Tuesday, 28 December 2010


I just found out that Dick Smiths Electronics is having a 20% off sales for all their phones, thats ending at 5.30pm today. I've wanted an android for a while now. So I've got 1.5 hours to do some research and see which one to get.

Must be:
  • Vodafone
  • Keyboard
  • Android
  • Good
  • Preferably cheap

Option 1: Vodafone 845
Main point of difference are the price NZD$199.00. Although there is a lack of not having a keyboard. Resolution is acceptable. The main issue for me is ease of use. I don't particularly like touch screens.
Review from techradar:
The touchscreen itself is resistive rather than capacitive, and it does it's best to resist your commands a large part of the time. Swiping and moving around apps is relatively responsive, but getting the desired response from simply pressing the touchscreen can be difficult. Typing? Again, not so easy.
Review from expertreviews:
As a budget Android phone, the 845 stands out for having the latest version of the operating system, but despite a host of great features, it's no match for the Samsung Galaxy Portal with its 3.2in AMOLED capacitive touchscreen.
Final thought:
Main concern here is the ease of use.

Option 2: Samsung Galaxy 580

Coming in at twice the price of NZD$399.00, the Samsung Galaxy 580 better be good. Again no keyboard. Think I'll only have a quick look at this one.

Review from random customer at DSE:

I've finally found a phone I can use with ease. I never liked the touch screens before but the Samsung Galaxy is really easy to use,
Pro's - 3 instant brightness settings, Good volume control, Clear Icons, WiFi connectivity plus the usual extras. Con's... some apps drain the battery if you don't turn them off, but once you learn what's what, it's a great phone, and really good value for money.
Not really sure if I should be trusting this review for anything.

Final thought:
The only other phone here with Andriod OS 2.1. Will have a look in store.

Option 3: Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro
Sony ericsson xperia x10 mini pro
At the same price of the above Samsung Galaxy 580 of NZD$399.00, with a keyboard, the Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro seems a more likely option.
Review from cnet:
The addition of a keyboard makes the X10 Mini Pro surprisingly usable, as long as you don't mind its little screen. It's not a phone for media lovers or Web junkies, but, if you're seeking smart-phone prowess in a ridiculously small package, the X10 Mini Pro could be worth a look.
Review from techradar:
The phone itself is much more powerful and responsive than any of the other phones in its entry-level price bracket, so much so that comparing this with the similarly price Vodafone 845 feels quite wrong. The X10 Mini Pro is streets ahead of it.
With such a lack of competing Android QWERTY phones out there on the market, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro is going to have the whole sector to itself, we suspect.
In fact, the Mini Pro feels as fast in use as many of the top-spec phones of today like the HTC Desire, so we can imagine it'll also win over quite a few of the 'enthusiasts' out there as well. It's quite an achievement.
And don't fear the small screen – Sony Ericsson has made a smartphone so user friendly you're in no way hindered.In short, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini is quite an impressively powerful and polished phone
Final thought:
Definatly on my high list. Wonder how much of a difference this 1.6 Android OS is going to be.

Option 4: LG Optimus GT540
Same price as the above two at NZD$399.00. Again no keyboard. Also using the outdated 1.6 Android OS.
Review from techradar:
The screen is clear and bright, but sadly it's resistive, and far from being the best of its type to come our way. We didn't have to press too hard to make a connection (although it is annoying having to remember to over-press, although we guess that will become second nature eventually).
Final thought:
Another not so user friendly out of date Android mobile. This is starting to look depressing.
Option 5: Sony Ericsson Xperia X8
Sony ericsson xperia x8
Another Android at the familar price of NZD$399.00. Again without a keyboard. Let's check the reviews.
Review from techradar:
The good news is the X8's touchscreen uses capacitive technology, so it's immediately more usable than other entry-level Android phones like the LG GT540 and Vodafone 845, which use the cheaper, less sensitive resistive technology. And don't work.
Ok, this looks promising. Again this is using the 1.6 old Android OS. Keep reading.
As a result, the X8 finds itself in a bit of a bad place where it's outsmarted on all fronts by other models – even Sony Ericsson's own X10 Mini is a better option. If you're not concerned about having the latest (or even a particularly recent) version of Android, the X8 will do, but it's hobbled by an unresponsive touchscreen and the many difficulties that brings.

Final thought:
From that last line alone, I'm crossing this off my list.

Option 6: LG Optimus One p500
Recommended by a friend a little too late. Thought I'd add it here anyway. Same price of NZD$399.00.
Review from techradar:
The Optimus One is a solid phone, but there's little in the way of outstanding features to get excited about. The main selling point here is your chance to get Android 2.2 on a budget. That's it.
But in the crowded 3.2-inch smartphone scene, it deserves a second look. There really is no cheaper way to get Android 2.2 out there right now. The way LG has left Android relatively untouched means a basic but functional experience, and it's a refreshing change compared to the overly customised manufacturer skins out there that add needless layers of complexity to the user experience.
Final thought:
Aside from the Android OS 2.2, it seems this phone doesn't have much going for it. And from what I've seen with the actual OS the difference between 2.1 and 2.2 is very minor. The other point of difference is the price. Unfortunatly, the others here are all the same price or cheaper.

In conclusion:
I'm heading down to the store to have a look at options 2 and 3, Samsung Galaxy 580 and Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro. Will edit this when I get back.

Went down to the shop. Asked Vodafone, DSE and the warehouse to test some working models of the Galaxy 580 and the X10 Mini Pro. No-one had any, although at every store the assistants had one of their own Galaxys. They all gave amazing reviews and said from what they have tried the X10 is terrible. So I got the Galaxy 580. Also found an even better deal at The Warehouse. Bonus.

Any and all comments welcome.
And if I do get to have a go with any of the others I'll update this accordingly.


  1. I`m a huge sony ericsson fan but samsung is a great choice to

  2. I would go for the sony simply because the keyboard isn't part of the touch screen. But it's your choice.

  3. Something I forgot to mention is that the Samsung Galaxy 580 has Swype txting. Now I didn't think this was a big deal, but it is AMAZING. Makes texting on a touch screen a breeze.

    The Sonys keypad was the size of the phone although the phone is quite small and the keys are tiny.

    If anyone is using this as a guide, TRY TEXTING ON IT BEFORE YOU BUY. If that's what your using it for most you should make sure it is fast and easy.

  4. imo they seem to be of poor build quality.. i've seen many of these in person. hope you get a good one, though. i too have heard good things about swipe texting