Example: https://android.stackexchange.com/questions/2434/selecting-the-right-android-phone

Is this really the kind of question we want to encourage here? I mean, is "I need a phone with these features" helpful to anyone but the OP? There are new phones coming out all of the time, so even if it's helpful it will be quite a bit outdated within months, if not weeks.

Isn't this site about using the device you have, rather than finding a device to buy?

Update: Note this blog post about putting the kibosh on shopping questions on Super User: http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/11/qa-is-hard-lets-go-shopping/

Since Android is arguably "Super User for Android", should we be more draconian about squashing these? I think sometimes it's hard to recognize a shopping recommendation for apps here because so many apps are free.

  • I agree that it is a bit localized and the information will be out of date in a few months time. Should it be a CW or just completely discouraged?
    – Bryan Denny Mod
    Commented Oct 27, 2010 at 16:20
  • Here's another: android.stackexchange.com/questions/2460/…
    – ale
    Commented Oct 28, 2010 at 13:08
  • 1
    Personally I think they should be completely discouraged.
    – ale
    Commented Oct 28, 2010 at 13:08
  • And, considering one can no longer opt to set to Community Wiki, this makes it more imperative to squelch these kinds of questions. I'd like to hear from more of the community, however.
    – ale
    Commented Oct 28, 2010 at 13:17
  • 1
    I don't tend to arrange my life according to how SuperUser operates. For instance, this whole site exists bin large part because their moderators feel there is a clear distinction between CPUs that sit on the desktop (like a Commodore 64) and CPUs that are portable (like an iPad or Android) beyond portability. Commented Nov 24, 2010 at 21:20
  • 1
    @Michael: True enough, but since this site is most like SuperUser among the original trilogy, and they blogged about it, it seems to me that it is something to consider and that, perhaps, it will become an edict from "on high".
    – ale
    Commented Nov 25, 2010 at 13:26
  • 2
    I think are plenty of reasons to frown at shopping recommendations beyond SuperUser, that's all. Freshness date, for one thing. Commented Nov 26, 2010 at 12:30
  • Oh, absolutely.
    – ale
    Commented Nov 26, 2010 at 15:44
  • Unfortunately, as far as apps go, the requests for recommendations just keep coming.
    – ale
    Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 12:46

3 Answers 3


It's pretty safe to say that shopping recommendations are off topic on virtually any Stack Exchange site (unless someone builds an explicit "shopping recommendation" site, of course).

It's even listed as off-topic in your original charter… twice:

Where is the best/cheapest place to buy a HTC Desire?
great on-topic example: 0
great off-topic example: 21

With which provider should I buy my HTC Desire, to have the best price?
great on-topic example: 0
great off-topic example: 20

  • 4
    Well, then, I will wield my mighty powers and close them.
    – ale
    Commented Oct 28, 2010 at 17:06

I would say that if the person does not ask about the shopping but about the hardware, then it is off-topic because of recommendations. If there was a question like

I need a phone that matches the specified criteria

then I would say that it could have luck on Hardware Recommendation. As long as it is not a question discussing price.

  • Please note that this discussion took place long before either Software Recommendations or Hardware Recommendations existed.
    – ale
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 21:17
  • 1
    I did notice that it was 2010, but I suppose the answer I made could be of little use to future readers
    – John K
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 21:18
  • 1
    The question is about what is in scope for this site. It's not for where we might send people with the wrong kind of questions.
    – ale
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 21:21
  • 2
    @AlE. I don't see any problem with this answer. Suggesting the correct site is better than leaving the asker nothing. I see that Hardware Recommendations accepts Android devices,
    – Andrew T. Mod
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 16:22
  • @AlE. Even on old questions, we want up-to-date answers. Hardware Recommendations has become the obvious answer to this question. Commented Jan 17, 2016 at 5:20

I too think it is pretty much off-topic.

Example 1:

I am stuck between Phone A and Phone B. Which one should I buy?

We simply can't know the expectations and parameters of choice of any person.

Example 2:

I am stuck between Phone A and Phone B. Which one is better?

Since utility of a good is not quantifiable, the answers are going to be pretty much subjective and opinion-based.

Example 3:

I want a phone with following specs: blablabla

Can you guys suggest any?

There are websites that find phones with the desired specs already.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .