I fully understand that not everyone needs a Galaxy Nexus or Galaxy S III, but it seems to me that releasing new devices with 3-year-old specs isn’t going to help drive Android up in the sort of way it should be. T-Mobile already has 5 Android powered smartphones in their line up that are free with similar specs. Heck even the HTC Sensation 4G is on their through May 3rd for free. Does adding another one to the mix improve the Android experience or hinder it?
Here are my thoughts on the situation. There are a few ways to approach this topic and I’ll attempt to not sound angry or condescending. If I were new to the smartphone scene and was pushed into getting an entry-level device either by the sales rep, the price or color would I really benefit from my purchase? Is it fair for me to get roped into a two-year contract for the new Huawei Prism with a 600MHz processor, a 1400mAh battery and only 3G built-in? In the beginning I may love the experience and the accessibility. It wouldn’t take me long find out that I have a device that is under powered to handle a large majority of anything on the Play Store. This would lead the inexperienced to leave negative star ratings and comments about the game or application based on their “NEW” phone not being able to handle it. This can very easily lead people to believe that Android as a whole is terrible, when in fact it was actually my choice in devices that deteriorated my experience. In my mind it would leave a negative feeling towards the carrier, the sales people and Android that might just prevent me from going with another Android device in the future.
One could possibly go the other direction and get one of these entry level devices strictly for the basic data functionality. That could be all they need in their life right at the moment. We can understand that and respect that need. Hopefully over the course of their contract and use they figure out that they love it but know their phone isn’t top of the line and need something with better specs. That would lead them to purchase something more powerful next time. How often does that happen to the average user though? Especially with the iPhone crowd running around with one device that just works the way it should. Sporting an entry-level device makes an iOS users argument against Android a sure fire conversion.
Of course as an experienced Android user since the original G1, I would never purchase a device that isn’t even up to standards for last year. I would never let my kids , my wife, my friends or anyone that I happen to even notice in a store looking at one get it. I would feel guilty and more like a shady cars salesman and probably wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. Not really, but still.
What do you guys as a community think? We know there is a market and a need for entry-level devices, but should carriers and manufacturers be so quick to have more than 2 or 3 on hand at any given time? Do you think that so many lower-end devices contribute to the negativity brought on Android about performance and end-user experiences? Hit the poll and leave a comment, let’s get some good conversation started about this topic.