I don't have a favorite Android manufacturer anymoreEvan Selleck - Contributing Editor
I can still remember when Android as a whole was still struggling for relevance across the mobile market. Back then, a lot of people thought Google's mobile endeavors were going to just fall flat on their face, for a lot of different reasons. The simplest, though, is what we've attached to Microsoft in the past, and most recently BlackBerry: the mobile industry itself. Back then, Android was "sure to die" simply because it couldn't cut it against the competition.
Of course, we know that didn't happen, did it? In fact, it's quite the opposite. Manufacturers across the globe attached themselves to Google's mobile operating system, and we've had a flood of devices ever since. Ever since HTC's original Hero, and the importance of proprietary software was discovered, the devices and the software we've seen on them have covered a wide range of design, features, and just about everything else.
Android went from just an experiment in the eyes of a lot of people, to a household name in a matter of years. It's an impressive feat, to be sure, and there doesn't seem to be any slowing of the tidal wave anytime soon, either. Companies that are struggling for the third place spot in the mobile OS market are doing so because Android has dominated its position so well.
The one thing I remember from back then is the stark difference in devices from one manufacturer to another. Whether it was LG to HTC, or Samsung to Motorola, all of the companies had such unique designs and features that each device was different enough to stand out within the Android crowd. Not all of them were like that, of course, but many were.
To be completely level, I also remember that a lot of devices just weren't that good. There were a lot of shining stars for Android back then, as people waited for that "iPhone killer." Whether it arrived or not back then is really up to personal choice, but many would argue that it hasn't been until recently that Android, both on the software and hardware level, has come close to Apple's flagship series.
It was easy to have a favorite Android manufacturer back then, because the "hit" devices came from each company so randomly, and since Android handsets were arriving at a rapid pace, many devices launched and then were forgotten pretty quickly. HTC, Samsung, LG or Motorola could have easily had the best phone of the month, but were quickly replaced by another company's "latest effort."
But, everything is eventual. Now, we're still flooded with Android devices, but it's not like it was then. Instead, the majority of Android-based handsets we get our hands on now are high-end, well-built, and fantastic devices all around. The software has evolved so much in such a short period of time, that Android truly has grown up.
And the hardware! Oh wow, the hardware. Thanks to Android we've seen our devices leapfrog the competition in just about every category: display technology, display size, thinness, processor tech, RAM allowance, and software features. Whether or not you believe an Android device has the best camera available, there's no doubt that camera technology has evolved at such a high rate of speed because of Android's forward momentum.
Truthfully, I can't help but think that having a favorite Android manufacturer in today's world is harder than it has ever been. Why? Because they're all making such awesome handsets. Samsung's refined its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series to stand out as their flagship handsets. LG shocked the world with its G2. Motorola did the same with the Moto X. And HTC, while still struggling to regain its old dominance in the market, manufactured one of the best devices to date.
Having a favorite Android manufacturer isn't so much about the king of Android anymore, either. Each manufacturer, more so than ever before, is honestly bringing such great devices to market in one way or another, that it would be a shame to see any of them stop doing that for any reason. And that's why I don't have a favorite anymore. I just want to see all of them keep doing what they're doing, and want to see what they have next.
Do you have a favorite company that manufactures Android devices? Has it been the same favorite for multiple years, or is it a new revelation? Why did that particular company win you over? Let me know!