The issue with comparing pricing on the Samsung, is that they're discounted like CRAZY a month after they go on sale. No, they're not down to $700, but you can easily get an S10 for $800. Costco is having a sale next week that puts them at $800, and you get $750 off if you trade in a device and switch carriers.
Just saying, the cost factor against other androids isn't as cut & dry as you think.
The 7 looks like a great phone. But their whole thing was LOW PRICED flagship killers. People are going to bitch and moan when they break from that mold.
Eventually prices go up, whether it be cost of doing business, or providing a better product. While I agree they had phones in the $200-$300 range, they were competing against phones that cost $700.
As for the price cuts, namely on Samsung phones probably has to do with factors like: initial hype sales allows them to keep prices high, and after the hype has died down lower the prices to try and keep them selling. That or when they aren’t selling as well as they were expecting they need to clear out inventory to make investors happy.
I know one common thing I read about Samsung is their slow as molasses updates, which I’ve experienced first hand. I’ve read about One Plus is they’re great at getting timely updates out, which is an understated feature more often than not. That’s one of the main reason the Pixel line has been able to do well, and why iPhones continue to sell like hot cakes even at sky high prices.