Best phone brand for android rooting and tinkering ?

For about a year I have had a Sony Xperia Arc that I have rooted and updated several times.
The problem I keep facing is that every time I make a change or update to Android
I gain some features, but then lose others.
With the most recent update to ICS I lost the ability to connect to wifi.
I changed it back to gingerbread and it then stopped charging the battery.

So, what is the best brand of phone that I can buy that will allow me to make many changes with the fewest hassles ?

If I still lived in the USA I would still have an old muscle car to tinker with on the weekends. But, now I am working in China, and the inner geek has come out :slight_smile:

I don’t really know which phone is the best for tinkering, but I know where a lot of the phone geeks hang out: You can probably figure it out from browsing the forums for the particular phones you are interested in. You will probably have certain preferences that will limit your possible choices.

I’m not sure about the best either, but I back up control-z on the xda-developers forum suggestion. I’ve currently got my first Android, so I have nothing to compare it to. A Samsung Galaxy Skyrocket - I rooted it 2 days after I got it. Life’s been too busy to do much with it lately, and I need to reinstall the factory ROM anyway because there’s a short in the headphone jack and I want to invoke the warranty. Which reminds me… I’d better get on that.

My experience with Samsung WRT tinkering has been positive.

The best phone is the Galaxy Nexus. It’s made by Samsung, but it’s considered a “pure Google” phone. It (along with the Nexus S, the previous version) are 100% unadulterated Android OS. It does not have any manufacturer or carrier skinning, apps, launchers, or other fuckery.

It has a completely unlocked bootloader, and is crazy easy to root, load custom ROMs, etc…

When updates come to Android, they always come to the nexus first, because that is what Google programs them for, and the come right from Google. All the other phones have to have the manufacturer get the code, then change it for their drivers, unique quirks, etc… for their devices.

An unlocked GSM Galaxy Nexus can be used on any GSM network, which I’m guessing is what is used in China, since CDMA is pretty North American exclusive. You can buy it directly from Google (not sure if they do international sales, though…)

Great, thanks for the info.
I will look at x-da and the Nexus.