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, these are the devices you need to consider.
OnePlus 7 Pro
The OnePlus 7 Pro brings the latest internal hardware, does away with the display notch, and uses an improved in-display fingerprint sensor. The hardware on offer makes it one of the fastest phones in the market today, and it's easy to recommend the 7 Pro if you're interested in tinkering with custom ROMs.
That Cheap Pixel
The Pixel 3a is rocking a solid OLED display, the latest available version of Android, and is guaranteed to be updated for the next three years. Plus, if you care about camera quality at all, absolutely nothing comes close to it. Google also makes it extremely straightforward to unlock the bootloader and install custom ROMs.
The flagship choice
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
Samsung makes great phones, but it isn't the fastest at rolling out updates. Combine that with a software skin that not everybody loves, and you get a community dedicated to launching ROMs for one of the best phones on the market. Just make sure to grab the Exynos variant — you won't find the same community support for the Snapdragon model sold in the U.S.
The POCO F1 is old, but that just means there's an established community rolling out custom ROMs for the phone. The hardware is still going strong in 2020, and you will get a two-day battery life out of this thing for some time. At the end of the day, POCO set itself up as the brand for enthusiasts, and the F1 is a fantastic device for modding.
Freedom to tinker
Xiaomi Mi A3
Sometimes you just need a budget phone with decent hardware and an unlockable bootloader that lets you tinker without any hassle. Android One phones are ideal for this, and right now Xiaomi's Mi A3 is one of the best around. It's easy to unlock the bootloader, there are dozens of custom ROMs available, and the value on offer here is insane.
The modding community is still going strong
Rooting your phone gives you finer control when it comes to making your phone truly yours. You get the ability to install frameworks like Xposed — which give you more customization options — and there is no end to the number of things you can tweak on your device. As manufacturers tighten the security of their phones, finding models that allow rooting or extensive modification becomes more difficult. There are still phones you can buy that fit the bill, though, and these are the best available right now.
The OnePlus 7 Pro is the best device for getting started as there's already a wide selection of ROMs available for the device. And should you break anything, you won't lose out on the warranty.
If you are looking to save some cash, the Google Pixel 3a is a good alternative. It's easy to unlock,and there's a healthy modding community that makes this a great choice.
If none of the phones on this list are striking your fancy, or you've decided that modding isn't for you, you can take a look at the other best Android phones on offer right now.