Over the next 10 days, leading up to Pixel day, we will be celebrating each year of android. We will talk about the software, phones, android community, and more. One site that will also be in the center of this celebration will be DroidForums. This forum has been very instrumental over the years with capturing so much android history. Phones were predicted here, shown here, used here, talked about here, and modded here.
2010 key phones:
The nexus one: This phone was ahead of its time being people were not ready to buy a phone separate of a carrier. And $530 was a steep price to pay all at once (now $530 is considered a mid-tier phone). Though it may not have gotten the numbers Google may have hoped, it would become a part of Android lure for years to come. But at the time, Verizon having the Droid overshadowed the Nexus One. This phone was really a late 2009 phone.
Droid Incredible: There were rumors that Google was creating a Nexus One for Verizon. It never panned out, likely because of the fight to control the experience, but instead we got the Droid Incredible. This phone had a huge fanbase around it. And the second phone in the droid line of devices with its optical track pad.
HTC Evo 4G: HTC continued their dominance for android. They were literally the name to know and they gave Sprint one of the best android phones of that year. The Evo 4G had one of the largest screens in a phone. Paired with a kickstand, this phone made such an impact that other carrier would request their own version of the Evo (ie HTC Thunderbolt).
Droid X: The Droid may have started it all, but the Droid X was the Droid finally being recognized as "the phone". This was the phone for those who did not want a keyboard. The 4.3 inch display, large battery, and the hump defined this phone. But this also introduced us to locked bootloaders and pre-installed apps (can you say Blockbuster video app). Despite all that, the Droid X remain one of the most popular phones ever in the Droid-line of phones.
Droid 2/Droid 2 Star Wars Edition: Motorola took the Droid and fixed the headphone jack, updated the keyboard (fixing the complaints of the flat keyboard on the Droid), and added the same processor as the Droid X. What you had was a more improved Droid overall, despite it having a locked bootloader and preinstalled apps.
Droid Pro: How about a Droid with a blackberry style look. That was the Droid Pro. And really, this didn't work for a lot of people. The Droid & Droid 2 were the goto phones for those wanting a physical keyboard. For everyone else, it was the Droid X. But this was Verizon's attempt to get those business customers onto the Droid line.
Samsung Galaxy S phones (Fascinate/Captivate/Epic 4G/etc): Samsung had to tailor their Samsung Galaxy S to each carrier. With each carrier wanting to distinguish itself from one another, they each had different phones. Though they all were practically the same phones, there was something changed to make it unique to the carrier. Eventually Samsung would move away from this model.
Nexus S: Gingerbread and the ability to buy though more carriers (T-Mobile and Sprint), this was Google's second attempt at the Nexus line. Partnered with Samsung, the phone was based on the Samsung Galaxy S line of phones.
I had the Incredible. It was my first smartphone. That's was a good phone. HTC made some great phones. It had 512mb of ram. I found this site because of the Gingerbread update. I wasn't sure if the update was legit because I never seen one before. So I checked it out here and the rest is history.
The phone that stood out the most to me from that list is the Droid X. I remember when two co-workers each bought one in either late 2010 or early '11. I remember thinking that the phone was huge. LOL. Look at us now, that thing would look tiny next to my Z2, but at the time it seemed like a monster of a phone.
This was the year where we saw carriers roll out their LTE line up of phones. We even had one phone that was rumored to be this super phone, only to find out it was other than super. But let's get started.
Again, HTC was the goto company, releasing several LTE phones for 2011. The Inspire (AT&T's EVO 4g), Droid Incredible 2, Thunderbolt (Verizon's Evo 4G), HTC Rezound, and HTC EVO 3D, and Evo Shift. So HTC was putting in some work in 2011.
Let's start by talking about the Thunderbolt. Those a part of this forum, remember the 500 page talk about all of the hype over this phone. In case you forgot, here is the thread (HTC Thunderbolt Release Date). Leading up to the actual release were rumors of issues that eventually manifested. The phone was plagued with reboot and battery issues. Those rooted saw fixes before Verizon and HTC released them. But that was the price of being first to LTE.
The other phones released at that time were the Droid Charge (Samsung phone), Droid X2, LG Revolution, Droid 3, Samsung Stratosphere, Droid Bionic, Droid Razr, and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
The Droid Bionic, like the Thunderbolt, was plagued with issues. That phone was rumored to have been scrapped, only to see it released with a bunch of problems. Motorola (and Verizon) released the Droid Razr as a "correction" for the Bionic. And I would argue the same could be said for the Rezound (for the Thunderbolt).
Companies blamed the carriers for locked bootloaders, and carriers blamed the company. At the end of the day, battle lines were being drawn in the sand. And this would give way to a certain phone later that year.
That phone being the Galaxy Nexus. Finally Google was bring a Nexus to Verizon. A phone based on the look of the Samsung Galaxy S2 (a popular look). The phone would have a curved display, face unlock, Google Wallet, an unlockable bootloader, and would run Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.
I still remember standing in line for that phone. Only to end up swapping it with a HTC Rezound later in the year because of the LTE issues. Speaking of which, the HTC Rezound still is the most under appreciated phone of 2011. Mainly because it was sandwiched between so many flagship devices that it was an afterthought. Its main commercial was the dancing grandma. A phone that came with a free set of Beats headphones, had an awesome display, HTC's radios (that were much better than that of the Galaxy Nexus).
2011 was a transitioning period for android. We saw companies cannibalize themselves making multiple flagship phones. One company in particular that fell victim to that was HTC, having made several flagship phones for Verizon.
So what was the most memorable phone of 2011 for you?
I had the Incredible 2 and it was a solid phone. IMHO it didn't live up to the Incredible name. It was a good phone but nothing about it blew me away. After that I had a Rezound. That definitely was the most under rated phone out without a doubt. Awesome camera, great screen, and powerful. The only issue was it was a battery hog. I bought the extended battery. That added some bulk to the phone but it would last all day. Loved that phone. That would be my last HTC phone. They made some nice phones. I'm still using the Beats ear buds to this day.
The razor got mine 11/10/11. My Best Buy buddies couldn't believe me that I got it a day early, pre-orders received them a day early. Of course they were quite amused by watching the battery taper off....80....73....64....56....50....43....38....31....26....19....15 all in the span of an hour. (seemed like it went that fast)