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1 month ago

Where to buy the Google Pixel and Pixel XL in the UK

48
Pixel phones

Where can you buy Google's new Pixel phones in the UK?

Google's Pixel event has just wrapped up, and already we're starting to learn about when and where we'll be able to buy the Pixel and Pixel XL in the UK, and how much they'll cost. The short version is that all four variants are pretty expensive, and that the Google Store live right now. EE should follow as exclusive carrier partner, and given the recent leaks they should also be available at Carphone Warehouse.

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1 month ago

Verizon is the exclusive U.S. carrier for the Pixel

300

Google has announced that Verizon will be its exclusive U.S. carrier for the Pixel phones. That's right, just Verizon. No AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint or even U.S. Cellular. In previous years, Google offered its Nexus phones through carriers, but not exclusively to just one. You'll still be able to pick up an unlocked version of either the Pixel or Pixel XL from Google or Project Fi, but if you want to finance it through your carrier, you'll only be able to do that with Verizon.

It's not clear yet whether Verizon will be slapping its own branding on the Pixel phones as it does to others, or whether it will remain untouched like the iPhone. Hopefully, the carrier bloat will be kept to a minimum, but only time will tell. What do you think of Google's choice to partner exclusively with Verizon in the U.S.? Let us know in the comments!

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

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1 month ago

Google Pixel owners get unlimited full resolution photo and video backup

52

Google's Pixel event is underway, and there are many announcements. Follow along, if you aren't already.

One of the major announcements is around the 12.3MP cameras, and how fantastic they are. Google says that the Pixel camera is one of the fastest and highest-quality on the market, which is great.

But one of the big announcements from the event is that Pixel owners get free, unlimited full-resolution backups for photos and 4K videos on Google Photos, a big differentiator from other Android devices, which only get unlimited "high" resolution photos.

It's a big upgrade for photographers, and may be a good reason for many to choose the Pixel. Will you?

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

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1 month ago

Google Pixel and Pixel XL specs

138

What's in the Google Pixel and Pixel XL? Pretty much the same stuff, except for a couple crucial differences.

Google's Pixel and Pixel XL are made by HTC, but from a marketing perspective they're all Google. This means they're running the latest version of Android Nougat, version 7.1, with some Google Magic thrown in, but they're also top-of-the-line phones for late 2016. Here's what they have.

Category Google Pixel Google Pixel XL Operating System Android 7.1 with Google UI Android 7.1 with Google UI Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 RAM 4GB 4GB Display 5-inch 1920x1080
AMOLED
Gorilla Glass 4 5.5-inch 2560x1440
AMOLED
Gorilla Glass 4 Rear Camera 12MP f/2.0
1.55-micron pixels
PDAF, LDAF 12MP f/2.0
1.55-micron pixels
PDAF, LDAF Front camera 8MP, f/2.4 8MP, f/2.4 Battery 2770 mAh
Non-removable 3450 mAh
Non-removable Charging Rapid Charging Rapid Charging Connectivity USB Type-C, Bluetooth 4.2 USB Type-C, Bluetooth 4.2 Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes Storage 32/128GB 32/128GB IP rating IP53 IP53 Colors Quite Black, Very Silver, Really Blue Quite Black, Very Silver, Really Blue Dimensions 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.6 mm 154.7 x 75.74 x 8.6 mm Weight 143 g 168 g

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

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1 month ago

All the big announcements from Google's Pixel event

172
Google devices

Here's everything Google announced at its Pixel event in San Francisco.

Google unveiled two brand new Pixel phones, its new differentiated Android interface, and Android 7.1 Nougat today in San Francisco — along with a bunch of other stuff. Read on to discover Google Assistant, the Pixel and Pixel XL, Daydream View, Google Wifi, Chromecast Ultra, Google Home and more!

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1 month ago

Google Pixel event liveblog: From San Francisco Oct 4 at 9 a.m. PT / noon ET

94
Google Pixel event

Google's ready to announce its new phones and potentially much more.

We all get very excited for a Google event, and rightfully so. After a pretty big Google I/O earlier this year and plenty of leaks pointing us in the right direction, this latest event is expected to be worth your time. New phones with Pixel branding are a lock, but there will likely be much more to be shown off and explained. It's going to be a big deal, and Android Central will be there to cover it all.

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1 month ago

Best Android Phone With Removable Battery

There's something to be said about removable batteries. They just save you time, which is often worth a lot! If you're looking for the best phone with a removable battery, the LG V20 is your best bet.

Best overall

LG V20

See at AT&T See at Verizon See at Sprint See at T-Mobile See at B&H Photo

The V20 is probably LG's best phone ever, and that's not just because it has one of the most coveted features for many phone enthusiasts: a removable battery. No, the V20 is a powerhouse, featuring a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and all the audio and camera features to satisfy the most hardcore of spec heads.

But if you're looking for a phone with that replaceable cell, the V20 is the tops: the back metal cover is easily removed, and the battery replaced in a snap. And because LG sells verified replacements, you can rest safe knowing that it is safe, and charged quickly, either inside the phone itself or through an optional external charger.

Bottom line: The V20 is one of the best smartphones of the year, period, but it's definitely the best choice for someone looking at buying a high-end device with a replaceable battery.

One More thing: The V20 can shoot 4K video with SteadyShot 2.0, which keeps tracking and panning ultra-smooth. Of course, 4K video uses a lot of battery, which is where a second cell, and a tripod, could come in handy.

Why the LG V20 is best

A big phone that can last two or more days{.intro}

If you're buying a phone with a removable battery, you likely know exactly why — because you don't like the new trend towards sealed devices and the potential issues they cause. Imagine if the Note 7 had a removable battery, and how much easier the recall could have been.

The LG V20 has a 3,200mAh battery on its own, but the fact that the battery cell can easily be replaced with another fully-charged equivalent negates the need for fast charging. That the V20 still supports fast charging through its USB-C port is an added bonus, because it means you don't necessarily need an external charger for the second battery. Just plug it in for an hour to top it up to 80% or so, and put back the primary cell, and you're good to go.

Aside from battery life, the V20 is an amazing phone, with a unique Second Screen experience, Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, and all the specs you could want from a top-tier phone.

Best for less

LG G5

See at Amazon

The LG G5 is better than the reviews let on. In fact, there's a lot to like about LG's first modular phone, its Friends notwithstanding: it has a beautiful 5.3-inch display, excellent performance, and great cameras. It also has, yes, a removable battery. While the 2,800mAh cell may not be as big as that inside the V20, who cares? This smaller phone has all the juice needed to power you through a whole day, and because it has been on the market for a few months already, it, and replacement battery cells, are easy to find for less.

Bottom-line: The G5 may not be the great follow-up to the G4 many were hoping for, it's still a great, powerful phone with an awesome removable battery and plenty of character.

One more thing: If you are a fan of photography, the LG CAM Plus is a camera grip add-on with an additional 1,140mAh of battery power, along with a two-stage shutter button and more.

Conclusion

The V20 is the best phone with a removable battery you can buy right now. And because it seems like LG is the only company making high-end Android phones with removable batteries, it may stay that way for a long time.

Best overall

LG V20

See at AT&T See at Verizon See at Sprint See at T-Mobile See at B&H Photo

The V20 is probably LG's best phone ever, and that's not just because it has one of the most coveted features for many phone enthusiasts: a removable battery. No, the V20 is a powerhouse, featuring a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and all the audio and camera features to satisfy the most hardcore of spec heads.

But if you're looking for a phone with that replaceable cell, the V20 is the tops: the back metal cover is easily removed, and the battery replaced in a snap. And because LG sells verified replacements, you can rest safe knowing that it is safe, and charged quickly, either inside the phone itself or through an optional external charger.

Bottom line: The V20 is one of the best smartphones of the year, period, but it's definitely the best choice for someone looking at buying a high-end device with a replaceable battery.

One More thing: The V20 can shoot 4K video with SteadyShot 2.0, which keeps tracking and panning ultra-smooth. Of course, 4K video uses a lot of battery, which is where a second cell, and a tripod, could come in handy.

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1 month ago

Best Honor Phone

Honor 8

The Honor 8 is the best phone by Huawei's youth-focused, online brand, thanks to its excellent combination of build quality, performance, camera quality, and battery life.

Best overall

Honor 8

Honor 8

See at Amazon See at Honor

No surprise — the best Honor phone you can buy is the newly launched flagship Honor 8. This 5.2-inch handset hits a sweet spot in terms of size and price, at the $400 mark, while delivering speedy performance thanks to Huawei's homegrown Kirin 950 CPU and 4GB of RAM. The dual camera setup from the Huawei P9 also makes it across to to the new Honor phone, although without the Leica branding.

And on the outside, the Honor 8's glitzy metal-and-glass body stands out from the crowd, and battery life from the fixed 3,000mAh cell is easily enough to last a full day.

Bottom line: The Honor 8 is an excellent $400 phone with a few software quirks that may take a while to adjust to.

One More thing: European and Asian Honor 8 phones support dual-SIM via Huawei's hybrid slot, which can take a microSD or a second nano SIM.

Why the Honor 8 is the best

A whole lotta phone for 400 bucks.

With U.S. pricing just shy of $400, the Honor 8 delivers excellent value for money. And if you can deal with Huawei's EMUI 4.1 interface — it's something of acquired taste, but sure to get better once Nougat lands — there's an awful lot to like. The display — a 1080p LCD panel — is bright and vibrant, and the fact that you're not pushing a 2K panel means there are power savings to be had.

Meanwhile the dual camera setup uses a full color 12-megapixel sensor and another black-and-white sensor combined, to produce clear daylight shots and photos with more detail in low light. EMUI's camera app also includes super night mode for getting the most from stabilized shots in the dark. And all that in an attractive glass-backed package.

Best value - U.S.

Honor 5X

Honor 5X

See at Honor See at Amazon

Honor's first phone to launch in the U.S. is its only budget offering in the country to date. The Honor 5X packs a Snapdragon 616 processor and 2GB of RAM into a metal body, with a surprisingly good 1080p LCD display. There's 16GB of storage built in, and the recent Android 6.0 Marshmallow (and EMUI 4.1) upgrade brings welcome performance improvements.

What's more you'll also get a great rear-mounted fingerprint scanner for biometric security — a feature that's usually missing from phones at this price point.

Bottom-line: $199 gets you a decent phone with metal construction and a fingerprint scanner.

One more thing: The biggest trade-off for the Honor 5X is the lack of oleophobic coating on the screen, meaning it can get gunked up with fingerprints pretty easily.

Best value - Europe

Honor 5C

Honor 5C

See at Amazon See at Vmall

The Honor 5X is also available in Europe, but its little brother the 5C is arguably better value. For just shy of £150 you get a metal-bodied phone with a 5.2-inch 1080p screen, powered by fast and efficient Huawei's Kirin 650 processor. That's running Android Marshmallow on Huawei's latest EMUI 4.1. There's a little more plastic than metal here compared to the 5C, and you'll have to make do without a fingerprint scanner. But what the 5C lacks in pizzaz it makes up for in performance.

Bottom-line: A solid £150 phone with a few missing features, but exceptional performance thanks to Huawei's own silicon.

One more thing: The Chinese version of the phone includes a fingerprint scanner, but in Europe you'll have to make do without.

Conclusion

All Honor's phones are competitively priced, but the flagship Honor 8 is the one to aim for. You'll get flagship-tier performance and build quality, an impressive camera and all-day battery life for considerably less than the bigger brands are charging. What's more, it's only going to get better once Android Nougat and EMUI 5 arrive in the months ahead.

Best overall

Honor 8

Honor 8

See at Amazon See at Honor

No surprise — the best Honor phone you can buy is the newly launched flagship Honor 8. This 5.2-inch handset hits a sweet spot in terms of size and price, at the $400 mark, while delivering speedy performance thanks to Huawei's homegrown Kirin 950 CPU and 4GB of RAM. The dual camera setup from the Huawei P9 also makes it across to to the new Honor phone, although without the Leica branding.

And on the outside, the Honor 8's glitzy metal-and-glass body stands out from the crowd, and battery life from the fixed 3,000mAh cell is easily enough to last a full day.

Bottom line: The Honor 8 is an excellent $400 phone with a few software quirks that may take a while to adjust to.

One More thing: European and Asian Honor 8 phones support dual-SIM via Huawei's hybrid slot, which can take a micro-SD or a second nano SIM.

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1 month ago

EE carrying Google's Pixel phones in the UK

27
Pixels

Carrier's teaser for big Google event leaves little to the imagination.

EE has been teasing a big announcement in early October for the past week, and now it's clear why: The operator's site is now promoting Google's "big announcement" taking place at 5 p.m. BST today. That should leave little doubt that EE will be carrying at least one of Google's new Pixel phones.

Nexus devices have long enjoyed widespread carrier adoption in the UK, and there's a good chance the same will apply to the Pixel and Pixel XL, which were revealed in full by local retailer Carphone Warehouse yesterday. So the fact that EE's onboard for Google's new phones isn't a huge surprise, but nevertheless, now we have confirmation.

The frequency of carrier and retailer leaks of the Pixel phones makes it very likely that pre-orders (at the very least) will go live later today. Clearly Google's partners are getting things prepared behind the scenes, with the aim of launching immediately after today's event. So stick with us — it's going to be an interesting day.

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

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2 months ago

Best Boost Mobile Phones

12
Best Boost Mobile phones

The best phones currently offered by Boost Mobile.

Boost Mobile offers a wide selection of phones for their prepaid and no contract plans. If you're looking to join and want to know which phones are going to be the best value for your dollar, look no further.

We're breaking down the best phones you can buy when you sign up with Boost Mobile. We've also included links so you can make a purchase directly through their website.

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2 months ago

The Best Smartphone Camera, as judged by YOU!

134

So who makes the best smartphone camera? Here's what you picked.

We showed you 16 sets of photos taken by four unspecified cameras, with all identifying data stripped away and presented in a randomized-on-load order for each block, all in an effort to ensure that you would be able to judge based on the quality of the photo and nothing more. And so, based on this wide range of photos, it's time to see just who makes the best smartphone camera today.

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2 months ago

Best Android Phones For Long Battery Life

Battery life is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a phone. Worry less by buying the Galaxy S7 edge, which offers the best combination of battery life, performance, and speed.

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

See at AT&T See at Sprint See at T-Mobile See at Verizon See at Amazon

Battery life is subjective, of course, but having a bigger battery cell certainly helps. That, coupled with efficient software, is the recipe for all-day battery, and sometimes longer.

The Galaxy S7 edge has 3,600mAh cell that rivals much larger phones. It's amazing how slim and light the phone is considering how much juice they were able to fit into the device. Samsung also employs some software optimizations to ensure the phone keeps chugging along all day, too, including a very smart Power saving mode, and a last-resort Ultra power saving mode, which many other companies have since copied.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S7 edge does everything you want it to — speed, beauty, and camera quality — but if you're looking for all-day battery life, it's especially worth considering.

One More thing: This highly-rated device is available at all four major carriers in the U.S., but if you'd rather live dangerously and contract-free, Samsung offers an unlocked model that also works overseas.

Why the Galaxy S7 edge is the best

A great phone that lasts all day, and does everything you need it to.

Battery life is a hard thing to accurately predict. Many companies say they have phones with the biggest batteries, or the most efficient chips. But after using the Galaxy S7 edge for the past six months, it's clear that Samsung found a winning combination of efficiency and performance.

It starts with a 3,600mAh battery cell, which alone is bigger than many of the competition in the same size and price range. But somewhere along the line, Samsung tightened up its software too; Marshmallow on the S7 edge is extremely smart about when to engage the phone's processor, shutting down components until they're absolutely needed.

Plus, Samsung makes its own screens, beautiful, low-power AMOLED displays, which lets it optimize power use for to those exact specifications. The result is a phone that bucks the trend of poor battery life on Android devices, and reinforces Samsung's position as market leader in the Android space.

Best for less

Moto Z Play

See at Motorola

The Moto Z Play starts quickly and keeps going. It's actually quite amazing to witness. Thanks in part to the super-efficient Snapdragon 625 processor, which is built on a new 14nm process, the phone rarely gets hot, and with eight cores, works smarter, not harder.

With a 3,510mAh battery inside, along with software that feels as light as a feather, the Moto Z Play is the longest-lasting $400 phone we've used. It's also a pretty great smartphone, featuring a bright 5.5-inch display, a great 16MP camera, and support for Moto Mods.

Bottom-line: The Moto Z Play doesn't sacrifice much from its more expensive, much thinner Moto Z sibling. If you can deal with the added girth, and a slight hit to processing abilities, you get one of the best, longest-lasting Android phones around.

One more thing: Pair the Moto Z Play with Incipio's 2,220mAh OffGrid battery pack, and you have a whopping 5,730mAh combination that should last two full days, or longer!

Best for smaller hands

Honor 8

See at Honor

You wouldn't necessarily think of the Honor 8 as a phone with a long-lasting battery — it is quite a small device, after all — but Huawei, Honor's parent company, packed a 3,000mAh cell in there, along with a number of software optimizations to ensure it sips battery throughout the day.

Moreover, the Honor 8's Kirin 950 processor, built in-house by Huawei itself, finds the right balance between speed and efficiency. Couple that with the rest of the phone's excellent hardware — dual 12MP cameras, a bright, sharp 5.2-inch display, and plenty of storage — and you have a recipe for one of the best all-round Android phones on the market today.

Bottom-line: The Honor 8 is a great phone for anyone looking for at a smaller device without having to sacrifice battery life.

One more thing: You can buy the Honor 8 unlocked from a number of places, but Honor's website offers three months of screen protection warranty.

Conclusion

Most phones claim to have "all-day battery life," but few actually make it to bedtime. The Samsung Galaxy S7 edge actually backs up its claims, and does so while excelling in almost every other area.

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

See at AT&T See at Sprint See at T-Mobile See at Verizon See at Amazon

Battery life is subjective, of course, but having a bigger battery cell certainly helps. That, coupled with efficient software, is the recipe for all-day battery, and sometimes longer.

The Galaxy S7 edge has 3,600mAh cell that rivals much larger phones. It's amazing how slim and light the phone is considering how much juice they were able to fit into the device. Samsung also employs some software optimizations to ensure the phone keeps chugging along all day, too, including a very smart Power saving mode, and a last-resort Ultra power saving mode, which many other companies have since copied.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S7 edge does everything you want it to — speed, beauty, and camera quality — but if you're looking for all-day battery life, it's especially worth considering.

One More thing: This highly-rated device is available at all four major carriers in the U.S., but if you'd rather live dangerously and contract-free, Samsung offers an unlocked model that also works overseas.

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2 months ago

Best Virgin Phones

7
Best Virgin phones of 2016

Going prepaid doesn't mean you have to use outdated phones!

Virgin Mobile is one of the biggest names in the prepaid phone world and if you're making the switch, you want the best phone it has to offer.

Prepaid users are no longer relegated to outdated flip phones and low-power QWERTY keyboard phones. We've rounded up the best that Virgin has to offer. Check out our reviews to learn more about each device.

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2 months ago

5 reasons to buy the Galaxy Note 7 when it goes back on sale

157

Why should I consider the Galaxy Note 7 when it's been banned from airplanes?

We can't deny the fact the Galaxy Note 7 is one of the best-rated Android phones of the year. No other phablet-sized device compares in design and functionality, and it's one of the few mobile devices with a useful pressure-sensitive stylus in tow. But it hasn't been without its problems, with its reputation taking a beating due to unexpected problems with its battery.

Thankfully, an official recall has been put into effect, and there will soon be plenty of safe, vetted Note 7 units waiting to be taken to their forever homes. If you're still deliberating whether to purchase the Note 7, here are five reasons you might consider it when it's back on sale.

It's the prettiest phone Samsung has ever made

Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder, but, the Galaxy Note 7 is so much prettier than its flagship predecessors. Look at its curves, and the way the display cascades into its curved edges — it's as if there's hardly a bezel at all. And take a peek at all the available varieties of the Note 7—the Blue Coral alone is the nicest smartphone color combination we've seen yet.

It's one of the best smartphone cameras

Eat your heart out, iPhone users. You may be enjoying the camera on your new iPhone 7, but Samsung phones have been worthy sole-shooters for some time. The Note 7 is no different with its 12-megapixel rear-facing camera equipped with OIS and a f/1.7 aperture. It also offers manual camera controls, including the ability to shoot in RAW, and a variety of nifty camera features, like live YouTube broadcasting, from inside the camera app.

It's the most stylus-friendly Android device

Let's be real here: It's one of the fewest Android smartphones with a stylus that's worth using. Samsung made the Note 7's S-Pen twice as pressure sensitive as last years. It doubled its pressure sensitivity to 4096 levels and narrowed the point for more precise selection. The overhaul of the Samsung Notes app has helped, too, which you can use to take written notes, draw a doodle, or annotate a screenshot. The added stylus is also great for editing PDFs and signing documents.

More: Here's what the Galaxy Note 7 S Pen can do

It has more bells and whistles than other flagships

With most flagships, you're lucky to have NFC and expandable memory. With the Galaxy Note 7, you have that in addition to two types of wireless charging methods, including PMA and Qi, as well as a second wireless payment method, namely MST, which enables Samsung Pay. The Galaxy Note 7 also offers an iris scanner, which might seem hokey at first, but it's actually quite neat and you can use it to secure your files and apps behind a special folder on the Home screen.

It's better than the Galaxy S7

The Galaxy Note 7 runs Samsung's simplified Grace UX, which isn't as garish as the GS7 and GS7 edge's TouchWiz UI, nor is it as bloated. The revamped UI includes helpful features like a blue light filter, which helps reduce the amount of blue light in the evening, and a souped-up Power saving mode, which offers customizable levels so you can extend your battery life while still having access to your most-used features.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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2 months ago

Best Phones for Rooting and Modding

Tinker to your heart's content with these Android phones.

Best overall

Nexus 5X

See at Amazon

If you're not content with the software some company decided you are allowed to use and are willing to roll up your sleeves and do something about it, the Nexus 5X is the best phone to do it with.

Because it's a phone directly from Google, the bootloader is easy to unlock using tools and directions Google gives you, and you'll have no restrictions on the software you can install. If you keep going until the phone just stops working getting back to the factory software is just as easy, and Google provides a downloadable image you can use to restore.

Just as important is the price. You don't have to spend a lot of money on a phone to enjoy modding it, and the Nexus 5X's low price has made it a popular favorite. You'll find a large online community of people doing the same things with their Nexus 5X that you're interested in doing.

Bottom line: The value-priced Nexus 5X has a large development community and there are no restrictions on what you can do on the software side.

Why best

The Nexus 5X is open and affordable.

Phones direct from Google all share one common trait — they are easy to root and mod the software. The reason we think the Nexus 5X is the best is because the low price means the community is huge.

Most things that can be done on one Google phone can also be done to the others, but every once in a while a device-specific issue arises and when that happens, the best thing you can have is a large group of people that act as a support channel. Routinely checking in under $200 USD, the 5X is also a great phone to get if you're looking for a second device to play around with while you use your primary phone to hold all your personal data without compromising its security.

Whether you're new to phone modding or an old hat, we can't help but recommend the Nexus 5X as the best phone to do any of it.

A higher-spec option

OnePlus 3

See at OnePlus

OnePlus phones have been a fan favorite among Android enthusiasts since the company was started, but the OnePlus 3 is different — it's the first phone from them you can buy without an invite.

It's easy to unlock the bootloader and install alternative software, and like the Nexus 5X, the relatively low price makes for a large development community. A strange positive is that issues with the factory software mean that more people are interested in modding the OnePlus 3, which makes a large community even larger.

If you are willing to spend more and get better internals on the phone you intend to break open, the OnePlus 3 is worth looking at.

Bottom line: High-end specs and a budget price make the OnePlus 3 a contender. Easy modifications and a large community also make it an excellent choice for rooting and modding.

The flagship option

Nexus 6P

See at Amazon

If you love tinkering and modding your phone enough to spend serious money, you'll love the Nexus 6P. Poised as the Android platform reference model in 2016, the Nexus 6P can handle any task thrown at it for when you need it to work as intended, and the open nature that comes with being a phone direct from Google means you're free to do whatever you like with the software.

Just like the Nexus 5X above, everything you need to modify, break, then get things working again for the Nexus 6P is available from Google, who actively encourages and participates with the people doing the software development for third-party Nexus 6P ROMs and mods.

Paying more for a phone you intend to alter right out of the gate may sound a bit silly, but for many the experience can't be beaten.

Bottom line: Everything you want or need to do is possible with the Nexus 6P, but the price is higher than the others on the list. This is definitely not the value choice.

Conclusion

You can root and mod almost every Android phone. We tend to focus on the ones you can't because they are outliers. But being able to do it through an exploit or other sometimes difficult process isn't ideal.

If you're looking ahead and know you'll want to change something on your next phone that requires custom software or root access, these phones are the best options.

Best overall

Nexus 5X

See at Amazon

If you're not content with the software some company decided you are allowed to use and are willing to roll up your sleeves and do something about it, the Nexus 5X is the best phone to do it with.

Because it's a phone directly from Google, the bootloader is easy to unlock using tools and directions Google gives you, and you'll have no restrictions on the software you can install. If you keep going until the phone just stops working getting back to the factory software is just as easy, and Google provides a downloadable image you can use to restore.

Just as important is the price. You don't have to spend a lot of money on a phone to enjoy modding it, and the Nexus 5X's low price has made it a popular favorite. You'll find a large online community of people doing the same things with their Nexus 5X that you're interested in doing.

Bottom line: The value-priced Nexus 5X has a large development community and there are no restrictions on what you can do on the software side.

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