Cheap Android Phone recommendation

Ok, I am going to get an Android phone to run Tasker on to replace my dependance on IFTTT, see here for my issue:

So the question for Android people (I have never used one, only an iPhone, Apple guy) … My use case would be:

  1. To run Tasker and perhaps other sensor related functions.
  2. The phone would be always on and connected to Power, wifi only.
  3. Would not want to need to use or touch the phone after it is configured
  4. Receive emails to trigger some functions
  5. Run a GE Washer app and trigger tasker
  6. Perhaps interface with Google Home?

So are there any real requirements?

  1. Android 7 or 8?
  2. How much memory (I imagine the lowest level is fine)

Is any old used Android fine for this application?

I don’t know if Tasker can support this. There are plugins for Taster to receive MQTT messages. Tasker can see and interact with Notifications which can possibly work. There is also an Autoremote add-on that provides a little api to trigger tasks on a Tasker instance remotely.

Trigger Tasker to do what? Typically you’d have Tasker run the GE Washer App. Note, if you need to interact with that app (e.g. log in, click a button, scrape content from the app to report to OH, etc) you’ll want to use the AutoInput add-on to Tasker.

What sort of interface to Google Home?

I’d look for at least Android 9 which is at this point already two versions, about to be three versions behind. Android 10 would be better.

Or look for a phone that is supported by LineageOS and install that instead of what ever crapware laden stuff these cheap phones will come with. That will get you something more up to date and a smoother experience. Though you might need to unlock the phone to be able to do that. Instructions vary from phone to phone.

I don’t think memory is something you need to worry about. It may make a difference on boot but this thing won’t be running too much at the same time and the only thing it really needs to keep in memory is Tasker which is pretty light weight.

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That’s what I was thinking when I suggested it, but I see that there’s a plugin for reading IMAP emails, and it appears to be working for people.


Yes, to be clear the Android runs and Tasker watches the GE App and sends an event to OH … assumptions since I’ve never used any of it :slight_smile:

Tasker also has a paid plug-in called Auto Notification, when the gmail app removed the notification per label I figured out how to keep different notifications depending on the label.
Running an app would be the same concept as run a different ringtone/notification file as it would be to open an app on the phone; but as Rich mentioned Tasker on its own doesn’t interface within apps and would need to have Auto Input (unless you are rooted [jail broken] on the phone).

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My assumption is that Tasker can see the GE Washer notifications and act upon them. I wouldn’t be using the Android to control the GE Washer (I have a perfectly good app on the iphone for that :slight_smile:

Tasker can watch for other App notifications right? (otherwise my thinking is wrong)

Tasker can watch for the notifications from the GE app. I doubt the GE app generates anything else that Tasker can monitor and trigger off of. Like OH, Tasker is mostly event based. Something happens and Tasker does something in response.

Some apps thankfully provide docs on their intents which can work too. I’d be lost without the intents supplied by Waze and PocketCasts. Because of that I’ve not had a rooted phone for years now. I don’t have the need any more. For those apps that do not have intents (looking at you Audible) I have to use AutoInput.

Anyway, while this is a possible solution, as I stated on the other thread, a less flakey/brittle solution might be to use that email-mqttBridge and the GE API libraries on GitHub to get the notifications from GE.

Yes, and it can interact with them. For full support with notifications the AutoNotification plug-in is required though. Depending on the nature of the notifications and what you want to do with them you might need the plugin.

I run Android 11 ( on a RPI4 for similar purposes. It has an inbuilt VNC server, so you can run it headless.
No battery to worry about and a lot cheaper and more practical than any phone.


Daniel’s idea sounds better then buying a phone, even cheap phones are $400 or maybe a tablet. There are other ways to detect if the washer or dryer is running or stopped. Washers shake a lot, vibration sensor. Dryers use a lot of electricity, smart switch that gives current draw
use your imagination man!!!

LOL … yes been down that path … these are Wifi enabled smart washers that provide various info on status etc … things are working fine with SmartThings but I want to use OH … yeah I like the idea of Android on a Pi … I was first assuming I could just get an old Android phone … I’m currently looking at some code on github that was written for Home Assistant.

yeah but this whole scenario seems like going all the way around your fist to get to your thumb

Perhaps, the correct way would be to read the exact status and events directly from the Washer and Dryer … that seems to be fairly possible. The IFTTT was a simple fix that worked fine for years with SmartThings. I’ve never used an Android and I started the day thinking I might have to … glad things are moving away from that :slight_smile:


Yeah, sorry about that. Per our other conversation, I only meant that as a suggestion if you already had an Android device handy, not as an ideal solution to pursue.

No not at all, it was a fine suggestion which forced me to look into it! Thanks!

@Mr-JR, this may be the code on GitHub that you mentioned, but I wanted to explicitly state it. If your washer still works with smartthings, there is an mqtt bridge that you can use in smart things to send events from smartthings over to mqtt and whatever you want listening on mqtt.

The library is GitHub - stjohnjohnson/smartthings-mqtt-bridge: Bridge between SmartThings and MQTT.

All you would need is an mqtt server and to run the bridge package. Both can be run in docker if that’s easy for you. I used to use this setup to connect some smart vents to openhab that only worked on smartthings at the time. Eventually I found a way to get away from smartthings and stopped using it.


Thanks for posting :+1:
I’m sure this would be of great interest to anyone trying to connect their smartthings devices to openHAB

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Yes thanks Andrew - at some point I may need to investigate MQTT, but for now I’m focused on getting rid of SmartThings completely… I’ve been able to get around needing IFTTT and am able to speak directly to the GE Washer/Dryer directly (using a github solution mentioned in another thread) so no need for IFTTT for that … which also means at this point I no longer need Tasker running on Android … much simpler at this point :slight_smile:

I might suggest that you have the cart before the horse. There have been several threads now you’ve started where MQTT has come up. Perhaps putting off looking into MQTT until later is making things more difficult for you now. Your end goal is to get off of SmartThings. MQTT could be a tool to help you do that. It’s definitely not going to work against your doing that.

No, actually I disagree. I don’t want to bridge to SmartThings. Perhaps at some point there will be a need for MQTT, but not now. I have the Python based GE Washer code updating OH Items (after diving in to Python Async code :slight_smile: so the Washer issue that was driving IFTTT is solved. The other uses I had for IFTTT are being solved, with the main one unknown is how to get emails to trigger events (haven’t done any looking at that yet).

I have nothing against MQTT … just haven’t had a need that isn’t solved without bridging to ST yet. I’m sure I will find a need.

The help on here is fantastic … lots of good ideas and lots of experience! My plan to move to OH is very much alive!