Best Android phones for rooting and modding Android Central 2022

Rooting isn't as popular as it used to be, but there's still a vibrant community of modders involved in launching new ROMs. If you're just getting started or are looking to delve back into the world of modding, the OnePlus 8T is our favorite pick. We've included other top-notch options as well, so you have the best phones for rooting and modding to choose from.

OnePlus 8T

Tinker away: OnePlus 8T Android Smartphone

Staff Pick

The OnePlus 8T is a solid choice in 2022. You get excellent hardware, a flat 120Hz AMOLED display, 65W fast charging, and reliable cameras. The phone is the ideal canvas for rooting and modding, and OnePlus makes it as straightforward as possible to unlock the bootloader and install custom ROMs.

OnePlus 9 in Arctic Sky

The 5G option: OnePlus 9 Android Smartphone

If you're looking for a more recent option, the OnePlus 9 is a great choice as well. The phone has outstanding cameras thanks to the new Hasselblad partnership, and you get the latest internal hardware along with a gorgeous new design, 65W fast charging, and 15W Qi wireless charging.


The Budget pick: POCO X3 NFC Android Smartphone

Want to test out what the Android modding world has to offer on a budget? There's no better device than the POCO X3. The phone offers standout value, featuring a large 120Hz LCD panel, insane battery life, reliable hardware, and an easily unlockable bootloader.

$269 at Amazon
Google Pixel 3a

Pixel for less: Google Pixel 4a Android Smartphone

With the Pixel 4a, Google brings flagship-tier cameras to a much more affordable price point. The phone combines decent hardware with an outstanding 12.2MP camera at the back and the promise of three Android updates. Google also makes it very straightforward to unlock the bootloader and install custom ROMs.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Render Phantom Silver Back Official

The flagship choice: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Android Smartphone

Samsung has a very active modding community, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra is a great phone to test custom ROMs. The phone is packed with the latest hardware, has much better cameras than last year, and is currently one of the most feature-packed phones you'll find on Android.

These are the best Android phones for rooting

OnePlus 8T reviewSource: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

The best Android phones already offer an exhaustive array of features out of the box. Still, with the likes of One UI, MIUI, ColorOS, and even OxygenOS offering a skinned interface, you don't get a vanilla Android look anymore. Rooting your phone gives you the ability to do just that, and you get to install frameworks like Xposed — which allows you way more customization options than on a normal phone. The OnePlus 8T is still the best overall option if you want to try custom ROMs, with OnePlus making it as easy as possible to mod its devices.

There is a wide selection of ROMs available for the device, and should you break anything, you won't lose out on the warranty. The hardware on offer with the OnePlus 8T gives you a lot of overhead for installing customized modules, and the active community means you'll quickly find information should you run into any issues.

Google's Pixel phones are always a great option because google provides all the files needed to return the phone to "normal" and a documented and official method to build a custom ROM. Security concerns mean that newer models are a bit more locked down than they used to be, so it's a wise choice to wait for developers to have time to work through things or to buy last year's model. That's why we recommend the Pixel 4a while it's still available from online retailers.

If you want to save some cash, the POCO X3 is a great alternative. It's easy to unlock, and there's a healthy modding community for Xiaomi devices that makes it a great choice.

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