Upgrading from your current mobile device? Preparing yourself to buy your very first Android phone?
Welcome to the world of the little green robot!
The Android smartphone market enjoys some of the biggest numbers in the mobile arena. Digital Analytics firm comScore reveals that in the United States alone, more than 51% of all smartphone users are on the Android platform! Android’s global market share, according to market research firm IDC, averages more than 7 out of every 10 smartphone users.
For the new buyer looking to join into this popular world, this makes the platform friendly especially in terms of support and cool apps that can make your mobile experience really fascinating. As an android virgin, words such as Ice Cream Sandwich and Gingerbread might make you a little nostalgic, and sifting through the hundreds of Android devices available might be a little difficult. To get the best device, you have to balance your needs for performance, design, OS, and the many other features characteristic of android phones.
In this post, we examine your needs, the features, and the phones themselves to offer you some really cool tips on how to buy your first android phone.
1. Need a QWERTY Keyboard?
QWERTY keyboards and resistive touchscreens that need to be roughly pressed in order to respond are not a common scene on the Android arena. In fact, they are slowly being chased off by the largely intuitive, fancy and highly-responsive capacitive touchscreens. Android handsets with a QWERTY keyboard are quite rare nowadays, if not dead. And while a good number of android newcomers are quite wary about the effectiveness and usability of the full-touch handsets, I can assure you that they offer a great user experience!
Nevertheless, if you still won’t give up the QWERTY, there are still some really cool options that might be available to you. Here is a list of android phones that have a QWERTY keyboard.
- Droid 4 (Verizon)
- Droid Pro (Verizon and Sprint [Motorola XPRT])
- Samsung Captivate Glide (AT&T)
- HTC Status (AT&T)
- Samsung Epic 4G (Sprint)
- MyTouch 4G Slide (T-Mobile)
- LG Optimus Slider (Virgin Mobile)
- Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro
2. Buy a First Android Phone While Sticking to Budget
There are dozens of high-end android mobiles that you can easily get your hands on. These high-end devices are fitted with the best hardware and software features for internet surfing, gaming, video watching, pictures capturing and display, and more so a smooth user interface experience. However, they might not be your best choice as yet. If your budget is limited, you can still get a high-quality android handset for a fairly low price. Here are examples of low budget android phones that can provide you with great performance at only a 1/3 or less of the cost you’d pay for the high-end handsets:
a. Huawei Ascend G300
It is a handset by Chinese manufacturer Huawei. The Ascend G300 runs the Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread OS, which is pretty much cool and can serve you well. The 1GHz processor just makes this cheap android phone good for speed, and the 512 MB Ram is something to go by. When it came to the market last year, this device made quite some splash with its 4” 800 x 480 pixels screen, it’s a 5-megapixel camera and more so the great price. For starters, the Huawei Ascend is a great low budget first android phone choice from a company that is getting very serious about smartphones.
b. HTC Desire C
The Desire C is the cheapest handset yet from the smartphone powerhouse HTC Desire. Although the 600 MHz processor is not too good, the 5 megapixels camera, the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS, and the 3.5-inch screen are some things to go by. It is yet another first Android mobile gadget that you can try out with a low budget.
c. Sony XperiaTipo
While the XperiaTipo might not be a market-beater in terms of specifications, it offers some good features for its price. The handset has a 3.2” screen with a resolution of 480 x 320 pixels. While the 3.2 megapixels camera won’t look really great on paper print, the out-of-the-box Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS is something to mention. The 800MHz processor also offers a prompt job for the price.
d. Acer Liquid Glow
The Liquid Glow is another great, cheap-category first android phone that comes with a 1GHz processor and 512MB RAM, which makes use of this handset smooth regardless of what applications you are running. Just like the Huawei Ascend G300, Acer Liquid Glow has a 5mp camera and a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels (although provided in a smaller, 3.7-inch screen).
3. Choose a High End Device?
If you don’t have any cash restrictions when buying your first Android phone, perhaps a high-end Android phone will be best suited for you. Today, there are plenty of expensive Android handsets that come with all sorts of superior features. Some of these high-end Android gadgets, with amazing speed, the latest android O.S (which is enhanced with custom tweaks by the device manufacturer), attractive designs, extensive support and hardware capabilities include:
a. Sony Experia SL
Barely weighing 144 gms and equipped with a flattering 1.7 GHz dual-core processor, the SL gives a smooth Android experience. The 12-megapixel camera is something major to go by for high-quality pictures and videos. The 4.3-inch screen delivers 16 million colors and is a delight to watch. If you need a phone that just doesn’t need recharging every now and then, the SL comes with a 1750 mAh battery.
b. LG Optimus 3D
LG has mostly been lurking in the background, appearing to be following in the footsteps of the larger brands rather than leading. Recently, however, LG has been rolling out some really cool high-end Android phones. The Optimus 3D is the newest in the LG Optimus devices and offers a 3-dimensional viewing experience. This phone is also characterized by a phenomenal running speed. The Optimus is equipped with two 5mp cameras to capture real-time 3D pictures and videos. If you are looking for a high-end, superior android phone to get started with, the LG Optimus may be a good choice.
c. Samsung Galaxy Note II
The Samsung Galaxy note is a great high-end first android phone choice. This handset bridges the gap between the smartphone and the tablet pc. Note II provides great usability options. It features a bigger screen for an enhanced display, a quad-core processor, 3100 mAh battery and the jelly Bean OS. It comes across the board as the leading android phone especially if you are looking for a phone that will be also very good for entertainment.
d. HTC One X+
The HTC One X+ has a brilliant camera quality and comes with 1.7GHz of quad-core processing power. The 64 GB internal memory makes it suitable for storage of large multimedia files. The HTC One X+ also comes with a great and long lasting 2100 mAh battery that can deliver stand-by power for up to 360 hours. The front facing 1.6 camera is quite good for video calling.
e. Samsung Galaxy, S-III
S III is commonly known as the iPhone exterminator. With the tag ‘made for humans,’ this is another great choice first android phone for the high-end experience. Weighing only 133 gm., the S-III can comfortably fit in your palm. It has a quad-core processor for speedy processing and performance. Some other features provided by this Android phone include 64 GB storage with 50 GB of cloud storage. The Android OS in the Samsung Galaxy S-III has been tweaked to provide an amazing experience to the user. If you like a phone with a good battery, the 2100 mAh can keep your device charged for long enough.
f. Samsung Galaxy S4
S4 has a 13 MP digital camera, a 4.99” complex multi-touch screen, and 2600 mAh of Li Ion battery. This Samsung galaxy android device is something you’d want in your pocket. In addition to these advanced features, S4 also comes with 2 GB or RAM, a 2 GHz processor and 16 GB worth of internal storage, making it not only convenient but also super fast and smooth to use.
What About a Phablet?
If you are looking for a device that is neither as small as a conventional mobile gadget and nor as big as a typical tablet PC, a phablet is just about the right Android device for you. Phablets will have a screen size that ranges between 4.5 and 7 inches, combining both the functions of a phone and tablet! The Samsung galaxy note II, Galaxy S4, LG Intuition, LG Optimus Vu and the Panasonic ELUGA power are just to name a few examples of really capable phablets.
4. Need Something More than Just a Simple Android Handset, Consider a Tablet
After deliberations and considerations, you may just decide all the same to go for an android tablet. An android tablet can do the same thing an Android smartphone can, only better. A tablet will provide a better experience when you are surfing the web, and checking email. Most people also decide to just go for an android tablet rather than a phone because of the size. The enhanced screen size makes the tablet better for video calling and entertainment functions. Tablets are also becoming more popular as a feasible replacement for android smartphones because of their capability to truly multitask – which enables you to run multiple applications efficiently and smoothly. Some of the best tablets offering the Android experience are the Google Nexus 10, the Google Nexus 7, the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
5. Last step before buying your first android phone
Getting the best first android phone is not just about the name of the device, it’s also about shopping at the best terms. Well, once you have a device in mind, do some research online to identify positive and negative reviews about the specific gadget. To make sure that you are getting the right deal as far as price is concerned, you will also want to perform a price comparison and evaluate between the features and the price – so that in the end you buy the best value at the most affordable price. Waiting to buy the phone when a seasonal promotional is just around the corner has often helped much first time Android buyers save.
Now that you got the tips, take a look around, compare the prices and ask yourself this question ‘What is the best android phone for me based on what features I need and what budget I can manage?’ The right answer to this question will actually get you started and enjoying the goodies of the Android platform on a happy note!