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Thread: Looking for decent "not a phone" android device

  1. #1

    Looking for decent "not a phone" android device

    Apparently these devices are much more popular in Asia, and though several test markets have made their ways over to the United States, the marketability is not nearly what it is over on the other side of the Pacific, especially out of Samsung based consumers. Archos seems to be the only prevalent distributing brand that has had even a near success.

    I don't give a fuck.

    So, what I would like to know is, does anyone have any familiarity with any handheld android devices that are WiFi only, but not phones? I'm not talking about tablets. I'm not talking about phablets. I"m talking about phone sized android devices with 3 to 4 inch, maybe 5 inch screen maxes.

    The reason being, I am interested in getting such a device, which is WiFi only, for my father as a christmas present to load down with various podcasts which I'm sure he will enjoy.

    From what I've understood, the market doesn't work right here. We have a market full of prepaid smartphones that already have to be purchased at full value, outright, and the cost for a non-phone ends up being more expensive due to a greater difficulty to market at a retail level.


    Well, that still boggles my mind, because there should be some sort of a working alternative available via Amazon. Unfortunately, I'm having the most difficult time finding such a product. I'd consider going the eBay route, but I don't have any incentives (like Prime) to do so.

    Could anyone steer me in the right direction for such a device which runs Android, over WiFi only with some good reviews that is under $75?

    Much appreciated, if you can.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Looking for decent "not a phone" android device

    Just buy a phone and don't put a sim card in it. It will still work just fine, but if you're worried because it could make emergency calls, you can enable flight mode, and then manually enable Bluetooth and WiFi.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Looking for decent "not a phone" android device

    What Nadiar said; have you used a phablet (I hate this noun, but whatever)? I would not ever go back to a smaller sized phone again, it is just the right size to be suitable for watching videos, fairly reasonable for reading text (with the caveat that the browser or screen is clutter free, in the context of a browser one that has an analogue to Safari's Reader mode/Readability on FF and Chrome, ideally all websites would not be filled with gutter trash by default, but until the wider population adopts the one true faith of clarity and axiomatic noiselessness this is tremendously useful for the 0.01% of us who read the articles).

    A phablet is a perfect complement to a device like the Microsoft Surface or a Nexus 9 and larger size tablet. I have sold my SO on them as well even though she has small hands, the reason being size is a non-issue due to carrying at minimum a small purse/container with her, and the newer phones are too large to comfortably use one handed anyways. They fit reasonably well in suit jackets and very well in pants that have cargo pockets (of course), and any pants which do not have shallow pockets in them.

    I don't ever carry my iPad 2 or Nexus 7 with me hardly ever anymore as a result. If I am reading a book the Kindle Paperwhite line obliterates any other device targeting this niche; my only critique is that it is shit for reading research papers on due to the PDF reader being ghetto compared to its other document readers irrespective of layout; dickering with LaTeX in the vein of seeing if it was simply a matter of the device characteristics, common paper layout for research papers, or the reader itself revealed that Amazon's lack of fucks given with respect to the reader is the cause of the issue rather than the format itself. I was not very happy with conversions between PDF/PS through Pandoc to AZW3, AZW, or Mobi was immaterial as well. It's the only real issue I have with the device.

    Which while I see why Amazon is purposefully gimping the PDF reader in order to push their own docs and formats and thereby promote lockin, that does not prevent me from being annoyed by Amazon's focus on pushing their services over making the best device possible and making using their services on such a device as seamless as possible. I realize my particular situation is a more esoteric use case, but it entails that I have to use a much less pleasant screen to read what amounts to papers which are entirely text and what graphs/images are incorporated are nearly always amenable to black and white only. There are some databases ran by sociopathic nazi shitheads which antisocial traitor scientists feel compelled to publish to still which hamstring offline viewing on such devices anyways, so it is even more niche in some domains.

    The argument that "but my cred" falls on extremely unempathetic ears; if you got into science to stroke your own ego you are a terrible person and can fuck off, in reality all of the work is done by peers in the first place and to the extent that the particular restricted journal does have some marginal utility, it is insignificant and while in the past it was possible to cling to weak arguments supporting publishing to them anyways, a thriving proof of concept of an alternative which is not antisocial already exists, to wit, be a more ethical researcher. And to round out this rant, a shout out to Elsevier, IEEE, and ACM et al. who to various extents can eat endless bags of dicks for not following suit en total. Another shout out to those authoring new technical literature and not self-publishing, thereby reinforcing an exploitive antisocial culture, I am disappoint.

    Back to OP:
    Last edited by MI Redeux; December 4th, 2014 at 03:41 AM.

  4. #4

    Re: Looking for decent "not a phone" android device

    so Amazon is pretty much attempting the Apple model, Not totally optimal devices in a closed ecosystem. thing is they do not have the other half of the system which is computer devices.
    Last edited by FilanFyretracker; December 7th, 2014 at 09:58 AM.
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  5. #5

    Re: Looking for decent "not a phone" android device

    I decided not to go this route this year. I was reading a couple thins that indicate some of the larger technology companies are going to try the "not a phone" market again, this year, come summer.

    I bought my dad the podcasts I was most interested in getting him on CD, and will just give him that. I'm due a new phone this year as well, and I'l just give him my old phone if I get a new one, myself.

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    Re: Looking for decent "not a phone" android device

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinthalas Tigris View Post
    I decided not to go this route this year. I was reading a couple thins that indicate some of the larger technology companies are going to try the "not a phone" market again, this year, come summer.

    I bought my dad the podcasts I was most interested in getting him on CD, and will just give him that. I'm due a new phone this year as well, and I'l just give him my old phone if I get a new one, myself.
    IDK why you disagree with us that these devices are idiotic in light of the resale market for real phones and the fact that you do not need a cell plan to use them.

  7. #7

    Re: Looking for decent "not a phone" android device

    Quote Originally Posted by MI Redeux View Post
    IDK why you disagree with us that these devices are idiotic in light of the resale market for real phones and the fact that you do not need a cell plan to use them.
    It isn't that I disagree, it is that I learned my parents do not have WiFi at their home, and because they don't, it will mean having to spend several sessions just getting them used to that concept in their house if I go over with a router anytime soon.

    They are already very paranoid about their cell phones (they turn them off when they are not making calls from them), and it will take bigger baby steps in more time than I have between now and Christmas before a gift such as a WiFi android device would seem worthwhile in showing them how they work.

    Plus, if I get my dad an android device, my mom might feel left out, and not that I wouldn't feel fair about getting her one, I know that she would be more interested in tablet, and I would still need to go the WiFi configuration route, before I go the whole route of deciding what tablet to get her in the first place.

    I was most interested in getting him the We're Alive podcasts, and he spends most of his evenings listening to the radio/cds in his study. I figured it would be a win/win for what I wanted him to enjoy over possible difficulties of trying to figure out the android device while the ultimate desire is for him to enjoy the podcast for what it is.

    if he digs it enough, i can still get him an android device, and then, perhaps, his desire might will him along to learn how to use the touchscreen, etc, to get to the podcasts he wants.

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    Re: Looking for decent "not a phone" android device

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinthalas Tigris View Post
    It isn't that I disagree, it is that I learned my parents do not have WiFi at their home, and because they don't, it will mean having to spend several sessions just getting them used to that concept in their house if I go over with a router anytime soon.

    They are already very paranoid about their cell phones (they turn them off when they are not making calls from them), and it will take bigger baby steps in more time than I have between now and Christmas before a gift such as a WiFi android device would seem worthwhile in showing them how they work.

    Plus, if I get my dad an android device, my mom might feel left out, and not that I wouldn't feel fair about getting her one, I know that she would be more interested in tablet, and I would still need to go the WiFi configuration route, before I go the whole route of deciding what tablet to get her in the first place.

    I was most interested in getting him the We're Alive podcasts, and he spends most of his evenings listening to the radio/cds in his study. I figured it would be a win/win for what I wanted him to enjoy over possible difficulties of trying to figure out the android device while the ultimate desire is for him to enjoy the podcast for what it is.

    if he digs it enough, i can still get him an android device, and then, perhaps, his desire might will him along to learn how to use the touchscreen, etc, to get to the podcasts he wants.
    Not that I think adding to their paranoia is a good thing, but if they are concerned about that they need to cover them in tin foil when not wanting to use the cell phones as that setting is not always respected by any of the default OS.

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    Re: Looking for decent "not a phone" android device

    don't fancy one of Samsung's Galaxy devices? Not sure if they are available over the pond, but amazon uk have it here although it is an old model (dont know if there is a newer one)

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    Re: Looking for decent "not a phone" android device

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodja View Post
    don't fancy one of Samsung's Galaxy devices? Not sure if they are available over the pond, but amazon uk have it here although it is an old model (dont know if there is a newer one)
    This is what I would do. It is why I mentioned checking how well integrated the phone is why CyanogenMod before making the choice. In short, CyanogenMod is an unfucked version of Android, developed with,"how can we make the user experience as enjoyable as possible immediately while also maximizing for utility over the entire lifespan of the product?" rather than,"how can we best manipulate consumers into purchasing our wares and exploiting them most effectively after the fact?" in mind. That initial motivational difference is extremely impactful for how the actual experience is in the end. Specifically in the context of Android and modern phones, the design decision enables tremendous utility for the recipients and participants rather than succumbing to planned obsolescence. This specific instance generalizes to every emergent social and technical problem as well; stated more explicitly, every instance of the encumbered behavior effected is necessarily and always symptomatic of a sequence incongruent with a well-ordered, maximally composable system. Every problem, social or technical, I face is the result of the undesirable behavior being a part of the relevant system; it necessarily deflates the existence of capacity to converge on ubiquitous wheels of the mind. As such, a rational, social oriented personhood must ipso facto reject tolerating actors and agents which contribute to or enable the existence of malignancy. At present the majority of necessary scaffolding exists to converge on a frictionless system, however the subsets are disjoint despite implementing a specific categorical instance. Presently social union's composition is heterogeneous which is well and necessary for achieving such convergence in nontrivial cases, yet the proof of concepts or exacting implementations there in are not and in some cases intentionally not cohesive, thereby preventing achieving the ideal end. By rejecting contributing to greater degradation with respect to communication, CyanogenMod provides a component necessary for realizing a just, possibly amoral, society; grace realized there in demands our own usage of the link provided and create or incorporate complementary components, thereby increasing extant availability, immediately, and in the longer term en total plenitud.

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    Re: Looking for decent "not a phone" android device

    I'm glad you posted this topic way back when as it has been exceedingly profitable for my life in all respects; ironically Samsung et al. are sabotaging their own markets [very long term] as not only does it require being vertically integrated at every layer with razor thin margins or converging on such, and all of these old, once premiere devices are saturating their own potential reuse and making very cheap phones not all that relevant, however sold in a resell market; granted this is extremely niche, BUT thanks to these patterns, it is extremely [relatively] [monetarily] inexpensive to make a very complex personal area network comprised of parts from old, thrown away phones, which in reality are trivially renewed to their original potential AND thanks to Cyanogenmod, a mega fuck load of resources sunk into toolchain development over the decades, these old "piece of shit" phones are extremely, extremely awesome as fuck; at its limit these will sink below cost of even just a not even comparable microcontroller for making a for real "Internet of Things" applicable to home life and micromanufacturing with competent infosec... such as automating a motherfucking victory garden, security network, telephony, a fenced off panopticon which is not incompetently implemented aka not how the US has gone about it, such a waste of talent (a testament to Kafka? or is it Tolstoy?) ham radio etc. Another nice aspect is how deliverable the systems are as installable boxes, connected up over inexpensive protocols, requiring at most 1/5 proclaimed senses present in the user with initial setup. Cubes of automation, harvesting and transforming signals with complete detachment, truly beautiful to exist in such a time as now, overwhelming apathetical inertia.

    To wit, society needs the relevant skills to repurpose these things now such that the multiplicative effects resulting from leisure time result in a new Golden Age, not unlike The Enlightenment or Awakening. Nations that are cultivating and have cultivated a hacker culture are going to roll over those which have not, metaphorically depictable as a Steel Rain swarm incinerating a mobile cavalry, resulting in a truly awesome shift in global power, similar to how Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China dominate most electronics manufacturing and a significant percentile of R&D for decades despite the US and Russia having had decades lead time in being able to own these perpetually. Control Systems skills and knowledge will be and already is tremendously productive in these regards.

    ... a great day for cyberpunk and therefore a great day for the world.
    Last edited by MI Redeux; January 20th, 2015 at 04:38 AM.

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