What Is an Android Phone?

by Michael Ryan

An Android phone is a type of smartphone that uses Android OS, a Linux-based mobile operating system developed by Android, a division of Google. Android phones are available from all major carriers, with or without contracts.


Android provides direct integration between text messaging, email accounts and phone capabilities, meaning that your contact history with a single person is tracked as one file. This gives you access to all emails and text messages sent to a contact with one touch.


As Android is open-source and applications are based on the Java language, a wide variety of applications are available via the Android Market. This makes Android phones infinitely customizable.


Android phones offer an inexpensive but powerful platform, with phones offered for very low costs when paired with long-term contracts. As a result, Android phones could become popular with both the entry-level and high-end smartphone markets.


Google acquired Android, Inc., in 2005, in the hope of developing an open-source operating system for use on mobile phones. In 2007, major phone manufacturers like Motorola and HTC announced that they would offer models dedicated to the Android platform. The first Android-based phone approved for sale was the HTC Dream, approved in August 2008.


Android-powered phones are available unlocked from manufacturers and for discounted prices if purchased with a contract from a wireless carrier. Paying a higher up-front price for an unlocked Android phone will give you the freedom to move between networks as you wish.

About the Author

Michael Ryan is a freelance writer with professional experiences in the auto industry and academic training in music. Ryan earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Olivet College. Since college, he has been a featured speaker at music conferences at the University of Michigan and Bowling Green State University. Ryan is a published writer, with work featured on websites including eHow and CarsDirect.com.