I have been doing a lot of hobbyist electronics recently and was wondering if I can use my old Samsung Galaxy A5 duos phone, samsung galaxy core duos gt-i8262 and/or Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 3G in some of my projects. I don't have a lot of knowledge on android and was hoping I could skip having to learn android development, I was wondering if I can install a linux distro (like ubuntu touch) on these devices to simplify things, but my research so far heavily implies that's a no.

What I basically want to achieve is as follows:

  • Use aforementioned devices (and their peripherals like camera, accelorometer etc) in my projects, running programs in a familiar language (like c/c++ or python), in a close-to-linux environment
  • If i can't use the peripherals, at the very least, I want to use the CPUs on these devices to execute a program
  • Preferrably, not use android or at least not a heavy OS to dedicate as much CPU and RAM to my programs as possible
  • These devices would be controlling other electronics of the project using a microcontroller such as arduino
  • To summarise, I want to get these devices to work as much like a raspberry pi board as possible (excluding the GPIO pins part)

What I think are my options:

  • Building a linux kernel for these devices
  • Building a custom version of android for these devices
  • Just using the version of android these already have on them and somehow working on that

To top it off, the catch with the Tab device is that it won't boot beyond the samsung logo screen, so I'm not sure if I can get around having to install some new OS onto it anyway.

I know that phone manufacturers make it a lot harder for tinkering with the innards of their devices, so is it possible to have these functionalities on these devices? And are these the only options or is there a better way to go about doing this? Any help would be great. Thanks.