Holiday Guide 2012: Most Hackable Android Phones of 2012

In light of the obvious disappointment many users experienced when it came to light that Google isn’t discussing progress with the Nexus 4 entering AOSP, where does that leave the Nexus program? For anyone in the market for a new phone that is ready for some hardcore hacking, where should you turn?

GSM Galaxy Nexus

Our first recommendation may seem counter-intuitive, but the GSM Galaxy Nexus is still a high-end phone, and should be available at better prices following the release of the Nexus 4. In light of reportedly poor battery life on the new Nexus, this may also prove a safer ‘known’ option given the sheer number of users with the phone.

The XDA forums for this device are awash with ports from other devices and numerous ROMs, making this a highly active device for the foreseeable future. And the fact that you can unlock the bootloader and take full control of the device as Google intended, leaves this firmly at the top of the list for Most Hackable Android Phone.

Relevant Threads:


Sony Xperia S

Our second recommendation is the Sony Xperia S. Coming from our OEM of the Year Sony, the Xperia S was experimentally added into the AOSP project in coordination with Google’s AOSP maintainer Jean-Baptiste Quéru (JBQ). Despite not being accepted long-term (due to licencing issues of proprietary files), JBQ declared the project a success.

Sony remains committed to keeping the device well-supported. As such, they took over the maintenance of the AOSP code for the Xperia S and created their own Github instance for the entire ROM. What this means is that anyone has the ability to fork and/or submit changes to the mainline code, thus doing what no other manufacturer has done. This thereby created a community-driven project lead by an OEM. The Xperia S can also have its bootloader unlocked, allowing the user to take full control of the device.

Relevant Threads:

Now, we want you to let us know what you believe is the most hackable Android phone of 2012!



Access our entire Holiday Guide 2012 by clicking the links below!