May 26, 2010
Hi there,

I have some general questions on the android based phones. I've never used a smart phone before, and it's only now that I'm considering using a cell phone that does anything other than make and receive calls.

I must say, the "new" phone world is quite daunting and complex!

From my reading, I've decided--that for smart phones--the android is the way to go. Before I start my search for a new phone, some insights on some very basic questions would be kindly appreciated.

1. Can the android OS be installed on any phone running the necessary hardware? Such as a phone running Windows ME 6.5 or something along those lines.

2. I'm with T-Mobile, can I use any GSM android phone--such as the HTC Desire--with my service?

3. I've always reformatted opting to load a fresh OS on any computer I've ever had, if only to purge those applications I find unecessary or annoying. Can I do the same with a android phone from a carrier? Or, one purchased unlocked European version, such as the HTC Desire?

4. Being completely new to the smart phone world, any general suggestions on pointing me in the right direction to figure out which phone is best for me would be helpful. I'm looking to stay with T-Mobile for their upgraded HSPA+ 3G which will be available in my area shortly. Ideally, I'd like a phone where I can root the OS to allow tethering, which I believe their branded phones do not out of the box.

Many thanks in advance on any insights offered.

Kind regards,

From experience I can comment on this issue. I too am with Tmobile and have had experience with running a non tmobile phone on their network. I used to run a Treo 650 on their GSM network and it worked. The one downside is support, I spent tons of time on forums learning about my phone. Not a bad thing, but it would be nice to dial 611 and be able to get some help.

1. I would stick with a phone that shipps with Android. Unless you are an uber geek and want to take on an I did it because I could project. Tmoble has several phones that already run on android.

2. Technically yes, but then there is the question of support again. If you choose a phone Tmobile does not support then you can't call tech support or stop by a store to get help. And there is the question of warranty. You would have to go through the manufactuer for all waranty concerns. And would you get updates over the air? Probably. But if you don't or something goes wrong durring the update who would you call.

3. There are some apps which cannot be uninstalled on certain phones, like motoblur on the click or amazon mp3 on the G1. This can be done by rooting. However this voids your warranty and you can brick it. I would find a good phone that will fit your basic standards that is running the most current version and will continue to get updates for a while. Enjoy the phone and once you are up and running for a while if there is a specific feature you need or want then root it.

4. Phones that I would look at on Tmoble. First don't even look at the G1. It has small memory and may not get anymore updates. It is currently on 1.6. My touch slightly more memory and still on 1.6 may get 2.1 and is or will be a free phone when the mytouch slide comes out. My touch fender edition. It has cool factor as a novilty item especially if you are a guitar player. Cliq and Cliq XT one has physical keyboard one onscreen. Both on 1.5 but 2.1 has been confirmed by the end of the quarter. Have a couple of friends with cliqs and they have had firmware issues and why would you want a new phone on an old operating system. My touch slide will have a physical keyboard (and onscreen) is on 2.1 and has hardware that will support future upgrades. Has a cool new feature in that you can control the phone by voice command and it can dictate text and emails by voice. It will be officially released on the 5th of next month. The Nexus One is the Tmobil super phone when it comes to android and is going to start being sold in stores (currently only available online through google) this is googles flagship at the moment. It is currently on 2.1 and being rolled out 2.2 as we speak. No physical keyboard though. Fast processor and latest and most up to date. However I would wait till you can buy it instore, as online you can only get it with one plan.

Sidenote on teathering this can be done without rooting there are several apps that allow this. Also the nexus one has already been rooted.