Android newbie - which OS best?


Android Question

I'm thinking of purchasing my first android cell phone (a cheapie Tracfone LG Optimus Dynamic cuz I'm a grandma that doesn't need a fancy go-getter smartphone yet) and after reading all the ratings on several sites, I'm wondering if it's the best choice to learn Android on. The other choices are badly rated [ZTE Valet, Huawei Glory and Samsung Galaxy Centura] even though they have later Android OSs. OR, should I wait until I can have the latest & greatest Android version (Tracfone's highest right now is 4.1)

Thank you for your very helpful answers for this Noob!
Grandma Donna


Extreme Android User
1) Hiya toots. (Grandma, huh? Young kid. Wait till you worry about the grandkid's wife.) :)

And welcome to the forum.

2) I'd go with Straight Talk. Tracfone is more expensive if you plan to actually use the phone.

3) An Android phone IS a smartphone. But if you can use a computer (you're here, so I guess you can), you can learn to use a smartphone. Mrs. Rukbat also thought all she wanted was talking to people. Now she texts the kids all day, plays Bingo, on and on. Didn't need one, but once she got one ...

4) Pick the carrier first. AT&T, Sprint, TMobile or Verizon. Ask around, see which of your friends has problems with coverage in the places you're going to be and who their carrier is. The best phone, with no coverage, is a paper weight.

Straight Talk uses all 4 carriers, so pick the one you want, THEN pick the phone. If AT&T or TMobile are best for you, you can choose almost any phone. For Verizon and Sprint, you pretty much have to use one of their phones (or one branded Straight Talk, but really a Verizon or Sprint phone).

But pick the carrier first - that makes or breaks your cellphone experience.

Oh, and with ST, texting (within reasonable limits - spend at least a FEW hours a day sleeping) is unlimited, so you can gab with all the kids all of the time. (And talk the family into using Cozi calendar if they don't already. It makes keeping track of who has to pick up whom when from what much easier. And the free version does the job fine.)


Thank you SO much for the welcome & the advice. I priced ST and it's almost $50/month. With Tracfone, it's about $8 so you can see someone on a budget who rarely ever uses her cell (but wants an Android to play with) would go this route. They use all the major carriers - I've rarely/never had any problems with TF in the past, but my question was will I get a good intro to Android use with Gingerbread?

scary alien

not really so scary
Welcome to our AndroidForums! :)

Well, Gingerbread (2.3) was good in it's day, but we've had Froyo, HoneyComb, JellyBean, and now KitKat since then, so there are many, many improvements that have been made since the 2.3 days.

Also, GB would typically be found on older, lower-end devices which I'm guessing are very unlikely to so an Android O/S upgrade--so those are also two important things to consider.

Best of luck and thanks for signing-up with us! :)


Thank you scary alien -- I appreciate the input since I really know nothing about using Android - have no devices to test it with. It's a pleasure to be here amongst all the brilliant android minds that abound in this forum. Maybe some will rub off on me. :)
i am with tracfone now.have the lg840..nice phone.been thinking of also going to tracfone android,not crazy about the bucket idea,but one tech told me what i could maybe try.don't call much at all,do texting and some web for email,facebk.sports a he suggested i get a small be tripled in buckets,then add a data card.i do have a sams.proclaim with straight talk,which isn't active now,but its a great phone.costs 45.00 mo.for it but they do have a limit of 2.5mb.i don't use half of that,so thought i would try the android on TF.theres a new one out,not on tracfone site yet,but is being sold on amazon and ebay..109.00..its the new optimus dynamic 2 LG 39c.sounds good.what do ya think? do you have any news on the new lg 39c? tks so much..


Hi casino rose, I've been researching the LG 840, too, but after trying out my first Android, I sort of want to stay with it. I did learn that I really don't need a smartphone (I'm retired & can enjoy all those benefits on a 22" screen, so why mess around with a 3.5" screen with which I'd have to struggle to see??) I'm contemplating a 12" tablet - Android based to fulfill the needs there and that way I can have a non-android phone for the few calls I would ever make outside the home. I looked up the LG Dynamic 2 (39c) and it sounds like it'll be great. Tracfone website doesn't yet have it out, it'll probably be awhile... I want to wait & read a few reviews before I sink money into it -- so like you, I'm excited to see it coming.
hi grandma in florida..i too am a grandma in oregon.ha i have the lg840 and its the best tracfone ive had.hardly ever have to charge.touch great.but..i had a android with ST and for me,i didn't like the restrictive renew ..if you don't get more min.added right away you lose your looking at the tracfone androids.think i will get the zte a modest user,rarely call,some texting,some i think i could handle it ok at a lesser price than ST.good luck to you..


Hi CasinoRose, I agree, ST is too expensive for no more than I use a smartphone. I've been reading about the followup smartphone that Tracfone is alleged to come out with and I'm going to hold out for it, if you read the reviews on their current three on Amazon, you may not be so anxious to own any of those current offerings. I wish you the very best of luck. I currently have a tracfone LG 600g which doesn't do much except be a cell phone for emergencies but it serves the purpose. :)
hi FlAgrandma..i am getting the lg optimus dynamic 2,not the zte valet.will get it on the 22nd.its being sold on ebay and amazon..the price is a bit higher right now but i really want another the wallpaper apps you can download,etc..wish you the best..sure hope one day soon someone reviews it..several are being sold so someone should be writing about it.take care..


Yes, I agree about the androids, now that I've had one a couple of weeks, I want more. My 600g is a very boring cell phone that I only use for emergencies, not for enjoyment. :) I want the dynamic 2 as well, the first version isn't as nice according to the reviews. I wish you all the best!
JUST FYI, I got the Tracfone Valet in Dec. 2013 and it's been really pretty good. I'm not a texter and I don't use the phone but about twice a day. I can say that the coverage is so far 100% in my area over the older Tracfone LG 420G and it works very nicely so far with my Ford Sync system. The screen IS small for browsing the internet but it can be used for some things like email, weather or location GPS related info.
What I wish that it had was a built in compass because some apps won't work without that.
The camera is marginal as is the video. Still experimenting with that.
As an MP3 player, it works. I just uploaded an old favorite album and the basic SD card will fit many of those.
The one thing is that they are available for about 1/2 the retail from certain places if you shop around.


Bilbo, I hope you end up pleased overall with your purchase. I *might* use my cell once a week and haven't sent a text since 2012.
Well, so far so good...for the amount I use mine. I have never textd. Not part of that generation.
With These Valet Tracfones, You don't get those promo code extras but there is 3x on all the cards, so a 90 day/60 min. card adds 180 minutes to phone/180 min to txt & 180 min to data.
Also, I turn off the data if I don't need it and it access free Wifi when I am able and that's another savings.