Suitable Android phone for Delphi App

I work with small farmers in Africa and Asia, designing data-systems used by the companies which buy their products (coffee, vanilla, nuts etc.)

Farm-inspection is a key role. Inspectors visit with lots of paper-forms and questionnaires which are filled in. Some of my users have already migrated to Windows tablets for data collection. But Windows tablets are rare and costly.

I have written a couple of Android Apps. Not too big, but they will do useful "small jobs" for the inspectors.

However few inspectors yet own smart phones. My client-businesses will have to buy them.

Are there any opinions on a good, _cheap_ Android phone which will be able to manage general data tasks (not large volumes of data) and happily run a Delphi Firemonkey Application?

I have looked at the list of "suitable" phones on the Embarcadero site ... it is quite short and does not include many of the "budget" phones which are widely sold in Africa, so it is hard to know what technology to recommend to clients.
0
Adam
4/25/2014 1:16:15 PM
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> {quote:title=Adam Brett wrote:}{quote}
> I work with small farmers in Africa and Asia, designing data-systems used by the companies which buy their products (coffee, vanilla, nuts etc.)
> 
> Farm-inspection is a key role. Inspectors visit with lots of paper-forms and questionnaires which are filled in. Some of my users have already migrated to Windows tablets for data collection. But Windows tablets are rare and costly.
> 
> I have written a couple of Android Apps. Not too big, but they will do useful "small jobs" for the inspectors.
> 
> However few inspectors yet own smart phones. My client-businesses will have to buy them.
> 
> Are there any opinions on a good, _cheap_ Android phone which will be able to manage general data tasks (not large volumes of data) and happily run a Delphi Firemonkey Application?
> 
> I have looked at the list of "suitable" phones on the Embarcadero site ... it is quite short and does not include many of the "budget" phones which are widely sold in Africa, so it is hard to know what technology to recommend to clients.

Greetings from someone also doing mobi stuff in Africa for such areas :)

An idea might be to go visit vodacom.co.za as i know they supply into a lot of Africa. There are mtn and cellc , but i don't know if they supply other countries.
Those with v.limited budget buy dumb phones
Those with a little bit more buy on 24 month contract where basically the phone is close to free but they get air time and data and usually what is on special
on their website you can search and specify 'android' then compare to EB list.

There are lots of cheapy tablets here in SA, some as low as 70$ like a 'ME" tablet (or as i call them f*** me tablets) (i have deployed on these using xamarin), but sadly battery dies in a few hrs so not of much use in the fields unless they use a car charger (and plenty don't even have a car)

lenovo s6000s is pretty cheap 10" and lasts well @ 300$ , i use one of those for some of my testing (cheap and cheerful) , dunno if its on EB list though (or the ME) .....
much cheaper than a lot of the smart phones.
0
sean
4/25/2014 4:03:21 PM
> {quote:title=Adam Brett wrote:}{quote}

> Are there any opinions on a good, _cheap_ Android phone which will be able to manage general data tasks (not large volumes of data) and happily run a Delphi Firemonkey Application?

Motorola G works great for me ($200). Don't know if it's available where you're looking though.
0
Michael
4/25/2014 5:06:07 PM
Adam Brett wrote:

> 
> Are there any opinions on a good, cheap Android phone which will be
> able to manage general data tasks (not large volumes of data) and
> happily run a Delphi Firemonkey Application?
> 
> I have looked at the list of "suitable" phones on the Embarcadero
> site ... it is quite short and does not include many of the "budget"
> phones which are widely sold in Africa, so it is hard to know what
> technology to recommend to clients.

Go for an Android tablet instead of a phone. For an app used for
serious applications in the field, you need hardware that is both
reliable and high performance. Samsung's Note Pro 12.2 immediately
comes to mind. Its listed at GBP 650, but you can negotiate direct with
Samsung to get a better deal if you purchase direct from the company
and in bulk.

-- 
Steve Faleiro
0
Steve
4/26/2014 11:28:03 AM
App will test a device for compatibility:

http://delphi.org/2013/09/syscheck-for-xe5-compatibility/
0
Eli
4/26/2014 1:21:15 PM
> {quote:title=Steve Faleiro wrote:}{quote}
> Adam Brett wrote:
> 
> > 
> > Are there any opinions on a good, cheap Android phone which will be
> > able to manage general data tasks (not large volumes of data) and
> > happily run a Delphi Firemonkey Application?
> > 
> > I have looked at the list of "suitable" phones on the Embarcadero
> > site ... it is quite short and does not include many of the "budget"
> > phones which are widely sold in Africa, so it is hard to know what
> > technology to recommend to clients.
> 
> Go for an Android tablet instead of a phone. For an app used for
> serious applications in the field, you need hardware that is both
> reliable and high performance. Samsung's Note Pro 12.2 immediately
> comes to mind. Its listed at GBP 650, but you can negotiate direct with
> Samsung to get a better deal if you purchase direct from the company
> and in bulk.
> 
> -- 
> Steve Faleiro

Steve, he is talking about Asia and Africa....
Here in South Africa , the so called power house of Africa , 650GBP = 11,649 Rands which is probably 6-12 months salary for a farm worker......
So whilst Samsung tabs are nice, the cost is way too much here , let alone in the rest of the continent.

That is  why the old Black Berry  still holds 70%+ of the 'smart phone' market and is sold  with no 3g data bundles, just air time and 2.50GBP/month BB subscription service giving BBM and exceptionally slow (much worse than edge)
browsing on a 2" screen and of course emails.
0
sean
4/27/2014 3:21:34 PM
Thanks for these useful replies.

I am working with African field-officers, but there is budget to buy a "decent" product to act as a platform.

I already sell the company a PC-tablet-based piece of software. This does a serious job and is a medium sized windows EXE. I don't really want to bring Android tablets into the picture yet as this will only make life more complicated.

The idea for the Android phone app at this stage is pretty simple (budget is small) and is not to replicate the PC-software product just do the following:

 * Show lists of farmers with their locations & a map.
 * Allow updating of some simple pieces of farmer-data (i.e. area of planted crops, types of crop)

I have a test version of the app running OK on my Samsung S4 ... but this is beyond the budget for 30 - 40 field officers.

Part of the problem is that cheaper phones never give a name for the processor, they just say "1 Ghz processor" ... so it is impossible to know whether it is ARM or not. Delphi / Firemonkey requires ARM.

The link to Sys Check by Christopher Moeller is useful. I can try to download this onto versions of the phones my clients are considering buying.

It is a problem that there are so many versions of phones, all sold differently in different locations. I have farmers in many countries ... which makes life more complicated.
0
Adam
4/28/2014 10:16:26 AM
> {quote:title=Adam Brett wrote:}{quote}
> The link to Sys Check by Christopher Moeller is useful. I can try to download this onto versions of the phones my clients are considering buying.

The idea for SysCheck was mine.  Christopher wrote it and posted using his Google account since I didn't have one set up at the time.  Oh and I did the graphics too :p  We are both senior support engineers here at Embarcadero so feel free to use SysCheck and recommend to your prospective users as well when checking if an Android device is suitable.  That was my original intent for this app.

I often recommend people even try SysCheck in a retail phone or electronics store prior to purchase.  If the store has a device set up for testing it usually has network and access to Play store set up.  Simply search for SysCheck in Play, install and run and it will tell you right away if you should contemplate spending money on the given device.  I have spoken to many customers after the fact who said this technique worked great for them.
--
John Frazier (Embarcadero Newsgroup Admin)
0
John
5/1/2014 7:41:39 PM
Reply:

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