Reasons I won’t buy an Android phone (yet)

I’ve just been notified that HTC has brought out an (apparently) Nexus One offshoot phone – the “Desire” (its actually not new – its like 4 days old), which is supposedly everything that is good about the Google mobile phone, HTC Sense UI (whatever that is) and a few more buttons on the bevel, flash for the camera and got a new optical based pointing device instead of the flimsy looking trackball (which I like).

So here’s why I won’t buy this (or the Nexus One, or the Motorola Milestone which I was very much interested in): No Bluetooth Dial-Up Networking.

Apparently, something that I’ve taken for granted with my 3 years old Nokia and Sony-Ericsson phones is sorely missing on Android, even with 2.1. Supposedly you can get it to working by installing some 3rd party applications (that cost extra), but its hardly the experience I expect from a network enabled “superphone” released in the year 2010.

Other things I require in my most important communication device:

  • Ability to install 3rd party applications (so no Blackberries. Yes, I know they have 3rd party applications, but there are about 10).
  • E-Mail push with standard IMAP servers (so no Blackberries, Maemo, or iPhone. Also most Nokia devices won’t do it).
  • Bluetooth object exchange (so no iPhone or Palm Pre – because these US oriented devices won’t let users transfer files to the device so they will have to buy their ringtones from the network provider).
  • USB mass storage emulation (again, no iPhone).

On another note – one thing that totally irks me in the current “hip” discussions about phones is the iPhone-envy: everyone talks like the iPhone is maybe the biggest market holder, or possibly its the RIM Blackberry or the Windows Mobile.

Which is all a load of horse shit – Nokia sells more devices then anyone even though its uncool to talk about their very very useful Series 60 based smart phones. If you look at the article linked below – the one about SE hoping to get bigger in the US, and read through to the market share analysis you’ll see what I mean: SE is the 4th largest phone provider in the world 14.6 million units shipped in 2009Q4 – who is ahead of them? Is it Apple or RIM? No – its Nokia(1), LG(2) and Samsung(3). And fifth place is Motorola.  All the so called iPhones and Blackberries are niche players.

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  1. who BTW ships no Windows Mobile phones []
  2. who ships a few Windows Mobile devices but most of their devices are running an LG proprietary OS []
  3. that offers a mix of Windows Mobile and Series 60 devices with a few running their proprietary phone OS []

7 Responses to “Reasons I won’t buy an Android phone (yet)”

  1. Josh:

    Mabye you should take a look at this page, it’s a android wifi (and bluetooth)tether app. It will allow you to use bluetooth dialup networking.

  2. Oded:

    Which page?

  3. Arik:

    This one: http://code.google.com/p/android-wifi-tether/

  4. Oded:

    meh. I’m not impressed, here’s why:
    1. It requires you to “root” your device, which while I understand its not as horrible as jail-braking an iPhone, it does void your warranty.
    2. It does PAN and not DUN. I’ve only done DUN up until now so I don’t know if its bad or not, but I’d have to rewrite my setup. That being said, NetworkManager currently has support for PAN (or at least that’s what they tell me) so it might be easier then I thought.

  5. Arik:

    1. Come on. You’re not going to root your device? Seriously? You’d have to install Hebrew fonts somehow.

    2. Do you want cheese with that whine? Besides it does WiFi tethering too.

    — Arik

  6. Eran:

    So… not buying a Milestone, eh? 🙂

  7. Oded:

    It was 3 months ago, then I got better ;-). Seriously the main reason is that my current phone(s) are almost dead, so I’d take the plunge.

    According to the web (as Arik mentions above), there are solutions for bluetooth DUN, and I talked with Cellcom and they say that the Milestone Hebrew support is from upstream and is not a Cellcom hack – so I do expect new versions to be available when released ( http://www.androidpolice.com/2010/05/11/exclusive-androidpolice-coms-nexus-one-is-running-android-2-2-froyo-how-fast-is-it-compared-to-2-1-oh-only-about-450-faster/ ).

    Motorola is apparently OK with releasing updates – as you may or may not remember, the Milestone was originally an Android 2.0 device for which Motorola has released a general public update – albeit 2 months after the original 2.1 release. I only hope that 2.2 won’t take as long.

    The only issue is that apparently all the solutions to setup DUN on Android require rooting the device and the process for doing that is very scary.

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