Monday, August 23, 2010

My new Android

Had been planning to get a new phone for a while now.. decided it would either be a Windows Phone or an Android. With the Windows Phone's taking forever to hit the market.. and the fact that my old phone was a winmo phone that i'd used well beyond its maker's spec(various modifications like installing android/wing linux..etc) i decided it was time for a platform change. But then came the question of which android phone to buy. Most of the really good ones cost way over my budget! and the others are hamstrung by low spec cpus, or ram...or in the case of the HTC tattoo a non autofocus camera(which is a problem if you want to try any AR apps or google goggles)

I got my old HTC Pharos Winmo for Rs18000 ... and it had a lot of stuff like gps, and touch screen, etc.. that other phones in the same price range didn't at the time..

so i got thinking,.. if technology is getting cheaper, then shouldn't i be paying less for what i got last time?.. and so the research began.. for a reasonably good entry level android device. I also put aside my favoritism for HTC and Motorola like "Premium" brands and kept an open mind. Months went by as i looked at the following-

Samsung I5700 Galaxy Spica
- 2.1 eclaire
800mhz cpu
Rs14000-16000 or less

pros- capable of playing xvid and divx
cons- low ram and rom(froyo needs more rom)

samsung corby i5500
- 2.1 eclaire
Rs 12000

cons - Ulra tiny screen

htc tattoo
- 1.5
2.1 through hacking for now
Rs16000 or less

cons- low ram, no auto focus, resistive touch screen(bad for finger navigation)
Pros- resistive touch screen(great for drawing and sketching which i did a lot of on my old htc pharos)

htc wildfire
- 2.1 eclaire
528 MHz processor
384 MB RAM;

Rs15000 - 25000?
Card slot microSD, up to 32GB,
Camera Primary 5 MP, 2592 x 1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash

cons- price(the "technology should get cheaper" argument/dillema)
pros- 512 MB ROM(to date, all android apps can only be installed on the main memory! so this helps a ton)

Samsung Galaxy 3 or I5800
Android OS v2.1 Eclair
667MHz CPU; 256MB RAM
3.2MP autofocus camera with face, smile detection
Accelerometer and proximity sensor
DivX/XviD support

cons- Display resolution is too low; poor sunlight legibility
Pros- a lot of the high end phone features for a low end phone price tag!

I decided to go for the last one. the Samsung Galaxy 3

I got it at a local samsung outlet for Rs11400. have installed tons of apps so far, infact last night i uninstalled some... just in case a space crunch happens. i put my 4gb sd card into it with all the data from my old winmo phone still on it, and it recognised it, and played back all the divx, xvid and most of the other formats i had on it!

same goes for music and images...

heres the full spec list:

Network Type
GSM Quad-band phone capable of global roaming (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
UMTS dual-band European/Asian 3G (900/2100 MHz)

3G Capable

4.47 x 2.17 x 0.50 inches (113.5 x 55 x 12.8 mm )

Battery Type
Li - Ion, 1500 mAh
Talk- 15 hours (900 mins) of Talk time
Standby- 625 hours (26 days) of Stand-by time

Main Display
Resolution 240 x 400 pixels QVGA
Color, TFT
Physical Size- 3.20 inches
Capacitive Touch Screen

Resolution- 3 megapixels Resolution
Video- 320x240 (QVGA)

Other camera Features
Auto focus, Smile detection, Digital zoom, Multi shot, Self-timer, Panorama, Scenes

Video Playback- MPEG4, H.263, H.264, DivX, XviD, WMV
Music Player- MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, AMR, OGG, MIDI
FM Radio- FM, RDS

Memory Slot- microSD/microSDHC (am using my old 4gb sd card without reformatting :cheers: )
Built-in-storage- 170 MB (waiting to see, when it runs out of space :( :awww: )
RAM- 256MB

Android 2.1


Predictive Text Input
The innovative Swype Keyboard was already installed(look it up on youtube, its really something to see)

Internet- HTML
USB- microUSB
WiFi- 802.11b/802.11g/802.11n
Bluetooth- 3.0, Stereo Bluetooth
Headphones connector- 3.5mm

Other Features
PhoneBook- Capacity depends on system memory; Ring ID, Picture ID, Search by both first and last name, Multiple numbers per contact, Caller groups
PIM- Alarm, Calendar, Calculator
Voice- Recording, Speaker Phone
Email- IMAP/POP3/SMTP/Microsoft Exchange

FCC Approved

the galaxy 3 has only 130-140mb of onboard memory. Considering that currently all versions of android only allow you to install apps on the internal memory, it will get a bit tight soon. Hope froyo changes that. There are some apps that install the larger chunk of their data on the sd card, hope to see more of this(some games, and some google voice like thing).

My favourite Apps so far:
Tweetdeck(its in beta)
Twitter(the official twitter app is quite good! and has a widget for the homescreen)
Google Goggles(take a pic of anything, and let google look it up for you!)
Taskiller (task manager)
Freetube (downloads youtube videos to my sd card)
Vignette (adds a cool oldschool vignette to photos..see below)

My Favourite widgets:
"24" widget/timer (a digital clock like the one in the tv show with a few signature sounds from the show)
Hero Clock(the cool clock on my homescreen in the image above)

My favourite games so far:
Paper toss
Winds of Steel(ww2 dogfights)
Super Tumble(nice physics engine)
Hyper Jump(eye candy)

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