A pragmatic question about a "minimum" android phone for kids to play games

My kid broke his T-Mobile ZTE Concord Android 2.1 phone:

formatting link

Since I can't find *just* the glass for sale, I'm going to have to buy a whole new cheap Android phone.

One problem with the ZTE Concord was that it didn't run many games (such as Temple Run 2) due to the hardware limitations (I presume):

formatting link

I realize there isn't "one" answer; but, from a pragmatic sense, what "hardware" should I look out for to buy a cheap replacement Android phone for the kid - that

*will* run most games?

In summary: Q: What is the typical minimum hardware needed to run games?

Reply to
Eddie Powalski
Loading thread data ...


Reply to
Eddie Powalski

Run what games? And at what speed? They are not all the same. The LG Optimus that was recommended to you should handle pretty much anything well. If you want to be sure it will run the latest games at decent speed I'd think you needed at least a 1GHz processor and Android 4.0.

Reply to

I don't care about the speed of the games. What irked me is that I had bought a T-Mobile Android phone for my kid, and it turned out to be woefully inadequate for the first three things we tried to do with it.

a. We couldn't install Talkatone b. We couldn't install Temple Run 2 c. We couldn't upgrade the Android OS

I just want my kid to have a cheap Android cellphone that will run the popular free apps. Just the stuff that all kids want (nothing fancy).

Clearly the ZTE Concord is woefully inadequate - so I am trying to figure out where I made the mistake (which spec failed?).

How does this look for minimum specs for decent app compatibility?

  1. Android 4.0 (or is Android 2.3 OK as previously suggested?)
  2. 800x480 pixels (this seems pretty much the bare minimum, right?)
  3. 1GHZ processor (I'm surprised it needs to be this fast?)
  4. 4GB internal storage (This seems kind of big, based only on my knowledge of PC standards - actually - it seems huge).

Summary: If anyone is aiming for a budget Android phone that actually works for a kid (meaning it plays popular free games), is that the bare minimum yet?

Reply to
Eddie Powalski

I just went onto T-Mobile's web site and these are the options: Samsung Dart, ==> $72 + ~$7CA tax ~= $80 T-Mobile Prism II ==> $116 + ~$12 CA tax = ~$130 Samsung Gravity Q ==> $154 + ~15 CA tax ~= ~$170 ..... end of children's tier ..... LG Optimus L9, Android 4.0.4 ==> $240.00 + ~$24 CA tax ~= $265 Samsung Galaxy Exhibit ==> $236 + ~$23 CA tax ~= $260 T-Mobile myTouch Q ==> $260 +~$26 CA tax ~= $285 ..... end of the low end tier ..... Samsung Galaxy SII, Android 4.0 ==> $336.00 + ~$33 CA tax ~= $370 Nexus 4 ==> $428 + ~$42 CA tax ~= $470 Samsung Galaxy SIII LTE, Android 4.1.1 ==> $530 +~$53 CA tax ~= $580 Samsung Galaxy S4 ==> $580 +~$58 CA tax ~= $630

Of those, the only phones in a reasonable price range are the first three.

Of those, do you think *any* meet a minimum spec for a kid to play games on (and make phone calls & text)?

Reply to
Eddie Powalski

Games put more demands on a cell phone than virtually anything else. Getting a cheaper phone you won't get the power. The Optimus L9 is a phone that will do what you want?

Is there some reason to buy it from T-Mobile? QVC and Amazon (and numerous others) sell phones for far less. The Optimus L9 is $180 + tax at QVC, The 8GB Nexus 4 is $300 + tax direct from Google. Why would you want to give T-Mobile welfare?

Reply to

Thanks for helping out as I'm very frustrated (and need advice!).

Note that Talkatone isn't a game, and it also wouldn't load on the substandard Android phone I first bought - so - either our bare-minimum specs are bad, or T-Mobile isn't the place to buy phones:

About 10 minutes ago, I had opened a new thread, now that we have the minimum specs below ... seeking a phone that meets them ... and, interestingly, I stopped at the Optimus L9 simply because, at ~$265 ($240.00 + ~$24 CA tax & fees), the LG Optimus L9 was way over my price point (which I had thought reasonable):


  1. Carrier = (your personal choice)
  2. OS = Android 4.0 or better (for app compatibility)
  3. CPU = 1GHz single core
  4. Internal memory = 1 GB (is this the same thing as ROM?)
  5. RAM = 512 MB
  6. Screen = 800x480 pixels
  7. Connectivity = WiFi, Bluetooth, & microUSB
  8. Price < 0 (your personal choice)

I'll compare, in the next post (this is getting long) the Optimus L9 against the bare-minimum specs. (I do appreciate your advice and will act upon it in a reasonable way.)

No. If I could get an unlocked GSM phone that works on T-Mobile frequencies (which I know little about), then I would be happy.

Wow. If the Optimus L9 meets the bare minimum specs, then perhaps it is the *one* phone that does meet the specs because, with tax & fees, it would be roughly at the $200 price point.

That's a huge price leap from the $100 I originally listed (which I had thought reasonable at the time); and still far more than the $200 price point that I'm forced to be at.

Thanks for the advice. I will compare the Optimus L9 against the bare minimum specs in the next post.

Reply to
Eddie Powalski

Talkatone needs a data plan to work. It just uses VOIP through Google Voice.

Reply to

Are you sure a data plan is required?

I was pretty sure Talkatone would work just fine at home on WiFi.

But maybe I'm wrong?

EDIT: Googling, I find this FAQ:

formatting link
The FAQ, like all company FAQs, is more of a marketing ploy than a real FAQ, because, for example, they don't mention either WiFi or Data as being needed in the question: Q: What do I need to use Talkatone?

But, they do *imply* that you can use Talkatone on WiFi in: Q: What is Talkatone? How do I use it?

Here's what they say in that answer: "some of our users have bad cell reception in their homes and use Talkatone over their home wireless network to make/receive calls from home."

So, that implies (but doesn't say) that you don't need a data plan. But I have to infer that from the FAQ because the one question that asks what you need doesn't even cover whether data or WiFi is needed for the Internet connection.

Reply to
Eddie Powalski

No, that's correct. You can use any data connection.

Reply to

Thanks for taking the time to confirm. I appreciate the help.

It seems the best option for a minimum Android cellphone that T-Mobile has, is the LG Optimus L9 (which I think is better than the Samsung Galaxy Exhibit at the same price).

Plus, as you said elsewhere, the Samsung Galaxy Exhibit, being new, isn't sale priced yet; while the LG Optimus L9, having been on the market for a year, is sale priced.

My only issue with a sale-priced one is where to get it that is trustworthy. I'll probably buy one for each kid.

Reply to
Eddie Powalski

Here's a summary of the help in this thread.

Anyway, I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that the only decent phone of the first half of the dozen that T-Mobile sells, is either the LG Optimus L9 or the Samsung Galaxy Exhibit: a. LG Optimus L9:

formatting link
Samsung Galaxy Exhibit:
formatting link
Of those two, the Exhibit has the better operating system, but the Optimus L9 has the better display. I'm leaning toward the Optimus, but the price (for two of them) is pretty steep - so my next step will be to find the Optimus L9 for a good price, perhaps online (although I'm not very experienced with online purchases of phones so I don't know who is reputable and who is not).

Thanks for all your advice. I think the most important thing was figuring out the bare minimum specs.

  1. Carrier = (your choice)
  2. OS = minimum spec of 4.0
  3. CPU = minimum spec of 1GHz
  4. Internal memory = minimum spec of 1GB (isn't this just ROM?)
  5. RAM = minimum spec of 512 MB
  6. Screen = minimum spec of 800x480 pixels
  7. Connectivity = minimum spec of WiFi, Bluetooth, & microUSB
  8. Price = (your choice)

Had I known how to properly buy a basic bare minimum Android phone, I never would have bought the ZTE Concord

formatting link
:0. Carrier = T-Mobile (pre-paid phone but used on a monthly plan)

  1. OS = Android 2.3 failed minimum spec of 4.0
  2. CPU = 823 MHz Broadcom BCM21553 failed minimum spec of 1GHz
  3. Internal memory = 512 MB failed minimum spec of 1GB (is this ROM?)
  4. RAM = 512 MB met minimum spec of 512 MB
  5. Screen = 480x320 failed minimum spec of 800x480 pixels
  6. Connectivity = met minimum spec of WiFi, Bluetooth, & microUSB
  7. Price = ( at Target & Walmart in August 2012)

After establishing the minimum spec, all I needed to do was compare the available T-Mobile phones to that minimum spec: a. Samsung Dart is $72 + ~$7 CA tax & fees ~= $80 <== FAIL b. T-Mobile Prism II is $116 + ~$12 CA tax & fees = ~$130 <== FAIL c. Samsung Gravity Q is $154 + ~$15 CA tax & fees ~= ~$170 <== FAIL d. Samsung Galaxy Exhibit is $236 + ~$23 CA tax & fees ~= $260 <== PASS e. LG Optimus L9 is $240.00 + ~$24 CA tax & fees ~= $265 <== PASS f. T-Mobile myTouch Q is $260 +~$26 CA tax & fees ~= $285 <== FAIL g. Samsung Galaxy SII is $336.00 + ~$33 CA tax & fees ~= $370 h. Nexus 4 is $428 + ~$42 CA tax ~= $470 i. Samsung Galaxy SIII LTE is $530 +~$53 CA tax & fees ~= $580 j. Samsung Galaxy S4 is $580 +~$58 CA tax & fees ~= $630 k. HTC One is $580 +~$58 CA tax & fees ~= $630 l. Samsung Galaxy Note II is $650 +~$65 CA tax & fees ~= $715

Reply to
Eddie Powalski

Cabling-Design.com Forums website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.