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Saturday, January 15, 2011

How to choose Android phone(eg Droid Bionic, Sony Ericsson Playstation phone, IPhone)

INDEX:
1) Choosing android phone
2) Smart Phone comparison(Atrix vs Sony Erricson playstation phone vs Iphone)
3) Top Android Apps
4) General Android phone usage/tutorial
5) Android App Development(for software developers)

How to choose an android phone ?

a) First choose the carrier(eg ATT, verizon).
  • Cost: Everyone has different plans. eg ATT 25$ plan has 2G limitations, verizon 30 $ plan is unlimited(but voiceplan may be expensive), Sprint may have 40$ data plan for 4G phones. NOTE: The cost of monthly plan can get substantially reduced if your(or spouse) company has tieup with verizon/att (to provide discounts.)Hence check with verizon/att(or your company) to see if you qualify for discounts.
  • APPS: Also some carrier may have their own apps. (eg verizon bundles skype mobile and nfl mobile , sprint used to provide soccer coverage)
  • One advantage of ATT phone like Samsung captivate  are that they are quad band GSM - and hence easier to use globally(or sell them)
  • Of course the voice quality/coverage will vary based on carrier.
Atrix vs Ericsson : If you dont consider the impact of cell phone provider (ie go by features)- then  the best phones in 2011(by features) would be : Motorola Atrix (ATT), Sony Ericsson Playstation phone(verizon).
ATT has poor record in 2010 on android upgrades - while Sony ericsson is unlikely to
be as user friendly or upgradeable as compared to HTC/Motorola.




b) Choose the features :
  • Screen Size - Choose screen size that's comfortable to your hands/pockets.
  • Processor Speed -  Most new phones in 2011 should be dual core and more then 1GHz.. Take close look at GPU also.
  • Prefer Motorola or HTC (e.g. Samsung , Sony , dell did not upgrade their devices released in 2010). Besides keeping their OS upgraded - they provide better user interface and tools.
  • Battery Life. Droid X seems to have reasonable battery life.(though phones from HTC provide additional software/apps like HTC weather widget which could be draining them  - but at same time make it easier to use the phone) .. Check close look at battery mAh ratings. eg Droid Bionic is around 1900 compared to HTC Thunderbolt of around 1400 only.(So if specs are same - go for better battery life). Typically HTC - as compared with Motorola provides poor battery (rating/life ) on their phones.
  • Laptop Docking Facility :  Only available on AT&T Mortorolla Atrix. It allows a dummy laptop to be powered by phone - so that you surf on bigger screen. (AT&T may charge extra for this - just like AT&T/Verizon charge extra for tethering)
  • Support for 3D(eg HTC EVO 3D) , support for special game controller(sony erricson play)
  • Support for LTE 4G. Verizon Iphone 4 does not support 4G. Even though 4G may not be initially available or even work well.. It will be hard to re-sell or use it at end of the 2 year period. If you are buying ATT phones - then check if the "4G" phone supports LTE (or just the upgraded 3G network - HSPA+ ). However you may need to turn off 4G in phones like thunderbolt or Droid charge to help your battery life. Sprint 4G is based in wimax  -and will be slower then LTE 4G.
  • LCD/AmoledLED and Screen Resolution: LED will looks better inside(but not easy to see outside). Super Amoled as used in Samsung captivate may be easier to see outside.
  • Camera : Usually resolution (eg 8 mp)is good indicator. But other factors (like led flash) or ability to take phone in low light and stability may make a Samsung/Iphone with 5 mp better then say Droid X with 8mp.
  • Camcorder: Usually the resolution matters (eg 720 p) as seen in Droid X(or htc evo) as compared with "normal video"(as seen in droid incredible).  But image stability also matters(eg flip hd camcorder have poor image stability)
  • Memory : Most phone have 16GB memory which should be sufficient - and you can always store in external micro SDHC drive. (HTC EVO however has only 1GB of memory which will hinder downloading apps till it get upgraded to android 2.2 which allows apps to run from external SD)
  • SIZE: This is a difficult one.(especially with big 5 inch phones coming).. Bigger phone are easier to browse/read. However it may be uncomfortable to hold in hands or fit in pocket. Some of them may feel like holding book on your ears(if you dont use bluetooth). Droid X/HTC EVO have bigger size then Incredible.
  • Cost of Phone itself: If you wait for 3 months - then prices of all smart phone(especially android phones) usually drop(and sometimes drastically if competion is coming).
  • Extra Apps/Features:  Typically HTC phone with HTC Sense provides the best android user experience. HTC may bundle htc sense(weather widget etc). This may impact the battery life - but it makes the phone lot easier to use. (eg copy/paste with selection -  was there in droid incredible since android 2.1 )
  • Mobile hotspot(phone as wifi router) : You should check if there are apps to tether android phones - and you can setup your computer as wifi router (and hence not need this). Anyway mobile hotspot should take battery, have slower speed(then usb tethering) - and may get disconnected more easily - besides costing extra money(and you may not be able to talk while tethering).
  • Check if it has all basic things like GPS, fm radio(eg samsung captivate-ATT does NOT have fm radio), camera , camcorder
  • Physical keyboard: Some people like physical keyboard as seen in droid 2.(though they add to width or take space)
  • Trackball/Optical mouse : You can use touch screen as mouse, but if you want to play certain games or move 2 characters left , having hardware optical mouse is great.(its absent in samsung captivate and droid x... though its present in htc droid incredible)
  • Global Capability(eg Sim card/GSM) : While most ATT and Tmobile phones(Quad band) have global GSM capability. Certain Verizon phones like "Droid 2 Global" have SIM cards - which makes it easy to use(or resell) globally.
  • Check http://green.ebay.com/instantsale to see the resell value of your old phone(or the phone that you are planning to buy).. Typically Global GSM phone or highly rate phone(no bugs) - will have higher value.
  • Check crapware bundled with phones. Some phone(eg Verizon samsung galaxy ) have "bing" instead of "google" as default bundled application(make it hard to use google )
  • Check if phone is easily rootable. As you may need that capability to remove crapware at some point.
BUGS:
Watch out for defect/bugs in phones(which you will know only one month after release of phone). eg Droid X reportedly has flickering issue in some phone, Iphone 4 reportedly drops  signal strength if you hold it wrong.
Some other phones may have questionable call quality. Samsung captivate supposedly have GPS issues(besides others like mtp issue while charging). Some phone buttons or touch screen may not be responsive.

Current (Sep 2011) Best phones:
a) Verizon :

Droid Bionic <-- Check my review with this new phone.
Droid Charge
Sony Ericsson Playstation phone
Droid Charge by Samsung  - dont expect updates on OS made by Samsung(supposedly may provide free mobile hotspot unlike thunderbolt)
Iphone 4(note iphone 5 will come in summer - and iphone 4 does not support 4G)
HTC Thunderbolt
Motorola DROID X Android Phone (Verizon Wireless)
Motorola Droid 2 Global(not Droid 2)

HTC DROID INCREDIBLE Android Phone (Verizon Wireless)

b) ATT
Motorola Atrix (Hotest phone for 2011)
HTC Inspire
Samsung Captivate Android Phone (AT&T)
HTC Aria Android Phone (AT&T)

c) Sprint
HTC EVO 3D.
HTC EVO 4G Android Phone (Sprint)
d) TMobile
Google Nexus S


IMP: Typically the latest phones have the best specs(but watch out for defects). But like laptops(eg I7 processor) -  you typically have to pay premium for buying
latest phones. But on the other hand if you dont buy latest phone - it may soon
get outdated.(eg i can see the old Iphone 3g  or motorolla droid as way slower)
Its usually good idea to wait for 2 or 3 months to see if the price is going down.(especially when the next droid is right around the corner)

Choosing Plan: Take the minimum data plan - and dont use SMS at first. (upgrade it later if you need it).. You should note that most phone carrier would allow the primary
holder to upgrade the phone after 1 year.

Accessories:
Dont forget to buy screen protector(MUST) for your smart phone.(avoid anti glare screen protector,as they make it hard to see your screen) . You may
optionally need a carrying case to protect it from minor drops(silicone ones may
be comfortable to hold as compared with plastic/metal ones).


PS: This is my personal opinion . Please put comments - only if information
is incorrect.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Top Android Apps


Android Top APPS(Android market):


You may install (and run) security software/app like "Lookout"  before installing and running any new app.(which also provides a cool free facility to backup  your information(dont backup images - just contacts) - and provides phone locating service)
However antivirus like lookout may take battery - and hence remove it if you dont need it.
Most anti-virus tools use signature scans - and are HIGHLY UNLIKELY to detect any malware - at least if you are installing apps from android market. Because by the time signature scans are
well known - google will remove those apps from android market - and also will eventually
remove the malware from your machine using "kill switch".(however they may not be
able to completely recover your phone or undo damages done ).. The best a user can
do is to avoid installing apps with permissions that can cost money(eg phone calls, sms).


MOST IMP TIP: AVOID INSTALLING "JUST IN" Apps.(unless you are a techie and understand the permissions). Alos AVOID AUTOUPDATE of any "non google apps" - as the malware guys
typically post good software (like Spiderman) initially - and then quitely push update which
causes harm. 

Do download "amazon app store" from amzon.com. It  will give you some paid apps as free - besides some apps are at better priced then the default android market.
Download apps for Default Android Market using : https://market.android.com/ from your PC - instead of using default android market app on your phone(as the web site is much easier to use)
I would say the top free apps on android are :
a) Advanced Task Killer Free - It will kill any undesired applications running(or really hibernating) in background. Its a good software to free memory - and monitor what application are unnecessarily active in background(using memory - not cpu).
However you should not use it continously.(as to kill it - you are using cpu).

b) Barcode Scanner or Shopsavvy-  It would allow you to scan any barcode of products and give you price comparison.(eg you can go to say rite aid/walmart - and check its online price)

c) Games!!(check top rated ones like "Angry Birds", "Doodle Pro", "Talking Tom")

d) Skype Mobile(only on verizon) - you can receive skype calls - and make international
call with Skype over verizons 3g/mobile network.(ie no need for Wifi - unlike in iphone)

e) There are lots  of good apps - depending on your taste. (eg Google Skymap , pandora radio(or slacker, yahoo), tv.com, google places, Urban Spoon for restaruants, coupons etc) You can use internet radio station like Pandora to act like satellite radio - if you hook it to aux input if your cars mp3 player(and charge phone via mp3 players usb output)

f) For techies - you have (paid) like remoteDb , VNC Viewer , No Lock etc

g) Meebo IM Tool- to chat on yahoo, hotmail, aim, google etc

h) Verizon Users   - download NFL mobile now(free app -till dec 2010). Verizon
paid millions to be exclusive provider for  NFL content. I beleive that you have to still pay money (vz cast subscription) to WATCH live matches.

i) The default photo app does not preview picasa etc - so use "JustPictures" app to view your online photos.

j) I like skyfire browser - as an alternative to default browser.(some sites like google map/cnn seem to work better or give full version on it). Dolphin HD may be another good browser.

k) Google Goggles- This is a good tool to scan and import information from
contact card(make sure - not to select area containing logos). You can
also use it as a primitive "image to text" scanner - by taking photo/scanning two(or 3) lines - clicking on translate button-doing long press on translate text field - and doing copy(and later paste on your emai: l).
The primary purpose of google goggles is to identify images or places(mainly by GPS).

l) Google Voice : You need to first open browser and register google voice online (eg choose number) - and associate it with your telephone number . Once you have done that - you can then download and use Google voice app(else you will be stuck in verifying number). Google voice allow you to control voice mail to be sent to gmail account,  allows phone call to be routed via google voice - and hence google voice number will come in other persons caller Id, allows if some one calls your google voice number (which can be local to that persons area) - it can be routed to your cell/home.

m)No Lock App: If your outlook/mail forces you to have password configured
for your device - then NoLock App will remove the need to enter password(Except startup).. It may however lock some keys like "home key" etc - and you can then use Advanced Task manager to kill it.

n) Others :Comic strips like daily Strip(dilbert, spiderman etc) , Jokes for kids, bonsai blast, hamster climb, jewels, Connect 4, replica island, Softrace(for jogging etc), compass, weather channel, urbanspoon, Astrid tasks, astro file manager, color notes.

(Verizon: You can also install myverizon - which will give you your minutes/data usage/balances in one click.)

You may note that per Googles Refund Policy - you can try paid app for free - as
long as you unistall it within 24 hours from point of purchase.

Uninstall/Removing Software:
Click on menu ->settings ->applications.. You can use then use "manage applications" to uninstall/remove software.  Go ahead and check all your running services also - as you dont see it in Task Manager software(and crosscheck that services are what you need)

Why do some apps start on bootup or randomly?
If the apps is starting on bootup or randomly -then check the
"services" section. Its likely that there is an associated service which is doing that.
You must AVOID apps which uses services .
Also some apps even though they are not using services may randomly startup
as they may have fired "alarms"(using Alarmanager) or requested permission to start on bootup.
Its hard to detect whch apps are using "alarms"(there is no tools for it) - and
the pre-installed crapware like CityId, Amazon Mp3 are highly likely to use such features.

IMP: If some apps(as seen in advanced task manager) keep coming back or
come up at start up - then consider removing them.(unless they have option - not to start at startup). Similary stop running services (menu->settings->Application-> Running services)  - and check all of them (eg skype) that you dont need.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

General Android phone usage/tutorial

You may check flash/video demo first:
 http://learning.verizonwireless.com/
www.youtube.com/androidtips


Android Usage tips:

  •    To add new folder to desktop(home screen) do long press on it - and click on new folder. To add program to home screen(or new folder) - just click on up arrow first -> long press on programs(like camera, maps) and then drag it to home screen/folder.
  • I could not find out how to delete stuff from home screen.(you have to press the application that you want to delete for a long time - and once the thrash-can icon appears - delete it). I then realized that I can also move stuff on home screen - and I should probably create a "new folder" on home screen - and keep some of my favorite stuff there.
  • When in doubt - always press home button or back button to go back.. Keep habit of pressing menu button to explore your app. If they keys dont work then reboot it.

  • The other thing I missed was forward button -but quickly realized that I just need to press on home button continuously - and it will show all recently opened applications.(though in browser if you press menu you see a forward button)
  • Similarly if you press on power button continuously - you will get options to turn sound off, vibrate etc.

  • For any opened applications - click on menu button to see settings/quit button (eg for exiting GPS - you need to go back to map - and press on menu button)

  • If you are using camera - then always click on area(in the screen) that you want to focus on.

  • You will find lots of useful stuff in "settings" eg Sound and display or about phone(press menu on home screen)

  • I always tend to forget about the trackball(optical mouse) which can be used to scroll web pages or help in copy/paste etc. The main used of this  is to click on camera. But I later realized that I need it in some games(especially when it says press the "up button" - you then need to flick the optical mouse up)

  • In phones contact person settings - you can set up a separate dial phone for particular contact or even set it up to always redirect to voice mail(for that contact).
  • The best android tip  may be to DOWNLOAD "Amazon App store" from amzon.com. You may get certain paid apps for free - and sometimes at better price as compared with Android Market. However installing amazon app store is not trivial(may 2011) ,  You have to have lots of free space in  SD card. And you may also need to move folder called ".android_secure" - else the download will never happen.

Initial Playing around with your android phone:

I would say initially try :
  • Set up your google/gmail account first.
  • GPS - with text to speech navigation.(which works even while you surf) ... However it may be noted that you may not know that its working in background - and hence to quit it you should press on menu button while its active - and click on exit navigation.
  • Camera - and try uploading it to flickr - or send it via email.
  • Camcorder
  • FM transmitter(headset may be needed - which also acts as antenna)
  • Normal browsing with "voice search"
  • Try Voice dialing app.(after you added contacts)
  • Using mail client - setup any outlook(office) that you may have.. Also setup hotmail,gmail by just typing user/pass.
Warning: Please note that you should check mail settings - to ensure that you don't check mail frequently.  Also once you setup mail client then it may force you to have screen lock - with at least 4 characters - screen password(irritating but secure) - to secure certain email accounts(not for hotmail/yahoo/gmail). 
Removing Screen Lock:
If you add certain emails accoutnts , then it may force you to choose screen password. If you have setup screen lock and lost screen password - then you will need to reset the device (and loose all contacts/applications etc) . . However - If you know your password then you can use "No Lock" application from android market - it works on incredible(assuming its running in background)  - you wont have to type the screen lock password(this again may take cpu/battery). Though having screen lock can be advantage - if you dont want others to use your phone.
(however nolock app may not work on startup - and may  sometimes
freeze some keys - and hence you may need to kill it with Advanced
Task manager)


Cool things to do with our phone:
  • Get weather widget directly on home page, use mail client for checking hotmail/yahoo/gmail, places/urbanspoon app for nearby restaurants.
  • You can check map to see local traffic(turning traffic option on in layer section) daily before commute.

  • You can charge it via my cars usb charger(check usb wattage specs before trying) - and then listen to pandora (or slacker)radio in my car by putting the headset output of droid incredible into the cars voice(aux in) input. Hence you wont need satellite radio.(ipod users has been doing this for long time - but now you get internet radio with incredible)

  • You may organize favorites apps on Desktop/home page( and in folders)  so that you can access the favorite apps in one click  - and other ones in 2 clicks.
Android Phone Battery Tips(Android tuning):
Make sure that for the first time - you charge it overnight - else you wont get max battery life(or your display power would be wrong).

In order to save battery for each application (eg lookout or mail client) -  open it individually - click on menu button - and see if there is option to limit its usage.
(eg for lookout - I disabled antivirus protect, for mail client -I asked it download it manually)..

When you start phone - notice the running applications in Task managers.
(if you think some application is running needlessly the remove it)
For playing games (or local music/photos) - you can even go to airplane
mode(where all internet/phone connection may be disabled)
If you have apps like skype - then you may remove option to
automatically intercept international call.(assuming you dont use that)

If you have set up mail - then ensure that you dont sync it automatically.

Check all the autosync options - and see if you dont have stuff like flickr automatically doing autosync.


Of course you can also use apps like Advanced task killer to stop unwanted
applications.(but its a pain to always use it)

Consider disabling live wall paper, wifi, blue tooth - if you dont use it.

The best way to get more batter power is to use less display eg Go to settings->sound and display ->Change display to low(and turn animation off)


Monitor usage of application (and remove the ones that are power hogs). You can easily do this by going to Settings->About Phone->battery. This link will show current battery power in more detail - besides it will also tell you the percentage of battery used by all apps - since it was charged. You can then remove any offending applications.

Tips for AT&T users(or other users) who need limit bandwidith:
Some carriers limit internet usage, hence you may :
a) check 3g signal on top appear or light up to find apps which uses Internet.
most free apps will use internet to show ads and hence you may go to airplane mode(disable all connections) while playing games.
b) You should note that google gps map/navigation uses internet.
c) use apps like Myatt or Myverizon to check how much internet was used
by particular application(like gps )

Others:
I could not find any way to filter R(or x) rated apps in android market.
(though R rated or porn material are not allowed in android)
You should noted that android 2.2 should be lot faster then android 2.1(however cisco vpn etc may still not work)
Why do people root(ie jailbreak) their phone ?

I beleive jailbreaking (eg iphone) you own phone is legal per recent court rule.
(however certain applications may not be allowed eg wireless broadband)
People root their phone to get admin access to their phone.
This allows them to:
a) Get corporate(eg Cisco )vpn working(even though it does not work in android 2.1 or android 2.2)
b) Install cool developement and monitoring tools
c) Do Wifi tether or even set your phone as wifi router.(probably not allowed)
d) Overclock(go faster) the CPU .(will take more battery)
e) Remove crapware like cityId etc(that your carrier may have forced on you)

Disadvantage:
Higher chance of virus.
The installation software may mess up your phone(or may itself be a virus)






PS:
Please leave comments (with line number) for any part that needs to be
corrected/changed/removed. (This is a draft version and some instructions may not apply to your phone)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Droid charge vs HTC Thunderbolt vs Droid bionic

Droid Charge vs HTC Thunderbolt.
Keep an eye on HDMI port(none in thunderbolt - but has some dnla)
Check battery specs - as 4G will suck battery like anything - and you will need to turn it off. (driod bionic has around 1900 compared to thunderbolt of around 1300).
Supposedly you may get free mobile hotspot(temporarily) with droid charge.
However you need to be aware that both droid charge and thunderbolt have UNLIMITED 4G plan - which will suspended soon for newer phones(or for all new contracts around summer)
Droid Charge Cons: Made by Samsung(poor reputation in android phones e.g. Upgrades, gps issues), No LED indicator light, no dual core, 4G antenna is not as strong as thunderbolt(might require reboot)..
Thunderbolk cons: no dual core, bad batter life, switches between 4g and 3g,
supposedly drop wifi hotspot connections.
Check out both Phones at local Verizon wireless store - and if 4G is
working fine then go for Droid Charge. (you should however wait for dual core droid bionic coming at end of summer - but verizon is planning to remove unlimited data plan soon)
Cost: It should be around 200$ at amazon and 250$ at wirefly and 300$ at verizon.com .But there may be some memorial day deals/prices.

HTC EVO 3D vs Droid charge.
The processor speed on EVO 3D is 1.2 GHz Dual Core vs 1GHZ Single Core.
Hence EVO should be faster. Besides HTC phones are easier to use.
You have to watch out for low battery life in HTC phones.
While 3D viewing is cool - but as pointed by Nintendo(3D dsi) - it may not be good for eyes(on prolonged exposure). Its more of gimmick then of actual use(but nice to have).
HTC EVO will have 4G (wimax ) which will be slower the LTE 4G on Droid charge.


Iphone 4 vs Droid bionic vs Motorola Atrix vs Sony Ericsson:
Iphone 4 does not support 4G - and is only single core compared to upcoming Droid Bionic.
(with Iphone 5 coming soon - it will be easily outdated)
Also Droid Bionic should support hotspot capability.
Iphone however has terrific screen(easy to read) - and good battery life(compared to android). My personal view is that apps/usage are almost same on iphone.
 But iphone make it easier to resell and  has lots of  accessories.
Also games like Angry Bird(1$) or GPS maps with turn/traffic(5$) are free on Android only.
Unlike Droid Bionic and Iphone 4 (verizon) -
Motorola Atrix will be available on ATT(ie bandwidth restrictions) It has new concept of driving a dummy laptop if you need bigger screen/keyboard for surfing.
Sony Ericsson coming on Verizon would have an slide out gaming pad -and would
be compatible with many playstation games(however just like its 2010 model - dont expect it to get upgrades).

Droid 2 vs HTC Droid Incredible:
Droid 2 has physical keyboard - which is nice as unlike software keyboard they
dont hog the screen while typing. However most people(eg iphone users)
would consider it un-necessary as it adds to width of phone.
You should note Droid 2 has 5 mp vs droid incredible has 8 mp camera.
(of course mega pixels are not everything)
You can check if Droid 2 has lowest price
by using coupon code NEWDROID2 to Receive $25 off the DROID 2 at wirefly (add the coupon code at checkout and see if its still valid) and compare it with other sites.



Droid X vs Samsung captivate:
Samsung captivate is part of Galaxy X series by Samsung. Samsung
uses Super Amoled vs LCD in droid x. But ATT has 2GB limitation in 25$ plan
unlike unlimited data in verizons 30$ plan.
Samsung captivate also seems to have quad band GSM (implying easier
to replace SIM card globally). In short they are almost same - but its decision
of ATT vs verizon.
Samsung captivate Cons: GPS issues, NO optical joystick(also absent in droid x ), USB charge and use issue.

You should note that HTC phones are EASIER to use as compared with Samsung/Motorolla(due to HTC sense)


Droid X vs htc droid incredible:

In droid X vs incredible - droid X would have the edge - if you want bigger screen, (assuming it fits in pocket - with the bulge ie some people may need to wear it on their belt), hdmi output(compared to composite video output) , .. Also droid x supports 720 p camcorder (which should be the biggest diff./advantage now)..(there are rumours that incredible may get updated to 720 p recording - and will also get mobile hotspot capability). There are reports that droid x interface is sluggish.

The advantage that htc droid incredible may have  over droid x is "smaller screen",
amoled screen(Vs lcd) and HTC sense(ie easier to use).


You may have already noted that - Droid X - does not look pretty(especially weird at back).

Droid X and HTC incredible have 8GB internal memory (compared to only 1GB
for HTC EVO which would cause issue for apps till it gets upgraded to adroid 2.2)
Droid X also bundles 16GB of External Micro SD memory(which you can buy for
incredible/evo for around 30$ . Professional cost around 40) - unlike only 2GB(or none) for Incredible.

The processor speed in Droid X/Incredible is same(though droid x has some extra graphics support - but it has to render/display bigger area). Hence performance
should nearly be the same(varying slightly based on the type of page).
With htc incredible you can watch youtube on TV via the composite cable (but on WIFI ONLY - and hence cant use it while travelling). You can not watch youtube  on TV - with Droid X - per this article .
(In short - for both you may be forced to watch youtube on small screens - instead of redirecting it to big screen in your "bigger portable tv" - while travelling)

Droid X (and incredible ) do not have front camera(compared with HTC EVO and Iphone, but the front camera is anyway limited - in them - for video chatting  - to either wifi and/or proprietory apps). Currently neither - droid x or htc incredible or htc evo are on Froyo(android 2.2) .. They will get upgraded to android 2.2 after testing

The only known bug (impacting small users ) is flickering issue:
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/07/droid-x-flickering-screen/

You can get more info. to not use doid x here :
http://androidforums.com/samsung-captivate/129305-can-you-use-captivate-while-its-connected-pc.html


NOTE: You can get more information on droid x top accessories/droid x buying tips here.

Update: droid 2  has now come with keyboard(1 G Hz , 5mp camera) :  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/21/droid-2-vs-droid-video-is_n_619257.html


You can check if Droid 2 has lowest price
by using coupon code NEWDROID2 to Receive $25 off the DROID 2 at wirefly (check if coupon is still valid at checkout) and compare it with other sites.

In droid 2 vs droid incredible - incredible may have slight edge due to better camera , htc sense(easy to use) etc..
However in droid x vs droid 2 vs droid incredible - i would give edge to droid x for specs
(droid 2 should be good for anyone who prefers physical keyboard eg blackberry users)


Sprint HTC EVO vs HTC incredible:
HTC EVO as a phone is a dream phone compared to Incredible(front camera, hdmi port, bigger screen - nice for watching video or surfing , hd camcorder and hd youtube videos). However if you want better phone (which however may be bulky  - and likely to have bad battery life ) -and are living in areas with reasonable sprint coverage - then buy the Sprint phone. However you should get a preview on Sprints 3G/4G before making this decision - and also note that some apps are exclusive(now) to verizon (eg skype mobile and nfl mobile) as mentioned below. But note - that to use sprint mobile broadband - you will probably have to pay 30$ over your data plan(around 30$ + 10$) - . Also you can can not use "broadband router" + phone at same time on 3G in HTC EVO - just like in verizons (but its possible to do both in 4G). You could get a review/preview on Sprints 4G network - bad reviews(but great design)- using device that already supports 4g like  Sierra Wireless Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot (Sprint) I have also heard that Spring has less memory reserved for apps(crosscheck). However this may not be a factor (as you can run app from SD card) - with next android 2.2 version.(but again  I have heard that this update may come slow on all HTC phones like Incredible or EVO  as they use customize android)


The battery life on droid incredible is not great(per expectations) - Sprint HTC
EVO with bigger screen(and broradband wifi router) and on 4G is likely to be worse. Also any disadvantage of htc incredible/android 2.1 (eg no automatic bluetooth voice dialing till 2.2 update or supposedly mediocre voice quality after few days) would apply to this phone.(as made by same company around same time frame)

Sprint HTC data plan is 40$(30 +10) .. Plus you may buy mobile router plan at additional 30.

Sprint HTC EVO vs DROID X
Comparing the features - HTC EVO has 4G capbility and front camera.
Hence if sprint vs verizon was not the factor - then HTC EVO is better phone.


APPS EXLCUSIVE ON VERIZON:
  • Also due to Skype agreement with Verizon - skype (over mobile ) may not come quickly to either Sprint or ATT(iphone) - http://gigaom.com/2010/02/19/skype-verizon-deal-more-details. But you can still use Skype over Wifi(eg home) on non verizon network.  The cool thing wih Skype mobile is that you chat with your contacts  - and when they call you - its over verizon network. Besides  all internation call that you make (eg 011*) will automatically go over skype(if you set it up)
  • NFL fans - this would be a deciding factor. Verizons paid millions to get exclusive NFL mobile app exclusively for verizon(it used to be on Sprint) - However it appears that VZ consumers have to pay extra to watch video.

OTHER TOP SMART PHONES(updated Aug 2010):
Check cnet latest top smart phones (in case this gets outdated): http://reviews.cnet.com/best-smartphones

OTHER VERIZON PHONES:
You should note that currently(temporarily) - Palm Pre Plus Phone (Verizon Wireless) by verizon also provides wireless broadband for free(ie for only 30$  additonal fee for - data on phone - you get broadband wifi hotspot). If you dont want to pay for data plan then Motorola Barrage V860 Phone (Verizon Wireless) or  Casio G'zOne Rock C731 Phone (Verizon Wireless)  are currently(june 2010) - the most popular choice.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

TOP Recommended accessories for your Android(Droid) phone, Iphone

Top Accessories:
For droid x top Please go to droid x top accessory  link.  For droid incredible go to droid incredible accessory link.

a) Buy any good Screen protector
Avoid anti -glare ones and retun back any screen protector which makes it tough to see the screen.
b)   TV out cable (eg Av cable or hdmi cable appropriate for your phone)
c) Optional - Buy either car charger or if you are sick of so buying so many car chargers
then you can try buying "dc to ac car charger - and then directly use your USB/ac cable to charge it in the car.(Warning: If you buy dc to ac charger - then it will have very loud fan noise - or may not be durable  But to me  for charging at least the laptop(unlike phone) - i did not have any choice)
d) Optionally extra battery (most battery including bundled one - may last only a year)
e) Buy any phone cover/case like - Silicone gel  cover or professional rubber hard case cover to protect
your droid from minor scratches. (The silicone gel ones are easier to hold . The hard cover ones is likely to protect better - but it may itself break down on falling- ulike silicon gel ones)
Phones like droid incredible (or droid x) -LCD - can break easily, as the LCD glass is at level with the edges.  However buying protective cover may raise the height of edges - and thereby giving slightly more protection when it falls.
e) Optional - Micro SD : If you are going to use lots of HD space(due to apps or camcorder) - then you would need to buy MicroSDHC card.(Check if your phone has slot for micro sd - and in most case they must have already bundled this card).
f) Must -(only if you have Aux input in your cars mp3 player to listen to pandora) -
Male to Male stereo cable.(buy any top rated ones - check length/feet size)
g) Optional/Must - To charge your phone via your cars USB output (or computer) - Micro USB to USB Sync & Charge USB Cable. (NOTE: this cable comes bundled with most phones-  as a part of your main charger - but an extra one for your cars mp3 player/computer may be good to have   )
h) Optional - car charger (instead of USB charger - if you dont have USB output in your car).
i) Optional - Car mount
j) Optional - External portable charger
eg New Trent ultra-pack IMP880 8900mAh External Battery pack for 3G iPad, iPhone 4 4G, iPhone 3G 3GS, iPod Touch (1G 2G 3G), Motorola Droid , HTC Android Phones, Blackberry (curve, bold, tour, storm) - 8900mAh
or laptop charger with USB port for charing mobile phones
Energizer XP18000 Rechargeable Power Pack for Laptops
(Warning : most of the portable charger may take too much time to charge or get hot or may not last long )
k) You can use pocket projector  - if your phone has AV output
eg Optoma PK301 Pico Pocket Projector  (warning : most pocket projector require complete darkness)

l) Optional - If you car does not have usb output and "aux input" then
you may consider "fm trasmittor plus usb output device" like :
Griffin Itrip Auto Universal Plus Refresh FM transmitter and PowerJolt Auto Charging for Portable Audio Players
(You may note that most fm transmittor are hard to work in car - as
the antenna is outside and windows are closed. Also the USB output charging
rate may be lower then discharge rate - and hence the battery may slowly
decline if the phone is heavily used at same time)
(Check reviews before buying any stuff)