Every time you wanted to get a new product – from handkerchief to a denim jeans, mixer grinders to air-conditioners, casuals to formals, smartphones to computers, the ultimate question that anyone would ask is, whether to buy a branded product or a non-branded one. And what’s the difference anyway? it’s not an easy question to answer these days, because of the number of reputed non-branded (or semi-branded?!) smartphone makers in the market. There are 94 mobile brands in India itself (Till Last month!). And there will be more in future.
However, when buying a smartphone, you need to consider a number of factors and choose the one you like. Especially if you’re looking for a phone under Rs. 20,000 /-, there are 100’s of models available to confuse even the geeks. A research concluded that the prices of non-branded smartphones have been reduced 50 percent in the last one year. That means, in 2014, a mid-range smartphone was about Rs. 20,000 /-. In 2015, the same configuration costs about 10K or even less.
So, there’s a huge difference in the quality of smartphones also. It’s not what you see is what you get anymore. In this digital era, everything is disguised. We try to pull the mask out of the brands. Here are, what we think differs in a branded and a non-branded smartphone. By non-branded, we mean the Chinese, other new brands.
1. Price: The price you pay for an iPhone or an HTC One is at least 3 times more than what you would pay for a Xiaomi smartphone with the same specs. And nowadays, there are brands like “Yu” and some small players have decreased the lower-mid-range smartphone costs tremendously with the same hardware specs. So, you get what you pay for.
2. Value: When you buy a branded phone, say Apple, Samsung, Motorola, HTC or Sony, you are buying a brand. And, of course, brands have a value. You are not only paying for a particular product, but the whole brand. That is why these products cost so much when they are introduced. As time pass by, the value of that particular product will drop, so is the price. The value of a brand like Xiaomi or One Plus One again depends on their own brand values.
3. Features: The cost that you pay is not only for the product, but for the features as well. So, each brand has their own way of doing things. Some are good, some are ugly. The Samsung bloatware, for example, is ugly. But Samsung has great cameras and good specs in their devices. Non-branded smartphones, on the other hand, does not offer many features.
4. Quality: Quality is ultimate for any product. Every product comes through their own quality and testing processes. But, at the end, the one which end user feels has better quality, survives or thrives. That is the reason Apple products thrive and Samsung survives. This also depends on the amount of hard work and cost the companies put in to develop the product. If you buy a product from a reputed brand, you are assured of the quality. The ones who buy a non-branded phone expect it to do well, but it is not assured. And yet they buy, because of the affordability.
5. Service: The life cycle of any product doesn’t stop with the quality. The consumers should also be given proper solutions when facing problems. Though, everything is digitalized, we still need that human touch for servicing a product. All those customer cares and technical support have their own impact too. If you get a reputed brand’s product, you can expect them to support in most of the cases. But, when buying a non-branded phone, it’s not in your hands.
6. Feel: It may not be important for most of the audience. But, hey, I just want to feel things. You don’t get the feeling of an iPhone in any other device, even if you pay more than what you pay for the iPhone. And for some people, it may be HTC feel or Samsung feel. But, it is a feeling, there are no reasons. It is not rational, it is emotional.
Thoughts: We have personally used most of the branded and non-branded devices, and giving our perception. All these points can be put into consideration for any product that you buy. We hope you will keep all these in mind when buying any product. We are not suggesting you to buy any products from Apple or any other company, we are giving our opinion, as to, what can be the difference. What you buy is up to you to decide. But keep in mind that, two years from now, you will have no idea where Xiaomi or Gionee would be.
Everything that said, from the words of Steve Jobs, if you get an iPhone, “It just works”. If you buy a Mi Phone, it may or may not. But, you just hope that it would, and go ahead.
These are a few major things that we think are necessary. If you have something else in your mind, feel free to let us know in the comment section.