It’s happening again. Smartphones are getting really pricey. Apple tried consumers’ patience in 2017 with the world’s first US$1,000 smartphone, the iPhone X, only to see sales stumble and prices start dropping on the entry-level phones. But Samsung, which hasn’t seen sales rise substantially in several years on its premium Galaxy line, has now taken prices for a standard smartphone to new heights: the Galaxy S20 Ultra starts at US$1,399 for the standard 128GB of storage, or US$1,599.99 with 512 gigabytes. In 2019, Samsung unveiled its Fold phone, which basically unfolds into a tablet size device, asking nearly US$2,000. The sequel, the new Galaxy Z Flip, starts at nearly US$1,400. The new Galaxy phones come with 128 gigabytes of storage, up from the previous 64GB and a far cry from the days when 16GB was standard. The new Motorola Razr , also a flip phone, is even more expensive, starting at US$1,500 with 128GB of storage. So what’s with the new sky-high prices? New form factors, for one, and features like the Ultra’s 10x telephoto zoom, which brings you considerably closer to the action than Apple’s top-of-the-line iPhone 11 Pro Max . (Forget the hype about the “100x zoom” on the Ultra as well. That’s marketing talk for digital zoom, which basically crops an image and blows it up, unlike optical zoom, which actually brings you closer to the action.) But before you get all depressed and think that all phones will cost you a lot more this year, relax. According to analyst Daniel Ives with Wedbush Securities, Apple is expected in March to release a revised version of its entry-level phone, the discontinued SE, which had sold for US$350. He expects it to be priced around US$399. The SE had a 4-inch screen, which is way smaller than the lowest-priced current iPhone, the 11, which has a 6.1-inch screen and starts at US$699 – or half the price of a new Galaxy S20 Ultra. (Granted, the Ultra has three camera lenses compared to two on the iPhone 11.) And Google’s Pixel line hasn’t gone thousand-dollar crazy either. Its Google Pixel 4XL, released in late 2019, starts at US$899.