Looking at getting a low to mid range android for my dad probably in the under 300-350ish range. Had a quick look at a few and the HTC one V, Sony xperia Sola and maybe the Galaxy ace plus
The sola has a better gpu is dual core compared to the one V - but his usage will mainly be for the camera, skype/viber and whatsapp so will he even notice much of a difference? Not a fan of the smallish batteries that the sony's come out with either and no ICS out of the box.
Although i am biased having a htc sensation... any thoughts?
I find it helpful if I focus on a very specific function/style of a phone as this can rule out a lot of other phones which would otherwise remain a favourable contender.
For example. Would one consider NFC a functional benefit over the next 1-2 years of phone life.
In your short list, I'd favour the Sony Sola just on CPU/GPU alone, also with NFC being a potential decider.
If ICS and NFC are not the driving factor, I'd suggest the Sony Ericsson Arc S. One can upgrade the device to ICS, the only down side in my view is no NFC. Price to functionality it's favourably priced at ~$380.00
Sony Ericsson Arc S 1.4GHz processor Adreno 205 GPU (OK but nothing great) HDMI USB on the go 4" screen 8MP camera and probably up there with the best in it's class. MicroSD 1500 mAh Battery, Mugen Power replacement batteries 1700mAh - 3200mAh :-) Upgradable to 4.0 but probably NOT 4.1 Looks stylish. :-)
Besides, it's a collectors phone as it's the last Sony Ericsson phone ever made(Now Sony).
If you don't mind spending a bit more, the Huawei Ascend G600 is coming out on the 25th for $399. Mauricio posted a thread about it here.
The phone will probably be limited to Vodafone and 2degrees, but is dual core and comes with ICS out of the box. The camera is 8MP back-side illuminated, which means it should take some fairly nice photos (even in low light).
Probably the biggest limiting factor will be the screen size. It's 4.5", so not the smallest of phones, but with the qHD resolution it'll be fantastic for reading on.
Noel Leeimg has 20% off Samsung phones this weekend, if that applies to the $499 price of the Samsung Galaxy S2, then for $399 (20% off) it is very good phone.
Otherwise the Huawei Ascend G300 is a good phone (4" LCD / 1Ghz CPU) it is $239 on special at noel leemings (RRP $299), however if you ask WHS to pricematch that special they will sell it to you for $227.
The sola is a nice phone, faster CPU compared with G300, but smaller screen.
BTW - There are 2 versions of the Huawei G600, UMTS-1: 900/2100 MHz (only works with vodafone / 2 degrees) and UMTS-51: 850/1900/2100 MHz (works with telecom, and to a limited extent vodafone/2 degrees)