Updated: You can now read my Android Philippines section for more info about Android phones.
Mobile phones that are based on the Android open mobile platform has been increasing in number in the Philippines. It got a slow start with the introduction of the HTC Magic by one of the mobile network providers in the Philippines. I have currently identified several Android based mobile phones that have been officially released on Philippine shores. Here’s a list of the Android mobile phones you can buy at a mobile phone shop in the Philippines.
First off, this list doesn’t include other Android phone brands/models that may also be available for purchase locally but has not been officially released and supported by the manufacturer. There are obvious advantages for buying a mobile phone that is officially supported by the manufacturer. Warranty and support are some of the things that come to mind.
The HTC Magic mobile phone is the second Android based mobile phone that was released by HTC. Some of it’s features include a 3.2 inch 480 x 320 pixel capacitive display, 3.2 megapixel camera, GPS, HSPDA, wifi and bluetooth. It is available in two colors – white or black. You can find the complete specifications and features of the HTC Magic here.
The HTC Hero mobile phone is the second Android based mobile phone that was officially released by HTC in the Philippines. The HTC Hero is the first HTC Android phone to use the HTC Sense UI. Some of it’s features include a 3.2 inch 320 x 480 pixel capacitive display, 5 megapixel camera, GPS, HSPDA, wifi and bluetooth. It is available in five colors – brown, white, graphite, black and pink (but I have yet to see a pink phone locally). You can find the complete specifications and features of the HTC Hero here.
The HTC Tattoo is HTC’s answer to an affordable Android based mobile phone. Some of it’s features include a 2.8 inch 240 x 320 pixel resistive display, 3-megapixel camera, GPS, HSPDA, wifi and bluetooth. It is available in five colors – brown, white, graphite, black, violet (I have only seen the black color locally). You can find the complete specifications and features of the HTC Tattoo here.
Besides HTC, the only other mobile phone manufacturer to officially launch an Android based phone in the Philippines is Samsung. Samsung Mobile has made the Samsung Spica aka i5700 / Galaxy Lite locally available. I wonder why it’s actually called a Galaxy Lite because it actually has a faster CPU than the other Android based mobile phone Samsung Galaxy. Actually, of the Android based mobile phones on this page, the Samsung Spica is the fastest at 800Mhz while all the other HTC phones have a 528Mhz CPU. It has a 3.2 inch 320 x 480 pixel capactive display, 3-megapixel camera, GPS, HSPDA, wifi and bluetooth. It also has a licensed DivX encoder software that allows you to play DivX video on the Spica. You can checkout the detailed Samsung Spica specifications.
Of all the locally available Android based mobile phones, the Samsung Spica has the least price. You can buy it from some mobile phone shops for as low as Php 13,900. I’ve actually bought one to try out an Android mobile phone and also create some mobile apps for it. Samsung has also officially announced a software upgrade for the Android OS on the Samsung Spica. Android 2.1, currently the newest Android OS, will soon be available via an update from Samsung.
If you’re interested in buying an Android based mobile phone locally, you can go for the Spica if you’re keen on budget. While the HTC Hero is the most expensive of the above Android phones, it also has the most gorgeous look and finish. Another thing you might want to consider is the availability of an OS upgrade for the mobile phone. Since the Android is relatively a new mobile OS, it is being continually updated with new features.
Of course besides the mobile phones above, you will find other Android based mobile phones that are sold locally like the Google Nexus One, the HTC G1 or the Motorola Milestone. But these mobile phones will not have to local support that you can normally expect from the service centers of locally announced mobile phones. In due time, more and more Android based phones are going to be available locally as the market grows and the public is made aware of the advantages of using one of these Android based mobile phones.
Update [05/25/2010]: Sony Ericsson has released the Xperia X10 in the Philippines. It’s now available in all the Sony Ericsson mobile phone shops. The cost of the Xperia X10 is about 30,000+ locally. It uses Android 1.6 but Sony Ericsson says it will update it to Android 2.1 in the near future. Although I came across a unit in one of the shops, they won’t allow people to take a look at it saying that they don’t have a demo unit.