Welcome to this week’s edition of Android Q&A! As always, we try to answer as many of your great questions as possible. Coming up this week – the best mid-range tablet, how big is too big, and switching from an iPhone to Android. Let’s get started!
What is the best mid-range tablets? – Sam Ngiam
First up on the list of best mid-range tablets has to be the Google Nexus 7 (2013). While missing some important features for some, such as microSD support and a great camera, the biggest advantage to picking up this tablet is its more than reasonable price point. You also get stock Android, with OS updates almost as soon as it’s released, and day-to-day performance at par with a lot of other high-end tablets.
Next is the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX. While previous iterations of this tablet may have been considered under-powered, that is an absolute non-issue with the Kindle Fire HDX. If you’re primary purpose is media consumption, or if you’re looking for a gift for a less tech-savvy person, this tablet deserves serious consideration. Mayday support has also been receiving very positive reviews so far.
Rounding out this short list is the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Even with the issues related to battery life, as tested by Android Authority’s own Joshua Vergara, the Galaxy Note 8 has been referred to by some as the Swiss Army Knife of Android tablets, because it does so many things, reasonably well. If you’re a fan of the various Touchwiz features, and find stylus support (S-Pen) to be necessary, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a great choice for you.
I am a complete phone rookie. I took a chance on the HTC One and just dived in without watching my limit. Now I am severely confused with different tasks and am afraid I should have gotten an iPhone. Is there anyway I can contact someone more familiar with the Android devices like you? – Bee Godly
Switching to an Android smartphone may take a little getting used to, and so, we recommend you check out a couple of videos, to help you begin your journey in the amazing world that is Android. First is a beginner’s guide to Android, and includes everything you’ll need to know about finding your way around your first Android smartphone. Since you mentioned confusion with relation to tasks, an app you should look into is Tasker. Here’s an introduction to Tasker video that should help.
Jayce, what’s going on with the Note 2 update? First it was in May, and then it was changed to November. Do you know when? Thanks! – Eli Benji
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 released with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on-board, and while an update to Android 4.2 was expected, Samsung decided to skip it and go straight to Android 4.3, which was expected to rollout by November. This rollout timeline seems to be accurate, with Android 4.3 expected to hit the Galaxy Note 2 in the next few weeks. But, as far as an update to Android 4.4 Kitkat is concerned, Galaxy Note 2 users may have to wait a while, maybe for as long as 6 months, for next update, as the the device now falls in line behind the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy S4.
How big can a phablet get before it’s too big? – Anonymous (or everyone!)
The debate surrounding smartphone sizes and “how big is too big?” can now be looked at in another way, and that is, how many devices can/do you have? If you have a tablet, which can be used as your primary media-consumption device, then a smaller smartphone (even though the smallest high-end Android smartphone in the market is 4.7-inches) is recommended. But, if you’re looking for a single all-purpose device, then a smartphone that falls in the phablet category is definitely required, to give you the perfect balance between a phone and a media device.
Don’t forget that the Android Q&A exists because of your great questions, so keep ’em coming! Fill out the form below, and we’ll try to get to all your questions in next week’s edition of the show.