When buying a new smartphone, it can be tempting to get the top of the line model. Why wouldn’t you? It’s the shiniest, fastest, and just the best. However, the flagship model tends to be a very bad value. A mid-level phone will provide almost all the same functionality for only half the price. Unless you are very well-off, buying the cheaper mid-level phone rather than the more expensive flagship is a choice seriously worth considering.

One of the most respected lines of mid-range smartphones is the Google Nexus series. Although the Nexus 5x is less than half the price of the Samsung Galaxy S7, actual performance difference is minimal. The battery life is the same, and in benchmarks, although the Samsung S7 is slightly better, the two are comparable. Especially considering how fast modern microchips are, the actual performance difference is barely noticeable when in actual usage.

Even if you exclusively use Apple iPhones, it’s worth considering, say a last-generation iPhone 6 rather than a 6s. The passage of time hasn’t magically made the iPhone 6 slower than last year, when it was the top of the line. Although there certainly were some improvements and upgrades to this year’s iPhones, it’s debatable whether or not the features you get for the additional cost are worth it in day to day use.

If you go into a physical store to buy your phone, you will be more tempted to spend money unnecessarily on a flagship phone. Holding it in your hand, the emotional part of the brain will fixate on how shiny and new it is, rather than thinking rationally about the technical specifications. Furthermore, the salesperson will likely try to pressure you into making a decision quickly, as well as buying a more expensive phone, up selling how much better it is. Both of these make it difficult to rationally compare and contrast different models.

Because it is difficult to think rationally when in the physical store, online shopping is a good alternative to ensure that you buy the phone that’s the best value, not the shiniest one. Price comparision shopping sites such as shopsmart.in allow you to compare specs and prices objectively, with as much time as you need to decide which phone is right for you and no pressure by a salesman to commit to anything.

Although the flagship phone is the shiniest, and ads will tell you that it’s the best phone in the world and that it will magically improve your standard of living, in reality most people do not need one. A mid-range phone, such as a Nexus 5X or Moto G, has all the same functionality as a flagship phone, with no noticeable decrease in performance or speed, yet will cost only half as much as a top of the line phone because other people are willing to pay a premium for what amounts to a 5% increase in actual performance. If all you want to do on your phone is email, messaging, browsing the internet, and other ordinary activities, a mid-tier phone is a great value that is worth considering.