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Alternate Android Devices for 2015-2016 Season?

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  • R2D2
    replied
    From the sounds of it, you will not be able to buy the pre-set kits that teams order when they register. You would have to order each part separately. I could be wrong though. As for the phones, our teams/school bought extras from best buy. Cheaper then FIRST's page.

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  • FTC_2963
    replied
    I was glad to find this thread because I've been wanting to buy more Android devices as well, but not for FTC backup. I teach an intro to robotics course using Tetrix robots and (currently) ROBOTC and the NXT brick for programming. This course is the on-ramp to my FTC Robotics course. I'd love to teach them both using Android/Snapdragon next fall, but does anyone know if we can also purchase extra controller kits for the new phones? If not I'm out of luck for this year I guess...

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  • CraigRochester
    replied
    Intelitek released new technology training modules for FTC and the specification page for the Android phone list more phones: 2015/16 FTC Control System Android Device specifications

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  • emeflag
    replied
    In preparation for next season, we purchased a ZTE/SPEED and have been test programming it (without any robotics functionality) with Android Studio for several weeks now. I can report no problems and have been fairly happy with the device. It should be great for robotics applications but I would not purchase this as my own personal smart phone because of the small screen's size and pixel dimension. It appears to be robust otherwise. With the quad processor, it should be able to support any robotics functionality you can imagine. As for price, I purchased the ZTEs at Amazon $39.99/each, a bargain in my opinion. However, I just now checked prices on Amazon and they're now selling for $55.98 each. Best Buy and Wal-Mart continues to sell them at $39.99. As sellers start to realize that 1000s of teams will be purchasing the ZTE/SPEED in pairs, I expect you will find prices going up soon.

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  • Tom Eng
    replied
    Hi Folks,

    I recommend using the ZTE Speed phone for competition. These are the primary phones that we are testing with. In spite of what the online reviews might say, for our application, the ZTE works well. Also, there will be a special app available from ZTE that allows you to select the WiFi Direct listening/operating channel. Having the ability to change the wireless channel is useful, and other phones might not support this feature.

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Eng; 05-26-2015, 10:00 AM.

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  • FTC4137
    replied
    It was also mentioned somewhere in the forums that FTC software is not (yet) comaptible with Android 5.0, so whatever phone you choose, it should be using Android 4.4 or earlier.

    But I wouldn't worry too much about poor reviews. Our team plans to use ZTE speed.

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  • hexafraction
    replied
    Originally posted by FTC3900 View Post
    Hello all,
    Our team is hesitant to purchase the ZTE Speed phones due to the significant negative reviews that it has. I understand that it is probably a pretty bad smartphone, and the reviews reflect that, but reviews also say that it is all around a poor performing phone. Though FTC probably won't demand much from it (processing wise), and it's FTC use case will be quite different, a poorly function phone seems like a bad purchase if it were to fail later in the season or be a pain to use. There are definitely similarly priced phones (some used) that would most likely perform much better, though info on possible functionality seems to be absent or hazy (though I may have missed something).

    Because of this, I have a few questions that I would be very grateful if anyone would be able to answer or shed some light on:
    - Has anyone experienced anything negative with the ZTE Speed in FTC use (so far)?
    - Does anyone know of possible alternative phones or tablets that would function for FTC?
    - Is the software that is being developed for FTC only able to run on the ZTE Speed?
    - Because of the Qualcomm partnership, is the only requirement that a phone/tablet have a Snapdragon processor?

    I understand that a vast majority of FTC teams will be using the ZTE Speed, so there will be a lot of support for any issues that may arise, but with many members of our team owing used Android devices that might just work with FTC, we would interested in hearing if there is a way of using alternatives.
    Thank you,
    Aidan H
    I am not an official of FIRST, or any company related to this, but I'll give answers to the best of my knowledge.

    - Not that I know of. Some vendors pre-bundle a small amount of crapware. Drivers are fine for adb.
    - Any should, assuming it has a Snapdragon processor.
    - No, it is not locked to the Speed.
    - Not only that. WiFi direct must be supported (but is generally not a problem) and it must have support for USB-OTG (acting as a USB host with an adapter cable). Additionally, there is no guarantee of assistance or support if something goes wrong; event officials are trained specifically on ZTE Speed devices. A lot of the applicable fixes may apply, but some devices may have their own problems. Caveat: Not all devices supporting WiFi direct can change the WiFi channel being used; the Speed can, meaning that you can avoid interference and make your own decisions about wireless channels.

    Leave a comment:


  • FTC3900
    started a topic Alternate Android Devices for 2015-2016 Season?

    Alternate Android Devices for 2015-2016 Season?

    Hello all,
    Our team is hesitant to purchase the ZTE Speed phones due to the significant negative reviews that it has. I understand that it is probably a pretty bad smartphone, and the reviews reflect that, but reviews also say that it is all around a poor performing phone. Though FTC probably won't demand much from it (processing wise), and it's FTC use case will be quite different, a poorly function phone seems like a bad purchase if it were to fail later in the season or be a pain to use. There are definitely similarly priced phones (some used) that would most likely perform much better, though info on possible functionality seems to be absent or hazy (though I may have missed something).

    Because of this, I have a few questions that I would be very grateful if anyone would be able to answer or shed some light on:
    - Has anyone experienced anything negative with the ZTE Speed in FTC use (so far)?
    - Does anyone know of possible alternative phones or tablets that would function for FTC?
    - Is the software that is being developed for FTC only able to run on the ZTE Speed?
    - Because of the Qualcomm partnership, is the only requirement that a phone/tablet have a Snapdragon processor?

    I understand that a vast majority of FTC teams will be using the ZTE Speed, so there will be a lot of support for any issues that may arise, but with many members of our team owing used Android devices that might just work with FTC, we would interested in hearing if there is a way of using alternatives.
    Thank you,
    Aidan H
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