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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Android 2/3 : How to buy an Android phone

Part 2/3

Part 1:

So, anyone looking to buy an Android phone:
Should do so ONLY if:

1. You like smart phones and really want to experience an OS belonging to this Generation
2. You are flexible and sensible
3. You don't want a dumbphone that thinks its a smart phone and makes you think you are smart when actually neither of you are.
4. You are not a HARDCORE higher level exec. with strict preferences for secure coded email (read pure BB user)
5. You have always liked Swiss Army Knives or phrases like Jack of All trades or All-Rounder or One Man Army (You get the drift)
6. You do not subscribe to herd mania, society norms or random comparison and measuring of status based of particular 'fruit' phones
7. You dare to be different, you dare to think and respect your individuality
8. You are an urban road warrior or even a regular joe who REALLY has to multi-task
9. You have GOOD access to power sources throughout the day.

BEFORE you go to buy an Android phone (there are WAY too many in the market)

1. Decide your budget (if your are intending to spend 25k+ on a phone, do give a Tablet a thought. and Android is available from as cheap as 6k, with even DELL starting their line-up at 8.5k [XCD28] )
2. Decide the features (which are a MUST have,which you can do without)
3. Decide a BRAND:

Yes - Android is basically a Free OS like Linux and ANY company can install it anywhere they please (ofcourse certain T&C by Google have to be adhered to) and customize it with their own UI.
So you find Android in a VARIETY of gadgets - from netbooks by Acer, to phones to tablets etc etc.

The versions of Android have an alphabetical nomenclature corresponding to a dessert :
A. B (ButterCup), C (Cupcake), D (Donut), E (Eclair), F (Froyo), G (Gingerbread), H (Honeycomb), I (Icecream sandwich)
[Froyo is a Frozen Yoghurt]
Further reading here:

While by default an Android phone comes with 1 version - usually there are official updates that are offered by Google and MAY reach your device - these are usually only 1 or 2 versions at the most - beyond which there is NO official support extended - but one can always BootLoad newer ROMs versions (besides your warranty is over by then anyways... more on that when that day comes)

One should know that not ALL manufacturers receive official updates:
MicroMaxx & Videocon etc usually Don't.
Official Google phones get it 1st (Google G1 Google Nexus S etc.)
Then usually Samsung / HTC, later Motorala, later sometimes Sony Ericcson, much later maybe LG etc etc.
So that should be given a thought.

Also, most manufacturers have their CUSTOM UI (User Interface) loaded over Stock Android which adds to the functionality of the phone.
HTC = HTC Sense
Samsung = TouchWiz
Motorla = MotoBLUR
etc. etc.
Again - HTC > Samsung by a small margin.
* special note here - a small clarification later

Then one must consider the Brand.
Do you like the look of the phone of this brand or other's?
Build quality?
Plastic v/s Metal
Is it too chunky, too curvy, too feminine, too small etc etc. Cosmetic things.
Battery life - Samsung BEST, HTC, Motorola, LG, SE worst
Service centres in your city, close to your home etc. etc.: Again Samsung has a small edge over HTC here. Rest really don't have anything to talk about here in Mumbai, India.

Then coming to the HARDWARE:
the prime difference between phones is
1. Processor - bigger the better. yes. Indeed. I can vouch for it. Android needs ALL the power it can get!
Dual Core 1.2 processors are here, Single Core over clocked 1.4, Some with dedicated GPU.
Worth considering.
Obviously Dual Core + dedicated GPU = BLISS.
2. Screen size and TYPE - 3.6, 3.7, 4.0, 4.1, 4.3, 5.0 - usual screen sizes in 'Phones'.
And types: Retina Display > Super AMOLED > Clear Black > AMOLED > S-LCD > LCD
Higher pixel density also helps. Sunlight legibility also changes.
3. Camera + Flash: 5mp with or withour AF + No Flash, LED Flash, Dual LED flash? Dual Cam?
4. RAM & ROM: Higher the better
5. Storage - memory. Internal 8Gb / 16Gb / 32Gb. + MMC card support? Hot Swappable?
6. Wifi + BT is standard. But BT3.0 is preferable and WiFi support b/g/ + n
7. GPS: yes / no.
8. Document viewer / editor ?
All usually have standard 3.5mm jack (thank you Europe Union) and microUSB charging + data ports (thank you again)

This is just basic guidelines - other finer aspects are always there.


Part 3/3 :

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Original Work by Dr. Suraj A. Dhirwani

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