Some people out there may have resisted the Pokémon GO craze because the game simply doesn't appeal to them or they'd rather not walk around the streets in the dead of night searching for elusive Squirtles, but for others the barrier to entry is a technological one; despite their ubiquitous nature, not everyone on the face of the planet owns a smartphone - and often, those who do find that the spec list of their particular model doesn't meet the demands of Niantic's new game.
Thankfully, our pals over at Eurogamer's Digital Foundry branch have discovered what has to be the cheapest means of playing Pokémon GO. The solution is the Oukitel K4000, one of the many cheap and cheerful Chinese Android handsets currently available online.
The phone - which cost $99 / £60 from eBay - meets Pokémon Go's requirements, which are:
- Android 4.4 to Android 6.0.1: Device ships with Android 5.1
- Preferred resolution of 720x1280: Check
- 2GB RAM: Check
- Strong internet connection - WiFi, 3G, 4G: Support for all three, yes even 4G
- GPS and location services: Check
- Intel CPUs are not supported: Device uses quad-core ARM Cortex-A53
The biggest issue is that the phone lacks a gyroscope, so you can't use motion controls - making the AR view useless. However, many plays turn AR off anyway, so it's not a deal-breaker.
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You could probably get a 2DS and a 3ds pokemon adventure for that money.
@Zanark Or you could get like 100 bars of chocolate. What's your point?
@KeeperBvK or, if looking for a healthy option, 42kg of carrots.
Better off buying a higher specced secondhand phone from a reputable brand for that money. I'd never heard of Oukitel before now.
Xiaomi have a few phones better spec than that for just over the 100 mark. I have their (currently) highest end phone and it's awesome.
@starman292 The Mi5? I've got that, but it's £250 compared to the £60 we're talking about here.
@KeeperBvK pshh, I could go to Zimbabwe and get at least 1 quintillion Zimbabwean dollars at that price!
Of course, they're probably worthless, but the feeling of being a quintillionaire is priceless.
Good idea guys, my nephew is currently playing on my Mums phone which is not ideal or an option a lot of the time. I'll show this to my sister
The cheapest way to play is not to download the fad in the first place and for the kind of money for a new phone one might we well get a ps4 and a good game like bloodbourne or mgs5.
Yeah the pro/exclusive version. But I was on about their Redmi/hongmi phones and the mi4. If you look around you can normally find them just over 100.
Wow 60 pounds to play Pokemon go
Android 4.4 is BS. Overall req are a lie. Try Galaxy Note 2. It fits, but google play won't download it. When you download apk from somewhere else, it magically works without problems
Again, I have Windows Phone, so unless Microsoft wants Nintendo to play nice again(Minecraft), it's not gonna happen... And I have a huge dislike for Android, and will NOT succumb myself to the iPhone.
I would like to eventually get the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium to play Pokémon GO as well as other games.
But I would not use such a fantastic phone just for Pokémon GO...
Here are the specifications for the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium.
IP68 certified - dust proof and water resistant over 1.5 meter and 30 minutes
Type: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size: 5.5 inches (~70.4% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution: 2160 x 3840 pixels (~806 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch: Yes, up to 10 fingers
Protection: Scratch-resistant glass, oleophobic coating
OS: Android OS, v5.1.1 (Lollipop), upgradable to v6.0 (Marshmallow)
Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810
CPU: Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A57
GPU: Adreno 430
Card slot: microSD, up to 256 GB (dedicated slot)
Internal: 32 GB, 3 GB RAM
Primary: 23 MP, f/2.0, 24mm, phase detection autofocus, LED flash, check quality
Features: 1/2.3" sensor size, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama
Video: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], HDR, check quality
Secondary: 5.1 MP, f/2.4, 1080p, HDR
Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker: Yes, with stereo speakers
3.5mm jack: Yes
WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot
Bluetooth: v4.1, A2DP, aptX
GPS: Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS/ BDS (market dependant)
Radio: FM radio, RDS
USB: microUSB v2.0 (MHL 3 TV-out), USB Host
Sensors: Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
Messaging: SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, IM, Push Email
@Alundra-1998 A Sony Z5 is CRAZY money(>>>€500+ for it new and sim free). No need for the overkill. A Z1 or a Z2 would be perfectly fine.
To be fair I was walking around the streets in the dead of night searching for elusive Squirtles even before Pokemon Go.
intel CPUs are supported? my ASUS zenfone has one and it works great
So, the cheapest way to play this AR game is with a phone that doesn't do AR? Wonderful. (Told ya so @Captain_Gonru )
I'd rather see the cheapest phone that actually does AR.
I just bought a Samsung Galaxy Core Prime for $50 and it plays the game without AR just fine. My son got an LG Power for Christmas for $80, same result, game works but no AR. We have Tracfone service, costs us $20 per month for 3 smarphones. My wife has an LG Ultimate 2 which was $100 18 months ago but we haven't tried it yet.
Bottom line, $99 on eBay for a Chinese knockoff is probably not the way to go, or cheapest. Amazon has a $50 line of Blu phones which are probably just as good as well. The $60 R1 HD seems much better.
I'll just stick with my iPhone 4S for now (although it sucks and I'm never buying another Apple phone)
I didn't check the requirements of the game, but I'm assuming iPhone 4S is well below recommended specs as the game takes FOREVER to load, if at all, then crashes EVERY TIME you try to catch a Pokemon. Works fine on my girlfriend's Huawei P8.
I second the notion that if you've got £60 to spare, you're much better off getting a 2DS and a real Pokemon game... provided you don't already have them, of course.
@Moon spot on
I got one of the Vodaphone own brands for about the same price. Really good but no gyroscope.
Speaking of the gyroscope, whenever I tap the compass in the top right, it changes to allow you to point the phone in a direction and it shows you the map from that perspective. But every time I do it, it has the direction I'm pointing it in wrong by 90 degrees or even 180 degrees sometimes.
@ALinkttPresent I thought tapping the compass makes the map orient to the north.
Generally, while the tech is still evolving, I've gone for the cheap Chinese knock-offs. I bought a top-of-the-range Android phone when they first came out, only to see it rendered obsolete too quickly. When the tech is nearer optimal, I might consider a high-end device again, but for now the cheaper models will do just fine.
Also, wondering if holding off until the other Nintendo mobile games are available might be worth it. Will Animal Crossing use the amiibo cards/figures and therefore need NFC? At the moment we don't know. I would hope not as far fewer phones have NFC and it might shrink the userbase considerably. Anyway, 32GB of device storage is likely to be a requirement if people want to play all the Nintendo games and all their other apps. Plus a removeable battery might be a good idea so that you can have a couple spare. Lots of considerations when thinking of this new way to engage with Nintendo.
@Luna-Harmony a PS4 and a hard core title, I don't see how that even applies?
For one thing the price is way beyond that available to a typical youth. Pokemon Go is very accessible and geared towards a casual audience, for another.
@Sakura I thought that at first too, but after you tap it the orientation of the map changes when you move the phone around
I'm playing it on an Alcatel Pixi Eclipse. It meets all the technical requirements according to the Play Store listing (which doesn't list connection speed or resolution FYI) and it costs $20 at Walmart. It mostly runs ok, though sometimes it does lose connection to the GPS (without the red bar warning) and you have to restart. It also doesn't have an accelerometer or gyroscope so you really can't play in AR mode.
@rjejr my brother got the Blu r1 HD for Pokemon. He needed a new phone anyway and didn't want to spend a lot. For $60 it's a great phone. And if the adds bug you it's $110, only $10 more than the one in this article and it's faster, running Android 6, and has a gyroscope.
Please note that you also wouldn't be able to go into power save mode. My s5's gyro has been broken for awhile and I can no longer use AR or power save.
andriod lolipop is better
@Captain_Gonru Does the tablet have a data plan? Go really doesn't like WiFI. It works, but it really doesn't like too.
@aj_fowl I only just got my new phone for Father's Day, but that R1 HD is tempting. May get it and give my Core Prime to my kid when schools starts back up in Sept, it's his first year in middle school and some of the teachers use smartphones in class, and I'm letting him use it for Go as it is. We have Prime, and my wife just go the Fire 7" for $33 on Prime day and the ads are really a non-factor.
I already got my Samsung Galaxy S6
This is not true... FreedomPop offers pretty much the cheapest way to play the game - for 40 dollars
Basically you can purchase the HTC desire from freedompop here:
You activate the phone, deactivate any pre-existing payment plan because they have free plans with 500 MB a month, and you are set for life.
And yes, it meets the specs for Pokemon Go
I've been using their service for the past few months, and although the call service isn't the best, you can't ask much more for a free program.
@ALinkttPresent always has done that for me, too. Camera won't even face which way I'm walking when it does that.
I got my Blu Advance 5.0 on amazon for $60 and it works fine except for not being able to use AR mode. It doesnt have as much RAM but it works fine.
No thanks, I'll not buy a phone just because of Pokémon GO.
I've upgraded my phone today!
I've had the Xperia Z1 for nearly three years, it overheats, unresponsive, people can't hear me talking, keyboard has spasms and battery dies quick.
Got the Samsung S7 Edge with VR headset... Part of me got the phone just for Pokemon Go, but really I needed a new phone anyway, so I got the best I could!!
@rjejr I have Tracfone too and am looking to get my first smartphone for the service (probably a Blu R1 HD via BYOP program). I was wondering how quickly you go through data playing Pokemon Go on Tracfone. I've read elsewhere that it's to the tune of 10MB per hour, which I imagine can get really expensive on Tracfone over time.
@Clownshoes ...playing a mobile exercise game at home on your pc, while complaining that the people who dominate the gyms "have no lives".
Maybe they're better at the social exercise game because they're gasp exercising socially?!
Well my Nexus 6P will be sufficient enough for GO, so no need for a new one.
@Moon you realize the phone is 5 year old now? What were you expecting?
@Adhrast I was expecting it to either say 'this app isn't compatible with your phone' or for it to work.
@Moon You've replied in an extremely calm way, which is surprising considering how unintentionally douchy my comment was, sorry about that, wasn't my intention.
Anyway, yeah it could've said that, but you know... 5 years is a long time in technology, as good as iPhones are, expecting a 4s to run new apps is kind of a stretch I'm afraid...
Got a wileyfox swift for the same price. It has Android 6 as well as a gyroscope so it might be the better choice for go.
Do yourselves a favour and don't get phones from unknown Chinese brands. At a similar price point you could get a Moto E, which, while it only has 1gb of RAM it runs Pokemon GO surprisingly well. For a little extra (still under £100 currently) you could get a Wileyfox Swift, which has 2 GB of RAM. Both of these phones come with Android 6.0.
My phone was $40 and costs $35 a month for unlimited data. Though it does lack a gyroscope as well.
The cheapest way is for me to just install it on the phone I already have 😃
just purchased the freedom pop htc 510. I figure i'll use it just for pokemon GO and be able to plat for free with their $0.00 a month plan. that's perfect for me.
@KeeperBvK the point is theres more value in buying a 2DS and getting a full pokemon game instead of spend 100 bucks on re-skinned mobile game. Dont get me wrong i like pokemon go, but its not worth buying a phone
Only had 2 spend $40 for a designated Pokedex... not bad. I haven't paid for a monthly cellphone bill in years and refuse to! But if I can pokemon for only 40, I'm fine with that.
I recommend not getting a cheap android phone. My first android was a £70 ZTE and it was almost unusable. I don't know if I had a faulty model but even if the battery life wasn't abysmal it was still rubbish.
A year or two later I paid the same amount for a Samsung Galaxy S2 on ebay and it's far and away a better phone. It might have cost me £140 at the time I bought the ZTE but in the end it probably would have cost me less to buy a Galaxy S2 in the first place and would have been a far better experience.
Pokemon go is compatible with Galaxy S4's and newer. You can get a working S4 for £70. I'm sure you can get similar quality phones from other manufacturers for even less.
One thing to look out for is the memory size. I didn't think it mattered because I would store all my data on an SD card but the amount of memory effects how many apps you can install. If you own a basic Wii U you know what little space you can actually use because even though 8GB sounds like a lot most of that isn't actually available for storage.
If you're only getting a phone for Pokemon then perhaps this £60 phone is okay but I think spending a little more is far better especially when there's miitomo and the upcoming Nintendo apps.
Buying a phone for a free to play game, you are doing something wrong then!
@chiefeagle02 Sorry, didn't mean to ignore you, got a little behind in my NL replies.
I wish I could be more helpful but I'm not really sure. My wife, kid, and I all have the family plan, $7 per month, and I think our phones have triple data, txt and minutes. Mostly though we've been playing over Wi-Fi so I'm not really sure who much data it' s been eating up. I would think the game itself isn't that much though. B/c where I live we have WiFi everywhere so I almost never use data, ever, so I have about 1.4GB, so whatever MB it is eating up I don't really care at the moment. My kid probably has way more than that, he just uses his phone to txt, which doesn't use data.
hmm, just checked my kids phone and his data is very low, so maybe I'm wrong. I'll see what else I can find out, but Tracfone's website seems very limited, I can't find a "History" link. Also possible my kid has been streaming youtube at his grandmother's house, I forgot about that. Tried calling them, they're no help, sorry.
@chiefeagle02 There was a full page article in my newspaper this morning about parents being upset about kids going thru their data plans playing Pokemon Go. One parent said her kid went thru 22GB in 2 weeks. Some independent researchers though said about 10-15MB per hour, and even at 25MB it would only be 1GB for 40 hours. What the researchers decided was, kids normally stay home and use WiFi. They go out to play PokemonGo, turn on their data plan, come home and leave their data plan on, then watch lots of streaming video. So Pokemon go doesn't use a lot, turning on the data plan and forgetting to turn it off uses a lot.
Bottom line, 10-15MB per hour isn't much, so I wouldn't let that stop you. My kid used 6GB - over WiFi - last month watching Youtube videos, now that's a lot.
You probably won't be able to read this b/c it's behind a paywall, but I like linking my sources so people don't think I'm just making stuff up.
You aren't the only 1 worried about it though, the US gov't is as well. Not like they have anything better to do I guess.
Here's a bunch of goblygook that may help.
@rjejr This is a HUGE help, thank you!
@chiefeagle02 Glad to help.
@Yoshis95 I know that that is what the other guy was trying to say, but tell me: How does a 2DS deliver more value than a phone? That's a ridiculous assumption.
@KeeperBvK The point is getting a phone just to play pokemon go. if your gonna do that, just get a 2ds and have a better pokemon experience
@SLIGEACH_EIRE Just an update. One of my family members has recently upgraded their phone contract and was happy with their current phone and so they got me a Sony Xperia Z5 Premium with their upgrade.
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