4.HTC 10

The HTC 10 has a cult following and a solid dev community.

HTC’s sales figures have been slumping lately, but it’s certainly not the HTC 10’s fault. The Korean manufacturer’s latest flagship has been met with near-universal acclaim from reviewers, and as the latest iteration in what used to be called the One series, the HTC 10 has a solid cult following from fans who owned previous HTC devices and have been thoroughly satisfied.

HTC allows you to generate a code that will unlock your device’s bootloader through Fastboot commands. This process doesn’t void your entire warranty, but claims involving issues related to bootloader unlocking will not be covered.

If you’re satisfied with the HTC 10’s ROM selection and you plan to use ElementalX as your main custom kernel anyway, there are plenty of apps and mods available to help scratch your itch to tinker. When you combine that with HTC’s rational warranty approach and the phone’s reasonable $599 price tag, the HTC 10 is a solid buy.

5.LG V20

The LG V20 is a sound choice for modders.

These days, LG is taking a dual-flagship approach, with a G series phone being released in spring, then a V series flagship debuting in the fall. This year’s V20 is LG’s most powerful phone yet, as it sports dual cameras, three microphones, and a Quad-DAC setup. The phone is billed as a multimedia powerhouse, but with its impressive spec sheet, it’s really an anything powerhouse.

Back on the bright side, LG offers a useful toolkit called LG Bridge that allows you to download stock firmware and restore your phone in a few clicks. On top of that, third-party root toolkit Skipsoft offers full support for the SIM-unlocked LG V20 variant, so getting started with modding the device should be easy.

Keep in mind that none of this applies to carrier-branded variants of the LG V20, as these have extra security measures that prevent you from easily unlocking the device’s bootloader. In fact, you can only root a few carrier variants using the Dirty COW exploit, so we’d suggest that you stay away from carrier variants and buy directly from LG if you want to root and mod the V20.


If the ability to root your next phone and install custom firmware are your top requirements, then two devices stand out above the rest: The Google Pixel and the OnePlus 3T. The Pixel gets a slight edge because its kernel sources are available, and its root toolkit selection will be slightly better once PNRT comes out. However, the OnePlus 3T is quite a bit cheaper and ticks all of the other boxes, so the two devices are almost on equal footing here.

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