Samsung Galaxy S7… Can I really afford this thing?

We’ve heard so much on the Samsung Galaxy S7 this year and we don’t feel there’s going to be any change from that trend. It’s been billed as one of the best phones ever developed by several individuals who review these devices for a living. The interwebs are peppered with posts and articles on the best that the Galaxy S7 has to offer as well as advice on whether or not you should get it. You wouldn’t be able to walk into a room without bumping into someone who’s taken the bait for leasing or making installments on their brand new state-of-the-art mobile device.

That isn’t to say that they’ve made the wrong choice. I mean it has:

“Best of the best in smartphone specs,” and “A best in class camera experience.” SAYS KELLEX FROM DROID LIFE.COM

If the Founder of Droid Life has that to say then that’s really saying something. The question of quality was never an issue. The question comes down to a few things. But, first let’s take on the role of the Devil’s Advocate here. Here are some great reasons you NEED to get this phone TODAY:

  1.  The microSD card slot is back!
  2.  The camera is brilliant
  3. The battery’s massive
  4.  It’s really, really good-looking
  5.  It’s the perfect size
  6.  It’s always on
  7. It’s tougher than the S6

Gary Marshall on reasons to buy the Galaxy S7 Edge

Samsung Galaxy S7
Copyright © 1995-2016 SAMSUNG All Rights reserved.

Taking a note of what reported:

  1. MicroSD
  2. Dust & Waterproof
  3. Performance
  4. Camera
  5. Battery

Jay McGregor on Reasons to buy the Samsung Galaxy S7

Speaking of durability…

What have we learned?

We have learned that out of the seven reasons from Androidpit, four of those reasons are pretty subjective. It may not be nice looking to you or I. It may not be the perfect size. It may not be tougher than the S6 depending on how you use it. The camera may not be as brilliant to us as it was to him.

Out of the five reasons from Forbes, performance is subjective as it depends on what types of apps you have installed. The camera again might not be what you like, and depending on how you use it, the battery may not be that big a deal.

Samsung Galaxy S7
Copyright © 1995-2016 SAMSUNG All Rights reserved.

Let’s look at the tangible reasons we should buy this phone.

It brings back the SD card slot with a massive upgrade in storage capacity, upwards of 200 GB! It has been rated dust and waterproof. The battery power is better than the S6. Finally, it’s made of premium materials–though again that last one might not matter if you keep it in a case.

Specifications are telling. It’s the supercomputer of mobile phones.

All good points.

Now why you might not want to buy it

  1. The cost
  2. The lack of updates
  3. The non-removable battery

Notice that we have a very small list. The cost is right up there at the top only because we want to go out on a limb and say perhaps most of us aren’t too aware of how the costs add up over time when we see that it’s only $35.00 extra dollars a month to finance.

In order to set things in perspective we had to run some numbers. So please bear with us. In the typical individual’s life we are going to list several expenses that matter.

  1. Living Costs such as mortgage and rent
  2. Transportation costs including maintenance, fuel, and insurance
  3. Food Expenses
  4. Utilities including Mobile Phone, Internet, Electricity, Water, Etc.
  5. Average Debt
  6. Average Income

Average Income

Starting with income this is going to be the largest variable in our study. “According to the Census ACS survey, the median household income for the United States was $53,657 in 2014.” This is household only. Per capita income is significantly less at, “$28,889 in 2014.” 

Average Debt

According to statistics published by the Census Bureau, $10,200 (is the average) debt for every man, woman and child that lives here in the United States. Anyone thinking that statistic isn’t alarming needs to keep this in mind:  the $10,600 per person doesn’t include debt associated with mortgages.

Average Living Costs – Mortgage / Rent

“The national average for a home loan is $222,261 with a $1,061 average monthly payment for a 30-year mortgage at 4 percent, according to LendingTree” states Realtor Mag, while Median monthly gross residential rent in the United States was $934 in 2014 according to the Census ACS survey.

Average Auto Expenses

As of 2015, Experian(‘s) report shows that the amount borrowed to buy a new car in the fourth quarter hit a record $28,381. Average cost of auto insurance in 2014 was $907.38 according to ValuePenguin. As far as Fuel and Oil go, you’re looking at $1086.00.

Food Expenses

Another big variable. This depends on what you reach for at the grocery aisle. If you buy in bulk, get off-brand items, and cook most of the time then your costs will be lower. If you eat out regularly and buy ready-to-eat or brand name then expect this to go up. If you have a family of 4 and they’re teenagers expect this to go up.

Samsung Galaxy S7

Average Utilities

According to latest release from the U.S. Department of Energy – Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average residential monthly electric bill was $110.21 in 2013. Although sometimes taken care of in rent, the average utility costs per month typically includes a water and sewer bill…The average bill for each falls between $10 and $30 a month, although you may be billed at a flat rate for both that can cost between $20 and $60, according to Apartment Ratings. found Internet prices…hit an average of $47.30 a month. If that wasn’t enough, the average American is now shelling out around $110 per month on cell phone service!

Is that it?

Samsung Galaxy S7
Copyright © 1995-2016 SAMSUNG All Rights reserved.

There are a multitude of items we’ve not covered such as health insurance, home or renters insurance, life insurance, and strangely enough pet insurance–which many people do have.

What else have we learned?

As we look over the various charges above, we may fall in between somewhere that isn’t the norm. We may live in Hawaii with it’s insane home and rent prices. We may live in places with abundant local food sources. We may opt for a motorcycle instead of a car. We may not have children. We may have a higher paying job than most. There are so many variables that it’s hard to say for sure that any of these items are average. But in an example let’s assume we had a family of four.


We make $75,000 a year with $10,750 of that taxable. That’s $63,750 in take home pay yearly.

  1. We pay our credit card bills at about $100.00 a month.
  2. We pay $900.00 a month in Mortgage/Rent payments.
  3. We pay $1250.00 a month on a two Toyota Corollas, a scooter, and a motorcycle. $350.00 of that is insurance. We commute 50 miles a day to work and back working four days a week. This costs us roughly $200.00 a month with added oil changes.
  4. We spend $800.00 a month on food–because we’re cheap.
  5. We pay $175.00 a month for water and power. $50.00 a month on Internet. If Sprint is any example, we’re paying about $150 for a base plan that does not yet include phones and phone insurance.
  6. Various insurances such as homeowners, medical, and life may run us around $200 a month. I have seen these amounts on paper before.
  7. This doesn’t take into account everything else that a family of four needs/wants. My son might need clothes, $175.00 a month. My daughter might need the same plus her beauty products (her brother is going to use one bottle of shampoo for everything!) this is about $175.00 or more. My wife might feel left out so there’s another $200.00. As for myself? I’d say $150.00 is enough because I’m a little more practical.

Together we get paid $5,312.50 per month. After all is said and done we have around $387.50 left over. What does an s7 cost per month on Sprint?

Samsung Galaxy S7
Copyright © 1995-2016 SAMSUNG All Rights reserved.

Total Phones and Coverage

Samsung Galaxy S7
© 2016 – All Rights Reserved
Samsung Galaxy S7
© 2016 – All Rights Reserved

The total cost for our bill on sprint is about $325.00 and this does not include taxes which average at about $6.00 a phone. So realistically we are at about $400.00 for our family. That’s an extra $250.00 on top of the $150.00 base plan.

Subtract that from what we had left and our family now has this much left:


So we’re supposed to save for retirement, possibly extra expenses for a vacation or in case of emergencies? Notwithstanding it may need a battery replacement at some point, and it may get dropped. There’s a deductible and service charge. More bills.

If you’re still on the fence about it, don’t take our word for it


Nobody said this phone was cheap. Nobody said that it was for everyone either. I know it definitely isn’t for me unless I buy one in full and make the rest of my fictional family use Alcatel flip phones. What we’ve learned from these numbers are, we have plenty of room to move figures around to match our personal situations but at the end of the day we have to wonder, sure we might want it.

But do we really need it?

Elias Stevens

Elias Stevens ( is a freelance journalist, personal chef, and tech enthusiast.

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