Gallery of Early Android Smartphones

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The T-Mobile G1

T-Mobile G1 Phone Goes On Sale In San Francisco Ahead Of Nat'l Launch
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The very first Android phone was announced with a lot of fanfare in 2008, but, in reality, it was a pretty lackluster device even at introduction. The most compelling feature of the G1 was that it was not an iPhone, which, at the time, could only be sold by AT&T and locked you into a two-year contract. Apple was also very strict about what you could and couldn't do with your iPhone, so the open source community cheered a phone that could be more easily modified. 

T-Mobile partnered with Google to offer this bad boy as an exclusive, and "bad" it was. It had a swing-out keyboard and sported the brand new Android version 1.0, which was somewhat quirky and not as user-friendly as the Android we know today. 

However, it did feature a few new apps that the iPhone didn't carry at the time, such as ShopSavvy, a comparison shopping app that used the phone's camera as a barcode scanner. 

The G1 was made by LG and never branded as a "Google" phone, even though it was commonly called one. LG and T-Mobile introduced an updated G2 in 2010. 

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myTouch 3G

myTouch 3G
Image Courtesy T-Mobile

The myTouch 3G was a T-Mobile phone very similar to the G1 and introduced in 2009. The main physical difference is that there's no keyboard. The MyTouch came with support for 3G networks (that was a big deal at the time) and initially sported Android 1.5 (Cupcake) with support for Microsoft Exchange email. The phone was eventually upgraded to 1.6 (Donut). 

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HTC Hero

Sprint offered the first CMDA phone in 2009. The Hero used HTC Sense, a reskinned variation of Android. The giant clock widget was a distinctive feature of the new phone. This was one of many modified versions of Android to come out on the market, which created some challenges for developers who wanted to support all devices in a fractured environment. 

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Samsung Moment

Samsung Moment
Sprint. Image Courtesy Samsung

​ The Samsung Moment was Samsung's early attempt at an Android phone. This 2009 phone  had a slide-out keyboard.

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Motorola Droid

Motorola DROID - Sold by Verizon, powered by Google Android
Verizon Droid by Motorola - Available From Verizon. Image Courtesy Motorola

November 6, 2009

The Motorolla Droid line for Verizon actually licensed the term "Droid" from Lucas Arts and made it cool to call your Android phone a "Droid" for a while. The first Droid was a massive brick of a phone that with a keyboard and was positioned as less of an iPhone killer and more of a BlackBerry killer. 

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Nexus One

Google Debuts Its Nexus One Cell Phone
Pool / Getty Images

The Nexus One was introduced in 2010 and was sold online, unlocked, by Google in a brand new device store. Users could even customize their phone purchase by having it engraved on the back. 

This was revolutionary because Google was selling the phone directly rather than using the traditional model of having the mobile carrier (in the US) sell phones at a "discount" in exchange for extended phone contracts with slightly higher payments. 

In spite of the fact that this was a super-powered phone for the time and introduced Android 2.1 (Eclair) onto the market with a better user interface and features like live wallpaper, the Nexus One was considered a flop. Google ran into snags in their first attempt at shipping physical things, and the phone was eventually discontinued. 

However, Google did keep the idea of the "Nexus" product line of unlocked devices and eventually retooled their online store to the Google Store.

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Motorola Cliq

Motorola Cliq in White
T-Mobile Motorola Cliq in White. Image Courtesy Motorola

The Cliq was a 2010 Motorola phone with an improved camera (hence the "Cliq" name), but it still included a slide-out keyboard. 

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Xperia X10

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10
Sony Ericsson. Image Courtesy Sony Ericsson

This phone was introduced in 2010, back when Sony was partnering with Ericsson for their phone offerings. Sony-Ericsson used the existing Xperia line, which had previously been powered by Windows Phone. The Xperia X10 used a heavily modified version of what was then an older version of Android (1.6 - Donut) to produce a unique user experience that felt more Sony than Android.