One of the most interesting things about Android is the diversity and choice of hardware its open model enables. With software that any manufacturer can utilize, there's practically no limit to the number and variety of different devices that can be offered under the Android umbrella -- a sharp contrast to the single-manufacturer-with-a-few-similar-devices setup that other mobile operating system provides.

Both approaches have their own sets of advantages and drawbacks, as we've discussed extensively over the years. With Android, the platform and the device-maker are typically two separate entities -- with Google's Pixel devices serving as the current sole exception -- and that means you have to think carefully about whose product you're purchasing and what that says about the level of support you're likely to receive over the course of your device's lifetime.

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