The Android platform has taken the world over by storm. Until a few years back the word ‘android’ meant a type of a humanoid robot. However Google has changed it for all of us.
There are two components of any smartphone: the hardware and the software.
The hardware on the Android platform varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, this variation is more or less stable across a given price range. Here is an almost complete list of devices that run on the Android platform: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Android_devices.
Stay off all those cheap Android phones you see in the market. No, they aren’t worth it and truth is they will not run all the apps you want them too. It’s the same reason that Android starts getting bad publicity: it’s not the software but it’s the cheap hardware on your phone that’s causing the trouble.
Having said that, stick to the known manufacturers like Google and steer clear of the likes of Micromax and Spice that just rebrand cheap Chinese phones as their own. Right now, the HTC Evo 3D has the best hardware an Android phone should have. You can check that out here: http://www.gsmarena.com/htc_evo_3d-3901.php . Yes, it’s kind of expensive too but then prices will come down and the technology on this phone will trickle down to other phones and manufacturers.
There is this brilliant article I found while researching on this article. Here’s the link: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19736_7-20056578-251.html. It lists out what the perfect Android phone should have.
On the software front, the Android platform is the most customizable platform ever and with a knowledge of good programming language, you can actually write a custom version for your phone. It’s open source too. No – don’t get geeked out, Android has got a lot of bad press being called a “geeky device”, this isn’t true. Newer versions of Android are pretty user friendly and have superb UIs.
The development of the Android operating system has been much faster when compare to other smartphones.The Android market is the official app warehouse for the Android platform. Unlike the BlackBerry and iPhone App Markets, Android phones can install apps from anywhere (though some may look at this as a security hole). The open nature of things has led to development for an app for just about anything.
With the recent addition of Google Wallet (available only on the Nexus S as of now) , Google plans to make credit cards a thing of the past.
Where it kicks ass: The Android army (it’s just a term to refer to the entire Android phone) beats the living daylights out of any smartphone when it comes to stuff like customisation and in-built features.You can turn your Android phone into a Wi-Fi router! I know this can be done on the iPhone too but then on Android, it’s supported natively. Then there is the App market which has a large number of apps for just about anything that. The biggest plus is that you have a lot of hardware options when buying an Android phone – there is one for everybody. The introduction of Android phones like the Sony Ericsson Play shows how versatile this device is. The Play is basically an Android powered Play Station Portable successor which also doubles up as a phone.
Where it sucks: The Android platform isn’t as mature or responsive as Apple’s iOS platform for the iPhone and lacks the ease of use that the iPhone and even the BlackBerry devices possess. Also it doesn’t have BBM – so all you BlackBerry fans will not like it too much. However rumours are that there will be a basic implementation of BBM for Androids and iPhones out soon. If you don’t care much, there exists a software such as WhatsApp which does exactly the same thing. Also, there’s Google Talk. The biggest con in the platform is the numerous hardware issues it has due to the different hardware implementations which is the reason some apps may run slowly or not run at all on your phone. This is a place where the iPhone and the BlackBerrys score way over the Androids.
Buying an Android phone would totally depend on your needs. It doesn’t have the “cool” factor of the iPhone as yet, but it does so many things that the iPhone can’t do. And features like the ability to make “folders”, which has been just added to the iPhone has been in the Android platform since day one. Buy it if you want a complete package and when you don’t mind your phone behaving a little weird when you install some new app. At the moment, I feel the Android platform coupled with a good hardware implementation is any day a better buy than an overpriced iPhone.
If you are wondering which Android phone is best for you, this is a website which lets you compare Android phones side by side: