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Chapter One

What you should get instead of an iPhone 11 (Xiaomi Mi 9)

The iPhone 11 costs a mammoth $700 and is widely regarded as more of a status symbol than a communications tool. In this post, we explore the opportunity costs of the $700 spent on the iPhone and see what we could use that money for. We start with picking the best affordable flagship out there and will then move on to the accessories that could be bought for the money saved by buying our featured phone.
Why buy a phone when you can get a Smartwatch and Headset too?

The Phone: Xiaomi Mi 9 (about $400)

Xiaomi Mi 9 is probably the best phone you can exchange your money for at the moment. It gives you an enormous bang for every single dollar or pound you pay for it. The phone is capable of using both 4G and 5G networks – providing blistering futuristic internet speeds. It runs the best of class Snapdragon 855 and packs 6 gigs of RAM, a combination which in term of pure performance outshines the best of most brands flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S10.

The Xaomi Mi 9
It has an AnTuTu rating of about 372 which is about 14% better than the S10. (which is at 326) You could play any game and use any app at the speed of light. The iPhone 11 itself is slightly better in terms of performance but from a lens of performance per dollar spend, it is not even in the game.
AnTuTu ratings of the iPhone 11, Mi 9 and Galaxy S10. Higher is better.
According to Android Authority, its battery capacity at 3300mAh is adequate, but not extraordinary. They are awed by the phone’s gorgeous screen, slick premium look and snappy UI response when using regular apps.  The phone’s 6.39-inch screen is made of AMOLED which gives it an infinite contrast ratio and superb visibility in sunlight. There is also a under-screen finger print reader. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 which reinforces drop damage resistance and extends the life of the phone in general.

It has three cameras at the back, a 4k-capable 48-megapixel Sony sensor as well as ones with telephoto and wide-angle lenses. The picture quality is arguably close, but obviously not better than those taken by the iPhone 11 and is significantly improved if the inbuilt camera app is ditched for the Google Photos app.

It has wireless charging up to 20 watts, which we don’t recommend using for two reasons – wireless charging in general is less power-efficient and wastes energy and the charger itself needs to be purchased separately, which eats into the affordable user’s wallet.

The slick premium look of the Mi 9's back
For all of these reasons, Kategat firmly believes that you are better off spending $400 on the Mi 9 rather than $300 extra for just the marginal benefits of the iPhone 11. Let’s now explore what we can do for the remaining $300.

As an alternative, consider the OnePlus 5T as an affordable but older flagship which you can get for even cheaper.

Get the Mi 9 from Amazon now


The Headset: Logitech H800 Bluetooth headset (under $100)

The next item we could buy is a headset to go with the phone. The H800 is an excellent headset in terms of quality and durability. It would go well with the Mi 9. The H800 features a sleek and elegant design with plenty of padding for comfort. It pairs with a phone via Bluetooth and also has a wireless receiver to be used for laptops without Bluetooth or if you don’t want to use Bluetooth. The mic is noise cancelling for a crisp calling experience and can also be retracted and tucked away out of sight.

The H800's small profile makes it an ideal companion for anyone on the go.
In terms of quality, it offers a modest frequency response suitable for all users outside of hobbies audiophiles. You get good base and average treble, however the most important part of the spectrum for calls – the mids – would be excellent for both the mic while recording and the headset while reproducing sound.  It offers between 5 and 7 hours of wireless use, suitable for most casual users. It has two other features which adds added convenience, buttons on the side allows you to answer calls and control music without reaching for your phone. A fold-able design means you can tuck it away in a small pouch when not used.

Learn more about other Logitech headsets below this price point.

Get the Logitech H800 from Amazon now.

Smartwatch: Amazfit Bip (under $100)

Yes, of course, we still can afford a smartwatch too. The Amazfit bip is certainly a unique watch primarily intended as a sports watch but could also be used as a casual watch. It has all of the core features a smartwatch would have: a heart rate monitor and an activity tracker with a pedometer and GPS/GLONASS. The watch has an enduring battery life of close to a month of use, and is water resistant too. You also get the traditional smartwatch notifications such as WhatsApp, Facebook messages and information on incoming calls. The Oynx black version goes well with the Mi 9 phone too.
The Amazfit Bip
With the Mi 9, the H800 and the Amazfit Bip, you now have a phone, a solid headset and a time-tested smartwatch, and yet we still have $100 to spend on anything else we wish for. What a deal indeed.
Packaging of the Amazfit Bip
Get the Amazfit Bip from Amazon now:

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