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Old 02-09-2011, 12:05 PM   #1
paulsm4
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What's a good, inexpensive way to get started with Android?


Hi -

The Android SDK and emulator are all well and good...
... but how do you get to play with a real handset without a 2+ year commitment at $50.00++USD/month?

Any suggestions for "getting started with Android on the cheap"?

TIA !

PS:
Has anybody out there had a chance to try Meego yet?

Last edited by paulsm4; 02-09-2011 at 12:07 PM.
 
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:26 PM   #2
salasi
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The best answer for this will depend on where you are located, but here (UK) the following cheap-but-not-too-bad phone options are available:
  • HTC Wildfire - there is something that might be known as a 'Wildfire II' about to be announced. That might mean that the WF I is about to be discounted.
  • Samsung Galaxy Apollo and Europa: I can never remember which is which, but the cheaper one is quite cheap, without being very unpleasant and the more expensive one has the disadvantage that the price is nearly the same as the Wildfire I, which is probably a better-built package, although if all you interested in is the 'phone spec, then its probably closer
  • LG Optimus One: cheap, decent, rather old version of Android (update has been suggested...version may be location dependant)
  • Alcatel OT-980 (?) cheap, vaguely Palm-pre-format and includes a QWERTY keyboard. Did I say it was cheap?
  • ZTE Blade (aka Orange San Francisco); good display, otherwise average-ish, but cheap

I realise while writing this that
  • you need to look at what version of Android you are getting and that could vary by geographical area; probably the more up-to-date is better; ideally you'd want to be able to get various versions for the phone that you choose, but it tends only to be the high end phones that get every release (officially), so you probably have to question whether you really need to test on all older versions
  • part of the key is getting a pay-as-you-go (rather than contract) phone; I have no idea what the PAYG market is like where you are, but you'll have to check it out, because contracts really do add up over time
 
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:30 PM   #3
sunnydrake
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owner of HTC Wildfire as phone is excellent and ergonomic. about 300$ here. Yeah i rooted it already
used Moblin - redhat like system on rpm... well except GUI it was horror . I rather optimistic to Maemo OS as i read they implemented full Xorg stack.
 
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:26 PM   #4
paulsm4
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Hi -
Quote:
owner of HTC Wildfire as phone is excellent and ergonomic. about 300$ here.
I was hoping to pay a lot less

Quote:
Yeah i rooted it alread used Moblin - redhat like system on rpm... well except GUI it was horror . I rather optimistic to Maemo OS as i read they implemented full Xorg stack.
That's an interesting point. I was assuming I'd use the built-in, "official" OS. I was also assuming that's the best way to learn about the OS, the app environment, and the "general Android culture" (as Google intended them )

Am I mistaken about that?

Thanx in advance .. PSM
 
Old 02-10-2011, 12:57 AM   #5
cnxsoft
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If you don't need 2G/3G support, you could also get an Archos 28 for less than 100 USD on Amazon.
It's an Android "tablet" with a 2.8" touch screen. Archos also provides a developer kit for Android.

Last edited by cnxsoft; 02-10-2011 at 12:57 AM. Reason: grammar
 
Old 02-10-2011, 01:20 AM   #6
rizzy
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Typing this on sub 100 phone, LG540GT android 2.1. Does everything i need - wifi tethering and ssh. 5 pay as u go top up gets me a month of unlimited inet. not a perfect phone but for a price i dont mind
 
Old 02-10-2011, 02:36 AM   #7
doandroids
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You can always get a iPhone 4 clone from China.

I picked one up for my gf a while ago, it's called Starphone A3000, priced under $140 online (although I bought it in China even cheaper . It runs Android 2.2 (or possibly 2.1 with some 2.2 tweaks, can't be sure). It has it's issues, but if cheap is what you want than that's what you'll get. I haven't used it for anything advanced, but my gf's happy with it.

I doubt it can be used for any serious app development, but just for playing around with Android it should be OK.
 
Old 02-10-2011, 08:02 AM   #8
sunnydrake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsm4 View Post
Hi -

I was hoping to pay a lot less


That's an interesting point. I was assuming I'd use the built-in, "official" OS. I was also assuming that's the best way to learn about the OS, the app environment, and the "general Android culture" (as Google intended them )

Am I mistaken about that?

Thanx in advance .. PSM
It's still official os except modified bootloader and installation of official updates(i have to revert to original unpatched rom).I have full access to phone which in dev needs is a +. This is not like WM's eye-candy-rocket custom roms.. This is still good hardware to attach Android sdk debugger and daily use. If only my efforts to run linux kernel on my HTC x7500 where that easy...
PS: according to news nokia is looking forward to drop meego.

Last edited by sunnydrake; 02-10-2011 at 08:04 AM.
 
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:07 AM   #9
paulsm4
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Hi, Sunnydrake -

I wasn't aware that Nokia is likely dropping Meego ... quite possibly in favor of Windows Phone 7. We'll know for sure tomorrow (2/11/11):

http://mobilized.allthingsd.com/2011...g-os-decision/

http://kara.allthingsd.com/20110209/...ly-lights-one/
 
Old 02-11-2011, 01:38 PM   #10
sunnydrake
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This ex-M$ CEO is some dubious fish... Let's see how this will rollout.. At least nokia Qt/Symbian team is almost dead already. M$ have very fragile ground due to lack of new modern concepts(apps market,socials,interactive services), nokia have somewhat stable consumer fan base that dropping down a little in time(almost first company that i saw provided apps market(N-Gage)).
 
Old 02-12-2011, 07:10 AM   #11
archtoad6
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M$-Nokia update

It seems to be official -- from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia#A...ith_Microsoft:
Quote:
On 11 Febuary 2011, Nokia entered a strategic alliance with Microsoft, and announced it would replace Symbian and MeeGo with Windows Phone 7. [109] [110] Nokia will, however, retain Symbian for use in mid-to-low-end devices and invest into the Series 40 platform and release a single MeeGo product in 2011.
 
Old 02-15-2011, 11:28 AM   #12
ctsiow
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LG optimus

Here is the uk on orange I got a free upgrade and went for an optimus running android 2.3
Not the most modern looking phone on the block but a good starter. Give that a try. I am paying 15 a month btw
 
Old 02-15-2011, 01:47 PM   #13
b0uncer
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Android isn't what costs, it's the phone hardware (quite possibly the logo, material choices and the looks rather than the physical construction). If you want a "good-feeling Android device", you're asking for one that (looks good,) feels good and works well, e.g. one with big enough screen for you, large enough battery, large enough memory (RAM, storage) and so on. These cost money, so I doubt if you'll get a fantastic experience of everything for a few bucks. Not to say you coulnd't have a good experience, but I've found that the very cheapest phones just don't do justice to the capabilities of the system. I've had some phones that had quite nice system in them (before these rather dumb "smart" phones), but the overall build was horrible and just didn't last.

You could also ask yourself what you want: if you're after a good working phone, you don't need Android. If you're after all the fancy things Android (or other such systems) can do, you're probably after the expensive phones that have all the bells and whistles to offer. That is, if the emulator isn't enough...
 
Old 03-11-2011, 02:12 PM   #14
redss
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I don't know where you're located...but here in the US, you can find cheap used Android smartphones for pennies on the dollar on Craigslist, which is a free classified ad site. I bought a Droid for $200 and since it has full wifi, I am able to do most everything Android can do on it other than use the phone by activating it (which would require an agreement with Verizon, PagePlus, Cricket, etc). And that was over a year ago, you can probably find Droids for under $100 now.
 
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:29 PM   #15
MostViktorious
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnxsoft View Post
If you don't need 2G/3G support, you could also get an Archos 28 for less than 100 USD on Amazon.
It's an Android "tablet" with a 2.8" touch screen. Archos also provides a developer kit for Android.
I don't own an android phone, however I have looked into purchasing an Archos tablet. They seem to be a good deal for the money, especialyl as they are not phones, eg no pay per month fee, and they are just tablets. The current OS they're shipped with is Android 2.2.

However, I feel the one main disadvantage is they don't have the Android store available to them, as they primarily rely on AppsLib for getting their applications. I don't know how that would affect you though.
 
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