we want it, spending more than a grand just won't be happening. Of course, it depends on the phone, too. A phone had better be damn good if I'm going to spend $999 on it. Magical, even.

We all have that magic number in our head and just aren't going to go past it. So let's hear it: if someone makes a phone that is exactly what you want and need, how much are you willing to spend? Jump in the comments and let your voice be heard, because you never know who is reading.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.