Hidden flaws in popular $300+ smartphones sold on Amazon

We all know that nowadays it is rare to see something that is built to last. Including tons of gadgets that we use every day. According to Statista, 1.56 billion smartphones were sold in 2018 worldwide and there are 2.7 billion smartphone users globally (according to TechJury). Meaning that every person buys a new smartphone once in a few years.

It’s nice to have something new once in a while but sometimes you have to upgrade because of overlooked hidden problems. And it’s true even for rather expensive gadgets. On the other hand, many of us buy on Amazon because it’s just convenient and there’s Prime.

So, I decided to try and see how many customers are actually happy/unhappy with $300+ smartphones bought on Amazon. And what exactly they like and hate. Also, I wanted to see if there are common problems.

As I’m on the Quiddi team, I’ve decided to use Quiddi for review analysis. It can generate product summaries from hundreds and thousands of Amazon user reviews.

You’ll notice that all the phones in the comparison are on Android, so I have to explain myself here. According to StatCounter, Android has 36.5 of the market share worldwide, while Windows has 35.99%, iOS ranks third with 13.99%.

There are not so many iPhone sellers on Amazon hence only a few customer reviews. That’s why no iPhones in this research. Sorry guys.

Since I wanted to make a research that’s based on representative samples, so I’ve chosen models with thousands of user reviews. Quiddi has automatically analyzed the reviews, extracted product features and user sentiment. Below I’ll be providing links where you can check all the stats and review summaries. Let’s get started.

Huawei Honor 8

It turned out wireless connectivity problems are pretty common with $300+ smartphones. Huawei Honor 8 is not an exception, with some GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi issues. Customer service also seems to be a concern.

See Huawei Honor 8 summary Huawei Honor 8 user reviews summary Huawei Honor 8 user reviews summary Huawei Honor 8 user reviews summary

Huawei Mate 9

No connectivity issues here and customer service seems to be the only major concern.

See Huawei Mate 9 summary Huawei Mate 9 user reviews summary

Sony Xperia XA Ultra

While boasting astounding looks, Sony Xperia seems to suffer from connectivity issues as well. Plus, the battery and customer service. A pretty long list.

Sony Xperia XA Ultra summary Sony Xperia XA Ultra user reviews summary Sony Xperia XA Ultra user reviews summary Sony Xperia XA Ultra user reviews summary Sony Xperia XA Ultra user reviews summary Sony Xperia XA Ultra user reviews summary Sony Xperia XA Ultra user reviews summary

Samsung Galaxy S9

Sammys are all the rage now and the most formidable competitor to the Apple family. So many of them are sold on Amazon that I managed to extract 2 summaries from different sellers.

The S9 is a flagship and everything seems to be right except for Bixby issues. From the two S9 listings on Amazon we see that the reviews expose exactly the same problems. We’ll see below if other Samsung models are affected :)

Samsung S9 summary 1 Samsung S9 user reviews summary Samsung S9 user reviews summary Samsung S9 summary 2 Samsung S9 user reviews summary Samsung S9 user reviews summary

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

We actually see that at least one more flagship device is criticized for Bixby. There seem to be no other major concerns.

Samsung Note 9 summary Samsung Note 9 user reviews summary Samsung Note 9 user reviews summary

Some less known brands from China

You might have heard about them for the first time but they seem to have established solid presence on Amazon. Hence many reviews from buyers. These phones have certainly deserved a place in this review.

LU VIVO 8

Some connectivity issues and headphone jack problems. It seems everything is eventually going to go wireless including earplugs. I'll just be expecting more earphones-related connectivity issues :)

LU VIVO 8 summary LU VIVO user reviews summary LU VIVO user reviews summary

Essential Phone

In terms of features, Essential actually offers way more than the essential minimum. However, it’s plagued by connectivity and headphone jack issues as well.

Essential Phone summary Essential user reviews summary Essential user reviews summary

Conclusion

The most widespread problems include connectivity (GSM, GPS, Wi-Fi), customer service, headphone jack and Bixby (specific to Sammys).

This research certainly has big limitations because I could only analyze reviews from Amazon. However, it should be useful to Amazon buyers. I hope you now know a bit more what to expect from some popular models.

In my next article I will tell about the pluses of these phones, although you may already see them if you check the summaries under the above links.