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

Lori Paniak ldpaniak at fourpisolutions.com
Wed Oct 13 17:59:04 EDT 2010

On Wed, 2010-10-13 at 12:42 -0400, Khalid Baheyeldin wrote:
> 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 partial
> support for this piece, or that part does not work. Mainly drivers. I
> want the
> full functionality (magnetic compass, accelerometers, GPS, WiFI, GSM,
> ...etc.), not partial functionality. I installed ConnectBot and that
> gives me 
> a shell. I can do ls, ps, top, ...etc. This is not root though. Also I
> installed
> 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
> 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).
> Examples:
> LG EVE (has keyboard)
> http://kitchener.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-phones-PDAs-ipods-LG-EVE-3G-5-0MP-Andriod-Touch-Screen-Amazing-Phone-W0QQAdIdZ234531931
> Acer Liquid E (decent specs, but heard they heat up)
> http://kitchener.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-phones-PDAs-ipods-New-Acer-Liquid-E-Android-2-1-smartphone-W0QQAdIdZ235386649
> Go wild ...
> -- 

I picked up a Samsung Galaxy S a couple of weeks ago.  It is a wonderful
device with a big, bright AMOLED touchscreen and plenty of features and
performance with Android 2.1.  I have not rooted it or felt the need to
upgrade to 2.2.

The only downside is that the phone is only available in retail through
Bell.  I just got off the phone canceling my contract with them for
several reasons which I will save for another thread.

Bottom line is if you are going to get the Galaxy S (or any other phone)
and might have to call customer service one day, don't sign up with
Bell.  Buy the phone unlocked (or outright from Bell - the unlock tool
is freely available in the Android Market) and sign up with a different
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