5. Devices

Ok, this doesn’t really have much to do with the OS but no one likes a phone with a really nice OS running on mediocre hardware. The build quality of most Android devices is solid. The Nexus One for example is very sexy, sturdy and feels really great in your palm and pocket.

4. Popularity

Google’s increasing popularity in the Mobile smartphone race is a huge plus. Many companies are racing to push out quality apps to the market and it’s that increasing popularity that brings in quality content to the phones. We already know it has nothing to do with the SDK thanks to Apple’s painful developer un-friendly SDK.

3. Widgets

Widgets are really cool! I wish other platforms had this feature. It feels really good to personalize your phone and having a couple of home screens to put whatever you want on it seems like a no-brainer to me.

2. Apps

The great apps on the market, although few, are excellent. It’s nice to have a dedicated Tumblr app, one from Foursquare, a very nice Flixster app, Grooveshark, etc. And the Google apps are incredible like Sky Maps, Voice, Goggles, Latitude, and Voice Search. Google is definitely king in creating the best apps.

1. Speed

I appreciate Google’s love for optimizing their software for speed.

It’s the only reason I switched from Firefox to Chrome — their V8 Javascript engine is the best (hint: make Chrome for Android) and they are always looking to improve upon it. And that’s why it makes #1 on this list — Froyo (2.2) had a 450% performance boost from 2.1’s Eclair and it runs buttery smooth on the Nexus One’s 1GHz Snapdragon, from the smooth transitions and animations to something simple like loading up an app.