What the heck is going on with skyhigh smartphone prices ?

Discussion in 'Smart Phones and Devices' started by Zorachus, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. Zorachus

    Zorachus [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Ok the Pixel 2 XL was just leaked today, I am a major Nexus nerd, and super pumped for the new Pixel. But $850 for the base option starting price, and $950 for the good Pixel 2. !! Holy Cow, that's unbelievable for the stock Android phone;

    http://www.androidpolice.com/2017/0...wo-colors-will-cost-849-64gb-model-949-128gb/


    And seems all flagships this year are just skyrocketing in price for no apparent reason;

    Pixel 2 = $950 !!!

    iPhone X = starting @ $999

    Galaxy Note 8 = $950

    Huawei Mate 10 leaked today, will be $900+


    Am I in the Twilight Zone or something, when the fuk did smartphones jump up to the $1,000 range all of a sudden ? I recall the $649 to $700 price range being the main flagship pricing for years for most high end phones. Some creeping up to $750 or so. But BAM 2017 comes around and close to $1,000 is the new standard WTF ?
     
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  2. CHANG3D

    CHANG3D [H]ardness Supreme

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    Geez, Zora. I totally follow your blog or youtube channel, but another thread of you complaining about something? :p
     
  3. Zorachus

    Zorachus [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You don't think this is worthy of a complaint. All of a sudden most 2017 flagship smartphones are running close to $1,000 !!! I am pretty upset at this trend. Means they'll be like $1,250+ for a standard flagship phone in a couple years, which is INSANITY.

    I thought it was just Apple being stupid, asking $1,000 for their all new X. But no, the 2017 flagship pricing across the board now is pushing close to $1,000 that's CRAZY.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
  4. Tiberian

    Tiberian DILLIGAFuck

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    No phone is worth more than $700, and even that's pushing it, that's my stance on things and current technology and it's not going to change regardless of what the hell they end up being capable of. Fuck Google and their damned no microSD bullshit, charging $100 more for only 64GB more storage, geez, I can buy 64GB microSD cards for $15 and 128GB for about $32.
     
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  5. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard 2[H]4U

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    Cell phone companies charge high prices because people are willing to pay high prices.
     
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  6. Tiberian

    Tiberian DILLIGAFuck

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    And people kill each other because people are willing to do that too but, that still doesn't make it right. :D
     
  7. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard 2[H]4U

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    Didn't say it was right. That's just the way it is.

    And some people need to be killed.
     
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  8. Tiberian

    Tiberian DILLIGAFuck

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    FINALLY, something we can agree on. :)
     
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  9. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard 2[H]4U

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    These ridiculously high prices have me feeling better and better about paying $539 for my OP5 128GB. :smug:
     
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  10. Sancus

    Sancus Gawd

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    Well, it's one way to solve supply issues at launch. A couple months down the road and deals often shave hundreds off these prices(except for Apple), I mean you've been able to get an S8+ at $600-700ish several times since launch. Despite launch msrp being $850.
     
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  11. Zorachus

    Zorachus [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It seems like only Samsung and LG offer these really good discounts and Deals a couple months after launch.

    But Apple and Google do not.
     
  12. CHANG3D

    CHANG3D [H]ardness Supreme

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    Samsung's problem is they have too many phones that they have to drop prices for people to want to spend more on a higher end device. LG's problem is that LG is not Samsung, and hopefully the prison sentence for corruption will level the playing field a little bit.
     
  13. Zorachus

    Zorachus [H]ardForum Junkie

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    So another Verizon exclusive only for U.S. carriers. I recall last year the Pixel XL being back ordered FOREVER, it would show like 8 to 9 weeks to get one through Verizon, and that was in January after the phone was out a few months already.

    Same with the Google Store, to get the specific color and GB version you wanted was very difficult, was sold out a lot, and when back in stock, you had seconds to order it, before it was out again.

    I am very curious how supply will be handled this time from Google ?

    And the good old days, when a Nexus phone was 11 months old, and right before the launch of the new one, Google would slash the price nearly in half. Well the Pixel XL has dropped maybe $100, where I think Google should be selling the ( 2016 ) Pixel XL for $399 at this point.
     
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  14. CHANG3D

    CHANG3D [H]ardness Supreme

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    I think you have to clarify that it's Verizon is exclusive retail partner, not carrier exclusive. But that's just rumor and there is no confirmation.
     
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  15. dvsman

    dvsman 2[H]4U

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    Yeah the prices are getting pretty crazy but those are "buy it now, own free and clear" prices. I just got my Samsung Note 8 for $465 with a "contract" - luckily the terms of the corporate contract (for my office, YMMV) don't give a specific time period, so I can usually ask to change phones after one year if I wanted to (though I usually don't since my phones usually last a few years anyway).
     
  16. Zorachus

    Zorachus [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I would like to see Google do an apple does where Apple keeps their Old Flag ships around brand new for sale still you can get the iPhone 6s plus brand new from Apple for $549, which for most average Joe's the 6S brand new is still a great phone.

    Google should keep last years Pixel XL and sell at a reduced price.
     
  17. skriefal

    skriefal Limp Gawd

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    I hope that the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL models will be more readily available (i.e. no 8-9 week ship times), given their higher pricing relative to the Pixel and Pixel XL. But I suspect that those hopes will be dashed...

    If they are not more readily available, then the high prices are likely to be little more than a money grab. Which is admittedly the most likely explanation.
     
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  18. Zepher

    Zepher [H]ipster Replacement

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    iPhone 6 Plus was $950 for the top model 3 years ago.
     
  19. Nenu

    Nenu [H]ardened

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    I think they are amazed how much people are prepared to pay and are still pushing the boundaries to see how much they can stiff us for.
    There are still new things which are shiny.
    It wont be long before most of it becomes mainstream and they will need to find another way to rape your wallet.
    User/account/setup/speed fees ...
    For now, ride the storm.
     
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  20. Zepher

    Zepher [H]ipster Replacement

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    What amazes me is how cheap you can get a phone. My dad got one of those Blu android phones for $70 from Amazon. It's not the greatest phone but it works.
     
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  21. Canon

    Canon 2[H]4U

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    I am really on the fence about upgrading this year. I have upgraded every year for the last 6 years or so but is becoming a bit less compelling.

    1. Unlike previous Samsung phones, this Pixel XL is still super fast with great battery life.

    2. Prices were high already last year for the 128GB Pixel XL...

    3. I couldn't even source one from my carrier because apparently they never received any to sell or something, they really only carried the 32GB Pixel and Pixel XL... It was by sheer luck that I got my order in through the Google store at the beginning of November. Seriously WTF? They tried ordering just plain 32GB Pixels in February at work to consider moving away from Samsung Android devices... They got one to demo but couldn't reliably get more...

    4. It has been beaten to death but taking away the built in headphone jack? WTF? With all of the Bluetooth issues the first gen devices enjoyed... Just wow if this turns out to be true. I decided to try Bluetooth headphones (Bragi the headphone) and honestly they suck compared to my Shure SE535s that I have had for 5 years... Sound quality sucks and if you don't want constantly drop outs you have to carry your phone in your right pocket.... Even then it still happens. I bought them for listening to podcasts mostly so the sound quality difference doesn't bother me as much as the drop outs...

    5. VOLTE is a no go on my carrier (Rogers) for phones bought from Google. WTF? iPhones bought direct from Apple don't have this restriction... Grow some balls Google. I don't nake a lot if phone calls, so I rarely notice this issue but I still find it frustrating



    I haven't ruled out a Pixel XL2 yet but we'll see how I feel once it is official (assuming you can even get an order in).

    An annual smart phone upgrade is something I look forward to every year. Unfortunately, I am the target market for these huge companies that are in it to get rich... I use my smartphone more than any other computer and I save every year to buy a new one. I enjoy reading about the technology and ultimately keeping up with it but man, it is really starting to get expensive...


    TL;DR Smartphones are like crack, everyone at the party is doing it and big companies want to make money.

    Also for a lot of people, this has become their primary computing and telecommunications device making it easier to justify luxury spending... Keep in mind that there are lots of cheaper options than flagships... Even if you want an iPhone... They have something for everyone ultimately...
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
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  22. skriefal

    skriefal Limp Gawd

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    Indeed. Charge what the market will bear. Capitalism at work. Sometimes it works in consumers' favor; sometimes it doesn't. Right now, with smartphones, it doesn't.
     
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  23. Opticflare

    Opticflare [H]ard|Gawd

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    It’s no different then a car. People buy what they can’t afford, plain and simple. Every average Joe Blow goes into the store and sees the iPhone or Galaxy Note 8 for $35 a month and they think “I can afford that”

    I stopped getting flagship devices after a lulling experience with my iPhone 7. I’m perfectly happy with my iPhone SE. I bought mine brand new for $140 (prepaid offer)... stuck in my AT&T sim and it works. It’s not unlocked but I don’t really care. If/when I get a new phone I’ll use it as a iPod Touch or give it to a family member.

    I’m done trying to keep up with the latest and greatest.
     
  24. almalino

    almalino [H]ard|Gawd

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    Just wait half a year and buy all these half the price.
     
  25. T4rd

    T4rd [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Phones are just another $30-45$ payment now to most people on carrier plans. So as long as they have the option to finance these phones, OEMs are able to charge these absurd prices and people are willing to pay them since they're not paying up front. I guarantee you that if carrier financing wasn't an option, mid-range $300-$500 phones would reign and these top-tier phones wouldn't be inflating prices nearly as fast.
     
  26. Aurelius

    Aurelius 2[H]4U

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    Part of the issue is flash memory prices: there have been NAND shortages throughout the year, which leads to higher prices to offset the reduced sales. Combine that with a demand for increased capacity (many flagships have jumped from 32GB minimum to 64GB) and phone makers have a hard time keeping prices where they were.

    And yes, there's a degree of truth that instalment plans, just like the carrier subsidies of old, mask the full price of a phone. If you're only going to pay a few bucks more per month, it's easier to justify that flagship phone over an upper mid-range phone that would probably do the trick.
     
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  27. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    I agree - people place a higher value on their phone the more integral it becomes to their lives, and phone makers will keep inching the price up until it finds that point where consumers no longer feel it's worthwhile. Your also always going to have halo devices that cost significantly more than the average. This is just the industry responding to popular demand.

    I'm not at all surprised to see that top tier smartphones today cost what a typical laptop costs 10 years ago, and costs more than a tablet - even the largest Apple iPad Pro (which is essentially the same thing just with a larger screen and battery). They are important to most people, and people will pay for things that are important to them.

    Also, don't forget that these phones are significantly less useful without a celluar plan behind it, and the price on those hasn't exactly hit commodity level either - even with the latest wave of "unlimited data plans". The cellular plan costs more than the phone by a large margin over the lifetime of the phone, and no one is really bringing that up here.
     
  28. braamer

    braamer [H]ard|Gawd

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    If you use Android, there is no reason to pay anywhere near $1000 for a phone. There are great options at lower price points. You can get a very good phone for $200 that will do everything most people need. You can get great phones for $400-500. Any higher than that, and you have hit the point of diminishing returns.
     
  29. drklu

    drklu 2[H]4U

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    glad my s7 active works fine still. They can take their $1k phone and shove it up their asses.
     
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  30. Zorachus

    Zorachus [H]ardForum Junkie

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    $950 is just outrageous, no thanks Google. I bought my brand new Nexus 6P 64GB for $499 direct from Google, it had the same high end flagship hardware as that years Samsung Galaxy line and the top LG's and HTC's. It was also built with high end materials. The Nexus 6P for 2015 was every bit a high end flagship smartphone. Same hardware as other flagships. Nice metal build quality. OLED display. Nice camera. So why two years later is the new Nexus ( I mean Pixel ) now DOUBLE the price ? F no.
     
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  31. NamelessPFG

    NamelessPFG Limp Gawd

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    I agree in that prices are more ridiculous this year than ever before, and at least in Samsung's case, are blatantly milking people with a bad case of Note withdrawal after their misfire last year. There still aren't any alternatives with Wacom pen functionality or something similar out there, sadly.

    Of course, I'm not dumb enough to pay $1,000+ after tax for a phone. Trading in an old S5 knocks off $200, so that's a little over $780 after tax ($730 without). Now factor in the accessory promo, where I opted for a fast wireless charger that would sell for $70-80, and instead of getting the promised 128 GB microSD, got a 256 GB one that would easily run $120-150. Going by current Amazon.com rates, that'd be about $196 shipped at the lowest.

    $730 before tax - $196 = just $534. That's suddenly not so bad for just the phone if you factor in said accessories, though if you had no use for the wireless charger + microSD or Gear 360 camera options for the promo, it'd be considerably less valuable overall.

    However, some people don't want to have to bundle in those expensive accessories. They want to pick their own stuff after the fact, and having a higher up-front cost is not helping with that at all. Hell, at least Samsung's nice enough to offer up a promo like that right out of the gate; Apple sure as hell won't.

    Hell, I probably wouldn't have pulled the trigger if my Note 4 was still getting good cellular service, and that's not really a slight against the phone itself as it is the natural consequence of trying to use an unofficially unlocked Sprint phone with locked LTE bands on a not-Sprint network (in this case, T-Mobile) and suddenly losing even 3G reception. Getting kicked back to EDGE is a bridge too far for me, and I waited this long without a new, more T-Mobile-friendly phone specifically to hold out for the Note 8. I felt anything less would be wasted money on a subpar experience, you know?

    As for the Pixel price hike, it certainly made Google's hardware a hell of a lot less appealing when considering that the Pixel and its XL counterpart weren't even that much of a step up against the Nexus 5X and 6P for the additional money spent, and they were still missing in several key areas compared to the usual Android flagships (microSD as usual, ingress protection to make up for the sealed battery, iPhone-level fat bezels flanking the screen for no real benefit, my usual gripe about every non-Note phone lacking the hardware required for good pen input, etc.) while daring to charge the same price point as the more established brands were for their flagship models.

    The lack of microSD doubly hurts in that you either have 32 GB or 128 GB of internal storage to choose from, and let me tell you, 32 GB is nowhere near enough if you don't have an SD card to offload media files to (I found out the hard way that my mom's S7 doesn't have a working microSD slot for some reason, so the 32 GB of internal storage filled up fast with photos and videos), effectively requiring you to pay up for the 128 GB model if you don't want your experience to thoroughly suck.

    The same applies to iPhones, where I'd consider 64 GB the realistic minimum nowadays if my little bro's SE is anything to go by. Let's just say that was the biggest step up from his old water-damaged 16 GB 5S right there, actually having room for apps and media on top of much faster underlying hardware.

    And in both cases, you're paying another $100 or more for that storage bump - expensive as hell, possibly justified in that it's UFS 2.0/2.1 or NVMe instead of the cheap eMMC in SD cards, but still expensive if you need sheer capacity more than speed. Before anyone brings up USB/Lightning attached storage, I'll point out that's kludgy as hell and is a great way to risk breakage of the port if it bumps against something, hardly ideal for set-and-forget storage in the way having a microSD card slot is.
     
  32. SvenBent

    SvenBent 2[H]4U

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  33. NamelessPFG

    NamelessPFG Limp Gawd

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    As funny as the above image is, I have to dispute the "Life span" part for two reasons:

    -Old 1G/2G networks are being phased out worldwide to free up spectrum, much like what happened to analog TV. When that happens, old cell phones like the Nokia pictured will be bricks. Bricks that can play Snake, but not much else.
    -Lithium-ion batteries aged as badly - or worse - back then as they do now. I have a Nokia 9290 Communicator I scored at a thrift store just for the heck of it; one of the batteries was dead (like "no voltage with a multimeter" dead, IIRC), another barely holds a charge off of AC power (you'd be lucky to measure the battery life in minutes, it's that bad), and the poor thing's so obsolete and outdated that it's not worth buying replacement batteries for unless you really want to show off old Symbian software. It sure as hell isn't worth using as a phone when the only band it uses is GSM 1900, and no, it *doesn't* use GPRS for data, instead using something that looks more like dial-up over cellular phone service.

    Also, the battery life was pretty impressive by today's standards when the cells aren't horribly aged, but they also did far less; make phone calls and maybe send/receive SMS. People weren't as likely to use the things heavily because of that, while today's smartphones are basically computers that double as point-and-shoot cameras and also have the option of making phone calls - a device that, in and of itself, would be enticing to use for hours on end, running down that battery faster. How many of us sit down for hours on end at a desktop or laptop for casual computing, anyway? Knowing what kind of forum this is, that probably makes all of us.

    I suppose that's the biggest reason phones are so expensive now; they've grown to be the new personal computer in a way, and like anything else, there's a market for higher-end computers that do more things, faster and better than everything else, for those with deep enough pockets. Fortunately, all that high-end flagship stuff tends to trickle down to the mid-range with enough time, to the point that we're now seeing some people "downgrade" to newer mid-rangers that are more capable than their really dated flagships while still being sensibly priced.
     
  34. N4CR

    N4CR 2[H]4U

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    Calling bullshit on the lifespan. My SGS2 is going strong and responsive enough with android 4. whatever omega24 or something I flashed on it. That's a 2011 phone.
    Only thing is battery life using heavy apps, but if not using it so much or lighter use, it lasts a whole day.. just.
    It ran android 2.x for years though and now that was a slow POS. Flashing it was like a new phone, couldn't believe it.
    Does take a while to load snapchat on first boot. Other than that, pretty snappy. Not as quick as a new phone but also fine for the amount I use it. I hate cellphones and only use them when I have to.
    Camera sucks ass too.

    Will upgrade it when it dies... think of all the money I saved instead of buying phones.

    This is why high end phones are like buying a titan or something now, because you contract suckers keep replacing them every few years and they know that'll keep happening, so keep slipping it in deeper each year.
    Enjoy the consumer race. I hope they go to 2k, the salt will be hilarious.
     
  35. gunbust3r

    gunbust3r Gawd

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    The Chinese companies are creeping in to vacuum up all the sales. Apple, Samsung, and google are going it be screwed when joe average catches on that the $70 or $200 handset covers 99% of the bases of the 1200% more expensive phone.
     
  36. ManofGod

    ManofGod [H]ardForum Junkie

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    In my opinion, it is because they can. It does not look like a big deal when you make monthly payments for it and ignore the total price.
     
  37. Vermillion

    Vermillion 2[H]4U

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    That's exactly it. People don't care as long as their bill doesn't go up exponentially.
     
  38. Tup3x

    Tup3x [H]ard|Gawd

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    Here in Finland Huawei is actually the number one now. What can I say... They offer solid devices and especially their Honor brand does strongly here. They advertise quite aggressively too.

    The thing is... They offer really great price/quality ratio. Honor 8 was less than 400 € but specs are really solid and build quality is fantastic.
     
  39. big_aug

    big_aug 2[H]4U

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    I see it every day at work. I work at one of the big cell companies. People have 5+ flagship installment payments on their account. They're paying $25+ a month x5 and want to know why their bill is so high. They just see no down payment and $25/mo and think they can afford that phone. Most have no business owning even one of them. Five? Forget about it.

    Half of them don't use or don't know how to use half the functionality these phones provide but insist on having a $1000 Note 8. The manufacturers are doing an amazing job making these people feel they need to buy this stuff, so props to them I guess.
     
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  40. exlink

    exlink [H]ardness Supreme

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    On the flip side I purchased an unlocked Huawei Honor 6X for $180 for my father since even that is more phone than he can handle. I played around with it quite a bit and I have to say you can get some pretty nice phones for just a couple hundred bucks now...
     
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