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Android Tablets, Phones, and Smart Digital Cameras Buying Guide

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Android Tablets, Phones, and Smart Digital Cameras Buying Guide

A comprehensive guide to Android devices

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Learn about the best Android products available today. Between, tablets, phones, and digital cameras, there are options for everyone. 



Android has become the most popular portable operating system. This guide will identify 7 tablets and 1 smart phone and 2 Android-powered digital cameras.

The Android operating system is becoming more ubiquitous everyday, and even car makers are looking at it as the core operating system to run their vehicles. While you will not likely find one of those cars here at Adorama in the near future you can find a host of other devices that use the Android OS.

A quick primer might be needed for those who have heard the term but are unsure what it actually means. The operating system was, probably not too surprising, originally developed by a company called Android, which was purchased by Google. First shown in 2007 it is what is called open source software which enables developers to obtain a license and freely modify and distribute the software. This makes the cost of developing much lower that with many rival mobile operating systems. Versions of the operating system carry candy names such as Jelly Bean or KitKat and application developers can create apps specifically for a platform such as tablets, or one that is more generally used across all products using Android. It is now the most widely used smartphone platform, one of the biggest tablet platforms and a major player in other areas such as cameras.

Tablets


The tablet space has exploded over the past two years and helped fuel both the growth of the Android OS but also the expansion of applications that can be run on it. Tablets come in all sizes and shapes, with ones ranging from above 4-inches to those in the 10-inch space. To look at the range of tablets head off to Adorama’s Tablet section. Prices in the same size of tablet can vary tremendously, determined by processor speed, camera quality, storage and its upgradability (or lack there off), screen resolution and several other factors. A tablet that is used as a notebook replacement might have more storage, and cost, than one used primarily for social media.

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We will start in the children’s’ section to start the look at tablets with the Ematic FunTab Mini 4.3" Kids Safe Tablet, available at Adorama for 69.99. This is designed to provide access to kids educational programs and games on a tablet and features a 1.2GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of data storage. It also saves wear on tear on parents’ tablets and smartphones!

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So maybe a pink tablet does not fit your needs but you still need a small form factor device for checking mail, checking in with social media and other tasks, then take a look at the Skytex Primer Pocket 4.3” Android Media Tablet, available for $84.99. With Wi-Fi support and a 480 x 272 resolution it can support basic needs and has a 4GB of storage to keep important data close at hand.

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The 7-inch to 8-inch sized tablets is one of the markets sweet spots in terms of form factor and here is a good example of what you can find. The Asus Google Nexus 7 is a 7” Android tablet that costs $171.99. It comes with a 7-inch 1280 x 800 resolution display, 1GB RAM and 16GB storage.

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Another player in this space is the Toshiba Excite 7.7” available at Adorama for $399.99. This full featured offerings comes with a 1.4GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 Super 4+1 quad core processor and 1GB RAM and has Wi-Fi. It has 16GB of storage that can be expanded to 32GB with an optional microSD card. It features a 7.7-inch display with 1280 x 800 resolution. There is a 2MP front facing camera and a 5MP rear facing camera.

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Moving into the eight inch space there is the Archos 80GP 16GB 8in Tablet, available from Adorama for $149.99. Powered by a 1.0GHz ARM Cortex A9 core it features 16GB of storage and an 8-inch display with 1024 x 768 resolution. It comes preloaded with Google’s suite of mobile applications including Google Talk and Gmail.

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A powerful player in the 8-inch space is Samsung with its Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8” Tablet, available for $279.99. Its 1.5GHz dual core processor and 1280 x 800 resolution 8” display are just starters. It comes with 16GBs of storage and supports a microSD card for additional expansion to 64GB. There is a 5MP rear facing camera and a 1.3MP front facing one. It will also not weigh you down, coming in at just over 10 ounces.

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Sometimes bigger is better and the Archos FamilyPad 2 13.3” Tablet Computer falls into that class. Available from Adorama for $299.00 this tablet comes with a large display that has 1280 x 800 resolution and a pair of 2MP cameras. It comes with 8GB of storage that can be expanded to 64GB with an optional microSD card. Its battery has up to 10 hours of life with video playback. A good option for those looking for a mobile second screen for home and the ball park prior to games.

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Are you looking for a tablet to serve as a PC replacement? Then you most likely want to look at the big boys, 10-inch display size or larger. The Asus Transformer Pad TF300 Tablet Computer might fit your bill, available from Adorama at $429.95. Powered by a 1.2GHz Nvidia Tegra quad core processor its 10.1” display has 1280 x 800 resolution and it ships with 32GB of storage and a 1.2MP front facing camera and a 8MP rear facing camera. Its docking station features both a keyboard and an extra battery that adds an additional five hours of operating time.

Smartphones


As pretty much everybody knows smartphones are much more than phones these days. Serving as portable cameras, access point for social media and so much more, it s a market segment that is dominated by the Android operating systems. Here is a look at what one could expect from a top of the line device.

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The Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB 4G LTE Smartphone is one of the most popular on the market and is available from Adorama for $679.99 (Verizon Wireless). This is one of the most full featured phones available and starts with support for the high speed 4G LTE networks as well as built-in Wi-Fi. Then there is its S Beam feature that enables the wireless transfer of large HD files at the push of a button. It sports a 4.8” 720 x 1280 display, an 8MP camera and comes with 16GB of storage that is expandable to 64GB via a microSD card.

Cameras


Cameras are one of the emerging areas that support the Android operating system, essentially making them smart devices such as phones. Now you can do so much more with a camera that has the OS including checking e-mail or sending newly shot images to Facebook or Twitter. In fact the display on the back of many of the newest phones looks very similar to a smart phone interface.

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An example of a camera that supports the Android OS is the Nikon Coolpix S800C 16MP Digital Camera, available at Adorama for $196.95. The camera features 10x optical zoom and has a technology called optical VR imagine stabilization that minimizes the effects of camera shake on images.

The Android technology enables the camera to wirelessly share images with social media or just to send to an alternative device for storage without the need for connecting cables. It also opens up the use of thousands of apps that are available at Google Play, including ones that can manipulate the photos that you just took.

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Looking for a bit more oomph in your digital camera? Try looking at the Samsung Galaxy GC110 Digital Camera with an Adorama price of $449.00. This little beauty features 16MP resolution and a 21x optical zoom, making images look as if they are right in front of you. It also can sub as a video camera with full HD 1080p video capture at 30 frames per second.
The camera features 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and 3G mobile broadband connectivity through AT&T (contract required), and has integrated Android OS. It supports a host of apps and they can be controlled via its 4.8” HD Super Clear LCD monitor.

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