The latest leak of the white Nexus 5 has made me think of how far the design of Android devices has come. Historically, there were always a couple of above-average looking phone for consumers to choose from, but in the last year or two we have seen a spate of handsets that look really appealing, with many considering it an important factor in their decision-making.
I started looking back at some of my favorites from the past five years and have listed them below. What do you think? Which are your favorite Android phones of all time design-wise? Let us know in the comments!
5. Droid Incredible 1 & 2
The original Incredible is probably the device that made me first fall in love with HTC. It was a time when phones weren’t particularly slim, and I actually liked contours on the back. The successor was as good, with the contours being reduced from two to one. However, the red version that was released stood out the most for me.
4. HTC One X (and the AT&T Sensation)
The HTC One X was, in my opinion, the first absolutely outstanding Android phone in terms of design. That it comes in on #4 for me speaks volumes of the improvement we’ve seen across the board from various manufacturers. I remember putting a case on the device for the first couple of weeks of using it. A friend, while having a look, asked if she could remove it to see the back. That just reminded me how gorgeous it was, and how good it felt in the hand, that I haven’t put the case back on for well over a year now. Also, having what was widely considered the best mobile screen at the time certainly helped.
As color options started becoming more and more of a useful marketing gimmick, Motorola decided that they didn’t want to offer just a couple of them: they wanted to offer a couple thousand. While the device was a critical success it wasn’t a commercial one and Motorola continues to burn money. One can only imagine what would have been had their customization web app, MotoMaker, been available to all prospective buyers and if they had focused as much on other important factors like the screen and the camera.
2. Google Nexus 5 (particularly the white variant)
I had actually set my heart on the black version (I really wanted to put a Batman decal on the matte-black back) but the rumored white variant has really grown on me. What really click for me are the black trims around the camera and buttons that can be seen from the back. It is rumored to have a soft-touch back like the Nexus 7 that I am fond of.
The design of this phone is just engineering perfection and demonstrated HTC at their best. An amazing build quality thanks to an Aluminium unibody, the phone can look unbelievably thin, with a curved back that makes it an absolute pleasure to hold. Finding room on the front for their BoomSound speakers gives the phone a unique feature to have, and a Google Play Edition allowed gives consumers choices regarding whether or not they want Sense out of the box.