Friday, September 22

The bargain mobile is dying. The mid-range is increasingly an entry range

Just a few days ago, a colleague asked me about a cheap mobile (200, 250 euros) with good specifications. I didn’t know where to go. Not long ago it was possible to buy balance cheaply, and the best example was last year’s POCO X3 Pro. In just a few months the mobile market is turning to more complicated terrainwith specifications cut in the “medium” ranges and prices that bring us closer to high ranges.

It is enough to consult our Chinaware and put the price cap at 250 euros to see how, although we have solvent options, the bargain mobile is disappearingThere are no longer any outright winners or phones shining in specs shining at this price point.

The mid-range is no longer so mid-range


There have always been certain psychological barriers when buying a mobile. For less than 200 euros, until not long ago, you had the entry range. Between 200 and 400 you had the mid-range, and from 500 euros upwards there used to be quite premium proposals, without reaching the specifications of 1,000-euro mobiles.

But something is going on with the specs. The new POCO X4 Pro arrived for 299 euros and with much less power. With AMOLED and better cameras, yes, but far from the bargain of the previous model. There are interesting rivals, such as the Realme 9 for 249 euros (although its PVP is almost 300 euros) although, again, with a very weak processor (Snapdragon 680).

These are just some examples of the endless list of mobiles that are around or exceed 300 euros and that, in its current context, have significantly lower specifications compared to quality-price proposals of past generations.

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Little F4

In brands that have traditionally offered impressive quality-price proposals, we have to make a significant outlay to obtain a truly competitive mid-range. A Redmi Note 11 Pro goes to 349 euros, the POCO F4 now starts at 449 euros (with the same processor and screen as the previous model), the newcomer to Europe V23, from Vivo, goes to 499 euros…

Between 350 and 500 euros for the most decent mid-range, while for less money we have processors and cameras closer to the entry range. The rise of MediaTek in the mid-range and the recent entry of Unisoc (increasingly present), is displacing Qualcomm’s 7XX ranges towards increasingly expensive mobiles.

A possible push towards the high end of last year, or the more premium ranges

iPhone 11

In addition to the power, camera and general qualities, the main barrier that separates the higher ranges from the lower ranges is in the life cycle. Manufacturers treat mobiles at the top of their catalog better and for longer. The most basic user should have no doubts: cheap mobile, walk or not walk.

Mid-range for 500 euros or high-end from two years ago for a similar price?

Spending a fortune on high-end makes more sense than ever: good and cheap mobiles are disappearing

But whoever wants a quality-price mobile, at least at the present time, is in a position to consider a high-end one or two generations ago. My colleague Javier Pastor, without going any further, recently bought a P40 Pro+ (I know, it doesn’t have Google services, but the example would be valid with any other high-end from a couple of years ago), for less than what a current mid-range would cost.

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The decision remains on the roof of each user. What is clear is that, apart from specific offers and bargains that last only a few hours, the mobile-bargain is in danger of extinction.

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