Budget Android phone for debugging

Jim Bancroft

Senior member
Nov 9, 2004
212
2
81
I'm doing a little HTML5 development and need to check how things look on an Android device. I'd like to get something with a pretty recent OS on it, and prefer something new rather than a used craigslist unknown.

This would be used as wifi only, no activation on a cell plan. Would probably use it too for native Android debugging and apps as well.

Don't need all the bells and whistles or massive screen, something inexpensive (but decent) that represents a current baseline Android experience. Thanks for your suggestions.
 

Yuriman

Diamond Member
Jun 25, 2004
5,530
141
106
Moto G, comes with a very close to stock Android 4.4 (latest major version), quad core SoC with a standard ARM design.

You can buy it straight from Motorola for $180, or get one for $150 from Republic Wireless without a contract, and then just not pay for service. Be warned that Republic Wireless phones can only be used on RW (to my knowledge) because the major carriers block RW phone ESNs. If you ever want to get rid of it, you'll need to take it to eBay and sell it to someone else looking to sign up for RW's service, or to the RW forum.

For $5 per month you can keep service on it, and call and text over WiFi. Makes for a decent home-phone.
 
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Commodus

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 2004
9,210
6,809
136
I'm doing a little HTML5 development and need to check how things look on an Android device. I'd like to get something with a pretty recent OS on it, and prefer something new rather than a used craigslist unknown.

This would be used as wifi only, no activation on a cell plan. Would probably use it too for native Android debugging and apps as well.

Don't need all the bells and whistles or massive screen, something inexpensive (but decent) that represents a current baseline Android experience. Thanks for your suggestions.

I'd say that a Moto G would probably do the trick. Minimal customization, up to date software, mid-tier performance and a sub-$200 price off-contract. You can buy it directly from Motorola if you want!

If not that, maybe a GS4 Mini just because of Samsung's dominance of the Android space. You may have to track one down at a third-party like Negri Electronics or Expansys, though.
 

AstroManLuca

Lifer
Jun 24, 2004
15,628
5
81
There's a company called BLU that makes cell phones for "emerging markets." AKA really cheap no-contract phones. They are not high end at all but are incredibly cheap. The BLU Dash 4.5 and 5.0 are $114 and $130 on Amazon. The hardware isn't great (just 512 MB RAM and 480x854 screen res) but not bad either given the price. They ship with Android 4.2, not sure if that's new enough.
 

s44

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 2006
9,427
16
81
Get the Verizon Moto G. It's cheaper than other Moto G models because it's subsidized to be VZ Prepaid only and therefore useless, but since you're just running it on wifi then that's fine.

Or a used Sprint S3, because everyone has Samsung. ;)