I bought a £50 Android...

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by rbrian, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #1
    ... and it isn't rubbish!

    5" 720p screen, surprisingly good - bright and clear. A little more pixel density would be nice, but I used to read books on a 3GS, and this is way better. It's not quite as good as my iPhone 7, but it's in the same ballpark.

    It runs Android 6.0 marshmallow, which has all the features I could expect, even if it isn't quite up to date. I haven't used Android since 1.6, so I was pleasantly surprised, and all the apps I use are available, some slightly better, some slightly worse.

    The hardware is not great - I already ran out of the 8Gb storage before I'd downloaded all the apps I want, let alone media. It has an SD card slot, so when the 32Gb one I ordered at the same time as the phone arrives, I'll pop it in. It also has two SIM slots, which isn't relevant to me, but nice to know I have the option.

    The speaker is poor, quiet even at maximum volume, and bizarrely placed on the back. The micro-USB charging port is a bit tight, and placed on one side of the bottom instead of the centre, which bothers me more than it should.

    The cameras are adequate at best - still better than a 3GS, but only just.

    The processor is slow, and the 1Gb ram is not enough - switching between apps means reloading, much like a 6+...

    I bought it because I'm still incensed at the MacBook price rises, which led me to investigate Windows, and I found it good. Just as an iPhone 3GS was the gateway drug that resulted in me buying several new iPhones, a couple of iPads, and 3 macs, so my £150 HP Stream got me buying a £1500 gaming PC, I think this BLU may get me to give up iOS.

    BLU Studio G HD LTE -4G LTE SIM-Free Smartphone -8 GB + 1 GB RAM- Grey https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LS9Z218/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_PeOHybV90YG16
     
  2. Hastings101 macrumors 68020

    Hastings101

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    K
    #2
    It's always fun trying new things, and Android + Android devices seem to be getting better all the time even at the low end (though I'm sure there are plenty of awful phones still out there). It's kind of nice to be in the time where you can get a decent phone from anywhere at >$100 to $1000.
     
  3. Ffosse macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    #4
    1GB of RAM and an 8GB ROM would kill it for me - even for £50. But it's probably good value for a basic phone.
     
  4. rbrian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #5
    I
    I agree the 1Gb ram isn't enough, but there's an SD slot which they say is good for up to 64Gb. I ordered a 32Gb card for £9.72, which although it hasn't yet arrived, compares well with Apple's pricing for 32Gb! It remains to be seen if apps can be installed on it, and if they work ok. If not, next time I'll get something with 16Gb or 32Gb built in, and a 128Gb SD card for all the media I could want, or to use as a portable drive.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 24, 2017 ---
    Yep, I'd seen that story already. It seems to have been fixed, but it is something to bear in mind. Of course, now that the UK government has passed the snoopers charter, it's pretty much moot. You thought you had it bad with Trump!

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp....extending-uk-state-surveillance?client=safari
     
  5. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    #6
    I wouldn't use android as my daily runner, I'm too embedded in Apple's ecosystem, but I've used a few cheap android devices in prototyping of my project, and in the cheap bracket, they're either terrible, or really good for the money - I have yet to find an "average" one.

    Especially tablets - I've gotten an Asus android tablet which cost £130 in the Black Friday (month) sales. The screen is incredible (same resolution as the iPad mini retina). 2GB RAM, quad core atom cpu - it's insane for the price.

    The one thing I've noticed is that they don't have the same build quality as Apple's devices though. Most of the android devices I have are in bits (because I use them as prototype innards for my project), but I've had devices out of the box with broken buttons, loose screws - on one the battery wire was barely soldered to the board - if it was used as a daily driver I'd give it a month before that battery connection went.
     
  6. Septembersrain Contributor

    Septembersrain

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    #7
    I still have a Note 3. I've got all my music on it. I also get an itch to flash a new ROM from time to time. I think enjoying all technology is great. Why limit yourself on bias when you can just experience everything?
     
  7. rbrian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #8
    Time will tell - but there have been well documented problems with flagships too. Galaxy Note 7 battery, iPhone 6S touch disease, etc. Given that I could buy 10 of them for the price of an iPhone, and still have money left over for storage which I'd only have to buy once, and still have money left over for a night out, if it lasts two months that's still good going! I was expecting it to be rubbish, I just wanted to trial Android for the least money, but to my surprise it's actually quite good.
     
  8. Ffosse macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    #9
    My first android phone was a T-Mobile Pulse Mini back in 2010.

    Horrible mushy resistive screen and not enough RAM to operate properly...it also had numerous bugs and scratched easily; it's amazing how tech has changed.
     
  9. rbrian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
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    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #10
    I agree! It occurred to me today that it wasn't long ago that computers you could talk to, video calls, virtual reality, and self driving cars were all science fiction; now they're all here, or hereabouts. Alexa (who can now be called "Computer"! ) can understand much more natural language than the computer in the original Enterprise, video calls are ordinary; even a £50 phone can do them. VR isn't the Matrix yet, and self driving cars aren't ubiquitous. It won't be long though. What will be next?
     
  10. mi7chy macrumors 601

    mi7chy

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    #11
    Every scifi tech from the original Star Trek has become reality except for the transporter but it probably exists in some top secret government lab.

    As for low cost phone segment, there are gems to be found. For that price range here in the US you could do better with higher tier brands like Moto and Huawei and better on specs with 2GB DRAM and 16GB storage with SD slot.

    Europe has more interesting options overall though like the ~£200 Lenovo Vibe P2 with 5.5" SAMOLED, 5100 mAh battery, 14nm Snapdragon 625, 3 or 4GB DRAM and 32GB or 64GB storage.
     
  11. spriter macrumors 65816

    spriter

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    #12
    I'm always a sucker for a cheap Android with decent specs. Not the cheapest but I've just picked up a good-as-new Redmi Note 3 (Pro) for £85.

    SD650, 3gb RAM, 1080p IPS, 32gb storage, dual SIM or single+SD card, with a rear finger scanner in an aluminium body. Even has infrared to control the TV. Oh, and a 4,050mAh battery.

    The speaker is on the back and the 16mp camera is just about good (needs good light) which is to be expected.

    But, for £85, it's a fantastic backup device. Heck I'd really be happy with this had I not had kids and need the camera. SD650 is a great chip and performance is an to the S6 in benchmarks but much smoother (hello TW) in reality.

    Crazy how much you get for so little these days. I've been buying budget Chinese phones for years and they've come a long way.
     
  12. Tsepz macrumors 68020

    Tsepz

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    #13
    Many cheap Androids are actually very good smartphones, there are just idiotic people who like to assume that just because it's cheap it will be rubbish when that is not at all true.

    This is a narrative many people who use a competing OS like to run with as they need to desperately justify their purchase.

    Glad you are enjoying it.

    If I didn't have a old Galaxy S2 or old Galaxy Note 4 to use on boys weekends away, I'd have some cheap Android ZTE or a low end Huawei.
     
  13. rbrian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #14
    I used to be anti-Apple, before I'd so much as tried any of their products. I bought an expensive phone, I think before Android existed, and on paper it was much better than the iPhone. In reality, it was terrible in so many ways - the worst was the satnav, which back then was a big deal to have included. I was on footin Edinburgh, and wanted to find Haymarket railway station. No matter how I searched, it couldn't find it. The top result was Edinburgh Road [gas] filling station, in London. 400 miles away. I ended up asking a random passerby - the indignity!

    When I finally got home, my friend was going on and on about his shiny new 3GS, and to shut him up I tried using it to find Haymarket station - which it managed perfectly. It was a revelation. Perhaps Apple products are magical, turning mediocre specifications into perfect machines. Not long after, I bought my own 3GS, and then my first Mac, when Vista had me tearing my hair out.

    I've had iPhones for the last 7 years, and now for the first time I've looked outside the garden, and I feel like I've escaped from a cult. There was a time when Apples were indisputably better - but that time has passed. They let too many products languish - Mac Pro, Mac mini, iPod touch; and when they finally do update, they miss the mark, and charge far too much. Apple TV without 4K. Unupgradable macs, with limited connectivity, and untrustworthy battery life.

    Meanwhile the competition is doing more for less. Or the same for much less. Or slightly less for a tiny fraction of the price.
     
  14. ackmondual macrumors 6502a

    ackmondual

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2014
    Location:
    U.S.A., Earth
    #15
    Can an micro SD card be used as RAM/system memory? It thought it was only to increase storage (aka, hard drive space on desktop and laptop computers)


    Either way, I got a Samsung Galaxy s2 and s4 in 2011 and 2013 respectively. I didn't want to pay $650 for any phone, but luckily only got it for $200 on contract. And yes, I did check my T-Mobile bill from before I got my first smartphone bill vs. when I was still on a dumbphone... I added an extra $20 a month for a data plan. That's it. They didn't force me to do a top tier data plan package for $100 per month or something like that

    About last year, I had to replace my Galaxy s4 with messed up touch screen. $220 for a used LG G4 was a steal. It was one year old then, but for $220, it felt like a $650 phone (like the 2 Galaxy models I owned before them).

    Much like how the Iph7 is overall disappointing to me, I've been disappointed with the Galaxy s7, Note 7, as well as the LG G5, LG G6 that if my current phone croaks, I'm getting another LG G4 to replace that until something better in the $150 to $300 range comes by.
     
  15. rbrian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #16
    No. At least not on this phone with marshmallow, I don't know if anything has changed with nougat.

    In a couple of years, that will likely change, with Intel's 3D XPoint chips that can be both RAM and storage. https://www.engadget.com/2015/07/28/intel-3d-memory-1000-times-faster/
     

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