I always finance my devices. I used to finance through my carrier, but now I generally use Samsung directly as it is much more hassle free with better trade-in prices. Regardless of the price, I don’t have the kind of money that phones cost these days.
Last phone I purchased brand new that was financed was the Galaxy Note 9. It was 800 bucks. I generally like to try to stick to the 700-800 dollar range personally as that can net you a pretty decent device without breaking the bank. I don’t think I have ever spent more than that on a device.