This $245 Phone Makes You Wonder Why the Hell People Spend $1000 on a Flagship

This is the Meizu 16Xs — a rather beautiful phone, with a minimalistic and elegant symmetric design with thin bezels and solid specs. Launching June 10, it costs only $250.

This is just the latest example that makes $1,000-plus flagships look wasteful and stupid.

Credit: Meizu

(Image credit: Meizu)

Sure, this Android 9 Pie-powered Meizu doesn’t have the top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, but who the hell cares? The Snapdragon 675 is fast enough for almost everyone but those looking to play graphics-intensive games. But for the rest of us, it’s fast enough for every task.

Credit: Meizu

(Image credit: Meizu)

The camera looks decent, too, as it uses a Samsung S5KGM1 48-megapixel camera sensor coupled with an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with a 118.8-degree field of view, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor for all those depth-of-field effects everyone expects now in flagships phones.

The Meizu 16x also comes with a 6.2-inch Super AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution and 90.29% screen-to-body ratio made by Samsung. This panel has an in-display fingerprint scanner. On the top, there’s a 16-megapixel selfie camera. The phone also comes with 4,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging.

Total cost: $245 for the 6GB/G4GB and $298 for the 6GB/128GB model. Seriously, with these specs and price, I can’t really understand why shoppers  would like to spend upwards of $1,000 on a phone. It just doesn’t make any sense, which is probably why flagship sales are dropping.

MORE: Best Cheap Phones: Top Android Picks Under $300

The flagship value keeps sinking

The Meizu 16Xs is just one of many phones that are betting on a good design, good specs and great price formula as opposed to phones that cost as much as a laptop.

The Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro has a Snapdragon 855, a 48MP Sony IMX 582, 8MP telephoto, 13MP ultra-wide camera, and notchless 6.39-inch OLED display starting at a stupidly low $360 for the 6GB/128GB. That makes it the world’s cheapest Snapdragon 855 phone by a couple hundred dollars.

Credit: Meizu

(Image credit: Meizu)

All these low-cost, high-quality phones even make alleged “low cost” phones like the Snapdragon 670-powered Google Pixel 3a look expensive at $399. And of course, flagships are just obscene next to them.

Sure, you can argue that the flagships have top-of-the-line specs until your face turns red and you pass out, but the differential doesn’t justify multi-hundred dollar price differences. Well-designed phones with good specs at bargain prices are a reality now. And they are making any other top phone from Apple, Samsung, Google or Huawei look unjustifiable for most people.

Maybe it is time for these companies to take a deep breath and realize that the high-end phone crisis is only going to get worse.

The Meizu 16x will initially be available in China, and it will be heading to some EU countries and India in July.

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.