Android Phone Variations

Using a default Android installation makes it easier to receive upgrades to the OS, but sometimes it also means you miss out on some fantastic features. This isn't a comprehensive list, but here are a few of the phone offerings on the market along with the Android variations they contain.

An important feature for business users is the ability to natively sync with Exchange accounts—that is, the ability to use the ActiveSync protocol. Another important feature is the ability to erase sensitive data from the phone if it is lost or stolen. This is called a remote wipe. You won't find either of them as standard Android features as of Android 2.1, but they are included in Android 2.2. You can purchase apps for those features, but it's not as nice as something that just works out of the box.

TIP: If the phone says "With Google" on the back, that indicates it is running a pure Android OS. The phone carrier may have added some bonus software, but there won't be any modifications to the phone OS itself.

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