This post contains a bunch of criteria for beta testers and software testers on how to choose an Android phone for the next year. I will also suggest some options to pick from and describe why you should consider them. The beginning of November is the perfect time for a buyer's guide because Black Friday will happen very soon. I will also update this post as soon as there will be any good deal on Amazon so don't forget to check it again later!

Who buys a phone for testing?

Two types of testers should be reading this:

  1. Beta testers who are testing new features as soon as they become available (Android firmware beta testers for example).
  2. Software testers who are working for the company or testers who are freelancing (as crowdtesters for example).

Let's dive deeper into the first case! 🔥

Android's open nature allows anyone and everyone, to a degree, to go ahead and modify their smartphones to their heart's content. And thus so, there are a plethora of different custom ROMs, like Lineage OS, Pixel Experience, Resurrection Remix, just to name a few, to choose from for a variety of devices.

When you are looking for a smartphone with healthy indie development support, there are a handful of key factors to consider. One - the bootloader of the device must be easily unlockable. Two - it must have an SOC with loads of open-source development going on, and the one and only silicon manufacturer famous for that at the moment is Qualcomm with their Snapdragon chips. Thanks to their efforts of providing open-source system-on-a-chip specific code, the Code Aurora project on GitHub is the main platform that developers can base their custom ROM development trees of off. And lastly, the phone has to be quite a popular one too, of course. 😜

Phones with notches, i.e. cutouts, or camera punch holes are sort of the norm right now, with newer trends like pop-up camera devices slowly entering the smartphone market as we speak. As to whether I am a fan of the former, the straight answer is no. I don't like my screen occluded by a black stripe, a hole, or anything of that matter.

My dislikes aside, I went on and picked up some of the most useful applications for such devices, perhaps to hide the notch or more. So without any hesitation, let's dive in.

Google's Android operating system for smartphones has finally got its 10th major version release, bringing a plethora of privacy and security enhancements, a system-wide dark mode and whatnot, and a radical shift from the traditional desert naming scheme. 😢