Increasingly, money has become a vital component. The Google Pixel 3a and the iPhone SE 2020 are just two examples of phones specifically created for those appalled by the price of the supposedly sexiest new phones.
Another financial essence, though, is how much your phone will be worth when you finally decide you're no longer compatible.
Well, SellCell, which claims to be the world's largest cell phone trade-in price comparison site, recently released data that shows which phones held their value best over the last two years.
For just a few seconds, it made me feel as if my whole life hasn't been for naught. For right at the top was my own iPhone XR. This sturdy phone with its abstract impressionist name is apparently the phone that depreciated a mere 53.2% over those two years.
Now I can think of it as $350.75 sitting in my pocket, waiting to be exchanged for, who knows, almost a whole iPhone SE or a small cake-slice of the iPhone 12.
That's what SellCell's numbers say.
Indeed, the top three phones are iPhones, with the XS only losing 56% of its value and the XS Max losing 56.8%.
Surely, though, the Samsung Galaxys came second. Or, rather, fourth, fifth, and sixth. Yet no. It was Google's Pixels 3 and 3XL that lost 72.4% and 75.6% of their value.
And then came the Samsungs. Perched just above the Sony X22s. The Galaxy S9 apparently lost 83.6% of its value, while the S9+ lost 86.9%.
Naturally, some will say Apple's higher retention value is merely the result of marketing. Yet the Samsungs are fine phones.
Samsung has vastly improved its sense of design and has certainly placed considerable marketing weight behind its phones, even if we can debate how good that marketing may have been.
Some believe Apple supports its older phones better than Android manufacturers support theirs and provides significantly better software updates -- though that is, to some extent, changing. (Then again, look, the Pixel 3a has just been discontinued. It didn't last long.)
Value, though, is never in the hands of the holder, but the eye of the beholder. Somehow, more people see value in used iPhones than they do in used Pixels or Galaxys.
People also see more value in Married At First Sight than they do in C-Span.
One day, the world might think differently. At least about some things.
Apple iPhone SE, iPad Pro 2020, Dell XPS 13, Huawei P40 Pro, and more: ZDNet's reviews round-up