Last October I wrote about the egregious outright price of the Pixel XL in Canada—over $1,100 CAD for the 128 GB model. Midway through 2017 it seems that $1,000 USD is fast becoming the norm for a stretched display over a flagship phone. And if you happen to live in Australia and are a fan of the Galaxy Note series Samsung is expecting you to pony up $1,500 AUD for the latest version of that device.
It’s not just an Android problem, either… Apple is expected to début its 10th anniversary iPhone with a price tag in excess of $1,000 USD and, according to at least one survey, prospective buyers seem fine with that.
I suppose an argument can be made that smartphone OEMs are merely passing on the R&D costs that make this product cycle’s record-breaking screen-to-body ratios possible. But consider also that these same phones are in some ways downgrades from what came before. The Galaxy Note 8 has a smaller battery than the Note 7 (presumably so that it won’t explode), Andy Rubin’s high-priced Essential Phone has no waterproofing and neither it, the iPhone 8 or this year’s Pixel series from Google will have a headphone jack.
With these compromises in mind I have to ask: Are we actually getting a reasonable value from this year’s near-bezel-less flagships?