Find Android phones with Google Phone Gallery

Sep 30, 2010
Tech

Google’s new phone finder keeps track of every Android smartphone on the market, a real benefit to shoppers even if it lacks a key feature. Also, ESPN checks in and Nokia finally ships oft-delayed smartphone. Google to the rescue Google introduced a tool so useful and so obvious, that anyone who owns or is considering […]

Google’s new phone finder keeps track of every Android smartphone on the market, a real benefit to shoppers even if it lacks a key feature. Also, ESPN checks in and Nokia finally ships oft-delayed smartphone.

Google to the rescue

Google introduced a tool so useful and so obvious, that anyone who owns or is considering an Android phone should check it out. Called the Google Phone Gallery, it’s a display of Android phones you can buy today.

The phones can be sorted by availability from wireless carriers, phone manufacturers, newest models, alphabetical order and country. As of this writing, there were 22 Android phones offered by U.S. wireless carriers. More will be added as they are introduced. You can even select several phones to compare features side-by-side.

In my view, the beauty of Android is that you can pick your phone depending on the carrier you prefer. You’re not stuck with one carrier choice — AT&T for the iPhone, for example — but can select a number of phones based on what carrier’s pricing plan and reliability work best for you.

Of course, there’s some variation in Android phones that may make you want to jump to another carrier. The HTC Evo at Sprint remains high on my list, for example. If there’s one thing this Google service is missing, however, it is editorial and user reviews. To find out what people think about each phone, you’ll need to go elsewhere.

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Google is playing the good partner here by creating the Google Phone Gallery as a sales guide, but we all know it could easily turn on a Google News type of feature to gather editorial reviews for each Android phone. Wouldn’t that be useful?

ESPN checks in

Even ESPN is getting into the check-in game. A new app, called ESPN Passport, lets iPhone owners ‘check-in’ when they attend a game. ESPN released the app in August but it has garnered little attention, probably because check-in apps like Foursquare, Gowalla, and even Facebook’s Places tool have dominated the conversation.

Now, ESPN has started to promote the service to fans of the brand. I received an email Wednesday; the Passport app can save “my seat location, photos, post to social networks, and track your favorite team’s record when you’re at the game!” Oh joy! Actually, if I was going to take a road trip to visit America’s great baseball stadiums, I would probably use Passport.

Otherwise, I’ll just use one of my phone’s other countless score-checking apps to keep up.

Nokia N8 finally ships

The Nokia N8, a highly anticipated smartphone that features a 12-megapixel camera, has finally started shipping. Two years ago, phone geeks would be drooling. Today, with Nokia in turmoil in the wake of sweeping changes in its corner offices, the phone is a testament to a stubborn approach that has pushed news of Nokia’s once-mighty line-up of high-end goodies to the bottom of a tech column.

Nokia still owns the low-end market for phones, and that’s good for sales, but unless we see more modern products real fast, Nokia will be suffering from the same kind of wrenching period that Motorola is just now started to emerge from.

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Eric Benderoff

Eric Benderoff is the principal of BendableMedia.com, an editorial services firm, and a founding member of the Appolicious content strategy team. His personal technology column for the Chicago Tribune has appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide. He is a regular guest on Chicago's WGN Radio and is a frequent commentator about consumer technology on national TV news programs.

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