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I look at Android, over the years, and I realize that I look at the platform in stages. You can do the same for pretty much every other platform, especially when we tie in the hardware market, but for Android it’s different. The mobile operating system from Google has seen a lot of different variations over the years, and it’s pretty much the only platform that has made any huge changes over the years. Indeed, Android’s initial release certainly doesn’t look anything like Android 4.x Jelly Bean, and that counts for a lot in such a diverse, and competitive market.

Android’s popularity is ever increasing, and it probably won’t slow down anytime soon.

Google owes a lot of that growth to its partners, from the likes of Motorola, Samsung and HTC. But, also, there has to be something said for the brand names that have popped into existence thanks to Android, and the steady surge in hardware sales. While some could argue that not all brand names have done well, it’s safe to say that some have pioneered Android into the steady presence within the lime light it currently holds on the global stage of smartphone sales.

Devices like the Galaxy Note II, or the Galaxy S III, for example. Or, even if it has faced a flood of devices over the years, the DROID name. And we can’t forget the Nexus name, now can we? Of course we can’t.

All of these brand names stand out amongst the Android crowd. These brand names are one reason why HTC created the One brand, I imagine. To put a focus on a single brand, rather than a flood of devices with the manufacturer’s label on it. A focus on “less is more,” when it comes to device numbers, is a good focus to have.

Which is why I’m curious, Dear Reader, to find out if you think any of those other Android-based brands hold a candle to Samsung’s Galaxy name.

Talking about stages, I look back over the years that Android has been available, and I can recall specific events that showed off a feature, or even just a noteworthy version number and name. (Let’s face it, Android has the best software version titles out there.) But, it’s also the events that brought us new brand names that stand out, too. Motorola and Verizon unveiling the first DROID device, for example. Or, HTC and Google coming together to throw back the curtain off the Nexus One. Even Samsung’s first reveal of the Galaxy S was noteworthy.

Each of these brands have survived, if not flourished, over the years thanks to specific features that they all share, as well as the unique ones that make them stand out. It could also very well come down to allegiance, too. I know several people who would rather own a Motorola-manufactured DROID product, versus any other Android-based device. On the other hand, I know someone who would never touch a Motorola-branded DROID, and prefers to get their DROID fix from HTC.

Those people also skipped the Galaxy S III when it became available on Verizon’s network, simply because it didn’t have that DROID lineage pulsing through its hardware history. But I also know people who will never buy another device other than a Galaxy handset, whether that’s a Galaxy Note or Galaxy S. They just prefer the brand name, because they believe it stands for something more than just another random device, among other reasons.

And obviously the Galaxy name has become something of its own behemoth within the mobile industry. Samsung is busy selling a ridiculous number of these devices globally, and even here specifically in the United States the Galaxy name doesn’t go unnoticed. It’s actually bolstered with each new device that falls under the Galaxy umbrella. The Galaxy Note II is still sitting all royally at the top of our expert's Smartphone Rankings (and at second place in the personal rankings), and that probably won’t change anytime soon. Samsung’s release cycle, along with shoving new, better hardware, along with new, more unique features, into their phones makes the Galaxy name untarnished by a ridiculous amount of devices (here in the States), which is certainly a good thing.

So tell me, Dear Reader. Which brand name out there competes the most against Samsung’s Galaxy brand? Or, is the Galaxy name just so far out ahead of the competition that there’s no real challenge against the “King of Android?” If that’s the case, what do you think the other manufacturers need to do to get back into that particular race for the top of the hill? Let me know what you think!


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