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Question

Why are all mid-range phones so feature bloated?

I'm in the market for a new phone. I'm the kind of guy who's fairly good and likes tech. I use my phone every day for work, but refuse to pay high-tier prices for phones. I'm currently trying to figure out what phone is right for me, but come across the same issue every single time I am on the phone market.

Why is it that phones in the 150.00 - 300.00 range all have such crappy specs, but a ton of features? I get it, features sell phones. But, at the end of the day, I haven't found a SINGLE phone that satisfies what I really need out of it.

I want 16GB minimum memory (It's expandable anyways, so it's not a big deal), 3gb of RAM, decent battery life, and a decent mid-range processor. Bonus kudos for something like a gorilla glass screen, but I take care of my stuff, so it's not required. Maybe a few apps/games I have to kill time while taking a poop...

That's it.... I don't care about amazing cameras, almost everything on the market does fine for what I need. If I wanted a better camera I wouldn't be in the mid-tier for phones. A fingerprint scanner is cool, but not at the expense of specs. If push comes to shove, i'll take compute power/memory over a 4k display any day. I mean, a 1080p screen is preferred, but come on, it's a 5.5 inch screen... 720p is more than fine. 99% of the people who aren't enthusiasts can't tell a difference unless you compare them side by side anyways. Phone speakers weren't designed for music, and I'm a bit of an audiophile anyways, so good speakers are a waste of money. Decent speakers for talking is fine. If I want to listen to music, i'll use a bluetooth device or headphones.

Like most people, I don't even use most of the features on my phone. 90% of my phone usage is emails, phones, texting, social media, youtube, and basic pictures/screen shots. I don't care about gestures (I use them so little it's literally not worth my time to learn them), I don't care about NFC, I don't care about all the bloatware that some carriers put on phones, I don't need my phone to pay for items, swiping the card at the gas station works fine for me.

I'm not asking for an entire market segment to bend to my needs.... but seriously... does NOBODY else have this issue or complaint? It's literally as simple as making the same phone, just cutting corners on the features. You would figure a company at some point would do this...

Any suggestions for phones (GSM) would be helpful too I guess since that's kind of what started this topic.

Post was last edited on April 15, 2018 12:32 PM PDT

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All Answers

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Answer
This is easy.

In reply to: Why are all mid-range phones so feature bloated?

The usual smart phone is just a computer so apps can add features that you may or may not use.

This is like asking for a general purpose computer but demanding it doesn't play card games. Both smart phone and the PC are open for adding app after app and just like your PC it's your choice on what to use or ignore.

There will be no phone trimmed down to just what you use.

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Not quite what I was referring to.

In reply to: This is easy.

For sure, a lot of the functionality of phones are eco-system/ App / OS based. I'm talking about hardware functionality and features though. And while some of that I find annoying and a literal waste of storage it's a subjective opinion and most of the time, at best removable (sometimes with a little too much effort required), or at worst, ignorable.

For example, why would I need an octo-core processor and 4k screen on a 190.00 phone that has a mid-tier camera at best and only 1.8 GB or RAM? If I wanted those features I'd look higher end. It seems almost impossible to find core-functionality without bloated, luxury-based hardware specs on a phone way outside of the price point. I can't be the only one who would rather take the $20-50 and add it to a potential extra couple hours of battery life, or extra memory without also dealing with a price jump of $250 because they have to add 2 cameras capable of capturing 4k footage along with processing power enough to handle it.

I guess what I'm getting at is that I feel like R&D and marketing don't really target any of the features I prefer. And while, subjective, I don't think I ever hear anyone else with this issue.... I guess my ultimate issue is the converse of all of this. Why is it impossible to find a phone with good compute power/storage/batterylife/etc. without an AMOLED screen in 4k or 2 15MP cameras, a fingerprint scanner that works underwater, while waterproofed up to 300meters, bvut no headphone jack.

Post was last edited on April 15, 2018 1:06 PM PDT

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So let's get to work.

In reply to: Not quite what I was referring to.

I think you want a basic smart phone. If we look at Amazon best sellers of unlocked phones, let's see the price range.

https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Cell-Phones-Accessories/zgbs/wireless/7072561011

The next complaint I hear is there are too many choices. Today I carry two phones. Why? Because we write apps and I want to show both the Apple and Android versions.

There are under 190 buck smart phones in that link. I'd avoid going under the 99 buck models so what about a nice BLU?

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Thanks for the link

In reply to: So let's get to work.

The BLU looks like a nice suggestion. Thank you for the point in the right direction.

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PS. Here's my old BLU which I took a picture.

In reply to: Not quite what I was referring to.

The camera did not review highly but I thought it took decent pictures for a 99.99 buck phone.
Example:

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Torn between 2

In reply to: PS. Here's my old BLU which I took a picture.

I like the BLU Vivo XL3 (Currently on sale for 129.99) and the Honor 7X... I'm trying to figure out which I like more and if it's worth 80.00 to me for extra RAM and the extra CPU power.... I think it might be. If the Vivo wasn't on sale it would be an easy decision, but 129.99 is a hell of a deal.

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OK, let me share a little.

In reply to: Torn between 2

Your barebone Android to me is 1GB RAM and 8GB storage. This is a working phone. These are cheap. Extra RAM rarely pays off but if your budget isn't screaming, then my everyperson Android is 2GB RAM and 16GB storage along with the usual GPS and such that you find on most models.

In the cheap seats, 2 CPU cores and 4 for when the budget is 99 bucks and up.

The BLU displays are often dissed over being 720 to 1080p but at this size screen it's more than ample as a smart phone.

In this price range support is a foregone casualty of low price. I've had a few talk back about no support but the support is just about the phone and not to teach folk about Android. This can be a deal breaker for some today.

The Honor looks to be over 100 bucks more and if I were to suggest that I'd rather see you look at the Moto G5 like https://www.amazon.com/Moto-Plus-5th-Generation-Lockscreen/dp/B01N6NTIRH/ This is the phone I carry today.

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I had considered the 5G too.

In reply to: OK, let me share a little.

Ended up settling on the XL3. 129.99 (Normally 179.99) is a hell of a deal for what it has. Wife needs an upgrade soon too, luckily, so if I don't like it she can have it and I'll get something else. It's not often you get a "redo."

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Answer
BLU Vivo XL3. What's not to like here?

In reply to: Why are all mid-range phones so feature bloated?

Headphone jack, above average RAM and storage.

I would be remiss to not share one last thing. Ting.com is what I'm on. My son who is a cheapskate can hit 10 bucks a month charges.

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Don't expect to dislike it.

In reply to: BLU Vivo XL3. What's not to like here?

Sometimes it just doesn't "feel" right. I've decided against buying a phone before because I didn't like the location of the power button.... But, from what I've read, it all seems fine for me and probably just what I was looking for.

I likely wouldn't save on Ting though, based on what I read. I work pretty much exclusively from my phone, in a non-Wifi area. I usually end up using bout 10-12 GB data a month, easily. Not including my peers (Other managers in the area) who LOVE to text in group messages (I hate texting) about 200 texts a day, outside of what I send to my employees.

I'm grandfathered into Cricket's high-end plans (been with them for like 8 years now) so I get great rates and 12GB of Hi-speed before they throttle me,m which if that happens it usually only a day or two left in the billing cycle. At about $50.00 a month, I can deal with that, since work pays for half of it.

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