The specifications on Smartphone hardware are changing fast, really fast. Less than a year back, dual core mobile phones were talk of the town and now it looks like even quad-core phones don’t make it to the top of the list. The latest Samsung S4 boasts of eight cores. In comparison, just look at the change in CPUs of normal PCs or laptops…they still don’t have an eight core personal computer!
The good thing though about these high-end mobiles is the cost has remained nearly the same, even if the new model is twice as fast as its predecessor. Infact, if anything they are getting cheaper. And, that is making everyone move from feature phones and join the smartphone bandwagon.
But what I want to highlight in this article is – how smartphones with better specifications actually end up costing you lot more than you bargain for.
Let me first start with my own example: I have been using Android smart phones for around 3 years now and my latest possession has been the LG Google Nexus 4, which I went to great lengths to get it here in India. There is no question that I am extremely happy with this really fast phone. However, within a month, I have realized that actual cost of owning a high-end phone is much higher than what I imagined.
Lets take a look at my mobile data costs first – They have ballooned from Rs. 400 to nearly Rs. 1000 a month. Now, I am sure, I don’t need to tell you the reason why that has happened…right? I browse more, I see more videos, I play more games, I upload more pictures etc because my phone now does it in half the time than what it did earlier. I had to move from 1 GB plan to a 5GB plan to accommodate this increase in my usage.
And, this is not the case only with me, nearly everyone I have spoken to, have told me exactly the same. The better and faster the phone, more the data is consumed. Even spending Rs. 500 extra every month on mobile data works out to Rs. 6000 extra a year.
On my previous phones, I hardly made any app purchases, but within a month of owning the Nexus, I have bought apps from playstore worth nearly USD40. I bought a app that controls my DSLR from my phone, I have made some in-game purchases. I have even bought some productivity softwares. There is no doubting the fact that “Better Smartphones = More App purchases = More costs”
Let me talk about accessories now – With bigger and better smartphones coming in, the mobile accessory costs have gone up as well. Everyone wants to protect their large screens, everyone wants to ensure that their prized possessions remain scratch free. So we buy scratch guards, cases, covers etc. If you actually look at the total spend you do on accessories, you will realize, you end spending over a thousand rupees if not more!
The biggest cost that you incur with a better smartphone is that of “your time”. The extra (unnecessary) time you spend on your high-end smartphones pales everything else! It reduces your productivity at work and at home as well! Even if you spend only 30 mins extra every day playing that fantastic new game or checking out your FB timeline, the monthly cost you are incur is more than anything else.
I know after reading these points, most of you want to tell me about the advantages a good high-end smartphone offers – I am aware of those and in no way am I undermining that fact. Those advantages are obviously the reason why we get these high-end phones.
The point of this article was to let you know that there are number of hidden costs involved in owning a high-end smartphone and when you are making a purchase decision, you should consider these facts. Sometimes, it is much better to own a average phone which takes care of your needs, rather than running after the next best thing in the town.
Would love to hear your thoughts!