My First 10 Years With Android

I left the Vodafone store at a shopping mall near Milan, Italy, in the early afternoon of a summer day. Precisely at 02:24pm on August 26, 2009, as printed on the receipt of the HTC Magic Android smartphone I had just bought for €449. It was my first Android device, 10 years ago today.

Purchase receipt of an HTC Magic Android smartphone bought for €449 at 02:24pm on August 26, 2009
The purchase receipt of my first Android device, an HTC Magic smartphone. I bought it for €449 at 02:24pm on August 26, 2009.

Google unveiled Android in November 2007 and HTC released the first consumer Android device in September 2008. I’d say I qualify as an early adopter.

Until that summer I had owned two feature phones, an Ericsson R320s and a Nokia 6151. WAP2 on the Nokia seemed an experience straight out of science fiction. But there were things I wanted on the go that only a smartphone could do easily, such as email, Twitter, and real-time text chat. Although the iPhone was already popular, Android looked promising and as a Google enthusiast I was committed to its ecosystem.

The HTC Magic shipped with Android 1.5 Cupcake, soon replaced with the 1.6 Donut OTA update.

The first days with the HTC Magic taught me a lot on smartphone hardware and Android. When a full battery charge barely lasted a full day, I realized it wasn’t a good idea to turn on notifications for Gmail and several other apps, as well as GPS. It was a great surprise given my feature phones lasted a solid week.

Back in those very early days there was no choice as the only Android devices were manufactured by vendors such as HTC with a strong input from Google. Indeed, my HTC Magic featured a prominent Google logo on the back.

But with time I came to appreciate Google’s stock Android experience, to the point I’ve been buying exclusively Google-made or branded Android devices since then. Here are all the ones I owned:
  • HTC Magic
  • Nexus S
  • Nexus 4
  • Nexus 5
  • Nexus 6
  • Nexus 6P
  • Pixel 2 XL
  • Pixel 4 XL
  • Nexus 7 (2012)
  • Nexus 7 (2013)
Not absolutely everything Google did with Android and its own devices is good though. For example, although I was eager to get the Pixel 3 XL, the hideous notch was a deal breaker.

Ten years later, I’m still very happy with Android and Google devices and look forward to the platform’s evolution.

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