“How much money to spend on mobile phones?” is the major question in everyone’s mind who wants to buy a new mobile phone or upgrade their old one with a new smartphone. But the answer depends only on you and your financial status because you are the real customer who pays money to the manufacturer.
Mobile phones are now a need for every one of us. And a person spends an average of 3 to 4 hours in front of mobile screens daily. Before buying a mobile phone you should consider some points like features, how many years you are planning to use it, and more importantly your budget.
Many of us need a mobile because we do basic functions in mobile like calling, messaging, etc. Some of us only check our email and business works on our mobile so we don’t want the best mobiles for gaming, streaming, etc. However, in some cases where an individual is making his living from a smartphone, then they will need one with better hardware and software facilities.
So in this article, we are going to discuss about how much money one should spend on mobile phones.
7 Points to Consider Before Buying a Smartphone
1. Understanding Your Needs & Priorities
Before buying anything, the first step is to understand your needs. So in this case also we will start with understanding the needs and priorities. The first question is why do you need the mobile phone for? Do you need it for content creation, professional gaming, basic call and messaging, or work purposes? Once you know that, you can further narrow your options. Some practical examples are considered below:
- If you are someone whose primary use for a smartphone is making calls, sending texts, and browsing the web. You can have a phone with a long battery life and good call quality.
- If you are a professional content creator, consider the phones with good camera quality and display. Mid-range phones offer more quality features than the flagship ones according to their price segment.
- If you make money from Gaming, then you will need a high refresh rate display, a powerful processor, and good RAM. You can consider buying phones like Asus ROG or Red Magic.
- If you are a working professional who handles emails, documents, and conferences. Look for robust security measures and reliable performance.
Nowadays mid-range phones are catering more features at less price than the flagship ones. The flagship models like Samsung Galaxy S24 and iPhone 15 Pro do not provide much according to their price, they are only giving some minimalistic software upgrades like the Dynamic Island of iPhones every year.
2. Budget Considerations
Buying a mobile is also a tricky and hectic task, where you need to balance your budget with all the features that you need. Think about how much you will spend over the lifespan of your phone. Also consider the amount you are going to spend on the phone monthly like the prepaid plans, subscriptions, etc without straining your finances.
If you need all the necessary features in the smartphone, around ₹30,000 to ₹35,000 would be enough. Almost every specification is similar to the flagship models in this price range nowadays.
It is recommended to spend 5% to 10% of annual income on personal items, buying a smartphone should also be within these limits. Remember that a phone is a depreciating asset and it’s not just about the upfront cost only it’s about the value it provides over time.
Depreciating Assets refer to those assets that lose their value over time. The depreciation can be for various factors such as new technology upgrades. Smartphones are also a depreciating asset. New models are launched every year, making each older model less desirable. The performance of the older phones decreases as time passes due to software updates.
You cannot sell smartphones on the second-hand market as it is outdated now and very few people will be there who will buy outdated phones. So, it is essential to consider this depreciation factor before buying a mobile phone. And also consider the lifespan and the value it provides over the lifespan. This understanding will ensure the best value for your money.
3. Technology and Trends
New technologies and trends are following the mobile phone landscape. Due to this now and then new brands emerge and new models are launched with different features. The brands deliver the new models with a hefty price. It’s a good practice to do some research on the product.
5G Technology was released recently which provides a high internet speed. Nowadays every city is becoming more 5G oriented which will affect the normal 4G bands and 4G speed will drastically reduce so that you will need a 5G supported phone for future-proofing. AI is making everything more enhanced, all the phones are coming with an AI-enhanced camera where the photos will be enhanced by the AI models.
Fast charging is not a very new one but it is also becoming more better with new technologies which increase the peak voltage capacity of the device. That is why fast charging is more effective when your battery percentage is less than 50%. The latest technology upgrades also affect the display which is leading to foldable smartphones. These displays are made of various layers which include a substrate, TFT layer, and OLED layer.
4. The Brand Factor
The Brand also determines the mobile phone’s features and price. Apple has a premium quality with seamless software and a robust ecosystem but their prices are a bit high. Whereas brands like Samsung are offering a diversity of budget-friendly models to flagship models. The Chinese tech giant Xiaomi offers high-end specifications at very low and affordable prices.
In India, the mobile phone market has a large number of varieties, so don’t be afraid to compare the prices and shop. Some people are very loyal to a particular brand but you mustn’t be letting your loyalty divert you from your judgment.
5. Longevity and Upgrades
Nowadays the average lifespan of smartphones is 2.5 years. Based on that we need to spend the respective amount of money on buying a mobile phone. Different brands have varying life spans for smartphones. Brands like Apple and Samsung are providing longer lifespans.
The Update policy including both software and security updates, also greatly affects the lifespan of a mobile phone. This is because new technologies are coming every day. Suppose you buy a smartphone with high camera quality and slim design, your phone may not last more than 2-3 years, what you should look for is the Update policies of the phones.
More importantly, security updates are essential for the longevity of your smartphone. Even if your mobile phone is working perfectly, if it doesn’t get the new security or the software updates then it will affect your efficiency of the device. Despite the other specifications, the updates will decide the lifespan of your mobile phone.
Know more about the brand’s “Update policies” in our previous article here.
6. Second-Hand Market
The second-hand market is a great option, if you want to have a premium mobile phone for the lowest price. Even if you are on a low budget and you are not afraid to buy used phones, then also second-hand market can help you a lot.
Many online platforms like OLX and Cashify provide buying and selling of second-hand smartphones, and even Flipkart and Amazon also avail the facility of buying refurbished phones nowadays. But research thoroughly and make sure the phone is in good condition before taking any action.
We have tried to add the pros and cons of buying a smartphone from the second-hand market below.
Pros & Cons
- Significant Savings: Second-hand phones can be 50-80% cheaper than their brand-new counterparts.
- Sustainability Hero: Reduce e-waste and extend the lifespan of devices, lessening the environmental impact.
- Hidden Gems: A treasure trove of unique finds, especially older flagship models that offer some other specific features.
- Lower Depreciation: Second-hand phones tend to stabilize in price, ensuring a similar resell value.
- Uncertainty of Quality: You may face issues like worn-out batteries, scratched screens, or even hidden hardware problems.
- No Warranty: Most second-hand phones come without a warranty or with a very short warranty period.
- Outdated Tech: Older models might lack the latest features and specifications.
- Potential Scams: Beware of online scams and shady sellers. Stick to reputable platforms and follow safety tips while buying.
7. Financing and Payment Plans
In India buying a new phone will be a great financial decision. Various financing and payment plans like No-Cost EMI, Credit Cards, Debit Cards, etc are available nowadays through which you can buy your phone. It makes it very much easier to afford a new mobile phone. However, it is important to read the guidelines and terms & conditions more comprehensively before you go for the next step.
No-cost EMI is a facility that lets you pay the amount in installments without any extra charges. They can do that by partnering with retailers or phone brands. But they might charge you a convenience charge for the process.
Credit and Debit card EMI are the simple EMI options but they charge an extra interest on the installment according to the duration or the amount of downpayment or the price of the mobile phone. But it can only be available if you have a credit or debit card. Before applying this option you need to ensure that the terms and conditions are alright.
Tips for Smart Shopping
Plan your complete process of buying the mobile phone, and ensure that you have considered all the prospects like which brand, update policy, financing, etc. Here we have listed down the points to smartly acquire your new tech-infused mobile phone.
- Sales Time: Look for sales like Flipkart’s Big Billion Days, Amazon’s Great Indian Festival, and other festival offers. Try to purchase your mobile phone on sale.
- Comparison: Compare your specific mobile phone in different online platforms and offline stores. You can check out the prices and specifications on online platforms like Flipkart and Amazon.
- Alternatives: Explore all the alternatives, second-hand market, local stores, and online stores. Older flagship phones also offer the facilities of a mid-range model at a very low price.
- Warranty and Update policy: Choose the models with proper warranty and good after-sales service. And pick the models that last long meaning which has a minimum of 3 years of OS update and 4 years of security patch update.
You can check out the complete step-by-step guide here.
In conclusion, the amount of money you should spend on a mobile phone is a personal decision that depends on your needs, priorities, and financial situation. It’s important to understand your requirements, whether it’s for basic communication, professional content creation, gaming, or work-related tasks.
Mid-range phones today offer a large variety of features at a reasonable price, making them a viable option for many. You may remember this “mobile phone is a depreciation asset”, which means if you spend money on it then the value of it decreases along with time.
But mobile phones are necessary for us and also mobiles have so many advantages like we can learn, earn money, share knowledge, etc. So use your mobile phone for good things only in a good manner. I hope you can get some knowledge after reading this article.
You can also read the advantages and disadvantages of using a smartphone here.
- How much should I spend on a smartphone in India?
If you are a student or graduate without any job or work then you don’t have to spend much money on a smartphone, consider buying under ₹20,000. But if you are a working professional you can go up to ₹35,000.
- Is it worth spending 1 lakh on the phone?
Whether spending 1 lakh on a phone is worth it depends entirely on your individual needs and budget. If such a phone fulfills your essential needs and brings significant value to your life, and it fits comfortably within your budget, then it could be worthwhile.
- Why smartphones are costly?
Smartphones are costly due to the high cost of components, advanced features, and the premium charged by dominant brands. But nowadays mid-range phones have high specifications with minimum cost.
- How much should I budget for a phone as per salary?
Experts suggest to spend not more than 5% to 10% of annual income on personal items. Smartphones should also be within this limit.