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.

  • I've never spent over $700, and I'm still rocking my S7 because I don't see new phones as worth the cost for the minor improvements.
  • I'm willing to spend $701 *price is right tone*
  • lol good one
  • My sentiments exactly, just don't see the improvements as compelling enough to part with my money...too many other things are squeezing my wallet these days. When the day comes, no way I'm dropping a grand on a phone, just not that important to me, there are plenty of really good cheaper offerings that will be just fine.
  • I remember when flagships were priced at $550 and $600. Sure, the tech has gotten better, but it's nothing miraculous. I'm keeping my V20 for a bit longer, first time I've ever kept a smartphone for this long, it meets my needs and performs well. Too bad it's discontinued.. I would gladly buy it again as a replacement. $1000 is not worth it... Wait 2-3 months and check Swappa or eBay, price will be $500-600. Just like buying a new car from a dealership... Just wait a bit, you'll get a lower price... a lot lower. Buying it for the camera? Just spend a bit more for a real camera... mirrorless cameras are pretty small and portable.
  • If it's included with my contract a thousand bucks seems the limit for me personally though if I had to buy it cash upfront? I'd have to say that the amount I'd be comfortable with is around the 500 mark...
  • Seriously, $700 should be the limit. I cannot justify going anywhere above that price for a phone.
  • £600 for me.
  • IDK the exchange rate at the moment (Brexit and all that), but I think that seems to be in line with what we Americans are saying if you do the conversion.
  • 600-700 max for me. As I get older I care less about the latest and greatest
  • $300 including taxes and shipping.
  • Paid $200 for an Asus that performs better than the iPhone 6+ I had that cost 4 times as much. The only feature I miss is NFC. The iPhone had to be charged twice a day. The ASUS goes 2 days. I'd pay $300 for a Pixel 2 XL with 128GB and $350 for 256GB but it needs a bigger battery. Technology gets cheaper over time. Today's $1,000 laptop is better in every way than a $4,000 laptop of 5 years ago. My wife's $1,150 iPhone X is a POS. It's a $300-350 phone with $800 worth of Apple Tax and Jewelry Tax. Only the weak minded pay more than $400 for a smartphone. The S8 is 75% off at Sprint. People are waking up.
  • You talk a lot of sense. Agreed.
  • I agree with what you said. Yet, I bought the 5t for 500$ (tax+ship included) because I think I will be able to keep it somewhat longer than a cheaper phone that will age faster. I kept my Lenovo K3 note for 2.5 years (cost of 150$) and it ended up being so slow that it took a long while to open any app. If it didn't slow down, I would have kept it at least 3 full years right. All I'm trying to say is that I'm trying to see a phone in the long term.
    But, I would never pay more than 500 because that was really pushing the limits. Not necessarily the limit of "I can't pay for more" but more the limit of "more is just too ridiculous"
  • You had me all the way up until the insecure, ad hominem attack
  • Agreed.
  • I'll tell your wife you said that.
  • Apple Tax, very true. That's what I've heard it called before...
  • Agreed. I've never spent more than 400 and will probably stick to 300 from now on. So many capable phones under 300, it's not worth the hassle of protecting and worry about a 1000 dollar phone.
  • $650. That's it.
  • I can't say I have an exact limit per se... but I certainly am not interested in the Pixel(s) or any Samsung(s) or any Iphone at all due to aesthetics and ergonomics mostly. But I can certainly get the phone I want that does everything I need for way less! Currently using a Huawei Mate 10 (non-pro) as my daily driver and paid about $605.00. In my opinion, and for what I like and need, it is quite possibly the best phone I have ever used! I cannot imagine anything topping it for years to come, if at all. Yes, those high priced slabs sell, but it's because of advertising on TV as well as by word of mouth. For those of us who are more educated on what really works and what is just fluff, we pay much less for equal or better.
  • I've got a Pixel 2, and while I agree about the aesthetics (bezels), it's otherwise the perfect phone for me. Blazing fast, great camera, fits perfectly in one hand.
  • If it has absolutely EVERYTHING I demand from a phone, I'll be willing to pay up to 800€ for it. But since no phone ever achieved that (amd likely never will as I want phones smaller than 5"), I refuse to pay more than 700€ for it. The only time I might accept to do it is an emergency. That's why I paid 730€ for the S7 on launch. Otherwise I rather wait for the market to adjust the prices. I don't need phones on launch day (specially as those normally come with more defects than normal).
  • I can't see myself going much over $500. I'd love to have the top of the line, but when the mid-tier phones are doing 85% of the top at 50% of the cost, I can't justify the increase.
  • That amount sounds right to me as well, and it has to really meet my needs and wants in order to justify paying $500+.
  • I don't care that much about pricing (unless it is a ridiculously priced like iphonex, that costs well over $1000 where I come from)
    I got myself Huawei Mate10 pro, 2-3 months ago, and I will get a new flagship phone in summer 2019. So every 1.5 years a new phone, and it's gonna be either Huawei or Samsung.
    I didn't go for note8 because of the curved glass, and the fact that if I wanted to protect it properly the curved glass would end up hidden. I also did not like 18.5:9 ratio, and I was reluctant about 18:9 as well. But since the majority of m.facturers went for 18:9, it is pointless to now talk about 16:9 or possibly something in between such as 17:9.
    Also, superb 4000mah battery got me to lean to Huawei.
  • $500. I use my phone to talk, text listen to music and take pictures. A good point and shoot camera costs about $200, and mp3 player costs about $100 and a dumbphone is a cheap as $50. Even with a great screen, how can anyone justify spending $1,000? It's just not worth it.
  • Just a matter of having the cash or feeling you have the cash via payments
  • I have no boundaries and don't care. If it's a product I like and in my budget, I'll buy.
  • This is my thought exactly.
  • So either you have a large budget, or your comment is contradicting itself. You can't say you have no boundaries, and then say if it's in your budget.
  • If a phone cost $1000 and I have $1000 (in my purchasing budget...) I'll buy it. If I don't have $1000 I'm not gonna buy something less. I'll save up and buy it. It's not hard to comprehend that. Having no boundaries means I have no cost limit for the price of a phone. Shouldn't be that hard to comprehend that. That's how a saving budget works.
  • Don't ever want to spend over a grand.
    I agree $700 is probably right.
  • I’ll pay whatever I can afford and what’s worth the price for me.
  • One thing to keep in mind. How many people pay 1000 dollars at once for phone. I believe people will either finance phone with low payments or wait a few months for price drop before buying phone. I wonder if that many people pay full price for phone up front
  • This is a great point. People don't think of the iPhone X as costing $1,000, they think of it as costing $40 a month. And OEMs are pricing to match. I guarantee you if carriers weren't offering 24 month, interest free financing, we wouldn't be seeing phones costing $1,000.
  • I concur with you all
  • yup. the way I see it. I will just always have a 30 /month payment for a phone till I die. that's it. I don't care how much it is, because it'll be just 30 a month.and since no phone can last forever and if you like to upgrade every year or two anyway ,you'll pretty much always have a monthly phone payment. but if they get too expensive that money down so the payment can equal 30 month could be a problem. like right now at tmobile. with perfect credit , u still need 280 down . THEN 30 a month. but if phones stay under 800 from carriers you'll just pretty much always have the same payment on a phone for life but constantly having a new phone yearly .
  • I agree. Payment plans are fueling price growth. The cost of "interest free" payments are baked into the price.
  • $1,500 to $2,000 CAD
  • It's under $400. I bought the Nexus 5x and the Moto 4 at $249 each. Weirdly enough, the Nexus 5 was my most expensive purchase at $399.
  • Around $500 or so.
  • Just upgraded our V20's to 30's because they are buy one get one free without any trade in our added line. If it wasn't though, no way I would have done this. V20 was still doing fine and process are getting ridiculous.
  • If I can pay in installments, I don't care.
  • I'll bet you pay sticker price for a car too..
  • Right, because I can negotiate the price of a phone. Well done.
  • But you can wait a month or 2 for prices to come down or wait for a sale.
  • I dont have a set limit. If I'm spending a lot its because I feel like its worth it. Honestly though, I would only consider buying Pixels or Iphones. I have no interest in slow software updates (everyone) and features I dont care about (Bixby).
  • With you there, my friend. I've had my fill of Samsung, and just flipped my iPhone 8 Plus for a Pixel 2. iOS is only worth it if you commit to Apple's ecosystem, and I'm not interested in that.
  • I bought the note 8, so obviously I'm not too price conscious, on the surface. But anything over what I paid now, and I'm not saying I won't pay for it, but It'll have to really justify the cost. I love the note 8, but IDK if it's worth the about a grand I spent for it, comparatively I mean.
  • I will pay $1000.00....Just not every year....and probably not every other year. I will happily pay as long as what I buy is supported for that long, which notes more or less are....
  • The only reason those expensive phone's are flying off the shelves is due to financing. I stopped buying so called flagship phone's four years ago once I realized what I actually do with them and how many other things I could buy. So now I won't spend more than $300 on one.
  • Yet to spend over $300 of my own money.
  • $500, unlocked, cheap service, and no stupid financing or anything else that locks me in to an expensive carrier plan. Unless something breaks or otherwise goes wrong I'll keep it 2 years minimum.
  • $600.
    Fifty more if the phone is really special.
  • £350 unlocked for a flagship - LG, Huawei etc.
  • About $500 is my limit. I can buy one on a reseller site such as Swappa and get a much better deal than buying outright a few months after a phone comes out. I got my Oneplus 5 that way and am extremely happy with it. I have a hard time justifying the price for a flagship when it comes out knowing that within 6 months I can get a refurbished or even a new one for half the original price, and that is without going through my carrier!
  • 850
  • Yes, Swappa for sure, I've gotten some really good deals there!
  • $800 actual dollars is my limit, there are always discounts or promos that get a phone down in price. I paid $22.50 a month for my S8 when I signed up for Xfinity Mobile, or $540.
  • For the perfect phone, US$1,000.
    Perfect is:
    United States warranty for 3 years
    Monthly Security Updates for 3 years
    Android Updates for 3 years
    6/8 RAM
    128 storage
    Expansion Slot
    4000 mAh battery
    2880 x 1440 Display
    Wireless Charging
    3.5 Audio Jack
    Stereo Speakers
    HiFi quality over USB
    Camera System that is rumored for Huawei P20
    Latest Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, fm radio, Infra-red
    High speed / quality video
  • WTH with this 3 year security BS, that is crap for a $1000 phone. I would expect 8-10 years worth of updates. I pay less for laptops that do much more and I still expect long term security updates, not three measly years.
  • Even if those updates slow your phone to a crawl and kill your battery?
  • Ok Apple
  • I've lowered my standards since lower tier phone's are more than capable for my needs, will likely cap my spending limit at $700 CAD if that... My last phone (present DD) was only $600 CAD and couldn't be happier. More than likely will keep "a" device longer as we've already proven our older phones (2+ years) are still very much capable. Another factor is support, still hit-n-miss and paying a premium for a device is no guarantee you'll get it.
  • 1k max. But last 2 phones were 825.00 and 845.00. I use my phone 15 hours a day. Don't use my 2k MacBook Pro 15 hours a week.
  • I spent just over a $1000 for the Google Pixel 2 XL 128GB
  • I'll keep spending less than $300-350 as a maximum. And as needed get a couple models behind if I am interested in flagships, but I don't usually get those.
  • I can't imagine spending a grand on a phone. No way. I'm super happy with my Moto G5S Plus that I paid $249 for. It does everything I need it to and more. I >might< spend double that depending on the phone and my circumstances but I can't see spending even $600 on a phone.
  • I paid 540.00 for my s8+. To me it was well worth it. I got 300.00 off, upgraded my s7edge & a new line unlimited with Verizon. The s9 & plus look to be nice but I'll be sticking with the 8+. There won't be that much of a difference. Sure the processer, upgraded camera & 6gb's. For myself I can wait!
  • 1000.00 is where I draw the line. If it's true that the new Galaxy S9 and S9 plus will be upwards of $1100.00. I will be tapping out of my annual upgrades to the newest S or note phone. I may even go to high quality mid range phones. We as consumers have to speak with our wallet and let these companies know they can't keep gouging us.
  • $300 is my max so far. I can't see spending more when I don't have to. Got the S8+ for about $260 couple months after release through Sprint loyalty program but made me spread it over 2 years perhaps to keep me.
  • I paid $480 for my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 from Verizon by trading in my paid for S7Edge. They also threw in Samsung Gear 360 camera. I wasn't really planning on getting a new phone but with a deal like that I jumped on it. It's the only way I'd ever get an $1000 phone. My motto is: NEVER PAY RETAIL!
  • $300 is what I'm comfortable with. $400 is pushing it. I miss my Windows Phone....
  • Well.... I have a S8. Bought on sale with a $200 GC. I'm getting tired of spending $700 plus for a new phone every 2 years. I'm thinking of upgrading every 2.5 to 3 years to save some $$$.
  • I'll stop at $500. Anything more feels superfluous to me.
  • $500 if paid in cash or about $40/month on a lease agreement where I can trade in and upgrade whenever I want. Right now that's what I've got. A Sony Xperia XZ Premium I paid for in cash and an iPhone X on a lease with T-Mobile. My rationale is that I likely won't use a smartphone longer than a year (my Note 4 is a rare exception) so $500 comes out to about $40 a month and after a year it usually goes in a drawer or is gifted to a friend or relative. With my iPhone X lease with T-Mobile JoD I just gift it back to them and they hand over whatever I decide to move onto next. BTW, my phones more than pay for themselves in their contribution to my financials so I don't fret too much about what IMO is their relative low cost.
  • I was debating between the upcoming S9+ and Pixel 2XL and just the rumor of the price increase on the S9+ was enough to push me to the Pixel. I paid $850 which is the most I've ever paid. I would never spend $1K or more on a phone in 2018.
  • Never believe rumors
  • I use my phone so often, that even though I don't like the high price, it's one of the few expensive things I buy every year. I won't say how much I'm willing to spend but I'm not yet willing to buy anything less than a flagship.
  • Well, I spent ~$2000 on my laptop. I haven't really done an in-depth analysis, but I probably use my phone 2 or 3 times more than my laptop. I won't set a specific limit for what I'm willing to spend on a phone, but this article has been instructive in making me think about how much I use my phone vs. my laptop, and how that should play out in terms of what I spend on one vs. the other...
  • I spent tons more on my car than my phone, but use my phone much more in terms of hours, so I guess I should either buy cars that cost less than my phone, or phones that cost more than my car! Both of these conclusions are obviously trash... These are different products, just like phones and laptops are. (At least for now).
  • 99% of my computer time is spent in a browser. A similar percentage of time on my phone is spent in apps replicating the web experience. So, for me, they're a pretty similar experience. Thanks for your super-insightful comment, though.
  • I agree with your thoughts and not the facetious guy
  • I would say $650 is my limit for the phone. But I'd be willing to pay $200 for accessories, cases, screen protector, skins, etc. I also can give a **** less if it's the new Snapgradon 800 series. The 600 series works perfectly for what I need it to do. Hence why I'm looking at the Moto Z3 Play with hopeful eyes lol but I really hope it's waterproof.
  • $500. I'm not employed and the OnePlus 5T looks so desirable, especially in Lava Red. I have the 3T and had no reason to upgrade.
  • Why aren't you employed
  • I use laptops far more than I do phones, and I won't pay more than $1000.00 for a laptop, and that was for an XPS 13 core i5, 8GB ram and 256GB SSD and touch screen. I expect to keep getting software updates for as long as I have it, 5-7 years. Phones shouldn't cost $1000 and they certainly shouldn't be limited to 2 or 3 years of security updates, that is lunacy and yet a bunch of the people posting on here put up with that crap. No wonder you are being sold $1000+ phones
  • Well, Now that processors are really improved from the SD820 on, Just about any phone from there on is likely a great performer. For the last 3 years or so, I've started buying new phones....LG GFlex 2(don't laugh it was an awesome phone!) Nexus 6P, and now a LG V20 all at less about than Half their retail price. The GFlex was $250 bucs just months after release because of the SD810. But the perception wasn't reality and the phone rocked Warm/Hot, simply didn't matter! The V20 was under $300 at Christmas. No reason not to wait 6 to 12 months after release to buy a phone and almost always at Christmas time for the best deals. I will NOT pay retail or close to it likely ever again.
  • I'm also in the group not paying a bunch for so-called flagship. I fell for the OnePlus One and then the OnePlus Two. Both were abandoned by OnePlus in less than two years. No more. My current is the Essential PH-1 which I got on BF for $399 + Tax. Have received a bunch of updates and currently running Oreo 8.1 (beta) with Feb security. Wife & son have Motorola G5 Plus on Oreo 7.0 with Jan security. If I hadn't got that awesome deal on the PH-1, I would have gotten a Moto as well. The best phone values for my needs now seem to be in the $250-500 range.
  • My limit is about $500. Maybe $550 or $600 if it's really perfect but I would much rather go with something in the $500 range right now if it fits my needs. And the up-front vs installments really doesn't matter to me. I've got the money to afford a $1000 phone right now. I just don't want to spend the money on that.
  • Why does Android Central hardly ever have polls for this type of question?
  • Another thing....While I understand people getting the 2 for 1 discount sometimes....I just can't understand why more people don't use Cricket/Straight Talk/ATT PrePay, or even Verizon Prepay. You can get 5 to 8 gigs of high speed data for under $50 a month....I priced ATT/Verizon Recently and you're at full retail on the phones and then $100+ a month for service. This is insane when you can pay $300 for a phone and $45 a month for service.
  • Because they are feeding the appetite for the "latest and greatest." Its the carriers' job to make the phone appear affordable. As long as they keep doing that, the manufacturer will bump the price up each year with minor upgrades. Next year's galaxy is due for a design change and probably new screen tech. Maybe a little bump in camera specs and then it'll be praised as revolutionary. You bring up a good point on the $45 vs $100+ (I think its close to $80 for a single line) for service alone. Is that extra 10 gigs really worth $35 per month? I'm on wifi alot, like 85% of my day. I could definitely roll with a Straight Talk or PrePay.
  • Boost is 50 dollars completely unlimited taxes included and I've used up to 60 to 80 gigs a month with no throttling and sometimes even that much otethering even tho the limit is 8 gbs a month so it's not guaranteed that they won't stop u at 8 gbs .and they 2 lines unlimited for 80 dollars. Can't imagine paying anything more than 30 dollars for less than 10 to 15 gigs.
  • Under $700...I waited till the latest promotions from Verizon to purchase my latest phone...
  • I'd pay 1500 for a "pro" Note 8. Pretty sure that would be my hard limit.
  • Bought me an HTC U11 Life for $300. Done.
  • I've been through three phones this year, and I hate to say it but the U11, Essential phone, and Pixel 2XL really aren't that much better than my OP3 from last year. There's nothing the OP3 can't do that the other phones can do. Water resistance isn't a necessity for ME. I think $600 is my new limit.
  • But your OP3 will likely never see Android P....
  • I'm also in the $700 range. There isn't a lot of new innovations or must haves that have me needing to upgrade any time soon.
  • Normally I'd say 500. But I spent 800 on the Pixel after tax & insurance.. Plus cases, screen protectors, and extra charging cables.. So plus another $100
  • I'd probably go up to $300, but I always buy used. My V20 on Swappa was $225, and it's great. I really can't understand these current prices, since I bought my computer (new and on sale) for $500. 1K for a phone, honestly, seems irresponsible. But please, all of you, continue to do so, so that I can buy your barely used cast-off next year for $250. :)
  • It depends on how long the software will be supported.
  • +1
  • think that magic number for the average person would be $750. Take into account you can finance these things, people see it as $35/month and that sounds way more manageable to them. Even with say a couple hundo down payment.
  • But.....that couple hundo down could have been the cost of the WHOLE phone without the $35 a month!
  • As someone who purchased both the iPhone X 256GB and Pixel 2 XL 128GB for full-retail price, I have no business answering this question. But I know I would be very reluctant to pay like $1300 and up for a device. A phone shouldn't cost more than a very good touch screen laptop (Surface Book, Pixelbook, etc.).
  • I too bought the Pixel 2 XL 128 GB - full price - plus insurance. It was either that phone or the iPhone X. Which was going to a bit more than the Pixel 2 phone. That's about my limit. The phone should remain a 'mobile' (highly portable) traveling device, not a desktop wanna be...
  • All of it! Haha 😂
  • For me it's $400. Phones have gotten so advanced that the mid-range phones are good. I'll even buy a used older flagship before buying the next great flagship. I have no reason to spend $800 or so when I'm changing phones every 1.5 years. Just bought the wife the honor 7x. I am very impressed. Fast, beautiful screen, nice camera. Does everything she needs it to. If it had NFC I would get myself one. Please don't tell me the Chinese are spying on me. I'm sure there is a long list of companies spying on little old me. $400 TOPS
  • I spent close to a thousand dollars on my Pixel 2XL. If you asked me a year ago if I was willing to spend a thousand dollars on a phone I would have said absolutely not.
  • 2010: Samsung Galaxy S $199
    2012: Nexus 7 3G $299
    2013: Nexus 7 LTE $349
    2014: Moto G1 $49
    2015: Moto G3 $89
    2017: Moto X4 $399 My phone bill has only been $20/month since 2012, I only get data. Total since 2012: $2,625
    If I bought a $700 phone every two years and had a $60 bill my total would be: $6,420 I work in the mobile app software industry and use the newest iPhones and Galaxys all day long, they aren't that much better, if at all. People waste so much money!
  • 500 max.
    Still rocking an HTC 10 but next device will be an Axon 9. I have two 7s that my kids use and it's an incredible package for the price.
  • As little as possible, now that the sealed batteries mean throwing it away after 18-20 months. I'm willing to pay as much as $700 if it has a removable battery and not water resistant.... IE easily serviceable.
  • It's only money.... I don't think I will die broke so over time a thousand dollars is peanuts. Some people spend 10 a day on cigarettes and don't seem to mind so I think I'm in good shape. Of course to some people a thousand dollars is a those I suggest buying something less expensive.
  • $750 for a really great phone, which is what I paid for my S8+ at launch. Not a penny more.
  • I was hoping for a poll, but since it's open ended I'm going to say $750. That being said, my current phone - a Kinda Blue Pixel 2 - cost me $550. (spread out over 24 months because Verizon sucks.)
  • $650 and even that's too much. Prices are rising faster than ever for phones that only offer modest at best innovation each cycle. It may have been more justifiable to raise prices fast 5 years ago when each cycle of new high end phones offered many new features, but not now.
  • I would be willing to go to $400-500 for a flagship processor like snapdragon 835/845, but after Honor's aggressive pricing, wouldn't go above $250 for a good mid-ranger.
  • I was not willing to pay $900-$1000 for a smartphone. I could not justify that cost. IMHO I believe it's a conspiracy by cell phone carriers and manufacturers to force consumers to buy new phones every few years. Minor changes and you gotta pay expensive prices. I paid $470.00 for S8+ and even that IMHO was expensive. Best Buy had the best deals this past 2017 holiday season.
  • Sealing the battery in, in the name of being water proof is the biggest sham the mfgs have perpetrated on us consumers....
  • If I want something , cost doesn't matter under $60K It's a tax write off as well, and my phones usually last 3 years so a 1K phone over 3 years comes to $333 per year. To put it in perspective, I spent around 50K out of pocket to pay medical expenses to keep my wife at home with me in 2017. 1K isn't much of an expense....
  • 1k isn't much of an expense when you're talking about other things.
    But a *phone*? Fairly expensive
  • For me $800 to $950. I can't spend more than that. I was an iPhone 7 Plus user which I bought for $850 last year. And this year I got my hands on Galaxy Note 8 for which I spend $350 after selling my iPhone 7 Plus for 600 bucks. I am looking to get Note 9 in the end of this year (Inshallah) but if it's more than 950 bucks, then it's a 'Nay!'
  • $700 for a new full featured smartphone for myself and my wife. Or $500-$600 for one that's been on the market long enough to see some price drops. No more than $250 for a phone for my kids.
  • I say $600 and that I won't buy flagships on launch at full price (albeit with a freebie or two usually). Buy, my dumb ass is addicted to phones and I always do it anyway. I've been doing a lot better tlnow though that I decided to keep my note 8 and pixel 2 xl so when I get bored of one I just switch to the other.
  • My Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was $1399 🇨🇦. Look, we are all individual consumers. I don't need a laptop under any circumstances. I can justify a $1400 phone because it is my only online device. It is capable to do everything I need it to do. Big enough to read books? Yes. Expandable storage for my music subscription? Yes. (Data caps here, so it matters), connects to my vehicle, email, gaming, decent camera (not a priority, yeah... 120fps UHD is a 3028 thing)... Etc.... But the cost is real. Don't count me as one to count down the days until my two year commitment expires. The Note 8 checked all the boxes and was worthy to upgrade from my Note 5. My next phone will probably be in 4-5 years time. I'll get something a couple of generations into the soon to arrive 5G network world.... Yeah, I know, I'll have a tech replace the battery in two years.... Do the math... I can't justify 5 upgrades over ten years... that's $7000. Imagine being a couple or a family... Everyone is going to slow their mobile upgrade cycle. Premium phones today offer so much, and little compromise. I don need a tablet or a PC... If I used a PC or laptop, I probably wouldn't also have paid top price for a premium smartphone. Upgrade features are now entering marginal improvements. Displays can't really get any better..... Other than a 5G mobile phone spike... How can anyone forecast anything but slower consumer mobile phone upgrade choices?
  • In 2018?, absolute max would be $350 but I'd rather be between $200-250.
    My opinion, having followed smartphones closely since 2008, you are an absolute fool to pay $1k for a phone. They're commodities now, plus electronics should get cheaper. My phone doesn't make me cool, I do.
  • $1,500 would be my max spend ceiling.
  • Thats a lot for a phone
  • $700 is my limit, always look for phone around that price when time to upgrade. Last winner was OnePlus 5t
  • I have one policy if I can't buy a phone with the cash I carry around in my pocket then it's not for me and normally I only have about $500 so I would think that is the limit for me, but I do find that phones for less does all I want, mobile payment is the thing for me if the phone has NFC it works for me.
  • Certainly, not more than how much my current Chromebook cost me - Acer R11 (early 2016) $260.
  • $260 that must be a very low end phone nothing apple offers or anything google offers nor the top of line lg, samsung or htc, cant even get one plus or mid range moto x for that price you might get a 1gb android go phone! Sad :(
  • Honor 7X
    Redmi Note something
    Motorola something
    Honor 6X
    Xiaomi M1 A1
    Many others
    All under or at $260, have 3-4GB of RAM and have acceptable processors! Happy :)
  • My two Moto G5 plus (wife & son) were around $250 each new shortly after release. They are very smooth and my PH-1 has a nicer build, bigger screen by a little but if I didn't have it, I would be satisfied with another Moto.
  • However much the Pixel 3 XL cost.
  • Thats my g pixel for tha win
  • I would only spend about $800 for my most expensive phone. Google pixel 2 is my most expensive phone right now and love it. Last phone i had bought was nexus 5x and prevously was moto x which got me into google pure experience and my first android phone was samsung galaxy s4 and way before iphone 4 i love google and id probably buy anything google offers us.
  • Over $300 is high for me. I try to get good used ones on Swappa like I have the Pixel 1 from there and I will be happy with it as long as it works. I'm not big on the fully screened phones coming out now. There's no way I'm gonna spend $1000 on a phone.
  • Personally, my budget would end around $375. Absolute 100% limit is $500. I simply can't fathom purchasing a smartphone for more than half a thousand.
  • I'd add a nice little bit here: When we talk about "how much are you willing to spend on a smartphone?" we often forget about: TAXes, Shipping & Handling and a good CASE. That at the very least is important for, say, if I am logging into the Google Play Store to buy the next Pixel 3 (or whatever it's name could be)... I have to factor these three items as to reach my limit. That is true, unfortunately you can easily get past your $1000 or $700 or whatever limit you have in mind, just because these three little annoyances: Taxes, S&H and Case.
  • If you want lots of timely updates (iPhone, Pixel) you will have to pay more. The cheaper phones are also cheaper because of dodgy support.
  • I'm willing to spend over 1,000 dollars if it wows me.
  • I had an S8 for awhile until I dropped and shattered it. I replaced it with a ZTE blade z max that cost 129$. And I don't miss the S8 one bit. You don't need to spend a fortune to get a good phone if you take the time to research and know what you want in a phone.
  • My max buying the phone totally outright is $300. My max financing over 24 months is $500 ($20 and some change a month). The V30 is exactly what I want and need, and I won't spend $840 to get it.
  • $1000/24 < $42 per month. Few people pay cash for phones, they buy them with a 24 month payment plan. Not all that different from being locked into a 2 year contract in the old days. There may not be many people who are willing to drop a grand on a phone, but lots of people spend more than $42 a month on coffee. Looked at that way, $1000 isn't a big reach.
  • I gotta have my coffee, but I don't gotta have a $1000 phone...
  • I'm willing to spend up to $250.00 and perhaps $300.00 if a low end flagship is on sale. I'm admittedly not a power user so my life gets by just fine with the mid-range handsets.
  • Again... Depends on your use.. Is $1000, or $1400 🇨🇦 dollars, really too much if it's your sole device you use for all online access? Perhaps the real question to ask is what is your cost to be online? Only a phone ? Maybe you have a laptop, phone, smart tv... How about factoring in your home cable and or internet bill? Online devices are a first world privilege.... And it's not cheap.
  • Luckily I didn't have to pay anything for my Samsung S7 Edge when it came out or my new Note 8 thanks to Samsung Insights.
    But for the other 4 family lines, I wait 2 years to upgrade each phone and then usually around the holidays to get the buy one get one free or other big sale event. Which means waiting little while after phone is released.
    Would never pay full price, outright or through payments, for any phone that cost 700+.
  • Recently I've been paying cash for the phone I want, then selling it when I want something new. I take good care of my stuff and get an excellent price. Good stuff gets a good price on Swappa. I don't think it's so bad paying a big price for a phone if you can get 2/3 of its price back a year later. I thought it would be a pain but it wasn't bad selling a phone.
  • From someone who worked in sales, the prices you see aren't really worth it. At launch, they set a high MSRP and then occasionally bring down the price every once in a while during a "sale". The constant up and down "rollercoaster" prices helps ensures constant flow of sales by tricking the consumer it's "on sale". Manufactures have priced their phones very high, not cause the tech but because they can and people are willing to pay for it. Phones nowadays are "good enough" and consumers are keeping their phones longer... However manufactures don't want this so they roll out a "final update" and kill off the phone. This has proven true.
  • 699. If it's more, I can wait 2 months for sales. ;)
  • I own HTC U11 And S8+, I paid $540 for the HTC and $ 660 for the S8+ and that`s fair enough.
  • Haha i can't believe y'all seriously would pay $1000 for a phone. Me personally no more than $300.
  • If it's really good and premium I don't have a problem paying a lot for a phone. In the past I would have never bought a Vertu because I never liked it, but if Apple or Samsung made a phone that I like, I'd get it regardless of its price.
  • I always think, yeah I can do with a budget phone, and then I use the camera.
    I use a Moto Droid z play whatever for work and it's a fine phone but the camera sucks and it's super clunky. Should have been $500 not $700.
    I bought my mother a Moto g5+, 4/64gb, and it's a great phone, super reliable, but again, Moto cannot make a camera.
    No nfc, no wireless charging, bad camera gets you a budget phone. So I bought a note 8.
  • Camera's are always what keep me at the high end of the spectrum. Oh yeah and the screen quality too. Have to say pen input now I have note 8 is also a major pro. Would like to see more OEMs to adopt this in their line up!
  • 600 vat included is my magic number for corporate purchase, 500 for private. I will never spend more for a device that didn't have the features of a laptop. A business laptop is coming for about 1200, so 50% of the price is more than enough. My new and first flagship cost 600 and does have the desktop function, but I'll need to purchase also a monitor, keyboard and some accessories to use it in that way, and in any case will not have the same features.
  • I can spend 1000$ but i won't, no phone worth it, not even close. Mine Mate 9 does everything i need perfectly, and it costed me 400$ a year ago, my best phone investment ever.
    Plus, there is no need to change to anything, as no phone is a worthy upgrade, some of the newer phones are a good downgrade at some aspects. No one should pay more than 500$ at most, but that's up to you.
  • Due to personal economic constraints $250 is the highest price I would or could pay. Fortunately there are good options in that range. Im not a power user. I mostly need something for basic communications and TV streaming plus a few handy apps and social media.
  • My preference is to keep it under $200, but I'm willing to go to $250 if there's a feature that I really want. The truth is I really only use my phone for basic stuff - email, SMS, Waze, and phone calls and there's no need for anything more powerful.
  • For my wife? Whatever the cost of the phone is. If she wants a $900 phone, she gets a $900 phone. For me? I really don't want to spend over $650 on the base model. I'd be willing to go over if it got me double the storage and more RAM.
  • The most expensive phone I bought $500 HTC 10 unlocked in 2016. $999 no thanks! I am willing to pay 700 bucks for the software support ( 3 year security patches and major OS upgrade ), customer support ( HTC took over 100 days to fix a battery) and quality/performance (Pixel 2 camera & etc.)
  • $500.00 CDN that is it every 4-5 years minimum... these phone manufacturers are making so much money off their devices, and every idiot on the planet seems to want a new one, the best one, every freaking year or two. It is consumerism at its worst. My last purchase was a wicked deal on Newegg for a ZTE Axon 7. It was my best phone purchase to date.
  • $300-$400 max. My needs are pretty simple. Business apps, weather, email, not a lot of gaming. Bought an unlocked Moto G4 Plus when it first came out and won't go back to flagships. I just can't justify spending 3x the money for features I would seldom use. I also left AT&T's exorbitant prices since most of my usage is Wifi now that I work out of my home. Started with Ting: Great customer service but they use T-Mobile, and its coverage is lousy despite its maps. I switched to Consumer Cellular (using AT&T network): Great coverage, and I have four lines (2 smartphones, 2 flip phones for in-laws) for which I spend <$80 a month total. Yeah, I've gotten cheap (or thrifty). I don't begrudge those who buy flagship phones on the big carriers, it's just not for me.
  • I paid $350 for a certified pre owned S7 and am very satisfied. I could pay more but the power is sufficient. I rarely use power saving mode and don't understand buying a top of the line phone and then handicapping it.
  • Not more than 300eur, tbh there is nothing that phone makers offer at this moment that I'd be willing to spend on more, IT student speaking here, so you get my point...
  • I'm not afraid to cough up as much as $2k. It's my primary computing device that I use for: 1. Navigating to work, on time, every day. It never lets me down.
    2. Taking great pictures
    3. Getting timely information, when I need it, sometimes when I didn't even search for it.
    4. Keeping me organized and up to date, and
    5. Communicating with friends/co-workers/boss/important clients
    6. Helps me stay on to of my exercise routines, as well as health info/nutrition My only other device is a custom rig PC, and even though that cost me a total of $1900 to build (it's a beast) it isn't nearly as VALUABLE to me as my phone, simply because it's not in my pocket at all times.
  • devpoll....excellent point. You and I take full advantage of everything a smartphone has to offer and we are willing to pay top dollar to have the very best. My wife uses her phone for voice calls and an occasional text. She's more concerned with how the phone fits in her purse. She is very happy with her iPhone SE and would be very unhappy with most flagship phones.
  • I will never spend more than 650
  • I currently have the Note 8, upgraded from an S7 (that I bought used on eBay) about a month after the Note 8 release.
    However, I didn't drop $1000 at once, I paid about $300 upfront to lower the monthly price it would add to my bill (about 24 a month instead of an extra 40).
    Edit: I should probably note (pun fully intended) that $300-$400 is probably the maximum I'd be willing to drop on a phone at once, but breaking it down to something that's reasonable within a budget, there's no hard limit on the overall price I wouldn't consider.
  • I'm comfortable spending $500 to $700 for a flagship, but under some circumstances I'd be willing to spend more. I'd consider paying a higher price for an iPhone because of its great resale value and years of software updates, for example. However, I refuse to spend a grand on any current smartphone, especially one made of fragile glass.
  • For my family of 4, it's more of each finding the just right phone at the best deals/discounts/plans and keeping total monthly bill as low as possible (Last year: Pixel XL 128GB $20/mo, Moto Z Force Droids 64GB $15/mo, iPhone 6s+ 64GB from 2yrs ago finished payments at $23/mo). Phone itself monthly payment less than $30/mo for sure, but actual total monthly bill is what matters to us.
  • Just because I can spend $1000 doesn't mean I should. It's the same reason I'm not house poor. So right now my limit is $300. Though I really don't like spending more than $200. They're just going to get broken, stolen, die or better devices in 6 months. At least that's my family's experience.
  • I haven't spent more than $300 yet, honestly I don't see that changing. I've gotten plenty of bang for the buck with the Moto X Pure and G5+. I might stand pat until 2019.
  • I look for a good deal. I try to avoid paying full price whenever I can. I've purchased mid tier phones and have been disappointed with performance over time. Now, I stick with flagship phones because I value performance and build quality. From iPhones to Galaxy series phones I never purchase unless I get a deal. If I can get a $1100 phone for $800 it's worth it to me. Paying $500 for a $500 phone (what I used to do) just doesn't work for me.
  • $500 USD is my limit.
  • Everyone's answer to this question is influenced by so many variables. Some people struggle to make ends meet at the end of the month. Others consider $1000 pocket change. Some people use their smartphone as their only way to access the Internet, others use it as just a phone. Some buy it because its the "cool" model and they want to be seen using it (much like a $400 pair of "sneakers") while others buy it simply as a tool. There are plenty of people willing to pay top dollar for the latest and greatest, otherwise Samsung, Apple, Google, etc. would not continue making $1000+ phones. One of the great things about Android phones is that there are so many to choose from. No matter what your needs / desires, you can find the right device for you.
  • With the Project Fi discount, trade of my Nexus 5x, and Fi's new customer credits, I paid a net $55 for my Moto 4x. I'd say that's just about right. Without all of that, the most I would probably go is $350.
  • In Canada, the prices are: S8 - $1034, S8+ - $1114, Note 8 - $1299 ...I have the S7 Edge and will be keeping it for a while longer because these prices are insane.
  • Companies will continue to raise prices until people stop buying. I stopped buying at around $500. Without the monthly payment discount I would never have bought my Pixel 2. If not for the discount I would have picked up a used Essential Phone for < $400.
  • It all depends on the value of it. For example i thought the Iphone X's price was a joke because the S8+ was cheaper and loaded more with high end tech than the Iphone X. It's also increasingly apparent that the smartphone is taking over as the main computing device for most of us. I used to spend couple of thousands on my pc but now there are some days where i dont even turn it on and dont really try my hardest to keep it up to date. My budget that used to go to my pc now needs to be divided for an smartphone because its the extension of it. I'm rambling this because we cant just look at todays smartphone as just a phone with extra features. It's now actually a portable computer and its extra feature is its phone capability. So meaning i dont think the old price paradigm will work....and we are already seeing it. Top model smartphones are going to keep going up in price the more stuff they put into them. Sapphire screens are something that seems to be in the pipeline and those will hike up the price tremendously. Increased smartphone prices are alleviated somewhat by devices just lasting longer now. I used my Note 4 for 3 years until i changed it with the S8+. Used to change it every 2 years because of the contracts but this time my Note 4 just literally still worked pretty good so i didnt see a need to change it year 2 of the device.
  • I got a NIB unlocked Nexus 6 for $350 just as it turned a year old in fall 2015. I planned on getting another Nexus on sale in a few years, but then Pixel happened and blew up my plans. I'll be looking to replace it, but it may be another year before I do, and I don't think I want to go over $400 to do so. Being on Verizon, I don't want to ever give them another dime for a phone, which means that the pool of unlocked phones that I can purchase outright and activate is slim. I guess we'll see who wants to make a phone that meets my needs and hits my price point.
  • Ah. what more reason for more android one and or nexus phones on the market..
  • If I could only wouldn't spend nearly 1K on a (Android) smartphone but that's the reality of the market to today but if you want the absolute best with 0 compromises then that's what it's gonna cost you. Personally if it were up to me, smartphones would cost no more than 500.
  • A good question is how long are you willing to keep a phone. The longer you keep it the more justifiable the higher cost is. We all have a different value system but I kept my last phone for 4 years. I got a Note 8 and intend to keep it for 4 or 5 years at least. At the same time, I wouldn't pay anywhere near that much for any other phone. The Note is a real productivity device and a great device for creatives which gives it more value for me.
  • I have a Note 3 and am only just now beginning to seriously consider buying a new Android device, mainly (but not exclusively) because the OS will not update beyond 5.0 and I erroneously updated a loyalty app not realizing that doing do would make that app useless, turning that loyalty app into a disloyalty app.
  • RE: "A phone had better be damn good if I'm going to spend $999 on it. Magical, even." Charging $999 instead of $1,000 is a marketing ploy. Companies know that of they charge a dollar less, a nickel less, or even a penny less than the next dollar amount, more people will be willing to buy an item because they feel as if they've saved a whole lot when they haven't. That's why a company will price an item at $499, $499.95, or $499.99 instead of $500.
  • Glad to see the S9 n S9+ are keeping their prices around the same! As they should!
  • The most expensive phones I've ever bought have been the iPhone 4 and the OnePlus 5. There is NO way I will ever pay more than $500 for a phone.
  • Spent ₹15000($250) for a Moto G4 Plus last year and still havent felt the need for a higher end phone. Maybe the camera on the Oneplus 5T entices me sometimes so I guess my absolute limit is $500.
  • Anything over $800 USD is ridiculous!
  • $250.00 tops, I don't need absolute latest and greatest. So many strong Android phones at that point. Not about to stop rocking with s7 active!!
  • $400-500. I got the LG G6 for $400 about 4 most ago. LG makes good phones. But no one buys them. Wait a few months and they always go on sale. Or I get last year's flagship. Buying a phone out of the gate is too expensive. And IMO, you're a beta tester while paying $700-1000. No thanks.