In an era of expensive Android phones, it’s easy to forget that there’s a phone for any budget. Some people might wonder whether buying cheap Android phones is worth it and what sacrifices they could be making by opting for an affordable phone. We spend most of our time obsessing over the latest or otherwise technologically impressive phones. Think of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+, Google Pixel 4 XL, or the latest Huawei handset.
These expensive phones get all the coverage yet the vast majority of Android users in Uganda don’t own these phones. Even if you purchase flagship phones for yourself, you would almost certainly have to deal with cheaper phones at some point for example, in the event that you lose your phone and cannot afford to replace it immediately.
What do we define as “cheap Android phones?”
The term “cheap” can mean different price ranges for different people. A general price range we can use to mean cheap can be UGX 150,000 to UGX 400,000. Some of the more expensive phones start at UGX 800,000 to UGX 1million but half of that wouldn’t be cheap for many Ugandans. However, there are still plenty of cheaper phones available. There are phones under UGX 200,000 that run basic versions of Android and only have basic smartphone features.
What are the limitations of cheap Android phones?
As with mid-range or premium phones, each low-end Android phone would have its own special set of compromises in today’s market. Some may have better cameras at the cost of efficiency, while others may forego screen size in favour of battery life. Having said that, there are some some sacrifices you will have to make as compared to mid- and high-end phones.
The most evident sacrifice is performance. You will notice in terms of efficiency, that there are big performance differences compared to mid and high-end phones. The main concern is whether these low-end handsets are quick enough to provide a satisfactory smartphone experience. Most times, the answer will be “yes.” Unless you have a particular application or use that requires all of that speed from a flagship phone, using a low-end phone is not a sacrifice.
When it comes to screen quality and size, there are more significant compromises for cheap Android phones. Similarly, these phones are unlikely to be waterproof or resistant to drops. However, this is offset by their low overall replacement cost. Cameras and speakers are also a relative downgrade which have a greater effect on the day-to-day consumer experience.
Cheap Android phones like the iTel P36 have made major improvements and are perfectly good to use on a regular basis. Social media sites like Twitter, YouTube, and other activities like taking pictures, and all else that people use their smartphones for work just fine. In addition, phone brands have started to prioritise internal storage and processing speed. This means that you can no longer expect a radically degraded user experience when your budget is just UGX 200,000. With this, consumers can now get so much for so less and the category of “cheap Android phones” is not what many expect it to be.