Close your eyes for a moment and picture a Samsung Galaxy S. Imagine yourself using it. Now replace the TouchWIZ user interface with candy colored icons designed by someone who spent the latter years of their time in University huffing paint cans. Next, replace the Samsung logo with that of LG. What you’re seeing now, floating in your mind, is the LG E730 Optimus Sol, codenamed Victor, slated to hit Germany soon for roughly 300 Euros. The design is uninspiring, the specifications … equally so. It’s you’re typical 1 GHz processor, 3.8 inch screen, but with a hint of AMOLED goodness, and that’s it. Really. It runs Android 2.3.3, which is nice, but for that amount of coin you can pick up a used Samsung Galaxy S. If you save up some more pennies, you can pick up the new Samsung Galaxy R, the cheap version of the Galaxy II that features a 5 megapixel 720p camera instead of an 8 megapixel 1080p camera, and a slightly smaller screen. Bother devices are likely going to be several orders of magnitude better than the Optimus Sol.
Seriously though, the midrange market doesn’t make sense to us anymore. High end smartphones are coming out at a rate of roughly two per year per manufacturer these days. Picking up what was considered hot shit 6 months or every 1 year ago via somewhere like eBay, or whatever your country uses for auctions, makes more sense than buying the disappointing sack of compromises that companies like to label as “mainstream devices”. There should be enough geeks, or “early adopters” as public relations people like to call them, in your country, cycling through phones at a rate of one per quarter, to fill the second hand market.
Have any of you started doing this? Buying “old” flagship devices at a steal instead of the new whiz bang shiny toy being advertised on a giant billboard in the center of town?