The Next Phone

Do we really have to get a 1 lakh phone

I’m currently on an iPhone 6 which I had purchased in 2017. The phone, released in 2014, was already three years old when I purchased it. Why did I buy it? I wanted to experience the iOS ecosystem. Of course, there was no way I’d buy the then latest iPhone for 4 times the cost. It’s been 3 years, and the question in my mind is - what’s my next phone?

Premium phones. Extra premium price.

If we want to get the best phones out there, it has all gotten very expensive. On Flipkart, you can get an iPhone for somewhere between INR 29,799 (iPhone 7) and INR 1,34,900 (iPhone XS). Samsung Galaxy S and Note series are similarly high priced, going up to nearly INR 1,20,000. Even if we can afford them, should we really buy them?

My next phone

I’ve decided a few things.

When will I buy a new phone? I’ll buy when my iPhone 6 conks off or becomes utterly unusable. It’s been 3 years already, and 🤞 it’ll last another couple of years or more.

  1. I’m going back to Android. Sure, the convenience of getting locked up in the Apple ecosystem is quite high. But I also want the freedom to customize the phone the way I want. Specifically, I want the ability to install Custom ROMs once official updates run out.
  2. The phone should have a very good camera. Google’s Pixel series is definitely something I’d consider if it becomes cheaper in India or somehow I can mange to get it for the US pricing.
  3. Definitely not going to buy the latest and greatest.

A decision I haven’t taken yet - should I buy a refurbished phone. This is a tricky question. I don’t have an in-principle disapproval of buying refurbished phones - but the chances of getting a lemon are high. However, I’m probably willing to take that risk. May be I’ll consider buying one if there’s significant savings over buying a new one (at least 25% savings, anything less than that is not worth risking). Camera quality doesn’t deteriorate (unless there’s some physical damage to the phone), and battery replacements can be done to ensure optimal performance. If you have bought a refurbished phone, can you let me know how your experience was?

Final thoughts

As I had mentioned in one other post, I carry around a lot of tech stuff from one place to other. I want to slow down and buy less stuff. However, it’s tempting to consume. We need to really think about the diminishing returns of buying more and more expensive stuff. What’s your next phone gonna be?

They Can

Arun Sudarsan
Arun Sudarsan
Economist and Policy Researcher

Arun is an Economist, passionate about Open Data and its potential to increase state transparency and accountability. Loves teaching. Previously worked at NITI Aayog. To subscribe to this blog’s mailing list, please enter your details here. Check your spam folder if you are missing updates. Thanks for subscribing!

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