My first phone was a Motorola Razer, I’m sure you have fond memory of those. After that it was the sidekick LX and then a Blackberry. I despised the iPhone and what it stood for: the lack of a physical keyboard. It was just something that I did not think I could do without, so when I was considering a new phone I took a look at the sidekick 4G and went for it. The experience was not a pleasant one to say the least - the OS was meh at best and the phone had random crashes and was slow to respond at times. The touchscreen was terrible and would often act up - but the physical keyboard and the swiveling screen kept me to it. At a certain point I had enough of it and seriously considered buying a new blackberry even if it were out of date. But I realized that I could make the experience a lot less painful by thinking back to my iPod Touch.

I bought an iPod touch when it was the big thing, right before smart phone sales shot through the roof. Looking back, it was a rather obvious sign of what was to come. After seeing my friend jailbreak it and customize it, I was blown away. Suddenly it wasn’t so locked down anymore; I was able to add features and customize it the way I wanted it. It was eye opening to say the least and I was reminded of that while using my sidekick and doing some research. Android by nature was less restricting than iOS after all and after some research I learned about rooting. From there I learned about flashing custom ROMs and flashed several before I settled on one that was not too bad. I’d say the rest of my experience with the phone was acceptable except for the occasional moments where the screen would flip out.

After the sidekick was the coveted and highly acclaimed Samsung Galaxy S2. It was the phone at the time although the S3 had just come out - which I was not willing to spend the money for. It was without a doubt, a great phone. However, the TouchWiz was atrocious and I wanted to push the phone to its limits in terms of performance and battery life. I got to rooting and flashing custom ROMs once again. This time around, I must have really pushed it past its limits because I ended up completely bricking it. I was extremely agitated as I had spent good money on buying it and in a matter of a few months I had ended up rendering it no better than a plastic paperweight. It was back to the sidekick…

The LG Nexus was a beautiful piece of glass and plastic that caught my eye, not only with its looks and specs but with its price tag. It was a top tier midrange phone with an unbeatable price. However, the phone went out of stock almost immediately and I was broke at the time so I let it simmer in the back of mind for a while. After I bricked my S2, I decided to buy a new phone and take good care of it - I bought the Nexus 4 a year after its release. Even then, it was a beautiful phone with decent specs and even better pricing. After the debacle with the S2, it was a long time before I did anything with the Nexus. However, I had to as after a while it began to show its age during daily use. I rooted it and went through a few ROMs as well as some mods. I did soft brick it but to my joy I learned that it was practically impossible to brick the phone as I had the S2 - worst case would be I had to wipe and reflash a ROM. However, after a while ROMs grew old and I loved the simplicity of vanilla Android so I stuck with it and looked for another way to gain performance. I found them in the form of pure mods and custom Kernels. After two long years of usage, it was finally time to switch off and that’s where my next phone came in: OnePlus One.

The OnePlus One basically met my desire in a phone: good specs and low price. Plus it shipped with Cyanogen installed, which was a huge plus. I got it a year after its release and overall it wasn’t bad but during this time I witnessed the release of the Nexus 5, 6, 5X and 6P. I wanted to go back to the Nexus but they were much more than they used to be and that really deterred me. I’m glad that it got to the masses but wasn’t so happy that the price had to go up for it to be viable. So I went with the OPO, and I was generally really happy with it. I didn’t do anything with ROMs or kernels, but I did install xposed and tweaked certain things that Cyanogen didn’t already cover. I loved Adnroid and used to browse XDA all the time but after the Nexus it wore me out a bit so I backed off a lot. I turned from a power user to slightly above the average consumer. This would have continued but I broke the digitizer which brings me to my current phone.

The Nexus 6P. It’s one hell of a phone with a unibody aluminum design that just feels high quality in your hands. It’s got some heft to it but not enough to make you think it’s heavy - just enough to feel solid in your hands. Also probably the last Nexus phone along with the 5X. I was hesitant because I didn’t want to shell out for a good phone, but now that it’s over and done with, I am very glad I did. It has rekindled my interest in Android and phones; I found myself installing a custom kernel and then searching for a good governor to use with it. My progression with phones has been interesting and seeing where I am now versus a few years ago, even more so. My interest may have fluctuated but there was one constant among that since the Nexus - distaste for Apple and its products. I appreciate the design and the philosophy they embody but I also despise that same thing. They lock down a lot of your things and assume that the average consumer doesn’t know anything, which to be fair is absolutely true. However, as a not so average consumer using Apple’s devices can sometimes feel claustrophobic almost and the exceedingly high price tag for decent specs - no thanks. Give me my freedom on Android please.