Road bikes are less likely to include eyelets for a rear rack too. That ruins the utility aspect of a bike in my opinion, it's like owning a car that you couldn't pick up groceries in. As for backpacks, eh, they'll only carry so much and aren't comfortable on long journeys. I recently hauled a 60 litre bag of compost on my bike using bungee cords to secure it. Try doing that with a backpack!
I'm not denying that many people will use their phone more, I just think people have been drawn in to spending hundreds on a phone. Because they are paid monthly, many do not stop to think how much they have spent over the past few years. Many will laugh at someone spending £1000 on a bike that will last 10 years, joke that you can buy a car for that, and yet they will have spent £3000 on phones.
I have both and have to disagree - yes the road bike can go much faster but for day to day utility cycling on our crappy road surfaces a hybrid is much more comfortable/ practical. Particularly true if your commute involves any off road sections.
So is it worth paying the extra for the carrera’s? If so, which is better value? My wife is looking for a new mountain bike but we are no experts...
A bike does very little. A phone is basically a computer in your pocket can't really compare the two.