Google's Android operating system has had a great year in 2009. It entered the year with only one device running under it and it ends it with quite a few. T-mobile G1 was the first to run under it, while the latest seems to be the Nexus One, another phone made by HTC and which should land on T-Mobile's airwaves. Between them, we've seen Android loaded on HTC handsets, Samsung and LG ones, two Motorola devices, an Acer Liquid, and more. As the year ends, you'll find below a list of what we think are the five best Android phones of 2009.
2009 is said to have been the year of Android, yet there are many who expect for 2010 to prove to be that year. The Google operating system is on an ascendant curve at the moment, and it appears that it will not stop until reaching a top position on the mobile phone market. In 2013, it is expected to be the second largest mobile operating system in the world, while Symbian should remain in the leading position. However, Android has seen some great devices in 2009, and some more are to come in 2010, so stay tuned.
The leader in the list of Android devices for 2009 should be considered the Motorola DROID, which impresses due to its 3.7-inch touchscreen display that boasts a WVGA (480 x 854 pixel) resolution, its side-sliding QWERTY keyboard, and the Android 2.0 flavor it comes around with. The mobile phone arrived on the market at the beginning of November at Verizon Wireless in the US, but it is already available on other markets too as the Motorola MILESTONE, as you might know.
The DROID sports a great feel and also has the looks, even if some say it is a little too “DROID-ish.” The phone brought to the table a series of new services and capabilities, unavailable with previous versions of the operating system, and managed to prove that Android too can attract a lot of users on its side, not only Apple's iPhone. Already considered the leading gadget of the year, DROID might prove successful in 2010 too, even if Nexus One, aka the Google Phone, will land on the market.
HTC Hero is yet another Android-based mobile phone that deserves all the necessary appreciation. It came to the market during summer with HTC's Sense solution thrown over Google's platform, landed in a wide range of markets around the world, and saw a great deal of adopters right from the start. A 3.2-inch TFT-LCD touchscreen display that boasts a 320 x 480 pixel HVGA resolution is included in the package, as well as a Qualcomm MSM7200A, 528 MHz processor coupled with 512 MB of ROM and 288 MB of RAM.
The Hero arrived on the shelves with the already known HTC Android chin, yet it lost that feature on its way to the US market, where it already landed on Sprint and Verizon. The Sense solution is one of its main features, yet it misses a newer version of the Android OS, that's for sure. As soon as Android 2.1 arrives on the market, Hero might also get updated, as some carriers announced, and the user experience it can deliver will certainly be enhanced at that time.
Another very appealing mobile phone that arrived this year with Android on board is the Samsung Galaxy I7500. Available starting with June, the phone has been seen as a great competitor against HTC's Hero, especially due to its 3.2-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display that boasts a 320 x 480 pixel resolution, to the 8 GB of internal memory, which is coupled with a microSD memory card slot with support for up to 16 GB of additional storage space, and to the UI Samsung has preloaded on it.
Launched on the market with Android 1.5 (Cupcake) on board, the phone has received a series of updates from Samsung, yet Android 2.0 or 2.0.1 is still not present on it. It comes with a 5-megapixel photo snapper on board, great connectivity options, and support for a great deal of services, yet its popularity fades in front of the more appealing HTC Hero and its Sense UI. For what it's worth, Galaxy is one of the nicest devices running under Android, and might remain this way for a long time from now on.
Next on the list, there are two HTC phones, both of which easily earn a place in the top, namely the HTC Magic and Tattoo. Magic is a little older than Tattoo, yet it has seen a great deal of fans all around the world, especially in the US, where T-Mobile's subscribers have had a wide range of customization options with the device ever since it was launched. Various personalization options available with the HTC Tattoo are among the main selling points of the device, contributing a lot to its increasing popularity around the world.
Following the success T-Mobile G1 (HTC Dream) had on the market, the Taiwanese handset vendor expected a lot from its successors, and some of its expectations were fulfilled. Magic proved highly appealing to users, Tattoo is currently building popularity, and Hero is near the top of Android phones of the year, and some even consider it as the top device of the year. All in all, both Magic and Tattoo land on the fourth position in our opinion, for there are few things that differentiate them.
The final entry in our top 5 Android phones of 2009 is a rather disputed one. Since it was announced during 2009, we'll put the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 here, mainly for its very impressive user interface and for the large 4.0-inch TFT capacitive touchscreen display that boasts a 480 x 854 pixel resolution. Since it will only land in 2010, Xperia X10 might be seen as falling behind already available phones like the Acer Liquid or others, yet it looks as appealing as any handset can be, so we'll include it here.
Besides that impressive screen, X10 will also arrive on the market with an 8-megapixel photo snapper on board, as well as with a Qualcomm QSD8250 Snapdragon 1 GHz processor, 1Gb of internal memory, microSD memory card slot with support for up to 16GB of additional storage space, and Android OS 1.6 on board. Hopefully, by the time Sony Ericsson decides it is ready for prime time, something that rumors say should happen in January, another version of the platform will be loaded on it.