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Would you buy an Android smartphone from a non-major brand?

Discussion in 'Tablets, Smartphones and Mobile Devices' started by beanz, 12 Jan 2015.

  1. beanz

    beanz Staff Member Staff Member

    While browsing well-known online retailers for an unlocked replacement for my now rather dated Samsung Wave II smartphone - which runs the Bada OS, and as far as I know can't be easily updated to run anything better - I noticed a lot of relatively inexpensive models from the far east with unfamiliar-sounding brands, but which have really good specs and seem to get reasonable customer reviews from UK purchasers.

    Having never bought outside the 'major' brands before, I'm tempted by the prices and seemingly good performance - but also a little wary of dipping my toes in waters unknown.

    Anyone taken the plunge and bought one of these unfamiliar brands?
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2015
  2. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    I don't think there is a general rule for all. You have to do a bit of digging to see if they are ok. There are indeed some better bargains than the big corporations.
     
    beanz likes this.
  3. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn Well-Known Geek

    As above. It's a yes and no answer depending on the brand...
    That said I am about to murder my major name android because they have decided not to upgrade it to 4.4 so it is getting rooted and then a version of 4.4 put on to it that will no longer be the brand version. It's only 18 months old!
     
    beanz likes this.
  4. beanz

    beanz Staff Member Staff Member

    I've had the Wave II for about 3 years and though it's been reliable, the lack of apps compared to what I can get on my android tablet has finally convinced me to look for a new one.

    Straw-camel's-back moment was the Green Bay Packers' (my team - Go Pack Go! :thumbsup:) mobile site which I tried to access at the bus stop on Monday morning, expecting masses of news after the defeat of Dallas the evening before. I like my daily dose of team news and comments on the way to work :). However, the site seems to have updated to a new design over the weekend and now doesn't display properly at all on my old phone, but is perfect in every way on my daughter's. I can't get to the dedicated apps for the team in Bada either - so I'm stuffed either way.

    There seem to be a lot of these cheaper phones around in the £60 - £120 bracket. I guess if I buy one with the latest android, that gets good reviews, and from a major online retailer with a year's guarantee, it's not too much of a risk if I don't get on with it a couple of years from now.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jan 2015
  5. sidevalve

    sidevalve Well-Known Geek

    As above IMHO. Most of these phones are made in the same place by the same people just with a different label stuck on anyway. You may be unlucky but even if you buy the very very best from the best manufacturer it will still be out of date in 2 years anyway. Might as well buy something cheap and cheerful and spend the rest of the cash on a good night out.
     
  6. classic33

    classic33 Über Geek

    Would you buy because of the name on the handset, or the manufacturer of the handset?
     
  7. 0-markymark-0

    0-markymark-0 Über Geek

    Well, I saw someone who didn't have an iPhone yesterday and thought they were weird so who knows.
     
    amusicsite likes this.
  8. classic33

    classic33 Über Geek

    I don't have one either!
    Honor 6
    "Huawei’s Honor 6 comes with a octa-core Kirin920 chipset produced by the company itself. The CPU breaks down to a Quad-core Cortex-A15 clocked at 1.7 GHz and another quad-core Cortex-A7 clocked at 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7. There is also 3GB of RAM.

    The Honor 6 has a 5in display with a 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution, creating an impressive pixel density of 445ppi. Dimensions for the handset come in at 139.6 x 69.7 x 7.5mm and it weighs 130g. Storage options include 16GB/32GB and it also has microSD support for cards up to 64GB."
     
  9. rusky

    rusky Staff Member

    I'm tempted by the OnePlus One. My HTC OneX+ isn't getting any new software so I can't pair it with my Moto 360 :(
     
  10. andyfraser

    andyfraser Active Geek

    Location:
    Swindon, Wilts
    That's why I always go Nexus. I got a HTC Desire HD on a 2 year contract when it was still one of HTC's best phones. Only a few months later they launched the Sensation line. They promised the Desire HD would get Ice Cream Sandwich then changed their mind and I was stuck with Gingerbread for over a year. Luckily Google have made Android modular and most of the software I use actually still runs on Gingerbread but it could've been so different.

    If the Nexus line stops I'll switch to iOS.
     
  11. katec

    katec New Geek

    I would. The Huawei honor 6 is a good option - the only reason it can afford to be so cheap is that Huawei make a lot of the stuff that actually goes into our phones and computers, so they don't pay as much as other companies to build the phones, and generally can offer the same fantastic specs.

    I've tried a few big names over the years, I've had iPhones, Nokia Lumias, HTCs, Samsungs, and the one I've been happiest with is a Xiaomi Hongmi that I picked up as a work phone not too long ago. So - while I'm sure it depends on you and the device you pick, I'd say some of the little Asian brands that you've not heard much of before can be some of the best.
     
  12. andyfraser

    andyfraser Active Geek

    Location:
    Swindon, Wilts
    I don't know much about these cheaper Asian brands. Do they tend to have stock Android and if so do they get upgraded? I'm a huge Nexus fan simply because Google generally do a good job of updating their devices.
     
  13. katec

    katec New Geek

    @Andy - in my experience they tend to offer the basic operating system rather than a brand variant, so they update as and when Android release the updates, depending on whether the device has the specs to handle the update.
     
  14. andyfraser

    andyfraser Active Geek

    Location:
    Swindon, Wilts
    @katec That's useful to know. I always thought I'd have to go back to iOS if Google stops making Nexus devices. But maybe not.
     
  15. 0-markymark-0

    0-markymark-0 Über Geek

    I thought about getting an unknown phone. I saw plenty of odd sounding companies which I think were Sonee, Sansing, HPC. Ended up, of course getting the only brand anyone knows. Apple.
     
  16. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    the_mikey likes this.
  17. cyberknight

    cyberknight Active Geek

    My wife had the same phone as the OP , its basic but ok .
    If your looking to get into android i can recommend the one i bought ...
    http://www.trustedreviews.com/motorola-moto-e-review
    The reviwe is a bit misleading as it says a 5 mp is poor, compared to what though ? it certainly takes good enough pics i can use on a 19 " computer monitor as backgrounds and compared to the vga on the wave its miles better .
     
  18. NEOoooo

    NEOoooo Guest

    agree with katec,now I use huawei honor6 , it's fantastic ! My previous one is Iphone5s ...
     
    the_mikey likes this.
  19. EddyP

    EddyP Well-Known Geek

    I would if they could offer something unique. I'd be more interested in a phone centered around providing a longer battery life, but as far as I'm aware there's nothing that specifically offers this.
     
    classic33 likes this.
  20. rusky

    rusky Staff Member

    IME, the bloatware that Samsung puts on their phones is responsible for the crap battery life!