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Help me pick an android device please!

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by peanutman, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. peanutman

    peanutman Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hello everyone!

    I recently sold my iPhone 3GS after a few months of usage in favour of buying myself an android device. Don't get me wrong, I really loved my iPhone, but i found it somewhat lacking on the development side. Even with a developer licence and SDK it was a pain to develop for, and after seeing what some friends are able to do on their android devices... well, I am just plain jealous :D

    Anyway, after selling my iPhone I have the money to spend on any android device I want, but there are some questions I have that make choosing a device a bit difficult. I know you might get the "what device shall I get" question often, but I hope you could answer some specific questions so I can make up my mind.

    To clarify, I'm a programming geek type of person. I don't really care if the device comes with a shiny customized skin that has twitter/facebook widgets or whatever. What matters for me is the hardware, updates and ease of development.

    1) Is a full qwert slider keyboard a must like some people claim it is?
    I will be using the phone for terminals, ssh, and irssi. This was a pain to do on my iPhone because doing these things often require difficult key-combos that were just impossible with the iPhone onscreen keyboard.

    2) Is it important that the phone is google branded?
    I am scared that a non-branded device is too dependent on the producer for updates. What if I got a non-branded device, and in 6 months Android 3.0 is released (hypothetically) but the manufacturer won't release an update for my device because it wants me to buy a new device. Then I'd be bamboozled, right? Am I correct to assume that a branded device gets it's updates from google and will thus be supported longer?

    3) Is it worth waiting for a snapdragon device? Or will this just eat away at the battery faster.

    4) If I import an android device that is not carried by any of the local carriers, where will I be getting updates from? Can I update via the internet, can I "flash" my device using a computer, ...?

    Devices I'm considering:
    - Motorola Droid
    - Samsung Moment
    - Acer Liquid A1
    - Sony Ericsson Xperia X3
    - Motorola Calgary
    - HTC Bravo / Passion

    I also live in Europe, so availability is somewhat taken into account.

    Looking forward to comments,

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  2. takeshi

    takeshi Android Expert

    It's a subjective matter. Is it a must for you? Only you can answer that.

    Dunno, mine is Motorola and Verizon branded. Guess not for me.

    Worth is always a subjective question. Everyone asks "Is it worth waiting for...?" and there's never a clear-cut answer that applies to eveyone. Read up on it and see if it sounds worthwhile to you.
  3. dima1109

    dima1109 Newbie

    1) What I discovered while using an SSH client on the Droid compared to a jailbreak SSH client on iPhone (both used fairly extensively, not just playing with it) is that a keyboard makes a huge difference because a) it's easier to type - I kept messing up Unix passwords because I could not see what I was typing, and b) the presence of a hardware keyboard gives you the entire screen to work with, so less scrolling and more convenience. Also, hardware keyboard makes playing games on old-console emulators much more convenient :)

    2) As of now, there is no such thing as a Google-branded phone, assuming you are talking about a phone that is made and distributed by Google. On the other hand, you can technically say all Android phones are Google-branded, in the same way all Windows PCs are Microsoft-branded. Either way, right now the carriers determine when you the updates are pushed out. It would be pretty safe to assume all Android phones will get 2.0 updates sooner or later, but nobody really knows when.

    3) In my opinion, it's not worth it. Snapdragon is relatively old news. By the time there are multiple Snapdragon devices on the wide market, there will be some new awesome thing coming up (think Intel or nVidia, both have bold plans for mobile chips), so by the time Bravo/Passion comes out, there will most certainly be some new miracle chip on the horizon. I think you should assess the options that are available right now and choose the one that works best.

    4) You can upgrade your device manually. There are tons of people with Droids that don't want to wait for an official Verizon OTA update that are doing it themselves. My guess is as long as the update is available for your device, there will be a way to update it.

    My vote is for the Droid by the way :D

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