At the moment I own three different Android devices, and I've been an ardent supporter of Google's mobile operating system from day one. It just made sense to me to have a mobile that tied back into the online services like Gmail and Google Maps that I was using on a daily basis. Of the trio, my favourite is my HTC Desire HD. It's a lump of a phone, and, like a lot of big screened smartphones nowadays, its battery runs out far too quickly, but it's a brilliant example of just how powerful the Android OS can be, and how a few simple tweaks can turn that power into a brilliant user experience.
The great thing about Android, in comparison with Apple's iOS, is just how much freedom you have to tailor your phone to the way you use it. Everything from your on-screen keyboard to your SMS program, from the clock on the home screen to the app you use to take pictures and videos can be changed. And with such a wide selection of apps and widgets to choose from on the Play Store, there's likely to be one that suits you down to the ground.
HTC's own Sense UI adds some pretty cool gadgets to the phone as well, including a great clock, a weather widget that lets you keep track of a variety of different cities and a brilliant quick launch system that lets you get straight to one of four favourite apps from the lock screen. An 8 Megapixel camera juts out of the back of the case, and whilst a dedicated camera button would be nice, the pictures you can take are still pretty impressive. There aren't many phones that run vanilla Android, but the additions most companies make strengthen rather than weaken the experience.
Right now, my Desire HD is running Android 2.3.5, but if you're willing to dig a little deeper, you'll find a universe of ROMs and mods for Android that let you install newer versions of the operating system and apps that shouldn't normally work on your phone. With Android being an open source platform, it means dedicated individuals can play around with the code that makes your phone tick and find new ways to speed it up and enhance its power.
Android phones are all about being able to change things. From the MicroSD storage slot that lets you increase memory, to the swathe of apps that let you make your Android device look like an iPhone or a Windows Mobile device, building your own way of interacting with your phone is key to the Android experience.
I love my HTC Desire HD because at every turn it gives me a choice, it lets me stamp my own style onto each action it performs. It's able to do that because of the powerful, malleable Android operating system that sits at its core, and whilst it might not be perfect, it's still pretty damn good.