I'm trying to translate a new smart phone review. But I don't know what does "will be made or broken by its pricing" mean in the following context?

The Samsung Galaxy J1 is a decent entry-level device that, just like all of its peers, will be made or broken by its pricing. However if you want to get it, you might want to look around for the quad-core variant of it (given that rumors materialize and it actually does come out) as it should provide a speed boost over the dual-core one. It is available in either Black and Blue as well as White as in the case of uor unit.

Review source

1 Answer 1


The Samsung Galaxy J1 is a decent entry-level device that, just like all of its peers, will be made or broken by its pricing.

It's a reference to the idiom "make-or-break". The meaning is: the pricing of the new model will be the crucial factor that will either make it a hit or lead to its failure on the market.

It's an entry level device, hence probably cheap. A low price might attract buyers, but a low price is often associated with a lack of features. This could discourage those who prefer buying more expensive and feature-packed products.

If a company makes a device that is poor in features but fails to make the price low enough, consumers will consider the deal a rip-off and won't buy the item. This is especially important because those who buy entry-level phones are more sensitive to pricing than those who buy expensive phones. You've got to make your pricing just right.

The "make-or-break" idiom is often used in the media:

Careers are made or broken by the way political leaders handle the kind of crises over which they ultimately have no control. (Boston Herald)

Unions could make or break Hollande reforms. (Reuters)

In his view there are two things that make or break a film — casting and editing — and he takes time with both. (Economic Times)

It's used in the passive voice, although not very often:

Manchester United's season will be made or broken by the performance of newly appointed manager, Louis Van Gaal. (The Telegraph)

"In the future, superpowers will be made or broken based on the strength of their cryptanalytic programs," says one document. (Inquirer)

  • 1
    I am curious to know the original senses of "make" and "break" in this idiom. My initial thought would be that it has to do with their promotion and demotion senses; that is, the Admiralty could "make" a Captain through promotion from a lower rank, but could also "break" one. But these sorts of idioms often have odd origins. Feb 4, 2015 at 20:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .