Since Android is a flexible mobile platform, it is not limited to a small set of phones. It’s a blessing and a curse: with such a large array of devices available today, there’s sure to be one that suits you, but how do you find it? If you are considering buying an Android phone, there are many factors to take into consideration.

In this article, I’ve split Android phones into four categories; within each category, I have popped in a little description, along with a few pro’s and con’s of each, and a phone of choice.

First, you need to work out what you want from an Android phone…
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Admit it. Android has always played catch-up to iOS in the tablet department. (Not surprising, since Apple essentially invented the modern tablet market.) The iPad, in its first and second generation, has been the clear market leader and, even at their best attempts, tablet makers have found it hard to catch up and share in its success.

However, that seems to have changed (or at least, is on its way to being changed) with the news that Android has gained a stake of 20% in the tablet market. Honestly, I found this pretty hard to believe since I’ve never seen an Android tablet in the wild, but the report seems solid. It does point out that no single vendor is able to put up any front to Apple, meaning the open nature and collectiveness of Android is certainly a more advantageous choice for tablet makers over rival, non-iOS platforms. (more…)

The Android platform has seen manufacturers constantly try to one-up each other over the last year, regarding who can get the highest powered processor in their device, often at the expense of other necessities for a phone to really be considered great. Sure, a bigger processor will normally result in better performance over a lower end processor, but that’s only a tiny part of the real experience of a phone.

After Google released the Nexus One back in January 2010 the processors in smartphones began to be seen as the most important aspect that manufactures seemed to care about – with 1GHz processors being the bare minimum if you wanted to be considered a high-end smartphone, irrespective of how your phone performed. You can see why these firms like HTC, Samsung and Motorola went for that strategy: it was about marketing.

HTC were actually late comers to the Dual-Core game, which is unusual for the company that has a reputation for being first to everything (Android and 4G in USA to name a few), but will their entry, the HTC Sensation, be worth the wait, or have they too entered the market purely for publicity? Read on for the review.

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The possibilities of getting news on your Android device are endless. Just head over to the Market, search for news and look at the number of options that come up (10,475 last time I checked…). But the question is, which one do you use?

Well, we’ve already had a good look at Feedly, a popular Google Reader based news reader for Android phones and we loved it. It allows you to browse easily browse news from a variety of different sources and it’s completely free. But now, there is a tablet version available for Honeycomb tablets such as the Motorola Xoom and Galaxy Tab 10.1.

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It’s Envato’s 5th birthday and we’re ready to celebrate! With another year comes another Bundle, and this year’s Bundle is bigger and better than ever with over $500 ($507 in fact) worth of awesome files all for only $20!

With the recent public launch of Envato’s stock photography marketplace PhotoDune, we’ve been able to include even more great files. Our team have handpicked picked some super cool stuff from around the marketplaces and have worked tirelessly to cram them into our 5th Birthday Bundle. See the full list of files on the Birthday Bundle page!

Read on for a quick look through what’s inside this year…

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These days, if you stumble and fall in the mobile app universe, you are sure to land either on a task management or an image sharing app. That isn’t a bad thing entirely, as we get the chance to be very picky. Since a lot of image capturing and sharing happens from mobile phones, it’s a comfort to have such a choice of photo sharing apps at our disposal.

Instead of having tens of mindless photo sharing apps, a couple of apps that focus on certain niche would be immensely helpful. Fancy for Android helps users to show off the things they have/love and to window shop for things they admire. Are you as curious as I am to check out this app?
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It may surprise you to learn that I’m a big tech nerd. I love my devices and I like to upgrade when I can. Back in October, I picked up an iPad (first gen), admittedly knowing it was probably poor timing. While it was the best on the market at the time, I figured that in 4-6 months time some new ones would hit the market. I used it for a while but wasn’t really impressed with it. Aside from some nice apps, it was pretty heavy, and generic as far as UI goes. I couldn’t find a great use for it. When the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was announced in May I knew that it was my next tablet. I went out and bought it last week and was excited to see how it would measure up compared to my personal hype.

There is a lot to like about this device: two cameras, Honeycomb, some super sweet accessories that are coming out for it, and more. My favorite part about it is the size and weight.

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As an observer, I find all these machinations around patents fascinating to watch: how the tech companies are buying patents from other companies to use as negotiating chips; how Apple is apparently suing everyone Android-related apart from Google themselves; and how Google are fighting back by buying Motorola Mobility (and their array of mobile patents).

In the last few days we’ve also seen allegations that Apple tampered with evidence in their case against the Samsung Galaxy Tab (albeit just one image in a whole case, as @Leonick91 pointed out on Twitter), and HTC suing Apple for infringing on their patents. Like I said, fascinating to watch.

However, as a consumer, I’m finding it all a bit tiresome. I just want companies to be able to make awesome products for me, without having to worry about whether their black rectangles look a bit too much like another company’s black rectangles.

What do you think? Vote in the poll (you can pick more than one option) and add your comments below!

It’s been almost five years since we launched Envato, the company behind this site and many others, and in that time we’ve built eight digital marketplaces for everything from WordPress Themes to Background Music. With our fifth birthday coming up this weekend, we’re excited to announce the beta launch of our ninth marketplace: PhotoDune for royalty free stock photos. (more…)

Remember the time when crossword puzzles and sudoku mornings meant newspapers? In fact, remember newspapers? The mobile phone market, especially with the advent of the tablets – has been eating away from the printed paper’s market and mind share for a couple of years now, and the trend seems to be getting stronger. So you get all your news and entertainment on your mobile devices now. But how about those cute little puzzles that have been your companions for many a morning. How about the experience of striking off those clues on the crossword clues or penning down number after number in the sudoku grids?

Like most good things, these puzzles have also made their way to the smartphones and are in many ways better than their printed counterparts. When was the last time you kept score of your timing on the kakuro sprints? Let’s look at a few notable tree savers that give you just one more reason to get your Android out in the morning.

Credit to MiniSQUL for the crossword photo.

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