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6 of the Best Android Mobile Devices

6 of the Best Android Mobile Devices

Android is the name given to a mobile operating system using a customised version of the Linux kernel. It was first released in late 2008. The platform enables developers to write code in the Java language, controlling the device via Java libraries developed by Google.

The operating system is developed by the Open Handset Alliance, a cosmopolitan collection of firms from a wide range of technology fields. Software companies that participate include Google and eBay, with mobile operators being represented by firms such as T-mobile and Vodafone. Semiconductor companies (including Intel, Nvidia, Texas Instruments) also play a key role in developing the platform. Moreover, handset manufacturers themselves contribute to the development of Android. Notable names include HTC, Motorola, Samsung Electronics, and LG.

Running Linux on mobile devices is not earth shatteringly new. For example, Sharp used the Linux operating system in its SL-5000D/SL-5500 PDA, which was released way back in 2003. The venerable Nokia 770 Internet tablet released in 2005 used the Maemo operating system, a platform developed by Nokia based on the Debian distribution. Maemo is also the operating system chosen to run the first Linux smartphone, the popular Nokia N900. So Android is by no means a market leader in this regard.

In 2008 Symbian, the world's most currently used mobile operating system, announced that it would make its code open source and has now completed the move. What makes Android particularly interesting is that it also uses free and open source software but is backed by Google, the dominant search engine and developer of Google Docs.

With Android, any manufacturer can download and install onto its hardware without paying a fee. This opens up the opportunity for small and new market players to enter the fray. The consumer will ultimately benefit from this increased level of competition.

If you understood that Android is only used on mobile (cell) phones, think again. The operating system also powers other devices including a multimedia internet tablet, electronic book reader, a netbook and even dual-booting laptops. Expect to see many more Android powered devices in the next new months. Both Asus and HP will be shortly releasing their own Android netbooks. We are also excited by the imminent HTC Passion, a smartphone due for release in April 2010.

Besides being free, Android has many other advantages which set it apart from its competitors. It is a light platform, with great mobile syncing, and has less malware than other mobile platforms (which does not necessarily mean its more secure). Android already has a great collection of thousands of applications available to download via the Android Market, which makes it particularly appealing to developers and consumers alike.

Now, let's explore the 6 Android devices at hand. For each device we have compiled its own portal page, providing a screenshot of the hardware, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its specifications, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.

Android Devices
Archos 5 Internet Tablet Internet, media and TV from a compact handheld device
Barnes & Noble nook Electronic book reader
HTC Hero Polished and attractive smartphone
Nexus One Google's entry into the smartphone arena
Motorola Droid Internet and multimedia smartphone
Hivision PWS700CA The cheapest Android netbook

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Last Updated Saturday, April 10 2010 @ 04:09 PM EDT


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