Best Android Phones Features
It's hard to believe that it's been just three years since Google's open-source Android mobile operating system hit the scene. When the first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1, was released, the mobile landscape looked very different. Most people carried simple handsets that focused on making calls.
If you were lucky, you could listen to music or play games on your mobile phone. Back then, you didn't have to have a smartphone that ran thousands of apps to let you, in the palm of your hand, do many of the things your computer could do. Apps weren't even a thing yet. Apple had only released the iPhone 3G and launched its groundbreaking App Store a couple of months earlier.
It was the introduction of Android that helped propel the app-based smartphone to what it is today. The thing Android offered, which Apple's iPhone couldn't, was choice. Since it was an open-source platform, several hardware manufacturers could use the OS on their handsets, and a variety of wireless carriers could offer those phones—and they did.
A year after Android was released, in the U.S. there was a single Apple iPhone on a single carrier, but there were eight different Android handsets with varying form factors available on three of the four major carriers.
Today, you can find a variety of Android phones on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. Even the little guys like Cricket and Virgin Mobile offer Android options. According to Comscore, Android enjoys 33 percent of the U.S. smartphone market today.
That's a lot of phones to choose from. To come up with our list, we've chosen two winners for each of the four major carriers, one for each of four smaller carriers, and, if you're contract-phobic, the best unlocked handset.
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If you've settled on Android as your mobile platform, these phones are your best bets—for now, that is. At this rate of growth, we can assure you that there's another great 'Droid right around the corner.