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2018 flagship phones cost over $1,000, but Samsung’s about to release a new phone for under $100

Published Nov 2nd, 2018 10:13AM EDT
iPhone XR Vs XS Max
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

After a period of a couple of years where flagship smartphones grew quite boring, things are definitely starting to turn around. 2018 has become the year when smartphone makers focused on increasing display size without increasing the overall size of their phones, and we’ve gotten some nifty new “all-screen” designs as a result. Just around the corner, 2019 will bring a wide range of new designs and exciting new features. Samsung’s Galaxy S10 is shaping up to be the most appealing new Galaxy phone in years, and several phone makers will release foldable smartphones next year. We’re also going to see some nifty new solutions in 2019 that do away with the notch, finally putting an end to the debate over whether or not it’s a good design.

Of course, there’s also a huge downside to all the advancements we’ve seen over the past year: flagship smartphones have gotten insanely expensive, and things are only going to get worse next year. The latest flagship phones from top vendors like Apple and Samsung start at $1,000 and go up to more than $1,500 including taxes. In 2019, Samsung is expected to release one new flagship phone that costs nearly $2,000. Flagship phone prices are getting obscene and there’s no indication that will change anytime soon. Luckily, not everyone needs a flagship phone and there are some great entry-level options out there that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

Sites like BGR tend to focus on flagship phones because that’s what people who seek out tech news want to read about. High-end smartphones feature all of the latest features and all of the most powerful components, so they’re far more appealing than mid-range and low-end handsets. Of course, a huge portion of global smartphone users would rather spend less money on their phones, and that’s why low-end and mid-range phone sales make up such a huge percentage of total smartphone sales each quarter.

There are plenty of less expensive phones out there to choose from already, but a particularly appealing new option from Samsung looks set to launch in the near future. As noted by Samsung news blog SamMobile, the Galaxy J2 Core has just been approved by the FCC and certified by the WiFi Alliance ahead of what appears to be an imminent US release.

On paper, the Galaxy J2 Core doesn’t even come close to matching the cutting-edge flagship phones we typically cover here on the site. Some key specs include a 5-inch LCD display with 540 x 960 pixel resolution, an Exynos 7570 processor, 1GB of RAM, just 8GB of internal storage, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 2,600 mAh battery.

So, what makes the Galaxy J2 Core special enough that we would cover it on BGR? Two things. First, this Samsung phone is powered by Android Go. You can read about Android Go on Google’s website, but it’s basically a special version of Android that is heavily optimized so it runs smoothly on entry-level phones that don’t pack as much power as flagships. It doesn’t feel quite like Android on a $1,000 Galaxy Note 9, but it’s much closer than entry-level Android phones were just a few short years ago.

The second thing that makes the Galaxy J2 Core special is its price. US pricing hasn’t yet been confirmed, but this phone sells for about $90 in other markets. That’s right, it’s a slick little Android Go phone that’s going to cost under $100. SamMobile notes that the phone appears to be headed to Cricket Wireless and Boost Mobile in the US, which means prepaid users are about to have a terrific new option when it comes time to upgrade.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.