Android has now become the de-facto standard for a smartphone. Almost anyone I talk to these days wants an Android as their next phone. But one thing to note here is that, though Android is a powerful mobile OS, it is far from perfect and may not exactly be what you need. In this article we will discuss things that you should know/ consider carefully before buying an Android phone.
Is android really a good choice for your budget?
We know that there are lots of android phones available below Rs. 10,000. Unfortunately many of the Android mobiles below Rs. 10000 are not up to the mark. They don’t come with hardware good enough to do justice to the Operating System. As a result the phone may hang often or may have a slower response or pathetic battery life. If you are on a budget and want a smart phone it is always better for go for more economical options from Nokia or Samsung Corby or Wave phones. If you want to find out if you can get a good phone in your budget then our list of Android phones in India may be quite useful. (Note: The availability of quality android mobiles has improved a lot after recent drop in prices)
Understand Android Versions (release) and Upgrades:
New versions of Android are released every few months. It is important to understand different versions of Android and their upgrades. Upgrade of an android version in your smartphone is manufacturer dependent (because many manufacturers customize and ship Android). Many times Manufacturers don’t release compatible firmware upgrades early enough. Many new Android applications have dependency on the Android versions and may not work on the older versions. So it is very important to buy an Android mobile which is running the latest version or one for which upgrade to the latest version has been released by the Manufacturer.
Following are the different versions of Android OS:
Android OS 1.5 (Cup Cake)
Android OS 1.6 (Donut)
Android OS 2.0/2.1 (Éclair)
Android OS 2.2 (Froyo)
Android OS 2.3 (Ginger Bread)
Android OS 3.0 (Honey Comb)(Only for Tablets)
Most of the Android Phones available in the market as of now are either Android 2.2 or Android 2.3. It is fine to buy any of them. But still some old models with Android 1.6 and 2.1 are also available. You can buy them only If you plan to use them stock or if you are sure that you can upgrade them yourself. (Ref)
Which manufacturer (User Interface )?
Most of the mobile manufacturers customize the UI, Look and feel of Android on their devices. This makes same Android
version look vastly different for each of the different manufacturer.
These custom skins / User Interfaces result in vastly different user experiences. It is always better to see and use the phones from each of these manufacturers to understand which UI works best for you.
Following are some of the different User Interfaces by different Manufacturers:
Is Android Stable and Safe:
Yes and No. As of now Android OS is pretty much stable and safe just like Windows. Jokes apart, Android is a great OS and works very well. But as android is getting popular day by day, Virus and malwares attack on it and other security exploits have also increased a lot. The attack on android devices is set to increase many fold in future as well.
We are not suggesting that you should not buy an android mobile because of the above issues. But you need to take some safety measures after buying the mobile like installing anti-virus software and keeping them updated etc. You will also have to be careful while installing Android apps. Depending on your comfort level with technical issues, you need to answer if you are ready for all these hassles.
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