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Our favorite Android devices through the years

Android is quite amazing. Not only is it nearing its 10 year anniversary, but the platform has dwarfed any reasonable expectation of success the founders must have had when developing the software.

It's also why, and how, many of the writers on Android Central got their start in the industry — by trialling new phones and tablets and offering their opinions online. We asked them to highlight some of their most memorable devices — not necessarily the best (as you'll see) but ones that had the most impact.

Andrew Martonik: Motorola Xoom

I'm only kind of joking here. Back at the start of 2011 there was so much hype around Google properly joining the tablet game, launching Android 3.0 Honeycomb alongside this wonderful-looking Motorola tablet. It was very much a "Nexus" tablet without the branding, and for the time it was glorious. A big display, typical great Motorola hardware and most importantly the "cool factor" of having a sleek tablet that felt very futuristic right alongside the iPad 2.

Most important was the "cool factor."

I snatched one up as soon as I could despite its super-high price and unproven software that had literally no app support at the time. I just wanted to be on the bleeding edge of Android, and the Xoom certainly felt like it. We all know now that Honeycomb was eventually a failure, and the Xoom itself basically went nowhere, but for the time it was the most exciting development in Android. Motorola moved on to do better things (yet never another tablet ed. note: how could you forget the Droid XYBOARD?) in Android, and Google took the lessons it learned with Honeycomb and shifted its tablet strategy starting with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Xoom was extremely exciting at the time, and I think proved to be an important step in the growth of Android.

Alex Dobie: HTC One (M7)

Oh, HTC. Back in the glory days, nobody in the Android space came close to the build quality of HTC's aluminum unibody designs. And the pinnacle of that was the M7 — the original HTC One. No phone since has wowed me quite the same way the M7 did when I first unboxed it.

The original HTC One had the best hardware and the best software.

I'd used it in a private pre-briefing before then, and at its launch event, and it still astounded me when I picked up my own HTC One for the first time. Samsung (and almost everyone else in the Android world) was still doing plastic back then, and this thing felt like it'd landed on my desk straight from the future.

What also impressed was the sheer speed of the HTC One. The company banished lag entirely from its Sense UI, purportedly using some of the tech it had licensed through a deal with Apple the previous year. Back in 2013, buying a flagship Android phone by no means guaranteed you a smooth and enjoyable software experience. The original HTC One had the best hardware and the best software, and it was the best Android phone by a country mile. That I still see people using their M7s today is a testament to that quality.

Ara Wagoner: Moto X Pure Edition

Don't get me wrong, the Moto X Pure Edition wasn't a perfect phone by any means, but this is a phone that took what I already loved and admired from the original Moto X and brought in a few underrated and frankly perfect features that I still miss to this day on my current crop of phones.

This phone felt magical...

When they announced the 2015 Moto X, I didn't intend to upgrade. I liked - no, I loved my 2014 Moto X, with its Turquoise backplate, white front, and red accents. It was my treasure… but an RMA saw me receiving a code to customize a 2015, and so I traded in begrudgingly, not wanting a larger phone that I themed darker so as to avoid a dorkishly pimpled face.

And when that phone came, I fell in love all over again. I could kiss the standard OK Google Now launch phrase for Moto Voice goodbye, and I could launch voice commands with foreign phrases that sounded like magic spells. If I waved my hand in front of my phone, I could summon my notifications, at my desk, on my nightstand, in its dock in my car. This phone felt magical, and it proved that custom launch phrases were possible for voice commands, something we're still waiting for on the Google Home and the Pixel. I laughed at IR sensors on the front of a phone, now I wish that every manufacturer would include them again, because I miss the magic that I felt and saw every time I interacted with my Moto X Pure Edition.

Daniel Bader: Motorola Milestone

I am going way back with this one — back to the early months of 2010, to the early days of Android 2.1, and to the nascent communities of rooting. With the Motorola Milestone, I became instantly addicted to the notion that Android was both flexible and immutable, that in its changeability was a permanent notion of ownership: this phone was mine because I changed it.

In 2010, rooting a phone was neither easy nor fulfilling, but it was addictive.

In 2010, rooting a phone was neither easy nor fulfilling, because there wasn't much you could do with it once it was accomplished. But it was addictive. The sense of accomplishment was worth the sleepless nights of searching for custom ROMs, and turning the idea of a mobile operating system on its head. The Milestone itself was hugely flawed — as was its Droid-based counterpart on Verizon — but it was important, and a critical first step towards my Android indoctrination.

The photo pictured above is the original Motorola Droid for Verizon, since it's difficult to come by a decent quality photo of the Milestone.

Florence Ion: HTC Incredible

Look at that watermark!

Look at that watermark!

It took me a while to think of what my favorite Android thing has been thus far. I waffled between choosing the Pixel or the Asus Nexus 7, arguably one of the best tablets I've ever owned. But as I thought through the list of devices I've owned and cherished since Android's inception, I kept going back to the HTC Incredible.

You don't forget your first love, and for me — at least in regards to Android — that was my first smartphone. The HTC Incredible was my companion through some of my most formative years. I was freshly out of college and new to the work force, and I had no idea where I belonged. It was also my first time living entirely alone, and for a person who thrives on being social but isn't good at leaving the house, I knew it would be a challenge.

The HTC Incredible helped me find my way.

The HTC Incredible helped me find my way. I used it to stay privy with pals, find things to do and clubs to join around San Francisco, and document everything. And if it weren't for Google Maps and its turn-by-turn navigation feature — which the iPhone did not offer at the time — I would have never had the courage to embark on my first solo road trip. I felt incredibly empowered by this handheld device; I could use it to call it for help, find my way out of situation, and discover things worth seeing. As a result, I'll always feel a bit wistful about Android, because its mere existence in my life helped me experience what life is like when it's enhanced by a mobile device. It sure is less lonely.

Harish Jonnalagadda: Nexus 4

The Nexus 4 was the first phone in the Nexus series that felt like a consumer product and not a reference tool for developers. From the subtly-curved edges at the front to the soft touch plastic on the sides and that stunning glass back with the checkerboard pattern, LG nailed the design of the Nexus 4. That's why the first thing I did after buying the phone was put a case on it. The glass back was great to look at, but it had the tendency to shatter if you glanced at it wrong.

The Nexus 4 paved the way for future phones.

Buying the phone itself was an arduous process. The Nexus 4 didn't make its way to India until seven months after its U.S. release, but as Google started selling the device from the Play Store in the U.S., I was able to get my hands on one a month after its launch.

For $349, there wasn't anything else out there at that price range that offered quite as much as the Nexus 4. The 720p display was great, the camera could hold its own next to the Galaxy S3, and the Snapdragon S4 Pro was a beast. Sure, the lack of LTE was a dealbreaker in the U.S., but in India, 3G networks were taking off at the time, so it was a non-issue. And the fact that it was a Nexus device meant that it was easy to flash custom ROMs on it.

The Nexus 4 paved the way for future phones in the lineup that offered high-end specs for mid-range prices.

Jerry Hildenbrand: NVIDIA Shield Android TV

NVIDIA took Android TV and actually gave it the hardware to do the things we wanted it to do, then kept making it better. Anyone who bought into the Shield TV when it originally launched has all the features and gooey goodness that's inside the latest model, with NVIDIA working on refining the platform further and adding more features as time goes on.

Everything just works.

And everything just works. You see something in an ad online that your Shield TV can do — like stream games from your computer to your television — and set things up as directed then play or watch. It's refreshing to not have to sacrifice a chicken to get things to work properly.

I have two TVs in my house, and a Shield TV is attached to both of them. They'll stay there until the next Shield TV comes along, unless NVIDIA gives me that software update, too.

Russell Holly: Samsung Galaxy Camera

Stop laughing. Samsung was really on to something with the Galaxy Camera. As someone who has to use the absolutely awful interfaces Olympus and Sony and every other company includes in their big-kid cameras, Samsung had the right idea.

It wasn't executed super well, but think about a refresh in 2017 with something that isn't a mobile camera sensor and proper RAW support. It could have completely changed the way we use real cameras if Samsung had stuck with it, which is why I think it's the best.

Your turn What's your favorite Android device?

Tell us your favorite Android device and help maintain our obsession with tech nostalgia!

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

205 Comments
  • I agree on the OG MotoDroid. My first Android and the reason I dumped Black Berry :). Then I used a Galaxy S2 and it made me a Sammy fan. Then I used a Note 2 and that did it :P haha
  • Always going to be the Nexus One. There's been times I wanted to just buy it for nostalgia alone. Was an incredible and fun phone.
  • I came to comment the same. Nexus One 4ever! And I'm actually impressed none of the editors mentioned it. Talking about HTC full metal body.
  • I still have one sitting in my drawer. I bought it at full price when it first came out, and I still can't seem to part with it. Still holds a charge, still works great, and that trackball is amazing. So nice not to have to block my view with my own thumb.
  • MyTouch 4G. First phone I ever rooted. Loved that thing.
  • The BlackBerry Priv. My first Android device and loving it. Best of both worlds.
  • That was a great phone!
  • Ahh the Milestone. My first Android phone. Traded in an iPhone 3GS against it, it came on my honeymoon with me, man I miss that thing. However my absolute favorite has always been the LG Optimus 2X. The original beast phone.
  • The Optimus 2X was an indestructible beast. I almost completely forgot about it, best device, and best price at the time, but I had the 8 gb model which was never a good idea.
  • Andrew - Moto did do a follow on to the Xoom ... I think you forget about the Motorola Xyboard? https://www.cnet.com/products/motorola-droid-xyboard-10-1/review/
  • MY GOD THE XYBOARD How did I was the Verizon-only tablet from my mind?
  • I'm with Daniel here, although they called it the Moto Droid here stateside. I did everything with that phone. rooted/romed and hacked it within an inch of its life! There was even a hack that you could run in recovery that would let you hack your ps3... good times. I still have that phone and it's running CM marshmallow lol.
  • Note 4 is the one for me! So much so I picked up a second one as insurance. It's such a Swiss Army knife of a phone with all its hardware features and yet is a tank that can take a beating but keep on ticking. Wish Samsung would go back and refine its design. IMHO it's the pinnacle of the Note series!
  • Agree
  • Amen brother! That's my comment as well down below
  • Note 4 treated me well, I still have it and use it once in a while.
  • Ahhh yes. The note 4 at launch was very refined IMO. The stock TouchWiz ROM running KitKat was decent. But then Samsung destroyed the phone with some of the worst performing garbage I've ever seen. The Note 4 on 5.0.1 was an abomination. So much so that it's the last Samsung Android device I ever bought.
  • Sounds terrible, MM on my Note 910C has been amazing.
  • That's a amen right there...
  • HTC EVO 4G! Everyone would always ask me how I could carry around such a big phone... 4.3" screen.
  • I miss kickstands.
  • Haha, used to feel the same way when I had the HTC Thunderbolt. But then switched to a Note 2 (now a Note 4) and haven't looked back. Found out there are workarounds for a kickstand but not a large screen and S Pen! :)
  • I was hoping this would be on the list too! Definitely my favorite and the most beastly Android release (of it's time) and iPhone 4 killer. I got up at 3am to wait in line in front of a Sprint store for this phone. In a way, I kinda miss the old school way of lining up to get a phone cuz you're with a bunch of fanboys who share the same mindset. But it's also nice to click pre-order and have a new device at your door step a day or two before it's scheduled release date.
  • The Nexus 5. That phone is still by far one of the best experiences I have had with Andoid. I was using a Note 2 before that, and even though I loved the size of the Note 2, the Nexus 5 was just so much more polished and responsive. Not to mention the quick updates it received!
  • The Nexus 5 was one of my favorites as well. It really showed off the speed and fluidity of basic Android, but still a very usable device. I too came from a note 2, which I enjoyed. It had the best battery life to date, after flashing a custom ROM on it.
  • For me, the Nexus 5 just edges both the Nexus 6P and Nexus One. I liked the minimalist design language that LG placed on it, the ease of rooting it, the surprisingly (for me) capable camera, the relative ease of fixing it when I damaged the display. It's now halfway across the world, being used by my brother in law. I sort of want to buy another one. :-) The Nexus One I still have. I turn it on and tinker with it once in awhile for nostalgia.
  • Nexus 5 for the win FTW. I still have 3 working N5's with 2 others that need new screens. I was buying and fixing them from eBay but would get attached and not want to sell them. That SD800 is still a great chip and the N5 can hang with anything out there. The HOX was also great for its time.
  • Really liked the Nexus 5, never bought one though. Went from the Nexus 4 to the One Plus. Then the Nexus 6.
  • The Incredible was great (if not literally incredible).
  • HTC EVO 4G. I remember reviews said the 4.3 inch screen was monstrous and was hard to use one handed. My times have changed. Most underrated phone- 2013 Moto X. Loved that thing.
  • +1 see above comment
  • Nexus 6
  • +1
  • The original price-point really turned people off from the Nexus 6. (Especially with how well priced the Nexus 4 and 5 had been.) If it had released at a similar price-point to the 6p, I think a ton of people would still be talking about the Nexus6 as the best Nexus device. I bought my Nexus6 for $220. At that price, it has been an INSANE value.
    Great screen, dual front facing speaker, good battery life, wireless charging, water resistant, OIS camera, one model can function on every single US carrier... It's got almost every single feature I would want in a phone. Even features that newer Nexus/Pixel devices lack. So for me, the Nexus6 is definitely atop the list. (Nexus7(2013), Nexus5 and Nexus4 close behind.)
  • +1
  • Nexus 7 2013 was and still is an incredible tablet, the screen is near shatterproof, it still is going strong after all these years. Hardware is enough to play most games at a decent level, marshmallow, good media playback, and gotta love wireless Qi charging. I have a newer 8" tablet that's a paper weight because it dropped once and the screen shattered.
  • The HTC 10 is the 1st device I've ever owned that's made me feel like I don't need to upgrade or change my device. It does everything I want it to do and does it well, and it's not even on Nougat yet.
  • That might be a blessing that it's not on Nougat yet
  • +1, first device I didn't root to make it work "better".
  • Totally agree on the Motorola DROID/Milestone. My first Android. DROID DOES. The marketing campaign that Verizon, Motorola, and Google put behind this device was essentially Android's coming out party. And we're here in 2017 and Motorola and Verizon are still doing DROID and DROID exclusive while everyone else's EVOs have gone away. A little surprising that out of 8, 3 were Motorola devices. I feel as though they've never gotten the same amount of love from Android writers as say HTC. Andrew - Motorola did follow up the Xoom with an 8 and 10 inch Xoom 2, or as it was embarrassingly called in the US (thanks, Verizon!), the DROID XYBOARD. For me, it's a toss-up between the first generation Motorola Moto X and the Motorola DROID Bionic. The Moto X because it bucked the bigger is better trend. It also introduced features that made a smartphone actually smart without the need for Tasker profiles. Trusted Bluetooth, Moto Display - Smart Lock and Ambient Display in Nexus and Pixel. With the DROID Bionic, I would dock that in my Lapdock and feel like the future.
  • Motorola actually did make another tablet after the Xoom. I believe there was a Xoom 2 and then a large and small tablet both called Xyboard. These are easily forgotten. I remember being similarly excited about getting the transformer tf101 back in the Honeycomb days.
  • LG G2, compact, unbeatable battery life for the day, only just been retired after going through me, the missus and the daughter.
  • Ha I was commenting same time as you. Great phone.
  • LG G2 is my "modern" day favorite, size, camera and battery was amazing for me. All time fav is the milestone. Dat nav...
  • Agreed on the hardware side, software could've been better but meh, I've seen worse. Was significantly improved with Lollipop. Only retired it after I broke the mic on a bad fall (it was the only thing that broke), switched to a G5. Nowhere near as well-rounded.
  • My favorite to date and is being used by my son now is the LG G2. Perfect size, awesome screen, double tap to wake, and buttons on the back. Such a great phone.
  • Strictly from a hardware perspective, I absolutely loved the HTC oneX. I still have it, just so I can look at it once in a while.
  • I loved my HTC One X and HTC One X+! I've never known anyone else who owned one.
  • The phone, that really made my fall in love with android, was the Nexus One, that trackball needs to comeback, especially being able to change the color on it and all the roms and kernels for it back in the day, but My HTC One X, was my favorite phone ever, follow by the HTC one.
  • My wife loved her One X so much that when it died, I had to hunt on Ebay to find another despite it being 2 years out of date.
  • Moto X 2013. Ergonomically it was perfect. That phone was a joy to use. Plus, the Moto apps were the best add-on on features of any phone to that point.
  • Agreed, my absolute favorite phone I've owned.
  • Android perfection is the Moto X 2013 with more battery capacity and a better camera. Seriously, up until January 2017 I was still using my 2013 Moto X.
    Age has finally caught up with my Moto X and I had to put it in retirement. Best smartphone I ever owned by far, and it wasn't perfect. Would spring for another Moto X (can't stand calling it a Moto Z) but I don't like these modern 5" plus Android phones.
  • I'm with Harish, Nexus 4!
  • BlackBerry 9900 when it came out. HTC M7 was also fabulous!
  • The mighty note 4
  • Is it OK if I nominate Nokia 6630 and Lumia 720 as the best smartphones I have ever used?? Instead of any Android phone?
  • M7 Google Play edition. Amazing build. Awesome display. Stock Android. Front stereo speakers. IR blaster. Camera was great in low light, unfortunately due to the the resolution and dynamic range limitations I switched to Nexus 5.
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus was the watershed phone that really put all the Nexus-ing stuff of bootloaders, recoveries, kernels, and custom ROMs into the mainstream.
  • Huh
  • My first and least favorite Android phone!
  • Nexus 5 had me really hyped
  • Moto X (2014) is my favorite phone of all time
  • It definitely has to be the Motorola Photon Q. I originally bought a Sony Xperia X10a as my first android phone and then laboured under the delusion that I would receive an update for it, oh how was I wrong. But when I got my Photon q, I learned how to root and rom from a friend of mine and put carbonrom, how I miss that laser cut keyboard.
  • Flo choosing the Incredible made me chuckle because that is the phone that drove my brother away from Android for good.
  • Definitely the HTC One M7 for me. I switched from Verizon to AT&T in no small part because Verizon didn't have the M7 on the market yet. I used it for over three years until this past December when I purchased a ZTE Axon 7 (which looks very similar to my M7, just in a larger shell). I also have fond memories for my first Android phone. My Incredible 2 also from HTC. It was a very reliable device and I only got rid of it because I wanted the M7.
  • Love my Axon 7. I also loved the M7. For me though, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the Sansung Epic 4G. The best slider phone ever.
  • The MyTouch 3G. I remember being so impressed that I could watch video on this thing (my first smartphone). I actually still have it, in a cigar box with my S2. Android was so,... basic.
  • My 1st android phone was Samsung Note 1..and totally loved it... Now lovin Axon 7 6gb ram version... Android has improved with time.. Reminds me of Symbian from Nokia days...
  • The nexus 5 was the device that excited me most when it came out and even after using it for a year. Loved it!
  • Galaxy Nexus. For all its flaws, it was the first phone that made me think we had gotten to a new level.
  • I guess I'm inevitably going to say mostly devices I've owned. The Nexus S stands out as a favourite, such a great phone that lasted so long (mine still works running jellybean). The second gen Nexus 7 was great, so much better than the first. I had a soft spot for the original Moto G. It was only a stop gap phone after my Xperia Z screen cracked, but the little thing had personality and I really liked it. I'm still rocking an Xperia Z3 as my main phone because I just love it so much, and it still runs so well. I really think it's the best phone I've ever owned, and whatever replaces it has big shoes to fill. Things I never owned but wish I'd got the chance to... The Galaxy S2 was really the first phone that made me take Samsung seriously. The screen on it was amazing for the time, with its RGB stripe SAMOLED+ display (rumoured to be coming back with the S8). I really loved the 2nd Gen Moto X. I must have gone onto the Moto Maker site about a dozen times and picked out various designs. I liked pink accents with either the black wood (ash?) or black leather back. Black front, obviously. I wish all phones had that level of personalisation.
  • The XPERIA Z3 How I wish that phone made a comeback.
  • Droid Eris, brought me into the Android ecosystem. Battery was garbage but loved that trackball.
  • Not Android, but the device I get nostalgic for most is definitely my Bold 9900. Sleek and sexy hardware. Everything worked as intended. DAT track pad doe! If only they had the apps...
  • Whether you were a Blackberry fan or hater, you had to admit that 9900 was one sexy device. Still perhaps the best looking device ever made up to this point.
  • Totally agree with Alex about the original HTC (M7). It was the ultimate android phone at the time. It was like a piece of expensive jewellery. Experiencing those boom sound speakers for the first time was a moment that will never be forgotten.
  • I've only had one Android phone so I guess by default it's my favourite. :-) After going from Nokia candy bars to Blackberry Pearl Flip and then Windows Phone I switched to Android with a Moto G (2014) in 2015. It's getting a long in the tooth now in 2017 with its mere 1 GB RAM, 8 GB internal storage and 5 MP camera but most of the time itl performs like a champ. I like Android enough thanks to Moto G that my next phone will also be Android.
  • I'm with Alex. Loved the HTC One. The M8 just couldn't compare to how it felt in the hand. Nothing since has lived up to that. My Nexus 6p is a poor substitute in terms of look and feel
  • I think the Galaxy Nexus (my first Nexus!) wins, though it just barely edges out the Moto X (my first Android device). Both involved custom ROMs and hacking, but the GN was the culmination of my fevered "wish I could have a Nexus" dreams back when I was still on Verizon.
  • Evo 4G, G2, S2, Note 4, M8.
  • I loved the HTC Evo 4G LTE. I think the red kickstand was iconic :-)
  • So, I'm gonna go against the grain and say my LG G4. I love this phone. It's big enough but not too big, and I find the quantum display tech LG's got going on better than anything else on the market for its balance between vivid and natural. The slight curve makes it stand out from the crowd, as do the buttons on the back, but they actually enhance the phone for me and aren't just gimmicks. And the camera...oh, the camera. It's crisp, detailed, and natural, and it performs good or better in all situations. The G4 is the best all-around phone I've ever used, hands down. (For the record, I did get the bootloop and am still saying this.)
  • I left my Blackberry Tour behind for a Samsung Moment. I really liked that phone.
  • Droid Bionic was my first, and you never forget your first. I also loved and still use the Note 10.1 (original).
  • I gotta go with the note 3 (had the note 2 for a day)! Since then i've looked forward to what the next note was going to offer!
  • Nexus 4. I have three of them.
  • Great phone. I have two of them.
  • I agree with Alex. The HTC One M7 absolutely blew me away when I got it. So much so that I was actually browsing Swappa the other day for one to use as a backup phone to my 5X. Runner up would have to be the first real Android phone that I owned, the HTC Evo 4G. That thing opened up the world of Android to me and the next thing I know I was rooting and crackflashing custom ROMS. Such a great phone.
  • For me the HTC EVO 4G, Motorola Photon 4G, and the Note 4. I'm using a V20 right now, but I still have my Note 4. I also have to mention the Samsung Galaxy S3. It fit well in the hands and had a nice screen for the time.
  • Not actually a Android device, but my old HTC HD2 used to rock!
  • HTC HD2 with Android of course.
  • The HTC HD was my first Android phone... Loved it until someone stole it.
  • HD2 was an everything device. It counts no matter what website you're on :)
  • HTC Evo 3D. I know you're gonna say the camera was just a gimmick but for that time it was a fast descent phone. I was living in a mobile home when my water heater died and was literally hanging out of this little closet! Took 3D pics to show my boss why I had to miss work to fix it! 😂
  • I still have my EVO 3D. Lol
  • And I love my LG v20 too!
  • HTC M7 was the first time I was truly satisfied with an Android phone but I feel in love with Android on the HTC Evo. The Palm Pre was my first smart, while that phone had some very cool features and the OS wasn't half bad, mine and my wife kept breaking..ear phone jacks, screen, keyboard.... So finally Sprint offered me a HTC hero..MY LIFE CHANGED.... Then that huge 4.5 screen and LTE....WHOA
  • Out of all the Android devices I've owned the Galaxy S4 was my favorite. I rooted it and it did everything. It was like stepping into the future with the IR blaster, wireless charging, and massive 4.7" display. In fact it held the top spot in my heart until I got the Axon 7. The Moto X Pure would be my favorite but not having an Amoled display was what kept the S4 on top. I may jump back to Samsung with a Galaxy S8 Edge.
  • Droid X
  • I'm with you. DroidX was my first android phone and it did everything I wished for in a phone. Of course it doesn't really do any of the things i know I want in a phone now, but owning that awesome phone was amazing for several years. Even so, my most memorable single android experience was upgrading from the DroidX to the Droid Razr M. That was an exciting day for me, getting the sleek goodness of that tiny phone with the same size screen as my beloved DroidX. Alas, working with only 8GB (like 4GB usable) for another two years was ultimately tedious and made me dump Motorola altogether in favor of LG.
  • I loved the galaxy s3. Sure I first got it when it was on 4.3 jellybean, but I just loved that device at the time. The screen size was great and it was great to just hold.
  • ... my favorite 3 android devices I've owned: HTC EVO, HTC EVO 4G, HTC One and now my HTC One M9. I just looked up the specs on the One and the M9 and HTC really step up their game. Seriously considering getting the 10 unless HTC drops an equivalent to the 10 like a 11 of some sort. I don't wanna loose my BoomSound stereo speaker configuration
  • HTC One X, even though it had horrible battery life. i loved the camera. I kept it even after I stopped using it as a phone. It just recently died completely.
  • Loved my HTC Hero! first Android after iphone 3g
  • I thought the Galaxy S3 & Note 1 were epic.
  • Mines the Moto X 2014, enjoyed it until I had to switch to Verizon for coverage where I live, too many dropped work calls, but anyway it to me was the most perfect size, the way it feels in hand and the screen, the only thing that could have been better was the battery and the fact the one for Verizon didn't get Marshmallow or I would have bought one used. I also like the BlackBerry Priv I have now a lot but there's just something about the Moto when I pick it up.
  • The BlackBerry PRIV baby.
  • Whilst I'm currently running around with a 1st gen. Moto X (and thoroughly enjoying the experience!), and having had a brief dalliance with the very cool Alcatel Idol 3 (4.7), I still can't go past the 1st gen. Moto G. My first smartphone, and I'd venture to suggest one of the most significant Android handsets to date.
  • The Pixel XL is the best Android device I've seen, but my favorite was probably the Dell Streak. It was incredibly solid, had a good modding community, and just felt like the future had arrived. It was ridiculed for its size, then a year later the original Galaxy Note showed up. The Streak was ahead of its time.
  • Although I'm a Note user (been using it since 2011), I bought an HTC One from T-Mobile in April of 2013. Most of my friends swore by Samsung back then until they saw my HTC One. I still remember the look on a friend's face when she held mine in her hands for the first time. Priceless! FFS, IR blaster, ultra pixels, premium build, boom sound, did I mention it had a FFS? This was the first and only phone that I ever called sexy. There were days I would literally just look at it for long period of time, wondering how HTC could create something this beautiful. It was the iPhone of the Android world. I could finally not feel like I was settling by choosing Android over iOS. Unfortunately, it wasn't the all in one phone that I craved. My Galaxy Note 4 is that device.
  • The Nvidia shield TV has become my favorite in the year I've owned it.
  • This guy knows what's up. ^
  • HTC One M7 for me too ... In camellia red ... Loved that phone ... Pity about the battery life
  • So happy to see the HTC Inc on here. It is the first thing that popped into my head. I still have mine sitting on my desk, I have moved on, but will never let go, will never forget. 😀
  • G1 for sure. Huge 3.2" 320X480 screen, 3MP camera and a whopping 192MB of RAM. Can't forget the massive 1150mAh battery. Its what got me addicted in November of 2008 and the most exciting phone event in my life. I still have it and its in flawless condition. Could probably get 2 or 3 dollars for it. The Nexus One was next and I still remember being blown away by how large the screen was when I opened the box. I put my SIM in it last week and boy it is slowwwww.
  • My dad still uses the HTC One M7. It's getting old, but he just won't give it up.
  • I really love my Galaxy S7, but the Nexus 4 is hands down my favorite Android device. If it wasn't for the unreliable battery life, I would have easily used it for more than two years.
  • I'm still using and still loving my Moto X Pure Edition. I haven't gotten anything new yet, since it still does everything I need, and I like the 5.7" screen with small bezels and dual speakers. BTW, I also still have the 2013 Moto X as a backup; however, I prefer the larger form factor these days.
  • I HAD A DROID XYBOARD, DAMMIT!!
  • God I had a few, HTC Evo, M7, M8, and Thunderbolt, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy s5, S7 Edge, Nexus 6 and 6P. I wish there was one I could pick as my favorite but I like them all for different reason. Evo was my first Android device with WiMax (though I only got to use it when I went to Chicago and man it ate the battery). The M7 and 8 for its sheer beauty and Boomsound, the Thunderbolt for my first real venture into 4G, the Galaxy Nexus for my first time with a pure Android phone, my Nexus 6 for my first large screen phone, etc. Each has a special place for me :D
  • I loved my HTC One M7! Such a beautiful and fluid device. The only downside was the camera. One day I dove into the ocean with it in my back pocket. Within 30 seconds later, it was gone for good. I was so sad. I wanted to keep it forever as my favorite phone ever.
  • I'll pitch in another vote for Nexus 7 2013. Good screen, good sound, good performance.
  • Xperia Z3 Compact. The design, performance, and feel in hand were about the best I've found in an Android phone.
  • I still have dinc. First Android device I ever owned.
  • HTC Thunderbolt was my first but the DNA is the best looking and favorite to date. The red on the phone was perfect against the black... sigh... memories!
  • HTC EVO 3D for the grippy case which felt secure and balanced in my hand. Next, I bought the M7 and loved it for 2+ years. My wife has it now and I still get envious whenever I see it or hold it. Just perfect. I've since had an M8 and an M9 and they're too heavy and too long. When I get the 10 it might be my last HTC.
  • I feel so young here... My first phone (and my first love) was the LG G3. People may hate on the peculiar button placement, but I thought that it was amazing! Also, the minimal bezels made it feel far smaller than it should have. Oh, good times...
  • My first Android phone, the original Motorola Droid, was the most memorable Android phone for me. I had the BlackBerry Storm before it and I quickly got rid of that failure in favor of the metal Motorola Droid. I loved how sleek it looked, the slide out keyboard, a rooting the phone to slow down the processor to preserve battery life. Those were the good ol' days. I was nostalgic for another Droid and picked up the Moto Z Force Droid. It's not the same, but the software is so much better.
  • My first love with android.was a Dream, the O.G. HTC G1!! (Kudos to Cache11) . Still in perfect condition and powered on twice a year for old time sake, running gingerbread CM and later set strictly for emulation, played the heck out of A Link to the Past on it. 8)
    My dream was replaced with Samsung for 4 gens, rom'd of course (early touch wiz was horrendous) and i loved my S2 almost as much as the G1 before, going Nexus. Still in mourning that my 6P is the last.
  • HTC One M7 The first Android I've ever flashed a custom ROM on and also the first Android that made me sit up and pay attention. At the time. nothing aside from Apple came close to its design and build quality. It was a real breath of fresh air to have a premium Android that actually looked and felt like its price tag. Mind you, this was before soft-touch plastic phones became really popular like the Nexus 5 (still one of the best feeling plastic phones of all-time, and maybe even one of the best feeling phones in general) but the fantastic speakers and snappy plus clean software made it one of the best Androids at the time, although its camera lets it down. It's still with me, running Android 7.1.1 on the January 2017 patch. It's amazing just how much support this phone has from the community. The other phones I've used past the M7 as a daily driver, the LG G4, Galaxy Note 7 and Moto Z were undoubtedly better than the M7 in their own ways, but they don't really have the charm that made the M7 so special in my heart, although the Note 7 was the closest before the battery fires came in.
  • My brother and I both had Droid Incredibles but his had the LCD and mine came with AMOLED. It was the best phone. I think bringing it back, same size with larger screen with less bezel of course with modern internals would be killer for HTC. There are still plenty of people that don't like large phones. Do it HTC.
  • Htc hero
  • My HTC M7 has to be my favorite phone ever. I loved everything about it, really the only phone I've ever had that I would just take out and... just look at. The front facing stereo speakers were amazing, it ran flawlessly. Still have it. Still take it out from time to time and update it and play with it. Despite the small size, I think it's the only one of my backup phones I wouldn't mind taking out and using as a daily driver in a pinch. A very close second: the original Motorola Droid, purchased on launch weekend November 2009 iirc. I gleefully abandoned a Windows Mobile Palm Treo brick (candy bar is too generous a term for that thing) for this incredible new marvel: huge high-resolution screen (yes, at one time 3.5" was huge), Google apps including Nav and Sky Map, the docking station that activated the alarm clock, and that delicious slide-out keyboard. Nothing has ever come close to the audible satisfaction of the "snick" of that keyboard sliding open! The OG Droid was somewhat crude and limited but an absolute revelation compared to what I'd been using.
  • I have three, simply because they were all ahead of their time - LG G2, HTC OneX and HTC M7, they all offered something new such as curved edges, boom sound speakers, stunning screens, minimal bezels, metal frames, rear buttons, knock-on etc etc. The G2 is still my old 'go to' phone - it feels simply stunning. I also have to give a shout out to the LG Optimus 3D Max - I so wish one (or more) of the phone manufacturers would release a new 3D phone with modern day tech!! I truly cherish the 3D photos and videos I took with the LG
  • I would have to say the og nexus 5...I still have it although dead, I used it for 3 years and it never slowed down for me. Lag ceased to exist when I picked up that phone...I have a nextbit robin now, but man do I miss the nexus line
  • The Nexus 4 and the Note 1. I remember everyone laughing at the Note 1 but a year later the trend had been set. Both my Nexus 4 and Note 1 are still in use. The Nexus 4 is with my dad and the Note 1 sits in a dock connected to a small Class D amplifier with a stripped build running Spotify.
  • The HTC ONE X was the first/original HTC ONE branded phone.
    The Galaxy S3 absolutely floored me when i first came to Android land. But the S4 really cemented my love for android and its many quirks. Posted via the Android Central App
  • HTC One X. (which I argue is the first "one" phone) My wife still use it every day.
  • I've had a few from HTC and Samsung over the years. All have annoyed me with poor battery life, insufficient memory, duplicate apps or janky SD card support such that I've had to change eventually. Now I've got a Nexus 6p and I love it.
  • My favorite android phone wasn't an android phone, the HD2. I still have 2 of them. I was using them back when it was a dual boot system. When it became a true android phone from a boot standpoint (flashing roms), I feel in love with android and it's possibilities. HTC's build quality was outstanding. If they made a new phone built like the HD2 now, I would buy it. Oh, and let's not forget the 4.3 inch screen back then.
  • mine was the Note 7, man that was a great phone and I can't believe I haahd to return, not 1, but 2 of them! that sucks and I can't wait until the Note 8 comes out.....
  • My first foray into Android was a Casio Commando and I was hooked. I still have it and will sometimes use it for listening to music while I'm working in the garage. My plan, at some point, was to mount it in my lawn tractor. But, the phone that really got me to want to learn more about Android was my HTC One m8. Still using it now and not in a hurry to upgrade. I love the front firing speakers and being able to have the SD card. I've thought about an upgrade, but nothing has really pushed me to want to pull the trigger.
  • It's either going to be my OG Droid, which introduced me to the world of Android and proper smartphones in general back in March of 2010; or my current Pixel XL, which is easily the most cohesive and complete Android device I've ever owned. My brief time with the Note 7 also made an impression, what an amazing piece of design and engineering. Oh well.
  • Any Galaxy Note in their own time.
  • +1 I loved how I could put an aftermarket battery (6400ma) and case on it and literally go all day with it. Plus the large screen. I miss all of that. Best phone so far... The 7 Edge. In the future I'll be going with - pure - simple - best plug and play platform for all applications - and the most frequently updated phones. Pixel or Apple.
  • I have been a big fan of Samsung phones for a while and I think the current S7 line is absolutely fantastic but the Pixel has me so spoiled. You will not regret either choice honestly, had the iPhone had a dramatically superior camera to the competition this year I'd be rocking it instead of a Pixel.
  • Samsung Galaxy S2. The first powerful Android phone that got me to switch out my Apple iPhone 3GS back in 2011. I haven't looked back since. Also the Nexus 7 (2nd generation) was a great tablet for your money back in 2013 IIRC the year.
  • Loved my Nexus S, even though it was seriously underpowered. The size, the screen, and that slight curve to the body was perfect. Getting updates straight from Google was awesome back in 2011.
  • I liked the HTC Incredible 2.
    I liked the comment of Alex Dobie about the HTC One (M7). They got rid of the plastic.
    Can't believe people pay $750.00 for a phone that has a cheap plastic look and feel. Yea I know they call it "glass" now but it still has the same cheap look and feel as plastic.
  • Nothing like owning a Nexus 4 back in the day. Got it 4 months after release but I loved it. Everything about it from the specs to the design to the UI. It was great. Then finally retired for something more powerful like the LG G Pro. But modern device that really stands to me is the Moto Z.
  • Galaxy Nexus. Lots of issues (battery and camera spring to mind), but it was the first modern smartphone with a bud high res screen and on screen buttons . It's legacy lives on.
  • For the first year and a half of ownership, nothing compares to my Note 4. It's still an amazing phone when above 50% battery, when it shuts off. This is my fourth (and last) samsung phone. I'm convinced that samsung builds in problems to make sure you replace their phones no later than 2 years after purchase.
  • Sounds like a battery problem. Mine performed similarly until I bought a new battery, now it runs like new.
  • I agree about the note 4, rooted it and put note 7 addition on it. Truly a beast!
  • Easy. Motorola Razr MaxxHD. Great performance (for the time) all day battery, easy. Two, with care. Good screen (for the time). Awesome radio performance. I still have it. It's still awesome. It still gets used.
  • My first Android phone was the HTC Droid Incredible. Man, what memories. But my favorite? It's my current daily driver, the Galaxy Note Edge. I love this device. It does continue to impress me all the time.
  • My favorite device so far is the Galaxy S7. It's not the most imaginative device, and there a few "magical" features I wish all flagship would have, but it's extremely well made and showcases that even without gimmicks, Android is the way to go for manufacturers and users alike.
  • My first android and favorite was the htc hero, the first phone i Rooted and still works.
  • I think my fav was the Galaxy S3. It was a huge jump from my T-mobile MyTouch. The increase in speed and the easier access to the entire universe made me a forever fan. (Galaxy S6 now)
  • The HTC Evo 4G was my first Android, but the HTC One (M7) was my favorite. My current HTC 10 is a very close second fav, but the M7 was the perfect size, and the front-facing speakers gave the phone a unique look.
  • Mine was the Nexus 7 {2013}. Not a phone, but a tablet. Great piece of technology. Still using it.
  • Moto G1 (2013) This phone introduced me to Android and no other phone has felt as magical since.
  • Mine is the Galaxy SIII
  • My favorite device is OnePlus One which showed for the first time that a great and high end phone does not need to be very heavy on pocket. With its high end hardware, good display and build quality, a good camera with 4K Video, enough customization option to play with all the time, it was my main driving device from 2014 mid to 2016.
  • ThunderBolt my first Android after a regrettable Omni/Windoze try at "smart fones"
    4G rocked and pics and videos were as good as any camera I had
    After a DNA I'm stilled hooked on my
    LG G3 w/Hyperion 6Ah (easier to type than 6,000 mAh) battery We also have 3 LG/ 4G tablets. My Nexus 7 got bricked by software
  • Meh.. Every new flagship better than previous. No sentiment for old devices.
  • Samsung stratosphere thought that was the cats ass,now rockin lg v20 ,just a bit different
  • My own favourite is the Samsung Galaxy S2. I'm still using it nowadays ! Very strong phone.
    Gustavo Woltmann
  • My favorite android device was my HTC Hero. The white phone, the "chin", the trackball, the HTC sense UI. THE EVERYTHING. I LOVED That phone. I still have it actually. But the trackbar and nav buttons are not working correctly. It was such an amazing device at the time. A few of my close friends had the iPhone, and I had the Hero. I blew their minds with the hero and what I could do with it.
  • For me it is Oneplus One. after 2.5 years its still going strong. long may he reign
  • OG Droid made me an android fan, and I liked my HTC Evo. But my current phone, the Galaxy Note 4, is my most consistent, favorite phone.
  • For me it's the Motorola Moto X 2014 - I had one in white/bamboo which I absolutely loved! Perfect size, fast charging, beautiful screen. Swapped it for an LG G3 but instantly regretted it the same evening and bought another Moto X 2014 in the same colours instead.
  • Note 3 here. Best android phone I've used till date. Finally sold it and got the Nexus 5x
  • Agree, I am still using mine. However, the size of the note 1 was the best for me. The width was what made it - the newer notes are longer and skinnier.
  • for me its a tie between then Nexus one and the HTC EVO 4g my first "BIG" (at the time) phone.
  • I'll never forget you, old HTC Hero (Sprint), You were my first Android phone and the first phone I rooted.. A couple of phones/years I landed on a Nexus 5 and it's by far been my favorite phone still, all the custom roms were fun. RIP my old devices, you are missed. May you forever sit in my drawer, with bad batteries. F.
  • I like the LG G4,it has a good battery life and great features. That back of the phone,beautiful.
  • The Nexus 4... My favorite Android device of all time. Then The Moto X 13 and the third one.. very difficult
  • Motorola Photon 4G. Most solid smartphone I've ever owned.
  • This list is incomplete without the original HTC Evo and its revolutionary 4.3 inch screen and built in metal kickstand. It was amazing at the time. First, and only phone I ever pre-registered for. Big upgrade from my HTC Hero. I still charge it up a play with it every now and then just to appreciate how far Android has come.
  • And I forgot to mention its lightning fast WIMAX capability.........if you could find a WIMAX area to use it.
  • It has to the the HTC Desire (aka Bravo?) - at one time, in the UK at least, this WAS the 'face of android'.
    I put CM7 on it and have used it a few times as my emergency or 'international sim roaming' handset.
    thumbs up for the Sony Xperia Z3 compact. a camera button and excellent camera, super connectivity (the NFC is invaluable), just the right size in the hand, slim.
    I have one in my drawer, and I'm still hesitating about selling it on..
    My daily drivers now are OnePlus3 and a £65 dual-sim 'unbranded' chinese. (3 sims 4 numbers, 2 handsets!)
    Camera and Music are my main requirements.
  • For me the HTC One M7 is still the most beautiful phone ever made bar none!
  • I have a nostalgic spot for the ZTE Overture, my first real Android smartphone. I had had the ZTE Score M which I picked up as my first device as part of one of those come over to Android transitioning out of dumb phones promos. The Score M was laughably bad but for a new user it was something. Finally upgraded to the Overture and while still very much an entry level it was very capable. Sadly I made the mistake of getting really involved with a really intensive game and literally burned that phone up - 133 degrees when it auto-shutdown and I warped the battery. Had to move on to the Moto G1 which got me into the Moto G line. I'm now rocking at Moto G4...
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 2 was my first Android phone. Buttery smooth out of the box (Project Butter on Android 4.1), good battery life (until the first software update), one of the best camera at the time of the release, the S-Pen was well optimized and useful when taking notes during classes and also so many memories attached with it like rooting, installing and trying out custom roms. Now I have a Nexus 6P.
  • HTC Desire. Enough said. Truly put Android on the map
  • My favorite android phone is still the Nexus One. Great design (still looks good) feels great in the hand, perfect size still (for me) and I love the track ball! Yes, I still have mine and occasionally turn it on to remember the days when phones weren't all black glass slabs of indeterminate make.
  • The N1 was my first Android and my fondest memories as well. It was so cool and different compared to the iphone 3gs that everyone else with a smartphone that had moved on from blackberry was carrying. Back then you could see that android was going to be big...really big. The N1 was the first good phone from Google that started it all (the G1 was cool but lacking in a lot of ways). My phones: Nexus One->Nexus S->HTC One M7->Nexus 6P. I have never owned a "bad" android device (and that's not easy to accomplish since there are/have been so many terrible androids) and I owe a lot of that to the great coverage and insight here on AC. Thanks!
  • My first android was the LG Revolution and the experience was not good. Bad enough I'm on my second iPhone. I totally agree on the Asus Nexus 7, I still have mine! Still use it for a few game accounts. It's a wonderful little tablet. I guess that's my favorite. I would say my gorgeous Pixel C, but it's currently having screen problems that should have been corrected by now. So not happy
  • My HTC One M7 was my first flagship Android and I loved it. My Galaxy S7 Edge is starting to overtake it though.
  • I'm with you Russell. I'd like to replace my Galaxy Camera 2, but I don't believe that a camera exists that can actually replace it, and I know that a phone cannot... So I continue on with it until someone puts Android back into a real camera.
  • My first Android phone was the HTC Evo. Coming from the Palm Pre, I instantly loved the hardware and hated the software. It felt to me that Android (2.1 back then) was a lot of tapping through endless menus and submenus to find simple actions. Over time I learned to love it though. It was fast, it had a huge screen for 2010, and it had a friggin' kickstand! It may not be my all time favorite Android device (that may be between the N4 and the OG OPO, I still miss that battery life), but it certainly was unique and bold in many ways and it opened my eyes to the possibilities of Android.
  • My first was my Sony Xperia X10. A widely hated phone, but it just felt so nice to hold.
    My favourites...
    Nexus 5. So great for the money. The dream for balancing price and power.
    Moto X 2013. Such a nice little blob of a phone. Mine still works and is pulled out when someones phone dies. A bit better of a screen, a better camera, and I'd buy another phone that size and shape again.
  • The DROID DNA has been one of my favorites for years. Large 5" 1080p beautiful screen, thin, water resistant, wireless Qi charging and it was released in November of 2012. Have been waiting for a followup, and the U series comes close, but no wireless charging, and does not work on Verizon. The wait continues.
  • My favourite would have to be the Nexus 4. Loved the design of that phone. It was so good for it's time. The Nexus 5 made some important internal upgrades but I preferred the design of the Nexus 4.
  • HTC Magic (might have been the "mytouch" or something in the US?) That was my first intro to Android, and to this day the device has me smitten. Great in hand feel, and with CM on it the little thing flew. Loved it.
    Nowadays I still have my faithful Nexus 5 in my drawer, running 7.1.1, which I still play with occasionally because it's fantastic :-)
  • Probably the Nexus S for me. I'd had a feature phone for years and was reasonably happy with it, but it was, after all, just a phone. It didn't even have a camera, but you could play a pinball game on it, which was fun. That was as smart as my phone got. I'd tried a Pearl Flip from Blackberry, but with 2G, no touchscreen, and a frankly disappointing user interface I ended up giving it away and going back to my old phone. The Vibrant (T-Mobile's version of the original Galaxy S, remember those days?) was my first experience with Android, but filled with carrier bloat and Samsung's Touchwiz nonsense I sold it within a few months. I saw the potential though, so I was there on launch day for the Nexus S. That phone was a revelation- Google Android, slick interface, no bloat, and the power to run what at the time seemed like a universe of apps. I put an extended internal battery in it. I rooted it. I installed CyanogenMod on it. I ran that thing for two full years as my daily driver. That phone was what made me fall in love with Android and with Google's vision for the ecosystem. I haven't owned anything but a Nexus since, and when the time comes I plan to buy a Pixel or whatever they're calling it by then.
  • i always wanted a moto milestone (aka the moto droid) but they were so rare you almost never saw one, as such i got a desire Z, which i loved and still think is one of the best android devices ever made
  • Some of you mentioned this but I definitely say the original Moto X from 2013! It had a personally designed Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System, that while not as high-end as say, the LG G2 or Nexus 5, still ran buttery smooth. It was one of the only phones to have stock android and promised android updates nearly as fast, sometimes FASTER than the Nexus! It had legendary ergonomics and the Moto Maker allowed for near infinite customization. Of course it had an average camera and battery life but it was easily one of the best phones of the year. It was the first phone in a long time that proved that you don't need bleeding edge specs to run very well.
  • my m7 and xoom still have a place on my nightstand and i regularly keep them charged and use them. my lg v10 is still holding strong for now. if i could have afforded it back in late 2009 i would have got the htc hero, but instead i got the samsung instinct hd (not an android phone). from that i went to the lg optimus g, that was a big change but only lasted a couple months because i dropped the phone and the cracked screen made it completely useless. i was done with sprint by then and jumped to tmobile and started with the m7.
  • I will always have a soft spot for my OG Droid on Verizon with that slide out keyboard. However, the last Android device that I had before switching to Windows Mobile (again) was the Droid Bionic. It had such promise and I even bought the laptop shell that turned the device into a bonifide mobile laptop with data you could use. So much promise in a device that went to waste. Alas, it was my last foray in Android for a while until I came back with the LG G3. Oh the changes that took place while I was gone.
  • HTC One M7 was my first smart phone that wasn't an iPhone. I ditched Apple after the Iphone 5 (after 6 months with it) and boy was I in love with my HTC One M7. The Nvidia Shield TV is a love affair I continue to have. 2 awesome additions to the list.
  • The HTC M7 was my favorite Android device, wish HTC can lure me back again someday.
  • HP TouchPad that I loaded Cyanogenmod on. My real first taste of Android. The tablet is still in use today and at almost 6 years old, still gives some of today's cheap tablets a run for the money.