I had a couple of Samsung J3 phones previously. Around $150 for each, at the time I had them. But, they were SUPER slow. And, the picture quality/camera really sucked.
My son had the same phone too, and he quickly grew tired of the limitations of that cheap phone. (I don’t play games - he does - he couldn’t play most of the popular ones on the slower phone)
I may not be a pro photographer - but when I want to take a picture, I want it to look decent. It did not on the J3’s.
I dropped my 1st J3 in water once, and it was ruined. I had to buy another…
But, I got so sick of the slow phone. When I discovered that Best Buy had 12 months with no interest, I bought an S8. It was about 2 months after the S9 came out. I got the S8 for about $450. It was nearly $1k when it first came out.
The S8 is waterproof too. I REALLY like that feature.
Unfortunately, I dropped my S8 and broke the screen just over a month ago (it was in a case and had many dozens of drops - this one was just bad luck). It was 18 months old. As battery life starts to degrade after 3 years, it was not worth spending the $250 it would cost me to fix the screen on an 18 month old phone.
I bought an S9 for $500 just over a month ago. I like it a little more than the S8 (better speakers).
Sometimes ya do get what you paid for. If you buy a model 1 or 2 generations back - it is still a flagship model, but for 1/2 the price by that point.
However - people here have explained the differences, but you still ask. I see the same question when a guy buys a $200 gun versus a $500 gun all the time. You do get what ya pay for. If ya like the cheaper gun - then fine. But, don’t kid yourself that there are not some useful differences.