Last Updated: September 3rd, 2011

It's that time of the week again folks - time to hit the polls. This week's question is one that'll allow you to express what you think an Android handset should let you do in terms of customization, modification, and other various tinkering (think rooting, custom ROMs, kernels, etc). Basically, we want to know how important it is for you, as a consumer, that your next phone be easy to customize. Or if that really isn't important at all.

Let us know in the comments what ROMs, rooted apps, and other goodies only available to the rooted/unlocked users among us that you just can't live without. Alternatively, let us know why rooting and unlocking aren't important to you.

How much customization should your next Android device allow at the bare minimum (assuming it had the best hardware available) for you to consider purchasing it?

View Results

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David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Matt

    It's mine and I paid good money for it.

  • John J

    If I can't put CyanogenMod on it, I'm not interested.

  • nexus

    I have a Nexus One and a Nexus S. I don't really need to root my phones, but I want to be able to do it if I need it.
    My Nexus One has been rooted to install Cyanogen then Enomther.
    My Nexus S is not rooted.
    I also have a Motorola Xoom that is not rooted. But here again, I want to be able to do it when I want to do so.

  • MarkMcC

    I'm looking to downgrade my phone, with a much cheaper non-contract plan, but I want to make sure I can use that phone to its fullest, which means CM7 or aospCMod or .....

  • Tyler

    Right now I have the Droid X and I think it sucks thai there isn't support from CyanogenMod due to the stupid bootloader crap. So next phone needs to be fully customizable.

  • http://feathertail.dreamwidth.org Tachyon Feathertail

    I like that Android devices are hackable, because it gives me an escape hatch in case something is ruined for me. I'd kind of prefer not to need it, though, and I'm not really into custom ROMs and things. HTC Sense FTW.

  • http://royblumenthal.com/portfolio Roy Blumenthal

    My phone absolutely HAS TO be hackable. And root access is a must. Specifically cos there are two apps that should be standard on every Android device... TITANIUM BACKUP and ROM MANAGER (more accurately, NANDROID).

    If my device can't run those two apps, then it's not a device.

    Just a note... I think there's a large amount of romance involved in rooting a machine. Makes me feel a tad cutting edge. So I wouldn't want EVERYONE to be able to do it. It's gotta be a LITTLE BIT complicated and scary!

  • BigDog

    I <3 my Nexus 1. I wish the Nexus S was more powerful and i would have gotten it.

    Sadly, I chose Atrix 4g and I love the phone, fast as ...well, you know! I run Launcher Pro Plus so i dont get the crappy Blur UI!

    I just miss Cyanogen Mod 7 :( or even 6.1 :( I hate locked bootloaders and for my next phone, hopefully in a year, ill be looking for a completely open phone. GAWD!

  • Jbonics

    My droid 2 was nice at first, because I was green, and didn't know ish. The more crap I installed the more my phone became worthless when I really needed it. So I rooted just so I could overclock and a2sd. Its flawless at 1.265 ghz, and unbelieveable at 1.42 ghz but it will eventually crash after a hour. It likes 1.333 ghz. I just need more ram.

  • Jeppe

    My Desire S is already great, but there are many tweaks I want to do which require root, and I just do not see any reason why HTC should tell me what I can or can not do with my hardware

  • Tonio_00

    I agree, If I can't root it or it doesn't support CM ROMS, i have no interest in it. I don't care if its dual core with the best display. I unrooted my phone for a few hours and hated it. Customs Roms and open source platform are what make Android a great OS.

  • dragonithe

    If I can't customize it the way I like my phone, and/or can't put MIUI or CM on it.
    Then it's a no buy.

  • sfsdfsdf

    Got N1 rooted with stock rom so:
    - Stock rom experience FTW
    - Root FTW
    - Custom roms not so much for me but a must after official updates stop

    So Nexus line is most likely

  • Joshp406

    Either AOSP Android or a bunch of GOOD ROMs for my next phone

  • Ray

    I just don't want this choice to be removed. I think a volunteer 'opt in' could work without taking place "under the table". If it happens that carriers want to impose warranty penalties or whatever else is fair, then why not? It's great for the phone industry, and great for consumers. The fear carriers show reminds me of cable companies... enough said

  • Seth

    As long as the carriers/manufacturers insist on putting crapware on phones which can't be removed without root, I'll be rooting my devices. Also, I NEED Titanium which needs su.

  • Adam

    Wow, I didn't expect to be in the minority. As long as I can install marketplace apps and apps downloaded from the internet I don't really expect much.

    I'm not going to buy something like the MyTouch 4G with a ton of stupid software on it but as long as there are nice near-stock options like the G2 I'll be pretty happy.

  • Goliath the great

    Root is good...even the iPhone minions try to imitate a real ROOTED phone by jailbreaking lol

  • Ron

    I had an N1 rooted with cyanogenmod 7 and man did that thing smoke. I decided I wanted the larger screen, super AMOLED and a front camera so I went to the galaxy s 4g because I thought there was going to be custom rom support for it because there was for the tmo vibrant. Big mistake! I'm now stuck with the stock rom. I rooted it and put ADW home replacement on it but it's not enough. My next phone has to be fully customizable. I don't want the norm. I want ppl shocked that I can do so much with my phone and they cannot with theirs. I miss my N1. Best phone ever.

  • Hooman

    I'm Waiting for the "NEXUS E" ... Oooooh yeah I said it!

  • sgtguthrie

    A good undervolted kernel is a necessity! Stock kernels are power hogs and are never as optimized as custom ones... THATS WHY I WON'T BUT MOTOROLA PRODUCTS ANYMORE! They lost me when it was time to upgrade from my d1 (may it rest in peace). I CAN'T PLAY THE ENCRYPTED BOOTLOADER GAME!

  • Don

    I definitely need to be able to obtain root access and put custom ROMs on my phone.

    A couple of months ago my EVO 4G was starting to really annoy me, then CM7 came along to save the day. Now, I am second guessing if I even want to upgrade to the EVO3D this summer

  • Devin

    Stock Android on a 5 star hardware and I'm happy.

  • Marc

    I can live perfectly happily with sense ui or touchwiz but I absolutely need to tether

  • http://www.SOG-News.com DarknesSx

    if i can't change the ROM like every other day then that company can go to hell (and i wouldn't be interested as a side complication)

  • JayMonster

    I need to have Super User Access for Titanium Backup and control over the phone. But if I dislike the firmware so much that I need to change it... then I will just select another phone.

    I prefer to vote with my wallet. The only way to get companies to understand that their "differentiations" are unwanted, is to not buy phones with that deal on them. Otherwise, as far as companies like Sanding are concerned, they see that the Galaxy S phones are the best sellers, so they conclude that everybody loves TouchWiz.

    One of the great things about Android is that you have plenty of options, and I will look for.the one that fits me best rather than investing all that money in a phone to only have to invest more time and effort to make it run right.

  • L Boogie

    I like the fact that choices and independence give Android users major advantages over other OS and that is why I'm not understanding the need for bloatware overload/ locked bootloader crap that has been turning the Android scene on its head. Much like the burger king slogans, I want my phone MY WAY and to HELL with any company's or carrier's thoughts on what should be on the phone because If these numbnuts could MAINTAIN A GOOD UPDATE SCHEDULE, BATTERY LIFE AND DECREASE USELESS BLOATWARE, I MIGHT NOT NEED custom-built ROMS. I mean seriously, if I want my phone to be company-dictated, i would choose a different OS. Btw, bless the XDA/ CM Community for making my Android experience fantastic

  • per

    If i wonted a locked stock phone i white have gatten me a iPhone. IMO Android sjut be like Linux my OS fully costemisebel. Not a notter macos clone