We’re in a reminiscing mood and on a recent podcast, we mentioned the Galaxy Nexus for some odd reason. While talking about the phone, I mentioned that it would be one of the top 10 Android phones of all time, which led me to wonder what other phones might be on that list. We have decided to answer that question with the following …
Top 10 Android Phones of All Time
Below you will find a list of 10 devices, ranked in order of importance. For importantWe’re talking about what the devices meant to the broader Android ecosystem at launch. Clearly, some phones have been more important than others, not only for Android as a whole, but also for the manufacturer. We have detailed reasoning and arguments for each phone’s rating below, but we’d love to hear if you have any different opinions. Did we completely lose a more important device?
Let’s do it!
Photo taken by Akela NDE
10. HTC Dream also known as G1
Where would we all be without the HTC Dream smartphone, also known as the G1? Personally, I have never used the phone, but I recognize the importance of the phone as the first publicly available Android device. I remember seeing someone use the device in the past and was asking about it. It looked futuristic at the time and I think the thing that intrigued me the most was that it wasn’t an iPhone. Looking back, I’m sure the software was pretty limited and the camera probably didn’t produce the best photos, but hey, the G1 will go down in the history books as a very important Android device.
9. LG G2 (2013)
In our eyes, the G2 established LG as an Android phone maker to be excited about. This was a year before LG gave us the world’s first QHD display in the G3, but still, this excerpt from Kellen’s G2 review paints the picture of the G2 that we will all remember. As he said in 2013, “The screen is as good as it gets, the processor is the most powerful on the planet, and the camera packs the next move in mobile photography. When you think of the final spec list, LG checked all the boxes with the G2. “
The G2 built a loyal following for LG, one that ultimately did not survive several missteps from the company, but LG can look back on both the G2 and G3 and be very proud of what was accomplished. And seriously, we miss the rear-facing volume rocker and power button all the time. So unique and so good!
8. Galaxy S6 (2015)
It is with the Galaxy S6 that we mark as the Fundamental release for virtually all modern Android hardware we have today. It’s the Galaxy S6 that showed us the glass-filled future we live in today and honestly, it was a really good smartphone for the time.
Coming from the Galaxy S5, arguably one of the worst phones Samsung has ever released, the Galaxy S6 made the difference between day and night, with a premium look and feel not seen from almost any other manufacturer. Samsung continues this trend with its latest devices and as we all know, basically every Android device maker wants to copy what Samsung has done. That tends to happen when it sells millions of units more than its competitors, so it really is a compliment to what Samsung has accomplished.
7. HTC One M7 (2013)
The One (M7) marked the pinnacle for HTC. Many in the tech community felt it was the best-looking Android phone ever made, and while no one is forced to feel the same, the phone offered more than just good looks. It gave us incredibly good speakers that set the tone for all of its competitors, plus HTC was still going in a good direction with its Sense user interface.
Sadly, the One (M7) can also be marked as the beginning of the end for HTC. While the M8 sequel was a good phone too, HTC never hit a home run again the way it did the M7. In fact, things got really low in 2018.
Long live Boom Sound.
6. Pixel 2 XL (2017)
Ah, the phone 🐧 (or 🐼). We briefly debated whether to put the Pixel One or Pixel 2 XL in this position, eventually deciding that the Pixel 2 XL is likely to become the most popular of all Pixel smartphones. There was something about it, a near-perfect smartphone (review here).
At launch, the Pixel 2 XL brought its own set of drama, but that’s normal as far as Google’s hardware is concerned. At the end of the day, the results spoke for themselves. Pixel 2 XL solidified Google’s position as a good phone maker and a leader in mobile photography. The Google Pixel launches remain one of the most anticipated launches year after year.
5. Galaxy Nexus (2011)
Thanks to a decent ad campaign, we can’t recall that a Nexus device was more anticipated than the Galaxy Nexus. It came at a time when the entire world, not just the tech industry, was shaken by the death of Steve Jobs. The Galaxy Nexus launch event was delayed due to his death, so when we think of the Galaxy Nexus, we can’t help but think of Jobs.
The phone itself wasn’t that great in several categories, but if we had to point out one main issue, it was the battery. In fact, it was so bad that Google ended up removing LTE connectivity for its tracking device, the Nexus 4. However, the phone introduced the world to Google Now, which has been superseded on Pixel phones today by Discover. And no one can deny that Phase Beam live wallpaper is not an absolute icon.
4. Incredible HTC DROID (2010)
While many had the original Motorola DROID as their first Android phone, others had HTC’s DROID Incredible. I remember there were battles between the factions over which phone was better, but looking back, there was no wrong answer. Both phones are great and they got the most out of this crazy world.
For HTC, whose history dates back to the early days of Android, the DROID Incredible is an incredibly important device. It gave birth to a long list of follow-up devices, which eventually led to the launch of the HTC One (M7) in 2013. More importantly, however, it attracted a lot of people to the Android world and that’s what it does. incredibly special in the eyes of many.
3. OnePlus One (2014)
OnePlus One (review) was launched at a time when we started to see smartphone prices go up and up. It was released as a “flagship killer,” offering specs and a software experience that could rival anything on the market, but it kept an incredibly affordable price of just $ 299. At the time, that seemed insane. OnePlus also introduced the sandstone rear with this phone and we can’t tell you how much we miss that texture in our pocket.
These days, OnePlus sells its smartphones under the same pricing scheme as Apple and Samsung (aka super expensive). It was destined to happen and it’s pretty clear that the company has completely lost its underdog sense of competition that made it so special years ago. Looking back, the OnePlus One will be a constant reminder that it is possible to offer an exceptional device at a price that can undermine everyone and capture the imagination and sense of wonder of the buying public. Shout out to Cyanogen too!
2. Moto X (2013)
The only phone to win a consecutive POTY (phone of the year) award, the Moto X first arrived in 2013. It also had some great competition that year. There was the HTC One (M7), Nexus 5, as well as the Galaxy S4 (Google Play Edition). Still, the phone’s hardware customization options were too special to overlook, and the software features Motorola introduced were a game changer. Active screen, anyone?
I’d like to share Kellen’s reasoning as to why this phone scored so highly for us in 2013. It’s a fun memory, but it also depresses me now that I know the fate of Motorola as a whole.
The Moto X tops this list for many reasons, but there are two in particular that make it stand out for me: Choice and Active Display. With the Moto X, you can choose what it looks like, how much storage it has, which carrier it works on, and whether it’s a developer edition. You can’t say that for any other phone on the planet. The Moto X on my desk today has a one-of-a-kind bamboo back and it works on Verizon because that’s the carrier I wanted it on. But I could have gone green with yellow accents, chosen T-Mobile, and unlocked the bootloader to play with my heart’s desire. Whatever happens, phone customization is a groundbreaking idea that Motorola brought to life. I just hope they’ve seen enough success with it to keep it going.
It is unlikely that we will ever see an Android phone as amazing as the Moto X.
1. RED Hydrogen One (2018)
Haha I’m just kidding! We like to have fun around here.
1. Motorola DROID (2009)
We promise we’re not trying to play favorites, but the Motorola DROID takes the cake as the most important Android phone of all time. Obviously, this phone inspired the creation of this very site, but beyond that, it inspired thousands and thousands of people to learn more about Android and to pursue technology as a hobby or career.
The history of the telephone is well documented and that is because it is known how important it has been to this industry. The phone brought Android to the masses and saved Motorola’s phone business. It is quite unbelievable.
For Android enthusiasts here, it’s easy to point out the amazing community of developers and experts we had in those days, which led to so many wonderful experiences with this phone. Every day there was a new custom ROM or theme to flash, allowing the phone to evolve effortlessly and become what the user envisioned. These were special times, people. it was the real one IPhone killer in our eyes.
What do you think? Did we miss one? Are we blinded by our love OG DROID that we missed the real # 1? Feel free to discuss with us in the comments.