[kwlug-disc] Good android phones [was: MS Phone]

Khalid Baheyeldin kb at 2bits.com
Wed Oct 13 12:42:46 EDT 2010

On Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 11:57 AM, Johnny Ferguson <hyperflexed at gmail.com>wrote:

> On 10/12/2010 10:05 AM, Khalid Baheyeldin wrote:
>> On Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 9:41 AM, Insurance Squared Inc.
>> <gcooke at insurancesquared.com <mailto:gcooke at insurancesquared.com>> wrote:
>>    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/11514901
>>    Microsoft launches phones.  Actually looks interesting, not that
>>    I'll be getting one personally :).  Looks like they've got an app
>>    development kit, for all you programmers.
>>    Not much in the way of details in the video, but I expect everything
>>    will be closed source.
>> This is not their "phone". It says Samsung on the handset. This is version
>> 7
>> of their Windows Mobile (previously known as WinCE).
>> They had an initiative to have their own Microsoft branded phone, called
>> Kin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Kin but they discontinued it.
>> Maybe
>> because Google discontinued directly selling their Nexus One? I don't
>> know.
>> As for Windows for Mobile phones, the phone I used until over a month ago
>> was made by HTC, and had Windows Mobile 5. I liked the hardware, but
>> hated everything about the operating system. EVERYTHING! It was desktop
>> centric still, hard to navigate, many options missing, ...etc.
>> Everything they said in the video is available already in Android (and I
>> assume
>> Apple too). The only exception (at least for Android) is the "all your
>> friend's
>> activity in one place", so as to not go in and out of apps all the time.
>> Someone will write an app that does that I am sure.
>> HD Video? Already have it! Easy navigation? Check! AMOLED screen? HTC
>> Desire and Nexus One have it, and a bunch of others.
>> Apple and Microsoft can keep their monopolies. I like Android, and not
>> just
>> because it is Linux underneath. It is functional, open, extensible and has
>> a
>> large app base.
> What's a good droid phone in Canada? Essentially my definition of good is
> the ability to control the software that runs on my phone.

Really depends on whether you want to go the rooted phone route, or just
stick with the stock O.S.

I have not tried rooting myself, since any time I read about it, there is
support for this piece, or that part does not work. Mainly drivers. I want
full functionality (magnetic compass, accelerometers, GPS, WiFI, GSM,
...etc.), not partial functionality. I installed ConnectBot and that gives
a shell. I can do ls, ps, top, ...etc. This is not root though. Also I
ASTRO, and it allows me to install non Market apps. So if I am inclined
to do so, I can download the Android SDK, Eclipse and I can write apps
for the phone, without having it rooted. The only thing you can't change
is the operating system itself, but you can do whatever on the app level.

I heard others on this list have rooted Android phones, so please share your
experiences with this.

Apart from rooting, look for a phone that has the Android Market enabled. Do
not get a phone that has no market since it would be quite useless. Some
carriers do lock the market out for some retarded business reason.

Also get Android 2.1 or higher. I heard 2.2 has a just in time compiler and
therefore potentially faster code execution.

Depending on who your carrier is, an unlocked GSM phone gives you
certain freedoms, such as switching to another provider, or using a SIM
card abroad if you travel, specially outside of North America.

If you are looking for a phone with a physical keyboard, then don't get
the Motorola Milestone (a.k.a. Droid in CDMA networks), which I own.
The reason is that the keyboard is almost unusable. It works fine as a
touch phone, and is feature rich otherwise.

One thing that I considered was to go on Kijiji and find a used phone.
Some are like $200 to $250 or so, even with a semi recent Android 2.1.
Be sure to investigate that route before you pay $400 or so for Milestone/
Droid, or $500 for an HTC Desire (the same as Google Nexus One).

LG EVE (has keyboard)

Acer Liquid E (decent specs, but heard they heat up)

Go wild ...
Khalid M. Baheyeldin
2bits.com, Inc.
Drupal optimization, development, customization and consulting.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. --  Edsger W.Dijkstra
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. --   Leonardo da Vinci
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