Oct 29th, 2010

phanmailWe’re back with another edition of PhanMail Friday, the column where we take a peak inside the Phandroid mailbag and give you the low down on your Android questions. After sorting through the heap of emails received, we pulled out a few of our favorites for the benefit of you, our loyal readers.

And remember, you can submit your own burning questions by heading over to our PhanMail page. So let’s do this thing!

I am happy with my carrier, Sprint, and am upgrading this weekend and looking at the Evo. Any advice? Should I go for it or hold out for something new that may be coming out? I’d hate to get one and have a better version Android phone or a second generation Evo come out early 2011.

Now this is a question many of us will ask ourselves, regardless of carrier. There are plenty of great Android handsets to choose from and many more just around the corner. Fore those on Sprint, the decision may not be as hard as they currently offer two great Android phones using next-gen 4G technology. For other carriers the choice might not be so simple, considering Verizon and AT&T will be launching their own 4G LTE Android handsets early next year.

For Sprint, the HTC EVO 4G is as solid an option as it was back in June when it released, and will continue to be a great choice going forward. Sure, something better is bound to come out, but if you always hold out for what’s next you will find yourself never upgrading at the rate that new handsets become rumored and released. For those on Verizon or another carrier wanting the best phone possible, you might want to think twice about locking in to current or soon-to-be-released holiday offerings and consider waiting for handsets using 4G radios and dual-core processors. Those should be coming in early 2011.

Will Gingerbread work with my Motorola Droid 1?

As a Droid user, this is one question I wish we had a straight answer for. The truth is, until Gingerbread is officially debuted (that should be in the coming weeks), we won’t know. We can say that the original Droid is getting a bit long in the tooth in terms of smartphones. It is a year old at this point and the focus has shifted to the Droid X and Droid 2. Now that being said, the D1 with its stock Android has a history of being among the first devices to receive each new update to Android. While initial rumors speculated that Gingerbread might have minimum system requirements that the D1 would simply not meet, with the revelation that the next update is merely to version 2.3 rather than the expected 3.0 it seems more likely that a boost in specs will not be necessary.

We expect (and hope) 2.3 will make its way to the original Droid, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it is among the last of the OS updates the handset receives.

I was really interested in the Galaxy Tab until I saw its pricing. Do you think tablets from Motorola and HTC  will cost less and be worth waiting for?

First, let’s address Galaxy Tab pricing. Yes, it seems a little steep even at $399 locked in on a two-year contract, but you should also remember what you are getting. For Verizon to sell the tablet with a 7-inch screen and internals to match up with the Galaxy S at $599, the deal isn’t that bad considering it isn’t all that more expensive than an unsubsidized Samsung Fascinate. But we get that people wouldn’t want to drop that much dough for what they might get out of the Galaxy Tab, regardless of how fancy its specs are.

As for future tablets from Motorola, HTC, and the likes, expect them to be priced no cheaper, possibly even more expensive if their hardware ends up using dual-core Tegra 2 chips and 10-inch screens, though those may provide more bang for your buck than the Galaxy Tab. If you are looking for a decent tablet at a lower price you may want to pay attention to what Acer will be unveiling at the end of November or explore some of the many low-cost tablets that seem to pop up more and more everyday.

I want an Android halloween costume, any suggestions?

Well, you could always go as the green guy himself, though devising a full-scale Android suit might be a bit much if you are putting this together last minute. I personally was considering a zombie Steve Jobs with a Droid sticking out of his heart. Or, a little more obscure, but you could go as a Gingerbread man.

For something less Android-centric but still fun, you might consider some Angry Birds costumes. The guys at TheClockBlog threw together some pretty cool man-sized costumes of the birds. But really, be creative! How about dressing up as the red Droid eye?

That covers it for this week, but keep the good questions coming and check back in next Friday for more PhanMail and phanswers.

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