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An Andriod is an Android or no?

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BugFreak

Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Location
Central FL
I've been a long time iphone user on the ATT network but I was just informed they will be raising my rates on my plan so I figure it might be time to shop around. I also figure it might be time to give Android a shot since I'm getting fed up with the limitations and extras I have to buy just get the movies and music I already bought to play on other devices. I want to give Android a shot but I'm not really interested in a new contract in case I don't like it so are these cheaper Android phones the same as the standard Samsung expensive ones if all things are equal? For example I' m looking at the Huawei Honor 5X. I realize it is an ATT/Tmobile phone but I'm using it as an example since it is unlocked, $200.00, and contract free. It has the same operating system, similar hardware specs and from what I can tell a decent phone. Do these cheaper phones have more bloatware and a cheaper version of the Android o/s or are they basically the same phone?

I've read most of the threads of people switching from Apple to Android and vice-versa so I know it will be a change and based on what I want it may be good but I'm more concerned about the reliability and overall quality of the cheaper phones before I go spend $200.00 on one. So my question is, are they basically the same phone as the expensive Samsung phones just less name recognition so less cost? Thanks everyone.
 

hokiealumnus

Water Cooled Moderator
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
First off, there is no cheaper version of Android; they're all open source and "free". The difference in price is typically down to two things: Hardware and software support. Modern hardware has gotten quite good. My G3 is plenty fast enough for anything I do (though a more power efficient screen would do wonders for my battery life...) and was released nearly two years ago now. The problem is that Marshmallow is most likely going to be the last software update it receives. Now, I'll be on custom ROMs based on whatever-Android-comes-next, but people that don't care to toy with their phones like I do need to consider the viability of future software updates.

These $25 & $50 phones you see at Cheapo Wireless are running older versions of andriod, some as old as 4.3 Ice Cream Sandwich or 4.4 KitKat (they're up to 6.0.1 Marshmallow now). They're also under powered of course.

Any bloatware can be disabled, even without root (though to physically remove it often requires root).

So, now that you know that, your budget isn't bad at all. The Honor is too new for me to really say much about. The Verge seems to think it's decent, but with the heavy caveat of software - it's running an already outdated Android version and comes with a heavy manufacturer skin. I'd wager you wouldn't get a Marshmallow update for quite a while, and beyond that is very doubtful.

For $220 (after upgrading to 16G internal storage & 2GB of RAM, a $40 add-on to the $180 base price), the Motorola Moto G is the phone I'd recommend. See this review as to why. It even has an external SD slot. Motorola is good about updating its software and with very few exceptions (like a better camera app) it leaves stock Android alone and lets it exist in all its glory without throwing unnecessary bloat on top of it.
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Android is great if you wanna play with your phone. How much you can do depends on 2 things: your tech intelligence and the developer support on your particular device. For instance , the newest Samsung device will have some stunning developer support (just guessing but I bet its true) and with that support comes gizmos gadgets and custom options that some of the lower end devices will never see unless they happen to fall in the sunshine of the developer gods. These customizations reach as far as custom versions of the operating system to as simple as changing the way your battery icon looks while charging (not as simple as you would think BTW).

If you want the latest and greatest OS but dont want to install it yourself (or wait for someone to port it to your device) then you gotta go with the flagship devices. I myself have been very happy with the cheaper devices that are a few generations old. Im still rocking quadcore processor and lovely graphics...but the OS is a few versions behind. My device has great support though, so I get plenty of goodies and options. What I would do if I were you is find hardware that you like and can afford. After that the OS will probably "wow" you -even at stock. And if it doesnt, there is sure to be an update being pushed out soon enough. Android is a fast world and versions change QUICK, so dont get married to any hardware/OS version/feature.... its probably already gone :)
 
OP
BugFreak

BugFreak

Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Location
Central FL
Well from those two replies my concerns seem validated imo. The cheaper prices have a direct impact on what I would get for the phone. I'll stick with the more mainstream phones even though they cost more just to be safe.
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Well from those two replies my concerns seem validated imo. The cheaper prices have a direct impact on what I would get for the phone. I'll stick with the more mainstream phones even though they cost more just to be safe.

Its probably a good idea , but that isnt the impression I was trying to give. The flagship/high cost devices are just the most "hassle free". Ive always gotten the cheaper devices and been *mostly* happy with them. It depends on what you want to be able to do with your phone really -- but with that line Im approaching being a salesman :)

I didnt want to scare you away from the cheaper devices. they often offer decent specs in all the worthy areas (proc/ram/cameras/etc) but can be more of a hassle to get "the way you want" because of lazy development/carrier locks. If you like to tinker they are great because they are cheap anough to replace. But if you just want something that works out of the box then the higher priced models are usually the way to go ;)
Good luck and welcome to Android however you choose!
 

hokiealumnus

Water Cooled Moderator
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
If you want a flagship type device that will always have the latest Android version but doesn't cost an arm and a leg, I'd highly recommend the Nexus 5X straight from Google. MattNo5ss recently got one and AFAIK is very pleased with it.
 
OP
BugFreak

BugFreak

Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Location
Central FL
Its probably a good idea , but that isnt the impression I was trying to give. The flagship/high cost devices are just the most "hassle free". Ive always gotten the cheaper devices and been *mostly* happy with them. It depends on what you want to be able to do with your phone really -- but with that line Im approaching being a salesman :)

I didnt want to scare you away from the cheaper devices. they often offer decent specs in all the worthy areas (proc/ram/cameras/etc) but can be more of a hassle to get "the way you want" because of lazy development/carrier locks. If you like to tinker they are great because they are cheap anough to replace. But if you just want something that works out of the box then the higher priced models are usually the way to go ;)
Good luck and welcome to Android however you choose!
I just like my phone to work. It is probably the only thing in my life I don't like tinkering with. I use it for work so having to tweak it or deal with glitches can cause me issues down the road. I'll just have to play with some Androids before I make the change to figure out which one is the best fit.
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
I second the recommendation for the Nexus then. Google does make sure their devices work correctly with little bugs and that they have support. Not only that but they often have just short of amazing hardware as well. Ive almost turned from my cheapie throw away devices to the Nexus line more than once.