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Things to think about when selecting an Android phone:

Once you have reviewed our list of recommended phones, there are a few things to consider before choosing one.

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Table: Device Selection Criteria

 

SMS

Android Phone

Android Tablet

Computer

Feature Phone

(JAVA Enabled)

Hardware Factors

Availability

All Phones

Country Dependent

Country Dependent

All PCs or Laptops

Country Dependent

Battery Life

High

High

(1 – 1.5 days)

Medium

(1 day)

Low

(4 hours)

High

(2-3 days)

Durability

High

Medium

Medium

High

High

Initial Cost

n/a

$150 - $250

$400 - $600

$500

$75 - $100

Usability Factors

Questions per Transaction

1

1,000s

1,000s

1,000s

100s

Cases stored per device

0

1,000s

1,000s

unlimited

100s

Questions per screen

0

3-5

5-7

unlimited

2-3

Works Offline

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

 

Picking your Android phone:

CommCare ODK runs on Android OS, as long as the operating system version is 2.2 or above.  There are known issues supporting some fonts.  Many Android devices currently do not support Tamil or Hindi script, and any script font in general should be tested on a locally available Android device for compatibility.

Android Phone Checklist 

When choosing an Android to test for CommCare compatibility (in general or for your project), ask yourselves the following questions. If you’ve answered “No” to any of the following questions, the phone is probably not best for your specific deployment, however please document any known issues on the help site so we have a log of tested phones and known limitations. i.e. Because your phone doesn’t support Telugu script, that doesn’t mean the phone won’t be relevant for other deployments throughout India.

  1. Is the Android Operating System (OS) version 2.2 or greater
    1. Test by going to Settings -> About Phone
  2. Does the phone have internal memory (>4 GB) OR does it have expandable memory through an SD card?
    1. Note: If the phone is running Android OS 4.0 or higher, your phone can treat the internal memory as an SD card, so it is not necessary to have expandable memory if the internal memory is large enough (>4 GB). If the system is running 2.x and does NOT have expandable memory then it will likely not work; test the phone, look through the list of supported phones on this page for details on specific models.
  3. Does the phone come with an SD card?
  4. Does the phone support wifi?
  5. Does the phone have GPRS? Will this work with different telecom providers?
  6. Does the phone have GPS?
  7. Does the phone have access to the Google Play Store?
  8. Does the phone support all the languages you need for your project? 
    1. To test this, go to http://www.unicode.org/charts/ and open the chart for your desired language
  9. Can the entire phone settings be switched to another language?
  10. Does the phone work with the telecom provider you intend to use? (i.e. Can you make a call, use the internet, submit a CommCare form?)
  11. (For India) Is the phone less than Rs. 6000?
  12. Are there plans in the near future for this phone model to be discontinued?
  13. Will local vendors at your project site understand the functionalities of this specific model?
  14. Will the keyboard type work well for your deployment?
  15. Is the keyboard easy to use?
  16. Is it easy to press the center/middle button?
  17. Generally how usable is the home screen – is it easy to navigate the application and hard to make mistakes?
  18. Battery Life test:  use the phone for a day to test battery life. 

I've selected a phone, now what do I do?

 After you have narrowed down our list of recommended phones to the models that best fit your project, we highly recommend that you procure a test phone.  You can then use that test phone to test out your application to make sure that it performs well on the phone model you have chosen.  Here are a few things to consider when testing your application on the phone:

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