Rooting isn’t as popular as it used to be, but there’s still a vibrant community of modders involved in launching new ROMs. If you’re just getting started or are looking to delve back into the world of modding, the OnePlus 7T is still our favorite pick. We’ve included other options as well, so these are the best Android phones for rooting and modding.
The OnePlus 7T continues to be one of the best mid-range phones in 2020. The hardware still holds up just fine, and with the phone now on sale, you’re getting even better value. The fact that the OnePlus community has released dozens of custom ROMs for the 7T makes it an ideal option for modding.
$450 at Amazon
The 5G option
The OnePlus 8 has many similarities to the OnePlus 7T, with both phones sharing the same 90Hz AMOLED panel. But you get the new Snapdragon 865 chipset with global 5G connectivity, 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, better cameras at the back, and a sleeker design with a dual-curved panel.
$800 at Amazon
Pixel for less
Google Pixel 4a
With the Pixel 4a, Google is bringing flagship-tier cameras to a much more affordable price point. The phone combines decent hardware with an outstanding 12.2MP camera at the back and the promise of three Android updates. Google also makes it very straightforward to unlock the bootloader and install custom ROMs.
$350 at Amazon
The flagship choice
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Samsung has a very active modding community, and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a great phone to test custom ROMs. The phone is packed with the latest hardware, comes in a gorgeous Mystic Bronze color option, and has much better cameras than previous generations.
$1,100 at Amazon
POCO F2 Pro
The POCO F2 Pro is the best value flagship in 2020, delivering the latest Snapdragon 865 chipset and a retractable camera module, AMOLED screen, and 4700mAh battery at an absolute bargain. POCO’s devices
$425 at Amazon
These are the best Android phones for modding
Rooting your phone gives you finer control over every facet of the user interface. There are no shortage of great Android phones, but with the likes of One UI, MIUI, ColorOS, and even OxygenOS offering a skinned interface, you don’t get a vanilla Android look anymore. Rooting your phone gives you the ability to do just that, and you get to install frameworks like Xposed — which give you way more customization options than on a normal phone. The OnePlus 7T is still the best overall option if you want to try custom ROMs, with OnePlus making it as easy as possible to mod its devices.
There is a wide selection of ROMs available for the device, and should you break anything, you won’t lose out on the warranty. The hardware on offer with the OnePlus 7T gives you a lot of overhead for installing customized modules, and the active community means you’ll quickly find information should you run into any issues.
If you are looking to save some cash, the Google Pixel 4a is a good alternative. It’s easy to unlock, and there’s a healthy modding community that makes this a great choice. Manufacturers are making it harder to root phones and install custom software, but there are still a few decent options available in this area.