The value of X may depend on if you step into the light. Credit: Own work.

Those evil market driven capitalistic pigs never manage to do anything for their fellow man who is not rich. A lot of people know this to be true. A lot of people are idiots.

The race to improve in order to sell stuff in our – supposedly ever so nasty – competitive environment does yield some particularly nice results for those of lesser means.

Take cell phones for instance. It is getting quite hard to truly distinguish one from the other in this day and age so we get some odd – but nice – results.

I have looked at 2 models which we can, for now, both call X – mainly because both phones actually are (sort of) called X. Lets refer to them as them X1 and X2 for now and compare.

  • Both feature identical network support for 2G, 3G and 4G – Nothing odd here.
  • Both feature identical support for GPS (A-GPS, Galileo, GLONASS…etc).
  • Both feature identical amounts of storage: 64 GB.
  • Both feature 4K video recording – though X1 supports 60 fps while X2 must make
    do with 30.
  • Both have 3 Cameras (2 regular and one front facing). Thought X2 has 16 megapixels
    for the front facing vanity camera vs a paltry 7 for X1.
  • X1 has 3 GB of internal memory, vs 4 GB for X2.
  • X1 has a bit higher screen pixel density than X2 (just about 10 percent higher).
  • X1 has a battery capacity of 2 716 mAh while X2 claims one of 3000.
  • X1 with a rather impressive protection certification rating of IP67 is still beaten by X2 which has a rating of IP68.

The really odd thing is that X1 costs almost 7x what X2 does*.

X1 is the still pretty much coolest thing around at the moment: the iPhone X.
X2 is the very uncool Moto X4.

No, I am not suggesting these two are equal, but take a gander at what makes these actually different. Because it certainly isn’t the phone part.

The iPhone X excels at some very impressive things. But these are very odd things for something still called a phone.

  • The ability to take high speed 4K video even when outside in the near dark.
  • The ability to display high quality 3D graphics at or above full HD resolution.
  • The ability to display some additional pixels at both sides of the top bezel.

These are not functionalities that anyone would have considered vital a few years ago. Meanwhile you do forgo some quite handy things with the expensive choice.

Sure it looks a bit prettier when playing with 3D graphics in full HD, but, unlike on the X4, you can’t use 2 sim cards at the same time even thought that’s an actually useful feature.

Yes it can take prettier pictures in the dark and faster 4K video but, unlike on the X4, you can’t extend the storage which would come in handy as you eventually will fill it up with all that high speed 4K video.

The better water protection on the Moto phone may be a minor point but there is no reason why the iPhone X should loose anything given this price delta.

The odd part is that you could actually argue for why the dirt cheap option is a better overall cellphone without looking like a complete nutter, and that shouldn’t really be possible in a rational world.

* as of this writing and in my local funnymoney.

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bloke in spain
bloke in spain

Didn’t you overlook the main advantage of the iPhone. The facility to have “Sent from my iPhone” appended to every e-mail sent from it, as a default feature? Changing one’s e-mail signature to reproduce exactly the same thing is such a bind

Quentin Vole
Quentin Vole

iPhones (like most Apple products) are Veblen goods.


The obvious reason for the excess price of the Apple product is the Apple brand, which (1) ensures those in doubt about technology of comprehensive hand-holding after the sale to ensure their satisfaction (another self-interested program to lock customers into a brand, which happens to deliver exactly what some customers want), and (2) ensures those in doubt about more fundamental things that they have bona fides as artists and musicians.


I go cheaper than the Moto X4; my disdain for paying a lot of money and signing a contract with a deceptive member of a gunpoint-enforced oligopoly leads me to buy Walmart-cobranded “burner” phones. I renounce the power to take photos at night, but still arrive at the ballpark with both a Communicator and a Tricorder without even having to join the Starfleet. PS – Why did no one scoping out the original Star Trek imagine that, in the future, the tricorder would be in the communicator?

John Galt

Moved from a Samsung Dual Sim to a Xiaomi Redmi 4A Dual SIM 4G LTE , 2GB RAM import from China which cost me 339 MYR / £64 / $84 USD, contains lots of functionality that I want and integrates with my MI Band 2 fitness tracker watch which cost 100 MYR / £19 / $25

Quite why I should spend a small fortune on an iPhone of any variety is beyond me.