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* Mind your hardware's limits. Don't expect an ancient device to run demanding games or emulators well. But this does not mean you need some $600 flagship; at this point, even a sub-$200 phone can be pretty solid.
 
* Mind your hardware's limits. Don't expect an ancient device to run demanding games or emulators well. But this does not mean you need some $600 flagship; at this point, even a sub-$200 phone can be pretty solid.
 
* If possible, buy unlocked phones from independent stores. Carrier-subsidized phones are ultimately far more expensive, may have locked bootloaders, and often have added bloatware.
 
* If possible, buy unlocked phones from independent stores. Carrier-subsidized phones are ultimately far more expensive, may have locked bootloaders, and often have added bloatware.
* Different countries and carriers use different frequencies for their phone networks. And [https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407896,00.asp to complicate matters], some American carriers use CDMA, whereas the rest of the world uses GSM. So if you're buying a phone from some Chinese store, use [http://maps.mobileworldlive.com/ this guide] and check that the phone is compatible with your network.
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* Different countries and carriers use different frequencies for their phone networks. Worse, some American carriers use CDMA, whereas the rest of the world uses GSM.[https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407896,00.asp] So if you're buying a phone from some Chinese store, use [http://maps.mobileworldlive.com/ this guide] and check that the phone is compatible with your network.
 
* Since Android is open, manufacturers are allowed (much to Google's chagrin) to add their own "touches" to the system, such as extra apps or [http://www.cnet.com/news/android-interface-guide/ a different interface]. So, before buying, do some research and decide if you like the manufacturer's style. And even then, you can override much of the interface by installing alternative launchers.
 
* Since Android is open, manufacturers are allowed (much to Google's chagrin) to add their own "touches" to the system, such as extra apps or [http://www.cnet.com/news/android-interface-guide/ a different interface]. So, before buying, do some research and decide if you like the manufacturer's style. And even then, you can override much of the interface by installing alternative launchers.
 
* Yes, touch controls are a pain. But there are several Bluetooth gamepads with holders, designed specifically for smartphones, and some even for tablets. Not all games are compatible, so check [http://androidgamepadgames.com/ this massive list]. There are several brands of pads to choose, most famously iPega and Moga, but also Razer, Phonejoy, i-Rocks, iMpulse, GameSir, Mocute, Samsung, Nyko, Bigben, Speedlink...
 
* Yes, touch controls are a pain. But there are several Bluetooth gamepads with holders, designed specifically for smartphones, and some even for tablets. Not all games are compatible, so check [http://androidgamepadgames.com/ this massive list]. There are several brands of pads to choose, most famously iPega and Moga, but also Razer, Phonejoy, i-Rocks, iMpulse, GameSir, Mocute, Samsung, Nyko, Bigben, Speedlink...
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