Best android phone?
August 25, 2009 8:44 AM   Subscribe

Whats the best unlocked android phone available?

I'm in the market for a new phone and I'm almost certain I want something with Android. I have AT&T and can't switch at the moment plus T-Mobile isn't offered where I live. I think the G2/Ion/HTC Magic would be perfect but they aren't readily sold unlocked here other than the international version (is this coming out as the Android Dev Phone 2 anytime soon?). I'm pretty sure I don't want the G1 because I dislike that huge chin.
  • Android either with root or rootable so I can upgrade the firmware
  • Decent battery life, I don't use my phone a whole lot but I would like to be able to go at least 2-3 days on a charge
  • GSM Quad Band
  • Unlocked
  • Some way to listen to audio books (3.5mm preferred but an adapter is fine)
  • mp3 ringtones seems pretty standard but checking
  • Good reception, I get crappy reception at my apartment and a phone that exacerbates that isn't cool
posted by DJWeezy to Technology (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The HTC Hero is pretty much the best Android phone, hands down, but it's not been released by any US carrier, so you'll have to try the various gray-market routes (ebay, craigslist, etc) to find one.
posted by Oktober at 8:50 AM on August 25, 2009

My brother ordered a Hero from some place in the UK and had it shipped to me in the US. I don't know how gray market that was but everything seemed legit. Now that he has the phone he seems happy with it, but it looks like running it on a US carrier (he has t-mobile in the US) will take some figuring out on your part.
posted by 6550 at 9:26 AM on August 25, 2009

The hero has the cool new Sense UI, but in my book the Samsung i7500/Galaxy is a more solid phone with a great battery life, build quality and form factor (also AMOLED, yeah).
You'd have to adopt that as well, and your probably not getting US 3G support, but you'd have to check on that.
I can't say anything about reception, as that's not really an issue in Germany.
I'd recommend this over a HTC.

On the rooting, as far as I understand it, you can do that on any android phone and I don't think this will be stopped by HTC or Android.
I personaly haven't tried it, but this article on Gizmodo makes it pretty easy. If you do that you could than get the full Sense UI on the i7500
posted by kall at 10:26 AM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Sony is coming out with another nice one, but I cannot remember the name of it. I am not sure on the exact number, but over the remainder of the year your selection of Android phones offered domestically is going to rise significantly.
posted by BobbyDigital at 12:21 PM on August 25, 2009

I went for the Magic for a no. of reasons.

1. The Hero has a nicer UI, undoubtedly, but the 'kink' design turned me off.

2. You can hack the Magic and install the Hero UI easily. [ref]

3. Magic and Hero hardware is essentially the same.

4. Magic is better designed and is cheaper.
posted by ekpyrotic at 4:55 AM on August 31, 2009

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