We use cookies on our websites. Information about cookies and how you can object to the use of cookies at any time or end their use can be found in our privacy policy.
A Rant Against "Entry-Level" Android Phones
Samsung 2 min read 7 comments

A Rant Against "Entry-Level" Android Phones

It would be more polite to just call the Samsung Illusion a "starter device"....but perhaps that would be too kind. The phone, which is heading to Verizon tomorrow, certainly won't be impressing anyone, with just Android 2.3 (the older version of Android Honeycomb), a 3.5-inch display, a microSD card slot and a 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor.

Sorry to rain on anyone's parade, but I fail to see how phones like this are doing any of us in the Android world any good. Sure it's good to get Android into the hands of many to increase market reach, but releasing such a mediocre device ends up hurting the Android brand in the long run. Crappier Android smartphones = more user complaints = a general souring of the potential customer to the Android brand.

I know I'm being harsh on this phone, and certainly the problem is not just the Samsung Illusion but also the scores of other cheap, crappy, plasticky devices that make it to the market. Samsung certainly is a huge component of this industry (they seem to release a new budget Android every other minute) but they are not the only manufacturer of cheapness. 

Google, mind you, still receives most of their revenue from their advertising business, so you best believe getting the Android OS on as many phones as possible (however crappy) so more folks will use Google search is still a very big part of their bottom line. But, you'd think, there's gotta be a way to remain number one and not water down the brand completely. 

Nothing against you, specifically, Samsung Illusion, but I'm guessing you – as well as scores of other cheap Androids – will be worthless to most consumers after a few months...at which point they'll wish they'd paid a hundred more dollars to buy something better.

Source: Android Central


Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing

  • I can't believe how many things you were wrong about in this post. 2.3 isn't a current version of android too you? Do you have any idea what you're talking about, 2.3 is gingerbread, which is the second most current, only because 4.0 is out now, but only on one phone, so yeah, id consider it pretty current, and you had to research to figure out that 2.3 isn't honeycomb? You should thing about retiring as a columnist on this site, maybe try an iPhone, they're easier for people who have no idea what they're doing or talking about. I'm not trying too be mean, but come on! My 3 year old nephew knows more about android than you.

  • I think that one of the problems that Steven touches on, but doesn't directly address is the general image of Android as an operating system. One of my biggest complaints with Android at the moment, is that due to its open-source nature the number of Android phones has exploded. And many of the world's largest Android manufacturers have adopted a confusing and, in my opinion, ill-conceived naming policy. There is no consistency, leaving consumers in the dark.

    There is the Xperia Neo, Xperia Neo V, Xperia Mini, Xperia Mini Pro - isn't this a bit counterproductive? I don't even want to get started with Samsung that has more Android phones than it can remember.

    I think the first step would be to create simple, catchy phone names that would sell under the same brand across the world. Better brand-recognition and just a better business strategy in general.

    And finally, to touch on the subject of cheap phones, I am actually pretty big fan of Huawei phones. I was a bit skeptical of the quality initially, but having tested several of their devices I have to admit that they are pretty good phones, sold at really low prices in the developing world.

  • I agree to some respect with you Steve. If the first impression is a bad one the chances are that you may abandon android in favour of iOS. However much can be said for having introduction or starter phones on the market to attract new smart phones customers to just android.
    I actually think that Apple would gain more customers if they had a cheaper introduction/starter model that wasn't 3 year old technology. Who wants to buy a 3 year old phone?
    With regard to the above phone the specs are similar in many ways to the samsung Galaxy S Ι which am now writing with. I have a larger screen but the same 2.3.3 android version which i may add improved the phone by leaps and bounds over the origonal android version.

  • I gotta agree with Christopher. Show me a phone that is available this month outside of the Nexus that is shipping with anything newer than Gingerbread. I think we have more to worry about with entry level reporting than phones. Ignorance and misinformation does more harm to the Android community than a phone that leaves new users wanting more.

  • Steve, yes, exactly, released in America. America currently has major economic problems with its middle class dissapearing and its lower class growing, these phones are exactly what the doctor ordered.

    These folks are working two and three jobs and are having problems keeping food on the table. At least they can enjoy smart phone technology at a low cost. Also many Seniors are going for Android on a budget...

    Still ---shame ;-)

  • :)

    I've fixed the Honeycomb reference after a bit of research. I apologize for that error.

    That said, it's wasteful to release phones like these. I'm all for Android phones being deployed in the developing world (and have written about Android tablets developed for rural villages and phones that can help folks harvest the right thing at the right time) but this phone is being released in the U.S., and most folks will likely end up chucking it after a few months. It isn't even being released with a current version of Android. More scraps for the landfill...

  • OK Steve, you blew it on this one. First of all your statement, "with just Android 2.3 (the older version of Android Honeycomb)" is just wrong, and I am sure you know why. Secondly, Android for the masses is a smart approach. Not everyone can afford the top-end devices. And many countries such as Africa can use something like a community smart phone to have internet access and more. I see so many reasons for low end smart phones. Here are a few: Teens, on-call phones for the small business or workplace, 3rd world countries, Taxi drivers, and the list goes on and on.

    Steve, bow your head in shame for this rant ;-)