May 19, 2022

Best Android phones for rooting and modding 2022

By Jerry Hildenbrand Harish Jonnalagadda published 8 days ago

Maximize your phone’s potential by diving deeper.

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 8T is our favorite pick. We’ve included other top-notch options as well, so you have the best phones for rooting and modding to choose from.

These are the best Android phones for rooting

OnePlus 8T Android Smartphone

Tinker away

The OnePlus 8T is a still solid choice for 2022. You get excellent hardware, a flat 120Hz AMOLED display, 65W fast charging, and reliable cameras. In our testing, we noted that the phone is the ideal canvas for rooting and modding, and OnePlus makes it as straightforward as possible to unlock the bootloader and install custom ROMs.View at AmazonView at AmazonView at Amazon

OnePlus 9 Android Smartphone

The 5G option

If you’re looking for a great option, the OnePlus 9 is a smart choice. When we reviewed it, we loved how the phone has decent cameras thanks to the Hasselblad partnership, and you get the good internal hardware along with a gorgeous design, 65W fast charging, and 15W Qi wireless charging.View at AmazonView at Amazon

OnePlus 9 Pro Android Smartphone

The Flagship

You could buy the OnePlus 10 Pro if you wanted the very latest model, but the OnePlus 9 Pro has everything the OnePlus 9 offers — great specs and good looks — plus a great camera and super-fast Warp Charge Wireless. It might be worth spending just a little more on this one in our opinion. We raved about the phone in our review. View at AmazonView at Amazon

Google Pixel 5a Android Smartphone

Pixel for less

With the Pixel 5a, Google brings flagship-tier cameras to a much more affordable price point. When we tested it, we found that the phone combines decent hardware with an outstanding camera on the back and the promise of three Android updates. Google also makes it very straightforward to unlock the bootloader and install custom ROMs.View at Amazon

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Android Smartphone

Amazing hardware

Samsung has a very active modding community, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra is a great phone to test custom ROMs if you’re willing to go through a bit of a tedious process. In our review, we found that the phone is packed with amazing hardware, has awesome cameras, and is still one of the most feature-packed phones you’ll find on Android.View at AmazonView at AmazonView at Amazon

Root and mod away

The best Android phones already offer an exhaustive array of features out of the box. Still, 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 allows you way more customization options than on a normal phone. The OnePlus 8T 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 from OnePlus 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.

Google’s Pixel phones are always a great option because Google provides all the files needed to return the phone to “normal” and a documented and official method to build a custom ROM. Security concerns mean that newer models are a bit more locked down than they used to be, so it’s a wise choice to wait for developers to have time to work through things or to buy last year’s model. That’s why we recommend the Pixel 5a while it’s still available from online retailers.

Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry Hildenbrand 

Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There’s nothing he can’t take apart, but many things he can’t reassemble. You’ll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.MORE ABOUT…Google Pixel 6a vs. 5a: Which should you buy?Best wallet & folio cases for Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 2022LATESTNew YouTube feature lets you jump straight to the best part

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