You like to mess with your phone? Unlock that bootloader and flash some ROMs? Soon there'll be another option for would-be tinkers who want to run mods. Google just approved the first ever Android phone to run the ever-popular Cyanogenmod right out of the box.
The hardware's not new. It's literally just the Oppo N1 -- a high-end Chinese-made phone with a weird flippy camera thing -- but with a modified ROM loaded up on it from the start. You could always just hack your phone and do this sort of thing yourself, but the big deal is that Google OKed this; in order to sell an Android product with the suite of Google apps included, you have to get Google's blessing. And the Cyanogenmod team did. Other products that run forked or modified versions of Android (we're looking at you Kindle Fire) don't have those apps included.
You probably won't want the Cyanogen Oppo N1; it's cheaper to just pick up a Nexus 5 and put Cyanogenmod on there yourself. But the fact that Google's explicitly bestowed its blessing on a ROM opens up a whole new, weird world of pre-modded hardware. It's crazy to think that Google's explictly cool with encouraging a ROM that's nipping at its heels feature-wise. But if Google can bring more users to its services, it's all worth it in the long run. The Cyanogenmod version of the Oppo N1 will go on sale December 24th. [Google+]