Smartphones on a budget, for the pure Android experience
Most phonemakers like to tinker with their smartphone’s software to preload features and apps that they think adds more value to the device and will enhance the user experience in the long run.
Companies such as Xiaomi, Samsung, LG and HTC have their own custom UI (user interface) and each looks different from the other. Users like them because of their funky looks, colourful themes, flexibility and features.
Despite all this, there are many users who prefer stock Android interface for their simplicity. Phones running plain Android look less bloated, have few preloaded apps, run smoothly even on basic hardware and are more likely to receive Google updates.
Here are some smartphones which run Android Nougat with a stock Android interface and you don’t have to spend a lot to get one.
Xiaomi Mi A1
Google is hoping to revive the Android One program and they have got Xiaomi on board to tap its huge fan following. The Mi A1 runs the purest form of Android based on Android 7.1.2 and is expected to get the Oreo update by December 2017. Unlike previous smartphones in the Android One program, this looks a lot premium with a sleek (7.3mm) metal body. Its powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core chipset with 4GB RAM, has 5.5-inch Full HD (1,920x1,080p) display and offers dual (12+12megapixel) cameras.
Moto G5 Plus
The Moto G5 Plus sits between the smaller screen Moto G5 (Rs11,999) and the bigger G5s Plus (Rs15,999). It comes with a 5.2-inch screen, with resolution of 1,920x1,080p and a layer of Gorilla Glass 3 for protection against scratches. It runs Android 7.1 and will be one of the first Moto smartphones to get the Oreo update. Its other highlights include the splash-resistant body, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor and 4GB RAM.
Made by Indian company Smartron, the Srt.Phone is a budget smartphone endorsed by former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. It runs Android 7.1 with plain Android UI. The only third-party app is the company’s IOT (Internet of Things) app TronX. It is powered by Qualcomm’s capable Snapdragon 652 octa-core chipset paired with 4GB RAM. It is a big-screen smartphone and has a 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 1,920x1,080p.
Lenovo K8 Plus
The K8 Plus is one of the first Lenovo smartphones which run plain Android (7.1) instead of the Vibe UI. It is likely to get the Oreo update by the end of this year or early next year. Like earlier smartphones in the K series, it uses a MediaTek chipset, but a powerful one. The Helio X23 with 4GB RAM can handle most tasks and games without breaking a sweat. The smartphone’s other talking points include the 5.5-inch Full HD display, 4,000mAh battery, Dolby Atmos powered audio and dual (12+5 megapixel) cameras.
One of the strong points of HMD’s Nokia 5 is that it runs Android 7.1 with pure Android UI. It is likely to get an Android Oreo update in a few months time. The innards are at par with most of the rivals. At the heart is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core chipset paired with 2GB RAM. It is a dependable chipset and more than adequate for casual users. The smartphone’s exterior is made of a single piece of aluminium and it comes in four attractive colours—tempered blue, matte black, copper and silver. The 5.2-inch display packs a healthy resolution of 1,280x720p, which is not bad for the screen size.