Don't Listen to the Discussion Around Flagship Phones; It Doesn't Mean Anything Anymore
There are fewer labels and conversations around labels that are a bigger waste of time today (maybe other than the notch) than this constant focus on defining a smartphone as a flagship. It used to make a difference; back when we kind of all circled around the notion of the term as signifying the carrier flagship phones, of which each carrier had about two. But the term has become so diluted today, and what it is used to convey as a comparative definition just is not true. By that I mean that most tech journalists are trying to say that the only flagships are the iPhone, the Pixel, and the Galaxy Trio (S-whatever, S-whatever Plus, and Note whatever). Actually, that's probably the best articulation of what the media is talking about when they say flagship; better than I've seen written by any mainstream tech site, anyway.
If we accept that definition of where the running tech media mainstream has landed, then the only thing that we have to debunk is this term's relevance. My issue is that tech journalists have landed on this use because they are coupling the definition of the word to the manufacturer / designer / vendor of the phone. And that does not do any good for conveying people any valuable information. That's the same triumvirate that gets trolled to customers by the carrier. It also does not produce any critical thinking as the year's roll by and different iterations land and break previous orientation to the rest of the industry. An example? The media said that last year's Razer Phone was not a flagship because the camera was not good enough. But the Pixel 3 is a flagship when it only comes with 4GB of RAM in 2018??
For me, when I care about taking good photos, I take my mirrorless ICL camera or my dSLR. Because despite what tech sites try to tell you, no smartphone takes pictures as good as a dedicated dSLR or mirrorless ICL camera. So of what value is the term "flagship phone"? What is it even meant to convey these days? I guess it means mainstream. And I guess it's meant to dumb down the facts of the case to make it more digestible to what is actually a very smart demographic of readers. It's a term that is being used to talk down to people. Or a term that is being applied by a cohort of content creators that routinely proves itself not as tech savvy as they think of themselves.
In the end, the relevant point is, before making an investment, a $1000 investment, for a device that you're going to live with for two years, consider more than the 3 iPhones, 2 Pixels, and 3 Galaxy S Phones. To be honest, I've talked myself around to realizing that's actually a fairly healthy sample population of devices to consider. I just think people should not be driven to never consider a Razer phone, or the Huawei Mate 10 or P-Series, or Samsung's new Galaxy A9. Tech journalists talk constantly about how it's a shame that no one ever looks at, much less buys a Sony device, or LG's V-series, or HTC phones. But part of the reason is because the tech media does not talk about, much less sufficiently test and use, these phones. And they talk about "flagships" as basically only being Apple, Samsung, and Google, rather than any definition of tangible product pro's and con's.