Criticizing gadgets on Android is extremely easy – for example, you can always find cons in the system itself, which Steve Jobs considered shamefully stolen.

But today we will go the other way and remember the most worthy devices running OS from Google. It’s not “top”. They are all equally good.

So let’s get started.

Editorial opinion may not reflect the views of the author.

1. HTC Desire

What you need to know: the smartphone that nearly broke the system


In the spring of 2010, Apple fans felt uneasy. While their favorite company was selling the iPhone 3Gs (a plastic device with an outdated body and a mediocre screen), HTC created a real monster. Desire was cooler than the current iPhone in almost everything – from the clarity of the display to the amount of RAM.

The design of the Asian gadget did not cause rejection – on the contrary, I did not want to let go of the phone. The HTC Sense interface (big clock, weather, widgets) felt nice, fresh and thoughtful. The keyboard evoked a feeling of comfort and refinement. And below the screen was the central button, which was also a convenient touchpad: it is not surprising that she quickly gained fans.

Due to the good hardware, the device really flew on Android 2.1 – the Desire was in no way inferior to the iPhone 3Gs in terms of speed. The only drawback of the Taiwanese device was rightly considered the battery.

Perhaps it was he who gave rise to memes about the voracity of the entire system, but at that time they were true. Desire owners carried chargers with them everywhere and constantly repeated that if it were not for the operating time (half a day in average mode), they would be 100% satisfied with the smartphone.

In the summer of 2010, the iPhone 4 was released, and against its background, the first Desire already looked like a toy. But HTC did not despair and began to develop this line. Unfortunately, there were few bright devices in it: one can only recall Desire Z (with a keyboard), Desire 816 (a simple phablet) and Desire 826 (with a huge front camera).

Of course, their success cannot be compared with the triumph of the first model. A model that clearly infuriated Jobs to the point of unconsciousness.

2LG Optimus One

What you need to know: the first budget smartphone on Android, for which it was not a shame


Six years ago, the Android market was very primitive. Up to 10 thousand rubles – unbearable slag with an oak resistive screen (an alternative is the Xperia X10 mini with a tiny diagonal). Up to 20 thousand rubles – tolerable gadgets and cheaper flagships. After 20 thousand rubles – all the most pleasant and non-laging.

LG Optimus One has changed the paradigm. Shortly after the launch, it was sold for 8 thousand rubles. For you to understand, a similar HTC Wildfire cost about 13-15 thousand. There really was no difference between them, so Optimus One instantly became a super hit. It was bought about as actively as it is now – Xiaomi Redmi 3S. The reason is the excellent combination of price and quality.

Optimus One had a juicy and sensitive screen, a tolerable camera, a good battery (enough for daylight hours), decent sound (in headphones) and adequate stuffing. But his main advantage was endurance – he could fall dozens of times and remain intact. Micro scratches don’t count.

Even now, Yandex.Market is visited by people who are so attached to Optimus One that they changed their smartphone only in 2016. All users unanimously note the reliability and strength of the Asian state employee – the phone was truly indestructible.

The role of “Optimus” in history is extremely significant. After its release, other Android vendors turned off their impudence and reduced the cost of mid-range phones by 15-20%.

3. Samsung Galaxy Note (2011)

What you need to know: the main achievement of the mobile division of Samsung


The debut Galaxy Note shocked absolutely everyone. I well remember my emotions when I first saw him in the store: a hefty carcass stood in a transparent rack next to 3.5-inch midgets and made me scream “Wow! Really?! Isn’t that a tablet?!

The price went off scale, but it was impossible to find fault with it: by all indications, it turned out that Samsung had made the most ambitious Android smartphone at that time. The Galaxy Note was probably an experiment, but it so happened that the Koreans set the trend for big screens – Apple joined only three years later.

What I admired most about the Note was the smart pen. When Jobs said that a stylus was not needed, he clearly meant ordinary plastic sticks, and not a useful tool for entering and copying data.

Alas, Steve passed away from a serious illness a month after the presentation of the Galaxy Note, so his opinion about smart pens will remain a mystery.

It is important that Samsung not only organized a revolution in the smartphone market, but also made the best use of the opportunity it discovered. Note series phablets were hits until 2016, and then a well-known tragedy occurred, and the line burned to death.

4. Google Nexus 5

What you need to know: The most practical Android smartphone ever


In my opinion, the progress of Android smartphones was seriously slowed down after Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors began to be installed in gadgets. They were so productive that even now, four years later, my Sony Xperia Z Ultra does not lag at all.

Equipped with the same die-hard chipset, the LG Nexus 5 blew up the market for three reasons. Firstly, the price affected: 350 dollars (about 14-15 thousand in “gray” online stores) looked much more attractive than 500-600 dollars for the flagships of other brands. Even the poor kit, which consisted of an adapter and a cord, did not scare away.

Secondly, Google and LG took care of the camera – it clearly entered the top of 2013, although it did not impress with the number of megapixels (8). Thirdly, the minimalistic design worked: the Nexus 5 did not have a single extra detail at all. And when the red version went on sale, Android fans experienced ecstasy at all.

According to the conspiracy theory, the fifth Nexus sold so well that in the summer of 2014, Samsung subtly hinted to Google: either we cooperate with you without dumping, or we invest in Tizen and stop depending on you. In the States, according to the same theory, they were afraid of losing such a large client and preferred the first option.

This crazy story can be considered complete nonsense, but it’s worth admitting the obvious: after the Nexus 5, Google has not released a single super hit.

5Moto X Force

What you need to know: smartphone with very big balls


For me personally, this gadget was the brightest revelation of 2016. While other companies were thinking about how to reduce the thickness of the case to the level of a credit card, Motorola (or Lenovo, which owns the brand) went ahead and made a truly masculine phone.

X Force is a brutal, rough and moderately well-fed phablet designed for those who don’t care about neatness. The screen of a smartphone can only be scratched, but not broken. The hypothesis was tested even by throws from a window from the third floor: the glass panel still did not crack. In short, the gadget from Moto is a real clot of testosterone: to realize this, just turn the phone in your hands for a couple of minutes.

And the X Force also charges quickly (60% in 35 minutes), shoots great (21 megapixels) and is sold for adequate money (less than 30 thousand rubles with a starting price tag of 50 thousand). The only problem is availability: last year’s flagship is no longer easy to find in stores.

PS You can tell about your favorite Android gadgets in the comments.

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