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Ask Slashdot: Data-Only Android For Development?

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the how-far-has-the-tide-lifted-the-boats dept.

Android 203

UrbanaMan writes "I am about to start developing Air and Flex apps for Android and need a smartphone to use for debugging. I want to be able to carry on working in the UK as well as in the US. I don't need to use the phone, so I am looking for an unlocked phone that can be used on pay-as-you-go data plans on both sides of the Atlantic. For app testing I need Flash Player (plus a processer pwerfull enough to support flash), a reasonable amount of memory, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, camera and USB (inc charging) and Android 2.3 or later. Are there any such phones/deals available for non millionaires?"

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203 comments

Flash (5, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 3 years ago | (#35580170)

Dude, the Flash thing was just to annoy Jobs, you're not supposed to actually use it.

Re:Flash (1, Insightful)

ItsLenny (1132387) | about 3 years ago | (#35580336)

I second that.. use HTML 5 or native android app development (depending on what you're trying to do). Flash will be dead soon air / flex might live on, but I doubt any of those will be viable in the long run...

Re:Flash (5, Interesting)

naz404 (1282810) | about 3 years ago | (#35580842)

The BIIIIIIIIIG advantage over Flash SWFs /AIR apps is that your entire app can be put into a single neat bundle. Can't say the same for Javascript + CSS + Canvas. Sound on HTML5 is pretty screwed up [phoboslab.org] too.

Anyway, Flash/AIR is the way to go right now if you want to target multiple platforms at relatively low cost/time/manpower. Flash & AIR run on: Windows, OSX, Linux, Android 2.2+, Blackberry Tablet OS, Apple iOS (as a native app via the iOS packager). Native will give the best speed, but if your speed requirements aren't so stringent, Flash/AIR will get the job done.

Oh, Lenny, you've got your techs confused. AIR != Flex. Flex is an Open-source framework that will allow you to publish SWFs or AIR Apps via MXML + Actionscript 3. AIR = more like Flash taken out of the browser sandbox & given native desktop hooks. Sounds like you're part of the "bashing stuff I haven't even touched yet based on FUD" camp.

Don't kid yourself. The face of the web is ruled by designers, not coders. Until WYSIWYG tools that make animation of UI interfaces/objects easy for non-coder designers become ubiquitous, Flash ain't going to die anytime soon. (*note: Adobe now has a Flash .FLA to HTML5 export in beta at the labs right now)

Re:Flash (1)

asdfghjklqwertyuiop (649296) | about 3 years ago | (#35580884)

The BIIIIIIIIIG advantage over Flash SWFs /AIR apps is that your entire app can be put into a single neat bundle.

Why is that such a big deal?

Re:Flash (1)

ItsLenny (1132387) | about 3 years ago | (#35580978)

No confusion here I know the difference between air and flex and have developed several things in each, but thats for the correction. I didn't mean air / flex as if they're one thing. I meant it as in they will both live beyond "flash" but will both die eventually. Also, who cares about packaging when the HTML 5 / JS / CSS lives on the web server.. to the end user it's a single thing. Finally, he said nothing about wanting cross-platform support. In fact, he seemed to emphasize that he was developing for android specifically

Re:Flash (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35581040)

FUCK YEAH! Thank you, somebody gets it. Fuck Apple for no-flash, but let's never forget: fuck Flash.

Why not a tablet? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 3 years ago | (#35580174)

... seems data-only apps and tablets seem to go well together, since tablets aren't phones and usually have non-3G options...

Re:Why not a tablet? (2)

compro01 (777531) | about 3 years ago | (#35580468)

AFAICT, most non-3G tablets also lack the GPS he desires.

Though he can hook a GPS in via bluetooth, but I'm not sure if that works the same way as a built in unit as far as software and compatibility is a likely issue.

Craigslist (5, Informative)

scot4875 (542869) | about 3 years ago | (#35580232)

If you can get by with wifi-only for your data connection, just grab whatever phone you'd like off of Craigslist. I'm currently debugging with a Hero and an Evo that aren't tied to any plan, and rarely leave my desk.

Also, the emulator works for debugging the vast majority of the time, and gives you access to whatever networks the host is connected to.

--Jeremy

Wi-Fi only works for me. (1)

GrantRobertson (973370) | about 3 years ago | (#35581236)

Agreed
I dropped my Verizon contract and went back to Sprint because I couldn't afford the data plan any more. (Yes, I saved money even after paying the $150 contract breaking fee.) Ever since, I've been using my Droid doing all the same things I used to do before - except talking on the phone - as long as I can get a Wi-Fi connection, which is just about everywhere I go. Heck, I could never use the thing outside anyway because the screen is awful for reading in sunlight. So, in the end, I am getting just about the same functionality without paying for a data plan.

Re:Craigslist (1)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | about 3 years ago | (#35581350)

I second WiFi only as well. I've used an ADP 1 (G1) and Nexus One for development purposes with no voice or data plan. I'm not sure why anyone would want a data plan just for development. I've even done some work on a location-based app extending the Maps API and even though I don't have WiFi everywhere I go, I can still collect a GPS and sensor trace to use with the emulator.

Nexus S (1)

SoftwareArtist (1472499) | about 3 years ago | (#35580236)

Sounds like you're describing a Nexus S. The only part I'm not sure about is whether you can use it as a phone in the UK. In the US, it should work fine with T-mobile's pay-as-you-go plans.

Re:Nexus S (1)

aitan (948581) | about 3 years ago | (#35580300)

A Nexus one will be quite cheaper

Re:Nexus S (1)

teh31337one (1590023) | about 3 years ago | (#35580332)

And quite a lot crapper. shitty touch sensor and GPU on Nexus One really let it down.

Re:Nexus S (1)

Samah (729132) | about 3 years ago | (#35580742)

And quite a lot crapper. shitty touch sensor and GPU on Nexus One really let it down

Indeed, and this is the reason I'm graveyarding my N1 for a Desire HD. Developing multitouch games on a quasi-multitouch device is unfortunately unacceptable. The 3G reception on the N1 is also abysmal.
http://androidandme.com/2010/03/news/is-multitouch-broken-on-the-nexus-one/ [androidandme.com]
(Link seems to be down at the moment)

Re:Nexus S (1)

teh31337one (1590023) | about 3 years ago | (#35580874)

They hacked a single touch sensor to be dual touch. It works for pinch to zoom, but it's pretty shitty. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MLUmJL_Px0 [youtube.com]

Newer phones like Galaxy S, Desire HD etc have proper multitouch. Galaxy S multi-touch (and Nexus S) supports 10 finger detection (with some hacks to enable it in the kernel and framework)

Re:Nexus S (1)

zill (1690130) | about 3 years ago | (#35580986)

...Galaxy S multi-touch (and Nexus S) supports 10 finger detection (with some hacks to enable it in the kernel and framework)

I have polydactyly, you insensitive semiconductor designers!

Re:Nexus S (1)

Threni (635302) | about 3 years ago | (#35581044)

What hacks? Android supports hundreds of fingers. If anything is hacked it's the shitty firmware/drivers in some phones.

Re:Nexus S (1)

Samah (729132) | about 3 years ago | (#35581070)

What hacks? Android supports hundreds of fingers. If anything is hacked it's the shitty firmware/drivers in some phones.

No, it's the physical screen.

Re:Nexus S (1)

teh31337one (1590023) | about 3 years ago | (#35581168)

Exactly. The sensor used in the screen is a single touch capacitive sensor. Android supports multi-touch, but the Nexus One / xperia x10 / HTC desire harware doesn't.

Re:Nexus S (1)

ryan420 (221788) | about 3 years ago | (#35580310)

The current model of Nexus S should work fine in the UK, since it has a GSM radio. I would second this recommendation. If you wanted to save a few bucks, you could also pick up a used Nexus One on swappa or ebay. Both Nexus phones are unlockable, meaning they are not locked to a specific carrier AND you can unlock the boatloader and install custom roms, radios, kernels, etc.

Re:Nexus S (0)

teh31337one (1590023) | about 3 years ago | (#35580348)

If you want it to work for data in the UK, get a Nexus S from the UK, and use it on *shudder* AT&T in America. You'll only get edge speeds on T-mobile in America, and if you get the T-mobile one, you'll only get 2g speeds in the UK, no 3G.

Re:Nexus S (2)

Bluecobra (906623) | about 3 years ago | (#35580458)

This is false. I own both a HTC G1 and a Samsung Vibrant which both have the US T-Mobile 3G frequencies and I had no problems using T-Mobile's prepaid 3G network in the UK. The only caveat is to make sure that the phones are unlocked so they will accept a UK SIM card.

Re:Nexus S (1)

teh31337one (1590023) | about 3 years ago | (#35580604)

UK uses 900 and 1800 MHz frequencies for 3G data, Tmobile use the AWS 1700/2100 MHz frequency-band. Your Vibrant worked because it can use 1700 / 1900 / 2100 bands.

Re:Nexus S (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 3 years ago | (#35581096)

UK uses 900 and 1800 MHz frequencies for 3G data

UK uses 2100MHz for 3G data. 900 and 1800MHz are the GSM bands.

Re:Nexus S (1)

FlatEric521 (1164027) | about 3 years ago | (#35580866)

This is false. I own both a HTC G1 and a Samsung Vibrant which both have the US T-Mobile 3G frequencies and I had no problems using T-Mobile's prepaid 3G network in the UK. The only caveat is to make sure that the phones are unlocked so they will accept a UK SIM card.

That is the same I experienced with my G1, but I used a prepaid O2 sim. Most smartphones these days seem to be quad-band GSM, so 2G/EDGE should work anywhere in the world. While it is true that T-Mo uses 1700/2100 for UMTS in the US, most of their phones can support running 2100 only. I checked before I went in Dec. 2010 and found that nearly all the UK carriers use 2100 in some capacity. I was there for nearly three weeks and had 3G indicated while I was in more populated areas.

Re:Nexus S (1)

Homburg (213427) | about 3 years ago | (#35581314)

Interesting. I have a Vibrant that runs on T-Mobile's US network, and I could only get 2G/EDGE while I was in the UK recently. Perhaps that was because I was in rural areas most of the time, or maybe for some reason Orange's 3G network (which I was trying to use) doesn't work with the phone.

Nexus One? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580242)

Uh....Nexus One from ebay? Lots of T-Mobile users in the USA are likely to be listing them soon...

Any Android 2.3 on GSM (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580246)

Just get any GSM handset with Android 2.3 and you'll be fine.. Probably cost you 400 bucks on ebay or go somewhere in eastern Europe and get one..

Re:Any Android 2.3 on GSM (1)

teh31337one (1590023) | about 3 years ago | (#35580412)

Pretty much this. From the main manufacturers, you have:

HTC

- Desire S (desire HD/Z/ incred. S will get Gingerbread soon)

Samsung

- Galaxy S2 or Nexus S.

Sony Ericsson - Xperia play/neo/arc.

LG, Motorola etc don't have any 2.3 phones announced/on the market yet. If you want working 3G in the UK, you should get a *shudder* AT&T phone because they have the correct bands to work in the UK/Europe

Re:Any Android 2.3 on GSM (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | about 3 years ago | (#35580878)

I've played around with the Samsung Galaxy S GT-i9000 a lot, and have tried a few different firmware options (both stock as well as homebrew/hybrids).

I noticed a few weeks ago SamFirmware.com shows 2.3.2 in the European firmware section..

I9000XWJV1 ## 512.PIT Version 2.3.2 2011 February DOWNLOAD 1 file select NO .PIT

I haven't tried it yet myself, as I"m using a hybrid with a US (Rogers Canada) based modem since it covers the frequencies I need, but I'm curious what the 2.3.2 holds. If it's an option, you could most likely pick up a GT-i9000(x) phone and use Odin to dump the 2.3.2 Euro firmware on and roll from there.

The (x) is because there's a few variants.. mine is actually the GT-i9000T which is a latin america based version that Immix Wireless sells (front facing camera instead of a flash on the rear facing camera). There's also a 9000B in the Mexico area, straight 9000's, 9000M's, and I'm not sure which others exist.

Link with some info:
http://www.samfirmware.com/apps/blog/entries/show/6282349-android-2-3-2-leaks-for-galaxy-s- [samfirmware.com]

The market has been hit and miss for some people after the update.. but according to that post if you root the phone the market works fine if it hadn't before.

Re:Any Android 2.3 on GSM (1)

teh31337one (1590023) | about 3 years ago | (#35580982)

I don't even know where to start. samfirmware doesn't know what he's on about, market has been working fine from whenever it was Google flipped the switch on the buildprint. The 2.3.2 ROM is decent, but not really ready for day to day use. The memory settings aren't set out correctly. so it doesn't quit out of applications when the memory is needed, leading to your phone crawling when it hits around 30mb RAM left. Apart from that, there are other problems like random reboots, and the phone not waking from sleep. These issues will be ironed out when the update rolls out. (probably android 2.3.3)

Nexus S? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580248)

It's unlocked, GSM, and has all the features you list.

Of course! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580252)

For app testing I need Flash Player (plus a processer pwerfull enough to support flash), a reasonable amount of memory, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, camera and USB (inc charging) and Android 2.3 or later. Are there any such phones/deals available for non millionaires?"

Of course! They're all like that! Fragmentation is just a myth!

Nexus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580254)

Googles native N1 or NS, obviously, silly. Oh. $500 USD? Even people on welfare can afford that. LOL

dev phone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580272)

Two words: Developer phone.
Seriously though why do you need data from a carrier instead of just wifi?
That said, developer phones are GSM, just get a month to month plan for said phone off contract.

Re:dev phone (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#35580298)

Seriously though why do you need data from a carrier instead of just wifi?

Why doesn't it make sense to test the phone under the conditions your customers will likely use it under? If his flash game takes too long to load, he's not going to know that using wifi.

Re:dev phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580400)

Because bandwidth is extremely variable?
Numerous people, including the one you replied to already suggested an off contract plan with a developer handset anyway.
AT&T Nexus 1 is probably best since Nexus S, at least in the US is T-Mobile which uses different frequencies than the rest of the world for 3G.

Re:dev phone (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#35580430)

Because bandwidth is extremely variable?

Uh that's not a reason to use wi-fi, that's a reason to test using an actual cellular signal.

Re:dev phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580834)

No, that really is an excellent reason to test with wifi.

Configure your home network to bandwidth cap at whatever you want to simulate and you can get it to perform better or worse than your local area.

Flying all over the world with an international phone to test it in different locations is a horrible idea compared to properly simulating it.

If you are on a real cell network, you don't have access to increase or decrease the bandwidth.

Re:dev phone (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#35580896)

Configure your home network to bandwidth cap at whatever you want to simulate and you can get it to perform better or worse than your local area.

Right. It's not just bandwidth caps, it's drop outs, changing conditions, etc. Sorta like you'd get if you walked around your neighborhood or town or whatever and tried it out.

Flying all over the world...

I said nothing like that.

100s have it already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580284)

> Are there any such phones/deals available for non millionaires?"

Yes, the mobile phones of telco executives. Thanks to them avoiding being non millionaires, you need to keep on searching.

Developing Flash "apps" for a phone, eh? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580312)

Developing Flash "apps" for a phone, eh? Here's a quick set of instructions:

- buy shotgun and ammo

- load shotgun

- insert in mouth

- pull trigger, repeat as needed

Seriously, I can't think of anything more suck-tastic than Flash apps on a phone. Piss-poor battery life, miserable performance and a UI that'll probably still think there's a mouse around...

Re:Developing Flash "apps" for a phone, eh? (4, Funny)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | about 3 years ago | (#35580502)

Developing Flash "apps" for a phone, eh? Here's a quick set of instructions:

- buy shotgun and ammo

- load shotgun

- insert in mouth

- pull trigger, repeat as needed

Seriously, I can't think of anything more suck-tastic than Flash apps on a phone. Piss-poor battery life, miserable performance and a UI that'll probably still think there's a mouse around...

Steve, the nurse said you need to get back in bed for your sponge bath...

What do you mean by non-millionaires? (2)

The End Of Days (1243248) | about 3 years ago | (#35580320)

What do you mean by non-millionaires? I get the whole populist concept that you should be able to get anything you want for free just because you want it, but there are costs involved in producing high end phone hardware that don't just vanish because of the ethics of those who don't like paying for stuff.

Re:What do you mean by non-millionaires? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#35580388)

What do you mean by non-millionaires? I get the whole populist concept that you should be able to get anything you want for free just because you want it...

Or maybe he just wants to make a minimal investment. It's nice to know that wisdom is a trait of people with a sense of entitlement.

Re:What do you mean by non-millionaires? (1)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | about 3 years ago | (#35580900)

I took him to mean that he'd be willing to forgo certain "high end" features, invest time looking for a good deal (no one said "free" but you), and put in effort making up for any shortcomings. A millionaire might not be willing to make those trade-offs.

Anyways, capitalists are usually the ones who say ethics doesn't apply to commerce. The "fair" price is whatever the market will bear, by definition.

Prepaid data in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580322)

I have looked... and looked... and looked. As far as I have been able to tell (in Seattle, WA) there are no options for prepaid data in the US. Period. Good luck though.

Re:Prepaid data in the US (2)

ItsLenny (1132387) | about 3 years ago | (#35580416)

Have you looked at virgin or cricket? .. i KNOW virgin has coverage in Seattle.. not sure about cricket

Developer Nexus One (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580334)

The developer Nexus One is unlocked. You can slap different SIM cards in it when you are over seas and you need cellular data access. It also runs 2.3.3 (the Nexus S, which might also be an okay choice was the only device to run 2.3.0-2.3.2 with a stock ROM.)

The nice thing about the Nexus is you don't have to fight it to get root, or unlock. Also, it is easy enough to have ROM backups for 2.1 up. Which gives you an option of testing on older versions, should you need to.

I have personally used my Nexus One around both Europe and Japan, with no problems.

Consider a contract (2)

xaxa (988988) | about 3 years ago | (#35580352)

Personally, I bought my HTC Desire from e2save [e2save.com] since I worked out it would cost about the same as buying the phone and using pay-as-you-go (£20/month × 24 = £480, but the phone alone cost about £380 at the time).

the purpose of flash on android (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580368)

The purpose of flash on Android is so that you can port existing flash apps to Android with ease. If you want to make Android apps, learn java.

GSM phone with Cricket or Virgin (1)

ItsLenny (1132387) | about 3 years ago | (#35580376)

The phone doesn't matter just make sure its GSM... You can use Cricket Wireless or Virgin in the US.. not sure about Europe. You might need 2 sim cards / providers to avoid paying "roaming" .. but Virgin and Cricket both offer unlimited data plans in the US. I know Virgin is in the UK too their "unlimited" data plans start at only $25/ month .. it'd probably be your best bet.

Re:GSM phone with Cricket or Virgin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580514)

Virgin does GSM in the US? Might want to double-check -- I seriously believe they're CDMA only in the USA, and that seems to be what virginmobileusa.com says, too.

But hey, I'd LOVE to be wrong.

T-Mobile G2X (1)

King InuYasha (1159129) | about 3 years ago | (#35580512)

I'd recommend the T-Mobile G2X, it works world-wide since it supports UMTS 850/1700/1900/2100 and GSM 850/900/1800/1900. If you buy it for the full price, you can get it unlocked immediately. It's a powerful dual core phone that runs near-stock Android, which is perfect for development!

Re:T-Mobile G2X (1)

teh31337one (1590023) | about 3 years ago | (#35580690)

It's on 2.2.2, not gingerbread

Re:T-Mobile G2X (1)

King InuYasha (1159129) | about 3 years ago | (#35580954)

It'll get Gingerbread fairly quickly, since it is running near-stock Android. Plus, I'm sure someone will cook up a Gingerbread ROM for the G2X in the meantime.

Re:T-Mobile G2X (1)

teh31337one (1590023) | about 3 years ago | (#35581102)

Depends on a whole bunch of things. G2 is running stock android, but it doesn't have gb yet. OEM customisations aren't the only reason for slow updates.

Re:T-Mobile G2X (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | about 3 years ago | (#35580768)

you want to test on devloppement code on crappy phone, To better optimize your apps and to make them compatible with more handset. Please don't make Wirth's law [wikipedia.org] happen more rapidly.

Re:T-Mobile G2X (1)

King InuYasha (1159129) | about 3 years ago | (#35580950)

Ahh, but if you don't optimize for multithreading, then apps on dual core phones suffer a lot. However, optimizing for multiple threads does give performance benefits on both single and dual core devices.

Check the support phones on Cyanogen Mod forums. (4, Interesting)

Pengo (28814) | about 3 years ago | (#35580548)

There are almost no phones that are affordable running 2.3.

I do development and use a unlocked Incredible on Verizon, but it's not activated, I just have it using WiFI.

On the road my kids can use it as a portable game device, i have a hotspot 3g card so the phone works as a phone, even when roaming.

I paid less than $200 in a local paper to get the phone, it was in perfect condition and runs fine. I actually enjoy that phone so much with Cyanogen i'm tempted to use it in place of my iPhone (also on Verizon).

I personally would never buy any Android phone that wasn't supported by the Cyanogen developers. (I'm looking at you boot-locked Motorola!) :)

Re:Check the support phones on Cyanogen Mod forums (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | about 3 years ago | (#35580888)

I posted this above, but I'll post again:

I've played around with the Samsung Galaxy S GT-i9000 a lot, and have tried a few different firmware options (both stock as well as homebrew/hybrids).

I noticed a few weeks ago SamFirmware.com shows 2.3.2 in the European firmware section..

I9000XWJV1 ## 512.PIT Version 2.3.2 2011 February DOWNLOAD 1 file select NO .PIT

I haven't tried it yet myself, as I"m using a hybrid with a US (Rogers Canada) based modem since it covers the frequencies I need, but I'm curious what the 2.3.2 holds. If it's an option, you could most likely pick up a GT-i9000(x) phone and use Odin to dump the 2.3.2 Euro firmware on and roll from there.

The (x) is because there's a few variants.. mine is actually the GT-i9000T which is a latin america based version that Immix Wireless sells (front facing camera instead of a flash on the rear facing camera). There's also a 9000B in the Mexico area, straight 9000's, 9000M's, and I'm not sure which others exist.

Link with some info:
http://www.samfirmware.com/apps/blog/entries/show/6282349-android-2-3-2-leaks-for-galaxy-s- [samfirmware.com] [samfirmware.com]

The market has been hit and miss for some people after the update.. but according to that post if you root the phone the market works fine if it hadn't before.

Orange San Francisco plus Cyanogenmod for 2.3 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580650)

In the UK, get a PAYG Orange San Francisco (ZTE Blade) for 99 pounds, unlock it, install Cyanogenmod version of Android 2.3, pop in a SIM from giffgaff for 10 pounds a month. That's the UK part done.

Comments above mention Cricket Wireless or Virgin for a US SIM.

orange sanfrancisco/zte blade £90 the cheap (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580662)

In the Uk all the cheap people get orange san francisco phones. A rebranded zte blade. Then you flash it with a generic android rom to remove all the orange stuff and you have an unlocked android phone with the latest software. Low resolution but large 3.5" capacitive screen and all the gadgets if only 600mhz. But at £90 on payg what do you expect? Basically it ticks all the boxes of the more expensive phones.

For data in the uk t-mobile will do six months of internet access for £20 on payg, or you can get a three months/3gb sim card on three for about £7 on ebay.

In the USA I think you are stuffed, there are not any cheap data options. Or at least I could not find any when I visited. But it is triband so should in theory work.

Re:orange sanfrancisco/zte blade £90 the che (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 3 years ago | (#35580870)

Yeah, but isn't it the V6 processor? There's tons of stuff that won't run on that :(. You need the V7 (Cortex) [wikipedia.org] processor to do cool stuff. I want to port my Firefox Plugin [mozilla.org], but I can't afford a $200 phone + $100/mo + 2 year lease (I don't care what they call it, with those cancellation fees it's basically a lease).

The ARM tablets I've seen are either really, really expensive ($500+), or they're running the V6. I don't think there is a cheap alternative for Android hobbyist dev.

Re:orange sanfrancisco/zte blade £90 the che (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 3 years ago | (#35581008)

DARG! I hate replying to my own posts, but I should have mentioned, if you're in the United States Virgin Mobile has a $25/mo + Tax Android with a V6 process here [virginmobileusa.com]. The Freescale A Pad [bigboxstore.com] has all the specs you could ask for and a bargin price, but I've heard bad, bad things about the build quality...

Target Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580738)

Is OP planning on releasing any of this development as products to any marketplace?

If yes, OP is seriously limiting their pool of potential customers. Might as well sell software for WebTV...

Galaxy Player (1)

vgerclover (1186893) | about 3 years ago | (#35580770)

What about the Galaxy Player [engadget.com]?

It's pretty much a Galaxy S without the phone guts. Sadly, it hasn't come out yet, and it will come out with FroYo (although they have stated that, just as the Galaxy S, it will get Gingerbread).

Nexus One (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580794)

I bought a Nexus One phone direct from Google. It comes unlocked and it is pretty fast.

AT&T used to have a data-only plan but not any (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580804)

This is useless to you now, but: Way back, once upon a time (aka last June), AT&T offered unlimited smartphone data plans with no free minutes ($0.40/minute if you used it as a phone, with $0.30/SMS). The plan cost $30 or $35/month, I don't exactly remember.

It was an undocumented plan that you could only get by going to a badly hidden part of their website--retail store workers knew nothing about it and would actually get upset when I'd bring the phone in for service. So for about a year, I had a $30/month unlimited data-only 3G Nokia E71x with a SIP client and Fring.

That plan isn't offered anywhere anymore, and I've since switched to Verizon, but if you can find someone who still is grandfathered in, punch them in the face and take their SIM and you've got a chance.

I remember when poking around for similar plans, a Verizon retail shop said they had a $50/month data-only plan for the deaf, but--well, you had to be deaf. And I think that's gone too.

Just get an Android tablet (1)

tylersoze (789256) | about 3 years ago | (#35580806)

That's what I did. I bought a super dinky POS tablet for $82 off of newegg just to have something to develop on since I could care less about actually using the thing. Since I'm primary an iPhone developer and user, it was a good way to get my feet wet. Personally I find it a horrible platform, but if my client's want a version of their mobile app I'll just slap something together with a cross platform API.

What about Arm V7? (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 3 years ago | (#35580814)

If you want to do fancy apps you need the V7 (aka Cortex) processor, and most of the cheap stuff (like the phones from Virgin Mobile & Cricket) are the V6 processor (Arm 11). Anyone know a cheap V7 device?

Re:What about Arm V7? (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about 3 years ago | (#35581434)

Nook Color: 7" tablet reader with an OMAP3 at 800 MHz and can boot Honeycomb and Froyo off of a microSD.

A Processor Powerful Enough To Support Flash?!? (1)

macs4all (973270) | about 3 years ago | (#35580854)

I'm sorry; but you just reduced your mobile device purchasing options to ZERO with that one spec.

Why don't you try learning to really code, instead.

Re:A Processor Powerful Enough To Support Flash?!? (1)

quenda (644621) | about 3 years ago | (#35581318)

He did not say it had to run all flash apps, just his own. Maybe they are not CPU hogs?
The old n800 tablet ran flash years ago on an ARM that must be dead slow by todays standards.

Check out the Archos stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35580914)

I use an Archos 32... no GPS... but they have other options that DO have GPS, most starting at around $200 new. Might not do everything you want, but they doth rox much

Dream for not Millionaires... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35581056)

A Dream / G1 should do the trick. Can boot from Android 1.0 to 2.3.3...
So you can boot any version of Android you like and ...multi-test your apps on different versions too :-)

A bit laggy with the 2.3.x but still, you can use it for development.
Cheap enough too.

a easy to modify great to develop for device (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35581212)

Tmob g2 aka htc vision aka desire Z

get a used one with a bad ESN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35581268)

Used verizon or sprint phones that have been "blacklisted" due to having a bad ESN (usually due to failure to pay the bill) go for far under value, on top of the discount you'd be getting for buying used. You could probably grab a HTC Incredible for under $200. You can't activate it with Sprint/Verizon, but that doesn't affect wifi use.

HTC Leo\HD2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35581330)

Why not an HTC Leo\HD2? It's easy to get it to run Android, it's fast, has a big screen, and all the Android builds are pre-rooted so you don't have to fight with it.

Air + Flash + mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35581400)

Why does this sound like a train wreck waiting to happen?

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