While I've been a professional Java developer since before the turn of the century, I've never worked on these popular pocket computers that sometimes place phone calls. So I don't get it. I don't get 'apps' or why people like them.
So, I figure I have to get one of these phones and do some Android development. Your book sounds like a good tool. The other tool I need is one of the Android phones.
There are tons of them, and I can't see a clear way to pick one.
I see occasional stories about specific phones that are bad for developers, those that have layers of stuff loaded on them, and that you can't get 'root' access. Or worse, phones that are stuck four releases back into ancient Android history.
The original Google Nexus phone looks perfect, but its ancient. More modern phones are faster, have more memory, more features, better screens, etc.
What phone do you suggest I spend my hard earned money on?
I should clarify that my book will not teach you how to be an Android developer -- that is not its goal. Instead, my book provides thorough coverage of the Java language and foundational APIs that the aspiring Android developer needs to understand before jumping into Android development. After all, as Android increases in popularity, developers with an Objective-C (or other language) background might want to focus on Android development, and may never have worked with Java before. However, because today's Android programming currently requires Java knowledge (but that may not always be the case), it is important for that developer to be thoroughly grounded in Java language and key API concepts.
I regard myself as a neophyte in Android programming. Although I've watched videos involving Android phones, I don't own an Android phone at present (but that will have to change soon as I've recently embarked on a book-writing project about Android programming). I'm currently leaning towards the Motorola Droid, and would definitely want a phone that supports at least Android 2.2 (Froyo).
Hope this helps.
By the way, I recommend that you check out Google's Inside the Android Application Framework video to learn about key Android concepts. Although this video is a couple of years old, it is still relevant.