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pipercub
02-08-2011, 10:18 AM
Hi All. Don`t know if this is the appropriate place to ask this question but I`m thinking of buying a `smart` phone, Samsung GT-i5503 Galaxy-5. (these are a good buy at the moment. Only about $215. However this one comes with Android 2.1. The latest version of android is, I believe, 3.2 which is 6 - 7 versions further on. Whether they are all applicable to mobile phones I don`t know. I do know that there are phones out there running version 2.3 though. Questions: If I buy this phone, can I upgrade the operating version to a later one? Is android an open source system and free like Linux? How difficult is it to upgrade?
Many thanks. Pipercub

inphinity
02-08-2011, 10:31 AM
3.x is the Tablet versions, so 2.3 is the most recent phone release. Typically you'll want an official update from the phone manufacturer, but being that Android is open source, there are a lot of user-made ROMs for phones that allow you to upgrade to a more recent version than the manufacturer supports. I believe Samsung released a 2.2 update for the i5503, not sure bout 2.3

Chilling_Silence
02-08-2011, 10:49 AM
The i5503 hasn't been updated to 2.2 in NZ I believe, it's still on 2.1, which means you'd need to take to flashing it yourself, which is nowhere near as straight-forward as an official upgrade.

It is definitely well worth going for a device running at LEAST 2.2, as that's when the JIT compiler was brought in, and it made a significant performance increase to the OS and apps.

Personally I'd be more inclined to go for either the LG P500, or the Vodafone 858.

dugimodo
02-08-2011, 01:24 PM
If or when Samsung upgrade it officially you just install their Kies software on a pc, connect up the phone, and click the upgrade firmware button. Very simple, at least that's how my galaxy S worked.

However note that firmware updates can also be specific to the cellphone provider, Vodafone Galaxy S users got an update several weeks before telecom customers it seems (going from a workmates experience, although his Galaxy is the "T" version which could be the reason).

If you load custom ROM's you need to be careful about the bands supported as some models support different bands depending on the provider and it's possible to lose 3G support by using the wrong firmware.

PaulD
02-08-2011, 01:33 PM
The i5503T has been updated to 2.2 via Kies. Happened on 11 May

Chilling_Silence
02-08-2011, 02:35 PM
Dugimodo, yes they're identical aside from the radio frequencies, just the T is for "AT&T", so it operates on 850hz WCDMA. The release is influenced both by the phone vendor (Samsung in this case) *and* the Telco.

PaulD: Thanks for that, I've got a friend who has one, I'll get them to upgrade.

pipercub
07-08-2011, 12:28 AM
Thanks all for the suggestions. May try a different phone with v2.2 0r v2.3 installed. Cheers. Pipercub

Chilling_Silence
07-08-2011, 09:13 AM
We've been trying a *lot* of different ones at work, best feedback we've had for the entry-level phones is from this:
http://www.vodafone.co.nz/shop/mobileDetails.jsp?skuId=sku11410050
And this:
http://www.vodafone.co.nz/shop/mobileDetails.jsp?skuId=sku11710054

Only down-side we've found is the P500 doesn't seem to do custom ringtones per-contact?!

Go in-store and give them a whirl :)