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Oct 252011

If you are an Android lover and a stranger in the gadget store happens to ask you why you chose to buy an Android phone over a non-Android phone, how would you respond? Such a situation is commonplace.  It happens not just inside gadget stores.  It also happens inside your own home, while you’re with friends or colleagues, and in many other situations.

You might want to reconsider the opportunity presenting itself in such situations.  It’s easy to brush off the question with a quick “I’m just a fan of Android and green robots.”  But, think about it–such a question is a chance for you to bring more people into the Android fold.

You became a fan of Android not for the sake of becoming a fan.  Rather, you became an Android user because you found something in Android that made you became its loyal follower.  Can you recall what your initial reasons were?  If you can’t, here are a few talking points that you can use in casual conversations involving the question “Why an Android smartphone instead of another smartphone?”

Buffet of Choices

Android runs on a variety of smartphone makes and models.  There are high-end (high price) and low-end (low price) Android smartphones–and also many in between.

A few of the most well-known smartphone manufacturers are Samsung, HTC, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, and LG.  Each of them makes a lot of devices with Google’s little green robot running under the hood.

One of the persuasive selling points that sway people towards the Android platform is not just the variety of manufacturers, handset models, and prices.  There are also more than a thousand ways to make your preferred device truly reflect of your style, taste, or preferences.  More about that later.

The key here is to point out user freedom and choice.  The more frequently the idea of freedom and choice is mentioned, the higher the chances the other person might cross over to Android’s side.  After all, which sane person wants to be kept in chains and locked in?

Custom ROMs

To a non-techie person, the mere mention of “custom ROMs” can provoke a blank stare.  You might be an expert on flashing custom ROMs to your Android smartphone, but you don’t have to explain it in Greek to an English-speaking person.

Custom ROMs prove the freedom that is ingrained in Android.  One way to think about custom ROMs is to think of Android as plain, no-flavor cake.  Custom ROMs are flavors.  At the basic level, Android is still there (i.e, it’s still cake), but developers made changes here and there, resulting in flavored Android (i.e., strawberry cake, chocolate cake, lemon cake, etc.).

Custom ROMs such as CyanogenMod and MIUI provide not just improvements to your Android phone’s basic features.  They can also help you customize it further according to your liking.

You can even produce your own custom ROM–and dress up your Android version the way you want it.  But, there’s a limitation here: your creativity.  You can have fun, mess around, and experiment with your Android device.  The only limit is your creativity.

And, no–it is unwise to discuss rooting to a potential Android convert.

Featuring Highlights and Highlighting Features

Each Android smartphone packs a lot of features.  If you shove a phone’s full list of features down the other person’s throat, the poor creature might choke.  Instead, selectively highlight those features that the other person might potentially use and enjoy.

For example, if your friend wants to generate text messages faster, you can mention that there are Android smartphones with slide-out or flipping QWERTY keyboards.  You can also emphasize that well-crafted virtual keyboards such as Swype allow for faster typing by just swiping fingers across the touchscreen–and it has word recognition and error correction tools, too.

What about that brother of yours who wants to use his phone as a camera?  For such folks, you can mention the exceptional camera on the HTC Amaze 4G.  Or what of that sister of yours who have grown hooked to 3D?  She can watch 3D displays on Android phones such as the HTC EVO 3D or the LG Optimus 3D–without having to wear special eyewear.

And, what about that gamer neighbor of yours?  The Sony Ericsson Xperia play, for one, is designed for such kinds of users.  If I were salestalking about the Xperia play to my neighbor, I’d describe it as a phone with the PlayStation built in.

How about that co-worker who takes down notes using her phone?  You can mention the possibility of buying an Android tablet–they come in various sizes, too, although only very few have phone features.  Or, you can point her in the direction of the Samsung GALAXY Note–fondly referred to by many as a phoneblet–a small tablet with phone functions.

The whole point is this: Instead of telling the other person what you want or everything that you know, show him or her how each Android device can help fulfill his or her needs.  Don’t be surprised if your friend’s head turns towards an Android device.

Brimming Apps

Where would Android smartphones and Android tablets be without Android apps?  The honest answer: nowhere.  Smartphones and tablets never become popular without the help of applications.

Apps, then, are another selling point for Android.  On Android, you can enjoy hundreds of thousands (no exaggeration there) of downloadable applications on the Android Market.

It doesn’t stop there either. There are also third-party app sources that allow you to download apps to your Android device.  From entertainment down to productivity, the Android Market is your first stop for “app shopping.”

Android’s Limitations and Your Frankness

Many Android fanatics believe that Android is the solution to every problem in the world.  That’s a lie plain and simple, of course.

Like humans, Android is also imperfect.  You can never expect any device to give out everything that you expect it to. Android phones have flaws, too, and your honest acknowledgment of such flaws and limitations just might be the turning point for your potential convert.  No one likes liars.  Honesty and truth may sting, but nothing beats honest admission of flaws.

For instance, no one can deny that some Android smartphones do have weaker battery power compared to other high-end phones, but one can adjust its settings to lower power consumption and extend battery life.

Several Android smartphones have crazy-high camera megapixels, although quite a few Android smartphones are rather slow in capturing photos.  But, you can seek the help of apps like Camera Zoom FX to produce stunning and nicely edited photos.

Android devices may not be perfect, but there are thousands of alternative ways to compensate for their flaws and satisfy your needs.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few tidbits that could help bring that fence-sitting friend of yours to the side of Android.  You can use these tips to persuade those around you–loved ones, friends, and even strangers–to consider buying an Android smartphone.

Just remember to always keep an open mind, speak the truth, and be modest in addressing what you feel towards the device. You can never control how another persons thinks, and if ever she or he chooses another device over Android, then you can only do one thing–respect the other person’s decision.

What about you?  How do you persuade non-Android users to at least try or consider switching to Android?

Feature image uses photo by Lindsey Turner (Flickr); post images courtesy of Flickr users LAI Ryanne, Johan Larsson, animaster, and Joe Houghton

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