Cheap phones prove your $1,000 smartphone is a bad deal | ENBLE

Cheap phones prove your $1,000 smartphone is a bad deal | ENBLE

Cheap Phones That Give Flagships a Run for Their Money

OnePlus Nord 3 Image source: Tushar Mehta / ENBLE

Samsung has once again unleashed its latest foldable phones onto the market, tempting consumers with their impressive features and a hefty price tag. However, there are plenty of other smartphones that offer a higher value for your money, potentially leaving you with buyer’s remorse after spending $1,000 on a phone that may not be worth it. In this article, we will explore three cheap phones that provide flagship-level performance and features for a fraction of the price.

OnePlus Nord 3: The Flagship Killer Returns

OnePlus Nord 3 Image source: Tushar Mehta / ENBLE

You might already be familiar with OnePlus and its innovative phones. OnePlus started with the goal of making flagship-level performance more accessible at lower prices by cutting back on unnecessary features. The company gained a devoted following and became known as a “flagship killer” in the smartphone world. Although OnePlus has since expanded its product portfolio, the OnePlus Nord 3 harkens back to its roots.

Priced at 449 euros (roughly $500), the OnePlus Nord 3 offers an incredible value-for-money proposition. It is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 9000 chipset and can be equipped with up to 16GB of RAM. The phone features a Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2772 x 1240 pixels and an embedded fingerprint scanner. It also boasts 80W fast charging and the iconic alert slider found on higher-end OnePlus phones.

But what sets the OnePlus Nord 3 apart is its camera. It sports the same 50MP Sony IMX890 sensor as the OnePlus 11 and Nothing Phone 2. While it may lack the Hasselblad color science found in the OnePlus 11, the Nord 3’s camera hardware, combined with the powerful image processor on the Dimensity 9000, delivers impressive results. The primary camera is also optically stabilized, allowing you to shoot vibrant 4K videos at 60 fps.

When it comes to performance, the Dimensity 9000 chipset delivers excellent results, especially for mobile gaming enthusiasts. The 1,000Hz touch response rate ensures instant reactivity, making interactions with the display feel effortless. For a $500 phone, this level of agility is quite remarkable and outperforms even some dedicated gaming devices.

While there are some differences between the OnePlus 11 and the OnePlus Nord 3, such as an older chipset and an inferior display, the price difference of $200 makes the OnePlus Nord 3 a much better bargain for those seeking the most value out of their phone.

Poco F5: Carrying on the Legacy

Poco F5 Image source: Tushar Mehta / ENBLE

Poco, a sub-brand of Chinese phone maker Xiaomi, burst onto the scene in 2018 with the Poco F1, a $300 phone aimed at challenging flagship devices like the OnePlus 6. Like OnePlus, Poco has diversified its product lineup, but the Poco F5 truly embodies the spirit of the F-series.

Priced at 380 euros (approximately $420), the Poco F5 features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 chipset. Despite being part of the Snapdragon 7-series, the 7+ Gen 2 offers performance on par with Qualcomm’s flagship 8-series chips.

The 7+ Gen 2 is essentially a slightly underpowered version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, using the same CPU cores at lower clock speeds and a comparable GPU. Benchmarks show that the 7+ Gen 2 gives tough competition to flagship chips from last year, handling graphics-intensive games with ease.

In addition to its powerful performance, the Poco F5 sports a bright and vibrant 6.67-inch AMOLED display that supports Dolby Vision, a feature even some high-end Samsung devices lack. It also offers 67W fast charging, allowing for uninterrupted gaming sessions.

iQOO Neo 7 Pro: Surprising Power at an Affordable Price

iQOO Neo 7 Pro Image source: iQOO

The iQOO Neo 7 Pro, a sub-brand of leading Chinese manufacturer Vivo, offers remarkable features that make you question the need for more expensive phones. Priced at $415, this phone packs a punch with its Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip. It also includes a dedicated chip for gaming, which accelerates gaming-related processes, upscales frame rates, and manages power consumption.

One standout feature of the iQOO Neo 7 Pro is its 120W fast charging capability. The company claims that it can charge 50% of the battery in less than 10 minutes, a claim often made by other phones but usually at the cost of compromising other performance aspects or commanding a premium price. In addition, the phone features a premium-looking leather back, adding to its overall appeal.

Unfortunately, the iQOO Neo 7 Pro is only available in select South Asian markets, limiting its accessibility to a wider audience.

Cheap Phones: Closing the Gap with Flagships

OnePlus Nord 3 and Poco F5 Image source: Tushar Mehta / ENBLE

It’s no secret that smartphone upgrades have become less exciting in recent years, with minimal innovation and minor updates. While Samsung continues to experiment with foldable phones, other brands are working vigorously to bridge the gap between affordability and quality.

As prominent YouTuber MKBHD tweeted back in 2015, cheap phones are improving faster than flagships. The OnePlus Nord 3, Poco F5, and iQOO Neo 7 Pro are prime examples of this progress.

However, it’s important to note that there are some compromises with these affordable phones. They may not receive as much priority when it comes to software updates, and some may come pre-loaded with unwanted apps and bloatware. Cheap phones also often lack an IP rating for dust and water resistance, which raises questions about their durability. Furthermore, many of these phones are not widely available in the United States and may not be compatible with all carriers.

Despite these drawbacks, the emergence of great cheap phones that offer similar qualities to expensive flagships provides a promising opportunity for the American phone market. Other countries have already embraced these alternatives, and it’s time for U.S. smartphones to do the same, offering consumers exceptional value for their money.