Android pioneers: here are the first Android smartphones of the major manufacturers

There are roughly 20,000 distinct Android devices in the world at the moment, and this number grows by the day. It's getting a little hard to keep tabs on all of them, because this might prove to be a little bit overwhelming even for the most tech-savvy smartphone devotees. This is in stark contrast with Apple's portfolio, which can be easily followed back to the progenitor of its iPhone family.

Let's be honest here, there's hardly any mobile addict who has not watched Steve Jobs' announcement of the original Apple iPhone back in 2007, regardless if you are a fan of everything Apple-branded or you put your faith in another ecosystem. At the same time, there are probably but a few Android devices who have created a similar vivid memory with their debuts. What's more, some of the very first Android fledglings, the pioneers of the dominant platform, have been undeservedly forgotten.

We decided to take a stroll down memory lane and dust some of these off. here follow the first Android device that each and every major manufacturer has released on the market. 

HTC Dream / T-Mobile G1

Let's drop down the tech talk and speak lyrically for the first commercially-available Android device in the world - the HTC Dream, also known as the T-Mobile G1, was a sincere depiction of the dream that Google had for Android. It was the first to venture in the young and yet uncrowded smartphone domain, giving users everything that it's most prominent at the time, the first Apple iPhone, did not provide. Believe it or not, this keyboard-enabled phone has had some serious impact on the tech world and on our lives as well; it was the litmus that Google used for officially testing the waters. 

Sporting a large array of hardware buttons (even a trackball was present!), the HTC Dream did not sport groundbreaking hardware and lacked certain features that its rivals at the time donned; its biggest highlight was Android itself - a mobile platform that was among the most customizable ones at the time (not that things have changed much since then). 

Samsung Galaxy I7500

For Samsung, it all began with this handset, the Samsung Galaxy I7500, which marked the company's debut on the very same Android scene that it now (still) dominates on a global scale. In particular, this was Android 1.5 Cupcake right out of the box, but eventually the Galaxy pioneer had its firmware updated to Android 1.6 (in select regions).

As far as Samsung's foray into Android smartphones is concerned, it came with a 3.2” AMOLED display, rocking a top-of-the-line resolution of 320 x 480 pixels (as per 2009's standards, that is), a 528MHz ARM11 processor, 128MB of RAM, a 5MP camera, and 8GB of on-board storage. Have in mind that this was some pretty high-end hardware at the time, and despite that the handset had some serious flaws (mediocre call quality, inconvenient hardware buttons), it is surely a piece of history - the first droplet of the wave with which Samsung flooded the land of Android.

Huawei U8220 / T-Mobile Pulse

Huawei was one of the first China-based manufacturers to jump on the Android bandwagon. Its trackball-donning Huawei U8220, which was also rolling under the T-Mobile Pulse name, came with a heavily-customized Android 1.5 Cupcake on board. Eventually, it got updated all the way up to Android 2.1, but thanks to the tireless efforts of many developers it was proved that Huawei's first smartphone to run Google's OS was perfectly capable of coping with Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread.

Up front, it had a 3.5-inch display with a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels up front. Right beneath it, Huawei had packed in an ARMv6 528MHz processor, working in concert 192MB of RAM. The imaging capabilities of the device were courtesy of a 3.2 CMOS camera at the back. 


LG, one of the largest manufacturers in the world at the moment, was a little bit late to crash the Android party, as its South Korea-based compatriot, Samsung, had surpassed it by several months. Nevertheless, LG decided that it was high time it released an Android smartphone. It officially unveiled its LG EVE (also known as LG GW620) on September 14, 2009. Life was good.

Initially, the 3-inch device was running Android 1.5 Cupcake out of the box, but LG was committed enough to keep it up to date for some time, eventually treating it to Android 2.2 Froyo. Like most Android handsets at the time, this LG pioneer came with a retractable QWERTY keyboard. The rest of its specs were perfectly adequate for its time period - a 528MHz Snapdragon MSM7200A SoC, a 5MP camera with flash, a 3" LCD TFT display with a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels, and a 1,500mAh battery at the back. 

Motorola CLIQ / Motorola DEXT

The Motorola CLIQ (also known as the DEXT outside USA) was the first Motorola ever to run Android - in particular, this was the creme de la creme of Google's mobile OS at the time, Android 1.5 Cupcake. Unlike Motorola's products of the last several years (which employ almost-stock Android), the CLIQ came with Motorola's MOTOBLUR UI, which provided users with feeds from a number of social networks (Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, to name a few). 

Packing a 528 MHz Snapdragon chipset, some 256MB of RAM, a 3.1" display with a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels, a 5MP camera at the back, and a 1,420mAh battery, the Motorola CLIQ had all the necessary bells and whistles to step hard on the heels of its Android rivals at the time. However, it was not as affordable as some of newer Motorola's devices.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10

Here comes Sony, another major manufacturer that decided to venture into the land of Android. Officially announced in late 2009, its first Android warrior, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, hit the shelves in several months' time. It came with Android 1.6 Cupcake right out of the box, yet Sony kept its Android pioneer up to date for quite some time, eventually treating it to Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread.

It was not only among the larger Android troopers at the time it landed on the market, its specs sheet was pretty respectable as well - a 1GHz Snapdragon QSD8250 chipset, a large 4.1-inch display, and an 8MP camera were the main highlights of the phone. And yes, unlike Sony's smartphones of recent, the Xperia X10 had a full array of hardware navigation buttons up front - back then, there was no little to no sign of the OmniBalance design that now graces most of Sony's mobile portfolio.

Lenovo LePhone

Lenovo was relatively late for the Android party, as its utter devotion to the PC market had prevented it from releasing a smartphone until 2010, which is an interesting fact if we take into consideration that it's now among the biggest manufacturers globally, but we digress. Lenovo's first Android handset (and first smartphone altogether) was the LePhone.

Unveiled in the early 2010, this handset came with a 3.7-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, a 1GHz Snapdragon SoC, and two 3MP cameras - one at the back and the other one at the front, taking care of your selfies before these were trendy and cool. The intriguing aspect of this phone was its detachable keyboard - a definite zinger back in the day.

Xiaomi Mi One

In the case of Xiaomi, the egg surely came before the chicken. The fledgling China-based company first developed a custom ROM for Android, MIUI, and only after prepped its own Android smartphone. Dubbed the Xiaomi Mi 1, it saw the light of day back in August 2011. Naturally, it was rocking Android with MIUI on top. Being almost as aggressively priced as Xiaomi's current batch of phones, it is safe to say that this phone in particular marked Xiaomi's crusade towards the top of the smartphone market.

Boasting a dual-core Snapdragon S3 chipset running at 1.5GHz, 1GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera, a 2MP front-facing one, and a 1,930mAh powerbank at the rear, this 4-inch phone was surely a bargain for the 1,999 yuan (~$325) that Xiaomi asked for it. 



1. xtroid2k

Posts: 601; Member since: Jan 11, 2010

Well, I think the OG motorola DROID should be on the list as It may not be a first device however it definitly pioneered and industry which wouldn't exist with out the it. I remember the G1 and its amazing to see how far we have come in the last couple of years.

4. g2a5b0e unregistered

That doesn't even make any sense. The title clearly states that this is a list of the first Android smartphones by major OEMs. It's not a most influential list. That would be a very subjective list. This is just based on fact.

14. xtroid2k

Posts: 601; Member since: Jan 11, 2010

Lets take a look at the title "Android pioneers: here are the first Android smartphones of the major manufacturers" In the first secton "Android pioneers" is what I'm referring to. Yes they specified taking a look at the first devices however as we alreardy know that the Motorola Droid pioneered the market we are in now. Also if you read my comment I acknowledge its not a first device.

18. Tsoliades

Posts: 228; Member since: Dec 22, 2012

...what? This is ridiculous. You're still taking the title out of context. The entire point of the article is to list the first Android phones made by major manufacturers.

20. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

You're both right. Yes, the CLIQ was the first Motorola Android, so it belongs here. But the DROID had already been developed and was released the same season, so I was a bit surprised not to see it on the list given that it was the iconic Android of 2009. Honorable mention would have been nice.

19. g2a5b0e unregistered

Reading comprehension is clearly not your strong suit.

23. UglyFrank

Posts: 2193; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

They mean big/pioneer brands, they don't mean devices that paved the way otherwise the Galaxy S/S3 would be on here

2. AnukulVcool unregistered

Xperia x10 showed sony's aggressiveness in smartphones, then they mellowed.

6. hellbread

Posts: 309; Member since: Nov 21, 2014

Love that physical buttons. I wish they use them still...

25. dimas

Posts: 3343; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

It was ahead of its time. Then suddenly went back to round corners again. If I could see this design in Z4 compact it would be great.

3. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

That Xperia still looks good and sexy to compare in today's designs. What about Nokia's first Android?

5. PowTheBowl

Posts: 86; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

Nokia's first "Android" was an android fork though so its not considered as Android, same as the Amazon Kindles and Fire phone

17. matistight

Posts: 980; Member since: May 13, 2009

technically, nokia's first unofficial android was a modded n900 with android on it

8. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Nokia isn't a 'major manufacturer' by any measure, as the title suggests.

12. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

It was :p

21. Manti123

Posts: 207; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

Till recently, Nokia was the world second largest phone manufacturer. It already shipped 288 million handset in 2013. So, stop hating and shut up your mouth because you couldn't be more idiot.

26. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Did no one tell you the year is 2014 and 2013 ? Are you plain stupid ? Re-read the title douchebag, it says major ANDROID manufacturers.

27. g2a5b0e unregistered

You're referring to total phone shipments. This article is referring to smartphones only. Nokia has never been a major smartphone manufacturer. Their feature phones brought them that far.

30. dreamcore

Posts: 8; Member since: Nov 15, 2012

You're right (in your own mind) if you slept through the entire decade of the 2000s, or are an American. Nokia's Symbian was the dominant smartphone platform globally 2002 to the end of 2010, longer than any iOS, Android, Windows Phone et al have even existed. Corporate types had their BlackBerrys but American consumers didn't really take to smartphones (or GSM) until the iPhone.

31. g2a5b0e unregistered

No, I'm just right. In the days you're referring to, smartphone adoption was still very low in the world. A majority of Nokia's shipments were & still are feature phones.

32. dreamcore

Posts: 8; Member since: Nov 15, 2012

"Nokia has never been a major smartphone manufacturer." Failure to concede a trivial argument and moving the goalposts isn't very mature, either. If smartphones have to dominate the number of feature phones globally for there to be a "major smartphone manufacturer," then there STILL aren't any major smartphone manufacturers.

7. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

My first smartphone was the Sony Ericsson X10a (AT&T varient). What a hunk of crap. Though no fault of SE (AT&T's fault), it took FOREVER to get updated from 1.6 to 2.1 (which enabled 720p video recording and multi-touch/pinch zoom) after the unlocked version did, and never got a 2.3 update. Worse though, is that eventually it just started dying. Random reboots with increasing frequency, then finally it never booted again. Got a warranty replacement, which worked fine for a while, then it did the same thing. When I got a new phone, I threw it at a wall. Still, it had its qualities. Great pics (8.1mp camera was the highest out there at the time), nice design, beautiful screen, and the fact that it used a 3.5mm audio jack and a microUSB port, unlike my previous SE phone, was a revelation and blessing for me. And since it was my first smartphone, it opened up a new world to me. And when it wasn't crashing, it was amazing to use. Timescape sucked though. Turned that sh!t off first thing.

9. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1175; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Oh yes, I remember the Xperia X10, I got it just after release in 2010, loved the design and look of the UI, but don't be fooled by the pretty looks, that TimeScape UI was an awful thing, it lagged a lot, as long as you stayed away from TimeScape you were fine as the rest of the UI was actually fast. X10 was my 1st Android, but not the best experience at the time, the HTC Desire, Samsung Galaxy S and Motorola Droid X were better devices really.

10. EC112987

Posts: 1214; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

Never owned any of these but my brother had The G1 and for its time it was pretty awesome

11. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Now I miss my Motorola Atrix 4G... It was my first Android phone. I have to say the G1 is the OG.

13. tkk76

Posts: 19; Member since: Oct 03, 2014

I remember side loading android onto my HTC windows phone to see what all of the fuss was about.

16. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Yup, did that to a spare HTC Touch. 2.8 of bliss, least I had (an still have) my NFC Mogul to actually use as first couple ports were a shipwreck at best until they fixed the dialer. Imprinted from my Shield.

15. tkk76

Posts: 19; Member since: Oct 03, 2014

That being my 2007 HTC Touch rocking Windows Mobile 6.

22. MasterSyrron

Posts: 59; Member since: Dec 08, 2012

Some days, I miss my G1... then I remember I have a Note 4.

24. dimas

Posts: 3343; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Sony should use and improve the xperia x10 design for the upcoming z4 compact.

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