With 2017’s most expensive cell phones costing close to $1,000 or even more, most people expect to be wowed by the technology when paying such a high price. Most flagship phones don’t disappoint. Edge-to-edge screens, high-powered dual-lens cameras and facial recognition are only a few of the features packed into the most expensive phones available to the retail market. Or you can just go for gold and diamonds. 

2017’s Most Expensive Cell Phones: Apple iPhone X ($999 or $1,149)

Apple’s new flagship iPhone X, which won’t be available until November, is priced at $999 for the 64 GB model and $1,149 for the 256 GB version. The iPhone X, which represents Apple’s first unique design since the original iPhone launched a decade ago, features a 5.8 inch front display utilizing a Samsung OLED screen and no front home button. Dual rear cameras match the quality of those on Samsung’s highly touted Galaxy Note 8. Advanced facial recognition unlocks the phone and activates Apple Pay. Other features include wireless charging, dust and water resistance and the new AR-ready iOS 11 operating system. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 ($930)

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 features Samsung’s Infinity Display on a 6.3 inch screen. It’s equipped with 6 GB of RAM, the fastest available Qualcomm mobile processor, advanced S Pen functions, dual rear cameras with OIS and the new Bixby assistant complete with a dedicated hardware button. The phone is dust and water resistant and has both a USB Type-C port and a traditional 3.5 mm headset jack. It has wireless charging and features an iris scanner that lets you unlock the phone with your eyes. 

Apple iPhone 8 Plus ($799)

The new iPhone 8 Plus has a glass back for wireless charging, an improved processor, camera and LCD display. It features stereo speakers but has no 3.5 mm headphone jack. As with the X model, the 8 Plus utilizes iOS 11 and AR technology. It features the A11 bionic chip, and the 12 MP camera works better in low light than other cameras. It has a 5.5 inch screen and is both dust and water resistant. 

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus ($825)

With minimal top and bottom bezels and none on the sides, Samsung’s Infinity Display shines on the Galaxy S8 Plus. Features-wise, the S8 Plus has everything the Note 8 has except for the S Pen and dual rear camera. It has a 6.2 inch screen and long battery life. However, the fingerprint reader is awkwardly placed on the back, a product of the extra-large screen. 

Google Pixel 2 XL ($849)

The Google Pixel 2 XL is dust and water resistant, but has no 3.5 mm headset jack. The 6 inch 18:9 display, Snapdragon 835 processor, 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of built-in storage make the Pixel 2 XL plenty able to stand toe to toe with other flagship devices. Dual front stereo speakers, Google’s Android 8.0 Oreo operating system and bloatware-free insides are a hit with consumers. Other features include built-in object recognition and the ability to squeeze the sides of the phone to launch the Google assistant. 

LG V30 ($800)

The LG V30 features a dual rear camera along with advanced photo and video software. It uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, has 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot. The phone is dust and water resistant and built to survive military drop tests. The 16 MP back camera is complemented by another at 13 MP that’s better for wide-angle shots.

Three Cell Phones for the Uber Wealthy

Some people care less about high tech than they do about high fashion. They prefer to trade features such as facial recognition and edge-to-edge displays for diamonds, precious metals and exotic animal-skin covers.

  • Goldgenie iPhone X Diamond Cluster 24ct Gold ($4,753) – Goldgenie’s iPhone X Diamond Cluster 24K gold smartphone is an iPhone X in every respect, except that it features 24K gold plate and an Apple logo made of VS1 brilliant cut diamonds. It’s available in a 256 GB version only for a little more than four times the cost of the regular Apple product.      
  • Gresso Regal Gold ($6,000) – For those who prefer the Android OS, the Gresso Regal Gold is handcrafted from a single plate of titanium, includes 18K yellow gold inserts plus a 5 inch full HD Gorilla Glass screen, quad-core processor, 32 GB of memory and a 13.0 MP camera.
  • Goldvish Eclipse - Desiring Arcadia - Onyx Alligator ($110,249) – Finally, for the ultimate luxury smartphone buyer, there’s the Swiss-made, Android-powered Goldvish Eclipse - Desiring Arcadia - Onyx Alligator smartphone, which comes complete with a decorative rectangular baguette cut white diamond accompanied by 320 additional diamonds all encased in an exotic black alligator leather cover. The device comes with a 5.5 inch full HD screen, 13 MP camera, tri-microphone with noise cancellation and bottom-facing stereo speakers. 

The Bottom Line

Not counting the limited-edition luxury models listed above, most people will do well to wait to purchase their next cell phone until they are eligible for an upgrade. If that doesn’t coincide with the release of the phone you want, it’s still better to wait. As a bonus you can sit on the sidelines while first adopters help the company work out the bugs. And there are always bugs. (For more, see Next Up for Smartphone Market: Foldable Phones.)