Smartphone market and in general electronics market is now getting really competitive. With day to day advancements in technology, we are starting to see devices with more advanced features at one end of the spectrum and devices getting more and cheaper in the other end. Are we really getting products that are worth our money ?
At the beginning of smartphone market, there was a clear cap in the pricing of devices. For example, Snapdragon 800 series devices were popularly seen at high-end devices and typically almost everything cost above $400. And phones at $100-200 had snapdragon 200 series in them, the lowest and cheapest that Qualcomm had to offer. I mean it felt reasonable. But with advancements in technology, we are starting to see devices that have flagship specifications but at a price that is so low, that its unbelievable.
This post is not to blame every smartphones that are cheap. There are great smartphones out there that is damn cheap. But not every one of them is great. Giving smartphones with high specifications has some shortcomings.
- The have less R&D money put into them. Smartphones that cost less use technologies that is already developed and tested and they simply capitalise from them. Bringing new innovation into the market is not cheap. Take iPhone X as example, the phone with a notch. But for that design to be made possible, Apple had to design FaceID and develop manufacturing methods. Second, it had to advertise a lot till people approve of the design. Now, notch phones are found everywhere(One Plus) face recognition isn’t awkward anymore. And more over, people has already made up their mind that it’s the best design out there and there is no need for special marketing.
- They compromise in specifications. Yes, if you are going to give a Snapdragon 800 for a lower price, you have to give up something. Things such as NFC, Wireless charging, camera performance, battery performance has to be sacrificed in order to make the cut.
- Manufacturing design. Yes. Devices are manufactured cheaply with lower grade components in order to make the price possible.
And this third point is why this entire post is written for. We look behind the Manufacturing cuts made in order to build the world’s cheapest Windows tablet. The iBall Slide. Specifications of the device can be seen here.
First and foremost, the battery is of what origin ? And the battery contact points are soldered to the board rather than connectors(But its common in cheaper phones). And the worst part, the battery is glued to the screen with no pull tabs (Tabs that help to remove batteries glued on) making screen replacement harder.
Speakers are mediocre. And the orange thing that is glued to the skeleton is the WiFi antenna(Now is know the reason for poor WiFi reception on the device).
The thing that worries me the worst is the battery. Have a close look at the left ends inside the yellow cover. The sheets that you see are the positive and the negative electrodes exposed. And damage to these sheets is what caused the explosion in Note 7 smartphones.
In conclusion, yes there are smartphones that are both great and cheap. But it is always better to pay some extra bucks to a reputed manufacturer to buy smartphones from even if it costs a little more and have lower specifications.