Best Android phones of all time.
Android phones are like Windows computers in the mobile space. Android is an open source free-for-all with tens of thousands of unique devices out in the wild. There are, however, a handful of exceptional standouts that have left their mark on Android’s ten year history. They’re not all flagships, they’re not all best sellers and some can even be considered a little niche, but they’ve all played an important role and represent the best of Android. So let’s take a look at the ten best Android phones of all time.
1. Motorola Droid UNLOCK NOW
The Motorola Droid wasn’t the first Android device. That honor goes the HTC manufactured T-Mobile G1 (aka HTC Dream), but it was this original Droid that put Android on the map and fired a shot across Apple’s bow. This was also Android’s first flagship handset and exploded onto the scene in the fall of 2009.
2. HTC Droid Incredible UNLOCK NOW
Motorola didn’t stay on top for long as HTC moved in with a vengeance. Following up on their original Nexus One, the first in a long line of Google sponsored devices, HTC released the first Android phone that ticked all of the right boxes, the Droid Incredible. It was sleek, modern and had the best specifications you could cram into a smartphone. It also had HTC’s outstanding Sense UI that provided a much needed polish and visual appeal to the early days of stock Android. This was the best of the best at the time and superior in many ways to the iPhone.
3. HTC Evo 4G UNLOCK NOW
One of the most anticipated Android phones ever was the HTC Evo 4G. Before Samsung started the Note line, the Evo 4G represented the “big” Android and was everything the iPhone 4 wasn’t back in 2010. It had a massive (for the time) 4.3 inch display at 217 ppi, a kickstand to watch movies on a table and cool red accents on the back. The specs were virtually identical to the Droid Incredible and this was basically a supersized version. In 2010, I took the shot below of my new Evo 4G next to an iPhone 4 to show some Apple friends how much grander Android could be. And this thing really was grand.
4. Samsung Galaxy S3 UNLOCK NOW
Motorola briefly sat on Android’s throne before HTC became totally dominant for years, but Samsung was slowly building its own reputation with the first Galaxy phone in 2009. The now familiar Galaxy S line reached all four major US carriers in 2010, but in a bizarre and unfortunate way. Unlike today, where little more than a carrier logo and bloatware differentiate major releases across carriers, the first Galaxy S phones were physically altered for each. AT&T had the Captivate, Verizon had the Fascinate, Sprint had the Epic 4G and T-Mobile had the Vibrant 4G. They shared a lot of DNA, but were completely different handsets.
5. Nexus 5
Google’s Nexus devices were never really meant for mainstream consumers. They were reference devices to help guide and inspire manufacturers to meet a consistent standard with their smartphones, and were also indispensable tools for developers. HTC made the original Nexus One, but then overshadowed it with the “mainstream edition” Droid Incredible. And that trend continued every year with various manufacturers. Nexus phones eventually became affordable with the Nexus 4 and were loved by Android purists, but remained niche devices that sold in low numbers. That all changed with the LG made Nexus 5.
6. OnePlus One
OnePlus came out of nowhere in 2014 and achieved the impossible. A new company was able to burst onto the scene and remain relevant in a merciless battleground dominated by established, multi-billion dollar players. They did this with clever marketing and by following in the footsteps of the Nexus 5… Release a flagship phone at a bargain price.
7. Samsung Galaxy S6 edge UNLOCK NOW
Although Samsung had been dominant since the galaxy S3, their choice of plastic for flagship handsets was being frowned upon. The current iPhones had impeccable aluminum designs as did several HTC handsets. 2014’s Galaxy S5 was a class leading device with a fingerprint sensor and IP67 rating for water and dust resistance, but wrapped in a subpar plastic shell with a textured back resembling a Band-Aid. If they were going to remain the king of Android, they had to up their design game in a big way. And wow, they didn’t disappoint.
8. Moto G5 Plus
The Moto G5 Plus? Yeah, it isn’t a flagship by any stretch. And it sits in the middle of Motorola’s bloated portfolio of smartphones. What’s so special about it? Well, it’s the finest example of a truly affordable smartphone with virtually no compromises. It’s not hard to find cheap phones these days and Motorola even offers the Moto E4 for under $100. But the G5 Plus provides all the essential ingredients for only $174.99 at Amazon.
9. BlackBerry KEYone
Before the iPhone changed everything in 2007, BlackBerry ruled the mobile space. Research in Motion (RIM) was among the first to develop a handset that functioned as a smartphone in 2002. The BlackBerry 5810 allowed you to take your email on the road and it came with the best physical keyboard in the business. It had email, apps and a coolness factor that led to dozens of bigger and better handsets that were must-haves as the company had over 50% of the US market for years. That all came to a halt soon after Apple released the iPhone in 2007. Android’s big entrance a couple of years later sealed the deal and sent the former smartphone leader into chaos for the better part of a decade.
10. Samsung Galaxy Note 8 UNLOCK NOW
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Samsung introduced their Note line in late 2011 to skeptical critics. The 5.3-inch display was truly massive and bigger than anything seen before on mainstream handsets. Many initially thought it was too big and unwieldy, and would simply fade away as a failed experiment. But the monster machine with an accessory S Pen stylus proved to be a winner with consumers and went on to represent Samsung’s top-of-the-line. The more mainstream Galaxy S smartphones have always been more popular, but the Note line has evolved into the most powerful smartphones you can buy. Period.
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