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[GUIDE] Buying an Android Device, Do I need a New One?

OP Hnk1

7th November 2013, 07:59 PM   |  #1  
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In todays fast moving technology world, everyone is intrigued to buy new devices. And this norm is fumed by innumerous manufacturers by releasing products at an insane rate. You have got too many choices and only think to wonder is how much you can afford to pay. Sometimes taking loans is common or simply you take a contract with a provider and regret there is nothing you can do to change your phone afterwards.

Every other day, new features are coming to devices and you wish you had just waited a month to buy the other phone.

Buying the every latest devices is not very wise as you spend alot of your money for just one or two extra features.

SOME CONSIDERATIONS
You must know that in todays phone era, the hardware has gone a long way in comparison with software. My point isnot that software is developing at a slower pace but simply that most of phones available today might never use their full potential in terms of hardware ever. Android Software is going more smooth and promises further improvements even on low end devices. With KITKAT 4.4, Android has gone into a surge to speed up system by 50% and that's just the beginning.

Most of manufacturers are working hard on ONLY hardware. Even phones released two years ago are doing very well till date. If you look into software department and games, you can still play all of latest games on these devices very smoothly. I will give you examples of HTC sensation/Incredible S, Samsung Nexus, SII or any other phone of that time with almost similar hardware. I have checked MC4/Fifa 14/Asphlat 8 personally on all of these devices.

I think to update my Nexus 7 2013 in 2015 and my Nexus 4 Next year (October 2014) while Xperia L around when it is required. Following this scheme I always have the latest device with me and I also do not spend a lot of money. (700-800 British Pounds every three year, considering that I am a Medicine Student and under a lot of loan already). Also what is more to look is that my old devices are still doing a great job. I recently installed CM 10.2(JB 4.3) on my HTC Sensation and it runs just as smooth as Nexus 4/Xperia L for the matter. The software is stable and I can play HD games on 786MB RAM only.

Another point to note is that KitKat 4.4 has only been released for about a week now and I am using 4.3 on my two year old HTC sensation using Custom ROM is simply too cool.

So I WARN you that you need to be smart to buy a new phone rather than spending alot of money on every new phone and never utilising its full potential.

ASK YOURSELF
The most important point you need to consider is WHY EXACTLY YOU WANT TO BUY A NEW PHONE? WHERE your old phone canot be utilised that you must upgrade it.

What would you utilise it for in the LONG RUN? HOW LONG YOU INTEND TO USE IT. WHAT ARE SOME SPECIFIC FEATURES THAT YOU ARE LOOKING INTO BEFORE BUYING.

I know for many looks of a device counts. You want your device to be COOL and feel great in your hand. I agree to the matter but certainly you should never compromise LOOKS with actual performance and hardware. Benchmarks are just a bunch of lies and in real use, they do differ alot and cannot be fully trusted.

I personally give a lot of stress to your HARDWARE and your SCREEN SIZE.
At the moment we are into Octa Core era but have you ever actually thought that if your phone ever used all of these cores at once? I think even Quad Core processors are not fully utilised. Many HD games still just utilise dual core and the rest are off. So in real, many games are not fully using your full phone potential as lack of support from developers or lack of customization to utilise all cores/hardware ! Don't you feel trolled?

Windows phone is fast growing platform but it still lacks a lot what Android offers on the table. I prefer Android over Windows phone any day!

(That's another debate! http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...2&postcount=14)

If you just want a simple phone for calls and texts and emails and some crappy made apps, I WILL SIMPLY TELL YOU TO USE WP8 or just calls and texts NOKIA 3310 will suit you. ANDROID IS NOT FOR YOU AND NEVER WILL BE
Stop complaining about it when you do not even know how to simply use it.

So going for Quardcores/Octacores/64bits is just rubbage and you are just tricked out of money when you have something very latest but developers havenot made anything that it can utilise. So if you are considering a phone to use for next two years, I believe a quardcore would be more than enough. A change to this trend in future is inevitable but not enough uptill now to run for the latest device.

RAM is very important and I believe this should not be compromised. Many phones will do just great on 1gb ram but I will prefer a 2gb ram if my phone is to be used for two or more years.

GPU This is something really tricky which might FORCE anyone to buy a phone with higher GPU. GPU takes a part of ram and its function is to compute 3D functions and thus is mostly utilised in GAMES. So if you are a gamer, I will suggest you to buy a phone with latest GPU rather than an old one. Xperia L/Xperia P/ Xperia M all share almost the same price. However, Xperia P is an old device while Xperia L is recent. Thus, Xperia L will give alot better performance and more smoothness to your ROM comparatively to Xperia P because it can handle graphics better due to its latest GPU.

SCREENSIZE I personally prefer any device bigger than 4 inch display. 3.5 is just too small for your fingers and 5 is just to big for me. For me, 4.3 to 4.7 is just perfect as not only it is big enough to read/games/emails but also gives you enough for big hands.

Remember to always BUY A DEVICE WHICH IS DEVELOPERS FRIENDLY. You won't find much ROMS for HTC Amaze although it has almost the same specification as HTC sensation.

CORTEX CONSIDERATION When you are buying any phone, we usually just consider the clock speed of processor and usually ignore the technology on which the processor is build on. The processors which are currently being available in the market are Cortex A5, A7, A9, A12 and A15. What does this mean? Consider it this way, it shows the technology they are build upon and using. The Cortex A5 is oldest which cortex A15 is latest.
If you are wondering how does this make a difference, well take this as an example : A device running a dual core Cortex A9 1 Ghz would run fast than a dual core Cortex A5 clocked at 1.5 Ghz. This is because as the technology is growing, the architecture of the chips are also changing to improve their performance. As the Cortex A9 uses new architecture, thus many improvements have been made to enhance the device performance. ( Xperia U used 1ghz A9 with 512 Ram whilst Samsung Galaxy Star uses 1Ghz A5 with 512 Ram as well but if you talk about their performance, there is a lot of difference between the two. I have personally used both of them) So always consider a device with higher cortex if you can afford to!

REMOVABLE BATTERY is important for those who want to easily swap batteries or want to use their phones for long period of time. This is just a big draw back for me as I keep three devices and I update each one annually so this means that I need to change my nexus after using it for around 2 years to 3 years. In this time, I need to change my battery as battery does get worn out and damaged. But I just can not easily do that.

You might be wondering, the new ROMS are not available. Well actually they are but custom made. If you check out Android development of these phones, you will be surprised that many developers are giving their best to just work hard on new ROMS and they are all great.

At times you just need to do little tweaks.(Some games aren't available on specific models but those devices are capable of running them very smoothly. Tweaks help in these matters)

Another thing one of my friend asked me to add was about support from different manufacturers to their devices! Well, every company has a different policy of releasing updates for their phones according to their price tag (Flashship, mid end, low end phones). So make sure you consider what is their possibility of being updated to newer version of android if you are looking for STOCK roms coming directly from manufacturers. Samsung for the fact is releasing phones every single day and I think, you can not expect support for its low end phones at all whilst one update for mid ranges and few more high ends/flash ship phones.
Sony on the other hand is always slow with updates but provides open source code at times if it doesnot plan to update the android version.

Usually the support is around ONE year to ONE and half year max for Flagship phones; SIX months - ONE year for mid-range phones whilst ZERO to FEW BUG fixing updates for lower end phones!

However, If you got a carrier phone like VODA, AT&T etc, you are pretty much struck with your PROVIDER rather than manufacturer for that fact! Usually these phones come with locked bootloaders which are a tough nut to crack, and thus you can only flash ROMs which are made for LOCKED BOOTLOADERS. Thus, if you can afford it, you should buy a contract free phone straight from manufacturer. This will allow you more freedom to customise your phone to your advantage by flashing ROMS, kernels, mods etc! However, it will simply be useless to a person who is not ready to take the risks!

I think this is enough for you to decide if you really need to buy a phone or not.

GOOD LUCK!
Last edited by Hnk1; 15th March 2014 at 09:41 AM.
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7th November 2013, 08:01 PM   |  #2  
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Updates :

Added the following in the guide
*Oems
*Generally how long a phone is updated according to it's class (Flagship, low end or mid range phone)
*Considering the advantage of using newer architecture of processor (Cortex)
*Disadvantages of carrier phones


Any suggestions be welcomed!


PLANNED UPDATES :

What to look for in a phone if you are a Gamer, Text & Call person, Mobile Cinema addict, Internet Browsing Freak etc
Edit it more to be organised and easy to access headings for skimming through
Last edited by Hnk1; 26th March 2014 at 10:28 AM.
14th December 2013, 01:48 AM   |  #3  
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What devices do you use?
14th December 2013, 03:59 AM   |  #4  
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@Hnk1, well said.

I am still using my good old HTC Touch HD (Blackstone), now upgraded to WM 6.5, and it is still running great. Gives me more than a couple of days on a single battery charge.
14th December 2013, 04:21 AM   |  #5  
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You should mention that some OEMs, like LG, like to pump out flagships phones every 3 month that means that your phone, from LG will not get alot of SW support.
That said, other OEMs have the same philosophy for mid range to low end devices. I am talking about official support, Some devices are lucky and get Custom rom support but then, custom roms are more often than not a compromise and not a solution as they have and always will have bugs.
You cannot have up to date phones, with removable batteries and the best experience. Its a world of compromise, as it is nearly for everything else.
11th March 2014, 08:38 PM   |  #6  
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Thanks! Hnk1..
This guide is very is helpful ..
12th March 2014, 07:40 AM   |  #7  
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thnx
12th March 2014, 09:45 PM   |  #8  
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Thanks. Its very useful
13th March 2014, 06:49 PM   |  #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xyz121

Great guide man, Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revontheus

What devices do you use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chan.sk

@Hnk1, well said.

I am still using my good old HTC Touch HD (Blackstone), now upgraded to WM 6.5, and it is still running great. Gives me more than a couple of days on a single battery charge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowcore

You should mention that some OEMs, like LG, like to pump out flagships phones every 3 month that means that your phone, from LG will not get alot of SW support.
That said, other OEMs have the same philosophy for mid range to low end devices. I am talking about official support, Some devices are lucky and get Custom rom support but then, custom roms are more often than not a compromise and not a solution as they have and always will have bugs.
You cannot have up to date phones, with removable batteries and the best experience. Its a world of compromise, as it is nearly for everything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinEdge

Thanks! Hnk1..
This guide is very is helpful ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by thereefour777

thnx

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukadevilu

Thanks. Its very useful


The guide is updated! Added OEMS and carriers briefly. Also, I added little debate about WP vs Android. People's opinion could be different so I respect that! The whole debate is here :

http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...2450502&page=1

Secondly, I am glad the guide was a help to all of you! Keep sharing so more people can benefit from it!

I use alot of devices and I borrow many devices from my friends and family to experiment with them! At the moment I am using Xperia L, Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 2013. Other phones are either exchanged, sold to buy a new one, lent so they keep changing time to time as they are for development/experimenting purposes only!
Last edited by Hnk1; 13th March 2014 at 07:00 PM.
14th March 2014, 03:01 AM   |  #10  
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Nice guide.

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