The term 'Android mobile phones' refers to smartphones that are powered by the Android operating system.
Developed by Google, Android is advanced software that co-ordinates handsets' functions and resources to ensure that they work as smoothly and quickly as possible. This is essential with today’s multi-functional, complex 'smartphones' which blur the lines between computers and mobile phones.
Android also stands out for the sheer range of apps, or applications, that are available, many of which are completely free to download.
Why choose an Android mobile phone?
For years, mobile phones’ functionality was determined by the hardware features which were pre-installed on the handset.
Android mobile phones helped bring an end to this era by allowing consumers to change what their phone is capable of on a daily basis by loading new software, aka 'apps', on to their handset.
Simply by visiting the Android Market on their phones, users can download everything from price comparison tools, photo editors, games, translators and much more.
Android mobile phone owners also benefit from regular, free-of-charge upgrades to their mobiles' software which bring with them great new features and improve their handset's overall functionality and performance.
As a result, Android smartphone owners need not necessarily pay out regularly for a new mobile phone, but can simply download the latest upgrade to enjoy the best and newest functions that handsets can offer.
Finally, Android mobile phones come with all of Google’s most useful and popular apps pre-installed. That means you’ll get instant access to the likes of Gmail, YouTube, GoogleMaps and Googledocs.
Which Android mobile phones are available to buy?
Android mobile phones are available from almost all the major mobile phone manufacturers. These include HTC, Samsung, Sony, Samsung and LG. Typically phone-makers will overlay their own custom user interfaces to the standard Android operating system to make their phones stand out from the competition and put their own unique print on them.
Google has also brought its own Nexus smartphones to market, which feature the latest versions of Android before any other manufacturer and usually come in at very keen price points.
The best rated Android phones are arguably those from HTC and Samsung, both of whose handsets have gone on to be among the biggest-selling Android smartphones so far.
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The history of Android mobile phones
Android was initially created by Android, Inc and later purchased by Google, which has since taken over its development along with the mobile phone industry body the Open Handset Alliance.
The platform was unveiled in November 2007, but it was not until a year later that the first Android mobile phone went on sale in the UK in the form of the T-Mobile G1. This landmark handset went on to sell over one million units across the globe.
The first update for the operating system had the working title Cupcake, but was dubbed Android 1.5 when it officially launched in April 2009.
Among the new features that the new version of Android brought to the handsets was the ability to upload videos to YouTube, new animations between screens and shortcuts and widgets to adorn multiple home screens.
Since then Google has regularly pushed out new iterations of Android, each time augmenting the appeal of Android mobiles and leading the way in bringing new and advanced capabilities to the platform.
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