Of the approximately 4000 Android devices on the market, a small but growing subset is surging ahead on simplicity and affordability.
Called “pure” or “stock” Androids, these phones run Google’s operating system without making any big changes, which pushes down production costs and may, according to one expert, conserve battery life and operating speed.
The latest is Google’s new Nexus 5X and 6P, which joins Motorola and Sony in this intriguing new class.
When interviewed by The New Daily, a Google spokesman was very careful not to badmouth other companies like Samsung and LG, which heavily modify the Android OS, insisting it was all about offering customers “choice and diversity”.
But he did boast that the new Nexus phones, which run the “purest form” of Android, showcase the full potential of the operating system.
“The goal of that Nexus program is to highlight what’s possible,” Google spokesman Shane Treeves said.
“The thinking behind these phones is to be able to show the latest version of the Android operating system, which is the base, the glue I guess, that works across all the Android phones that makes everything work.”
A phone comparison expert confirmed to The New Daily that pure Androids are on the rise, offering impressive benefits – especially price and ease-of-use.
“A number of the major manufacturers are either releasing pure Android phones or they’re releasing phones with very little additions made to the Android system,” WhitleOut editor Joseph Hanlon said.
“For a company like Motorola, you look at the price of their phones and there is a difference, a significant difference in price. Cutting out the development cost would be one of the contributing factors, for sure.”
Many Android users are warming to these simpler devices, even the most technologically-savvy, Mr Hanlon said.
“The vocal Android users do talk about stock Android quite a lot. The tech-savvy users like to keep their phones lightweight.
“The impression is that when manufacturers add things, it slows down the processing, it chews through the battery, so in a lot of ways it would be smart.”
A smartphone researcher previously told The New Daily that companies like Apple are not giving consumers what the majority of the market actually want: phones that are cheaper and smaller, with longer battery life and better functionality.
Commenting on the newest iPhone, Queensland University of Technology’s Dr Christine Satchell accurately predicted the price would not drop, despite buyer demand.
“I think maybe user needs and actual design are going in opposite directions here,” Dr Satchell said.
“Cost-wise, we’re looking at an increase in cost, potentially, and that again doesn’t probably sit that well with the average user.”
Pure Androids may never dominate the market. Many companies will want to differentiate their products through tinkering, Mr Hanlon predicted. But there are some clear benefits to the consumer of considering ‘going pure’.
“Going forward, it would be smarter for manufacturers to [go pure], although I’d say that companies like Samsung will still want to differentiate their products with software. So that’s not going to change any time soon.”
Examples of pure, or nearly pure, Androids
|Google Nexus 5X |
RRP: $659 Specs, 5.2 inch LCD screen, 2GB storage, 2700mAh battery, 12 MP camera
|Moto G (3rd gen) |
RRP $329, 5 inch screen, 8GB, 2470mAh battery, 13MP camera, waterproof
|Sony Xperia Z5 Compact|
RRP $849, 4.6 inch screen, 32GB storage, 2700 mAh battery, 23MP camera
-with Anthony Colangelo