Android User Guide

The manuals for Android 8.0 Oreo, Android 7.0 Nougat, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, 5.0 Lollipop and 4.4 KitKat can be found here.

Android is the most feature-rich and at the same time most flexible smartphone operating system. Whether performance champion or battery monster, designer piece or outdoor mobile phone, whether with premium hardware and features or with a low price - there is something for everyone. Check out the wide variety of Android phones in our online store.

In 2008, when Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin teamed up with HTC and T-Mobile to showcase their Google Android phone G1, expectations were high, but initial tests sobered. The G1 certainly had the potential to compete on eye level with the iPhone - However not in the device, rather in the operating system: Android.

Three years later, Android was already the most popular smartphone system. At this time, well over 100 Android phones from manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony, LG, Motorola, HTC and many other smaller Chinese manufacturers were available, of which a majority of their smartphones were shipped from the factory with Android OS. The reasons for this include that Android has been developed very quickly from the very beginning, that it is an open source operating system - and that it can be scaled and used on professional devices as well as on entry-level mobile phones. Almost 1.5 billion devices (2016 figures) are sold every year and the market share of mobile phones with Android as the operating system is over 85%! The two market leaders Samsung (about 22% market share) and Apple (about 12% market share) make up more than a third of all smartphones sold. The Chinese brands Huawei, OPPO / Vivo and Xiaomi have joined the ranks of the world's top smartphone providers.

On this page, we provide a brief overview on how to make the right choice: Depending on whether you are looking mainly for mailing, surfing, phoning or chatting, whether you rather play with your Android phone, read, watch movies or want to take photos.

First of all: Google's newest Android version 8.0 Oreo runs so far only on the minority of devices. However, the second most current version of Android 7.0 Nougat is already on the market for some time and therefore runs very stable and with the majority of available applications. You can confidently get a device with Android 7.0 or even Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Most devices with the latest Android OS will be available in the second or third quarter (2018) at the earliest. Many manufacturers will certainly offer a free OTA (over-the-air) upgrade to Android 8.0 again.

BASIC FUNCTIONS:

Although every Android phone with a current version of Android contains everything necessary for surfing and mailing, devices of the middle and upper class are very good – and are already available in our shop starting from 120 euros:

On an Android phone with eight-core processor (Octa Core) web pages obviously render noticeably faster and zoom more fluently. Additionally, the latest 64-bit CPUs (instead of 32-bit) are now on the market. These have a higher operating speed and are also more energy-efficient. Naturally, more information is also available on large displays, which is the most noticeable on our 5.0”, 5.5” or even models with more than 6.4" screen diagonals, such as the Xiaomi Mi Max 2, Uhans Max 2 or Vivo X20 Plus Android phone – these, however, hardly fit in trouser pockets. Luckily, any device with HD resolution (1280x720 pixels), whether as a phablet or a device of 4.7 inches or smaller, which comes in a more manageable format, offer good resolutions. Furthermore, smartphones with an 18:9 and 19:9 aspect ratio or even borderless display, such as the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2s, with a screen size of 6-inches are now very compact and popular. The handier models are of course those including and under 5.2 inches. In addition, there are also many outdoor phones or even devices for seniors available. We have many different models with different screen diagonals, CPUs, RAM and ROM in our online shop, so you can easily choose your favorite model.

For mailing, video calling and chatting, of course, larger screens are advantageous because they make the keys much more accurate. However, if this is the only motivation for a bigger screen, then it is best to make use of the several apps that offer you some help with the typing on smaller displays.

The "Google Play" app offers dozens of applications of all sorts. Unfortunately, this topic would be beyond the scope of this article. Generally, applications are downloadable on all devices with preinstalled Google Play Store. If your device does not have Google Play installed, many of the apps can also be downloaded from other app stores or special websites.

3D GAMES

Nowhere else does computing power play such an important role as in games. On older devices, even simpler games do not always run reliably and smoothly – and many newer games can not be installed at all. Also, a low display resolution has a negative effect: Many games then look pixelated, show a too small section of the game surface or do not even run. The most games will be fun on displays from 4.7 inches, but only if the CPU performance and graphics performance are sufficient. We advise you to choose models with at least 1.3GHz, or even better models with six, eight or ten core processors (Hexa, Octa and Deca Core). To take advantage of the computing power of devices with a 64bit CPU, your device should have more than 4GB of memory.

The main memory also plays a crucial role - under 1 GB you should not even start. A few top games already require 3 GB, 4 GB RAM or more. If you need or would like adequate power, we currently advise you to use mobile phones with at least 4 gigabytes of RAM (or more). Such can be found in flagship devices from OnePlus, Huawei, ZTE, Xiaomi, OPPO, Nokia and Nubia with 4GB, 6GB or 8GB RAM memory.

READ BOOKS

An e-book reader with special display can not be replaced by even the best smartphone. Further, no current device can challenge the long battery life of an Amazon Kindle or Sony Reader. Instead, there are other benefits: The cell phone is always there and for almost every e-book format there are reading apps available. There are also some magazines and newspapers for Android. Some manufacturers, such as Samsung, are upgrading their own reader apps, but in principle they have the same books there as in the other bookstores. When reading e-books and magazines - but also websites and PDFs - the runtime and displays make the difference. Here, Android phones with brilliant displays and high contrast are best suited - so it's best to look at our product videos or dual screen phones like the HiSense A2 Pro or YotaPhone YOTA 3, which is equipped with two displays and a 5.2 "Always-On Electronic Paper Display (EPD) on the back.

ANDROID APPS

In principle, the same app selection is available on all Android smartphones, at least if Android 5.1 or better is running on the device. Only some elaborately programmed apps will not be available from the Google Play Store on all Android devices. However, if you buy only a minimum of hardware and do not update past Android 6.0, you must assume that over time, fewer and fewer apps are available - or even "incompatible" to read on the PC version of the store. Another important point is that not all apps and their application data can be installed on external SD cards, so the internal memory is an important criterion. Also check out our videos to see exactly how much internal memory is available. However, we can tell you in advance that with most new devices from 1.3GHz at least 16GB to 32GB internal storage space is available, which is more than enough for the majority of users. In most cases, the internal storage can be expanded again with a microSD card. Common storage capacities are 32GB up to 2TB (terabytes) of additional memory via external microSD card.

TAKING PHOTOS

The smartphone cameras are getting better and better, and today they can compete in the high-end class with SLR cameras. Since the Huawei P9, in collaboration with Leica, there are also increasingly phones with a dual lens camera or even triple-camera lens (Huawei P20 Pro) with additional depth information, so called bokeh effect. With the cheaper devices in the low-budget and middle-class sector, there are some weaknesses here and there: In general, a real zoom is missing (it only works at the expense of resolution and sharpness). Even mobile phones with a quad camera, meaning four lenses, are now available in every price range. The same applies to smartphones with the face recognition function (Face ID). It is important to pay attention to the fact that the Android mobile phone you are buying has an autofocus, which enables scanning business cards or barcodes. Most midrange devices come with a special autofocus sensor with phase detection (PDAF). In the meantime, the mobile phone cameras of higher-quality devices are already reaching quality of SLR cameras. Of course, videos can also be recorded. The image quality already reaches 4K (UHD) standards with a resolution of 3840 × 2160 pixels and frame rates of up to 60 frames / second (fps).

MULTIMEDIA

If you want to watch movies and photos on your smartphone, you will of course benefit from large displays (5.5 inches upwards). The sharpness of a display (independent of smartphones, tablets or TVs, for example) is always measured in pixels per inch (PPI for short). This value indicates how many small pixel building blocks per inch are available to compose the image: The more components on the same area, the smaller they have to be and the picture becomes finer and sharper. On the displays with 450 PPI, movies and photos are particularly sharp. Therefore, you have on a 4.7-inch mobile phone with HD resolution (1280x720 pixels) a much sharper picture than on a device with 6 inches with the same screen resolution. Currently there are even smartphones with 2K resolution (2560x1440 pixels). A few smartphones have an HDMI output for using a monitor or large-screen TV. Each smartphone is equally suitable for listening to music. On some models, special headphones amplify the bass – but this is no purchase criterion. It is better to choose your favorite headphones separately. Additionally, Bluetooth headphones work on all Android phones with Bluetooth. In the meantime, Bluetooth 5.0 already exists, which quadruples the range compared to Bluetooth 4.2 Smart. It also doubles the data rate. For this reason, it is worth checking the device specifications beforehand so that your Bluetooth device works and is compatible.

OUR CONCLUSION

You can get very good smartphones with us in CECT-SHOP already starting from 120 euros (Xiaomi Redmi 4X), in contrast to high-end flagship Android phones from brand manufacturers which can cost you 300 euros upwards. These have large displays with correspondingly high resolution, good cameras from 13 megapixels onwards, high-performance processors with four to ten cores (Quad-Core, Octa-Core, Deca-Core) with 32- or 64-bit, and are currently still using mostly the Android 7.0 Nougat Version. Android 8.0 Oreo is also preinstalled and available on more and more devices. Just take a look at our mobile phone division, depending on the desired display size. The easiest way to do this is to use the mouse in the main menu, which you can see when you hover over the "smartphones" tab at the top of the shop and select the desired display size under Displays.

Currently, devices with 64-bit CPUs are in high demand. In the low budget range, mobile phones with the MTK6580 are also available at reasonable prices. In the mid-range there is a wide selection of smartphones with a 64-bit processor from manufacturers such as Qualcomm and Mediatek, or chipsets from Huawei and Samsung, who make their processors themselves. For mid-range phones the SoC (System-on-Chip) should have at least a clock speed of 1.3GHz (MediaTek MT6737, quad-core), better of course, even one 64-bit eight-core or ten-core CPU (MTK6757T Helio P25; Octa Core and MTK6797 Helio X20; Deka Core with 2.1GHz or 2.3GHz). In the high-end sector, the smartphone chipsets Snapdragon 845 (Qualcomm), Exynos 9810 (Samsung) and HiSilicon Kirin 970 (Huawei) set the pace in 2018. These chips are supported by an artificial intelligence (AI) processor and are already found in cell phones, such as the Huawei Mate 10. Grab in, we look forward to seeing your order and are always happy to answer any further questions!

Your CECT-Shop.com team