Best Android Phones for Rooting and Modding Android Central 2020

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, these are the devices you need to consider.

Tinker away: OnePlus 7T

Staff pick

The OnePlus 7T is one of the best phones in the market today. You're getting incredible hardware in the form of a Snapdragon 855+ chipset backed by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, but you also get the best software you'll find on Android. Combine that with an active modding community and you get the ideal phone for installing custom ROMs.

$499 at OnePlus

That Cheap Pixel: Google Pixel 3a

The Pixel 3a is rocking a solid OLED display, the latest available version of Android, and is guaranteed to be updated for the next three years. Plus, if you care about camera quality at all, absolutely nothing comes close to it. Google also makes it extremely straightforward to unlock the bootloader and install custom ROMs.

$363 at Amazon

The flagship choice: Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

Samsung makes great phones, but it isn't the fastest at rolling out updates. Combine that with a software skin that not everybody loves, and you get a community dedicated to launching ROMs for one of the best phones on the market. Just make sure to grab the Exynos variant — you won't find the same community support for the Snapdragon model sold in the U.S.

$859 at Amazon

Blank canvas: POCO F1

The POCO F1 is old, but that just means there's an established community rolling out custom ROMs for the phone. The hardware is still going strong in 2020, and you will get a two-day battery life out of this thing for some time. At the end of the day, POCO set itself up as the brand for enthusiasts, and the F1 is a fantastic device for modding.

$315 at Amazon

Freedom to tinker: Xiaomi Mi A3

Sometimes you just need a budget phone with decent hardware and an unlockable bootloader that lets you tinker without any hassle. Android One phones are ideal for this, and right now Xiaomi's Mi A3 is one of the best around. It's easy to unlock the bootloader, there are dozens of custom ROMs available, and the value on offer here is insane.

$199 at Amazon

The modding community is still going strong

OnePlus 7TSource: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

Rooting your phone gives you finer control when it comes to making your phone truly yours. You get the ability to install frameworks like Xposed — which give you more customization options — and there is no end to the number of things you can tweak on your device. As manufacturers tighten the security of their phones, finding models that allow rooting or extensive modification becomes more difficult. There are still phones you can buy that fit the bill, though, and these are the best available right now.

The OnePlus 7T is the best device for getting started as there's already 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 gives you a lot of overhead for installing customized modules, and the active community means you'll easily find information should you run into any issues.

If you are looking to save some cash, the Google Pixel 3a is a good alternative. It's easy to unlock, and there's a healthy modding community that makes this a great choice. Even if you're not interested in modding and installing a custom ROM on your phone, the options listed above are some of the best Android phones money can buy today. The Pixel 3a, in particular, is a fantastic pick when you consider the camera on offer.

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