Create

5 best Android smartphones with near-stock OS (& 5 things to keep in mind while buying new phone)

Android smartphones continue to remain popular (Image via Unsplash)
Android smartphones continue to remain popular (Image via Unsplash)
Arka Mukherjee

Recently, Android smartphone manufacturers have started filling their devices to the brim with bloatware to maximize their revenue. This leaves users with a poor experience and hinders the device's value proposition.

However, a few manufacturers still make phones with a near-stock experience. These devices are mostly bloatware free and come with clean, bug-free, and responsive Android software.

While there are a few options in the stock Android experience realm, there are enough devices available for users to consider the features they want in a smartphone.


Best Android smartphones with near-stock software

5) Motorola Moto Edge Plus

The Motorola Moto Edge Plus (Image via Motorola)
The Motorola Moto Edge Plus (Image via Motorola)

Specifications:

  • SoC: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 8/12 GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512 GB
  • Battery: 4,800 mAh
  • OS: Android 12

The Motorola Moto Edge Plus comes with one of the best near-stock software experiences on the market. Besides the UI, the phone also features high-end hardware, packing up to a whopping 12 GB of RAM and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC.

While Moto Edge Plus might seem like one of the best Android smartphones on paper, there are a few caveats. It is lopsided in terms of water and dust resistance, but hardcore Moto fans will love this device.


4) ASUS Zenfone 9

The ASUS Zenfone 9 (Image via ASUS)
The ASUS Zenfone 9 (Image via ASUS)

Specifications:

  • SoC: Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
  • RAM: 8/16 GB
  • Storage: 128/256 GB
  • Battery: 4,300 mAh
  • OS: Android 12

ASUS recently launched its compact high-end device, and the Zenfone 9 rocks the Zen UI software, which is almost near to stock. This skin provides a smooth bloat-free experience.

The ASUS Zenfone 9 has closely followed the ROG Phone 6 Pro with 10,89,919 points.The device was announced on Jul 28 with Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of storage. https://t.co/wFxOtLWglG

The Zenfone 9 is one of the most powerful compact flagships available. With up to 16 GB of RAM, 256 GB of storage, and the latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC, it is a powerhouse.


3) SONY Xperia 1 IV

The Sony Xperia 1 IV (Image via Sony)
The Sony Xperia 1 IV (Image via Sony)

Specifications:

  • SoC: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 12 GB
  • Storage: 256/512 GB
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh
  • OS: Android 12

Sony's Xperia lineup is known for its near-stock experience. Although camera-focused, the Xperia 1 IV is one of the most premium devices to own right now.

This phone comes with up to 12 GB of RAM, up to 512 GB of storage, and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. It also packs a large 5,000 mAh battery.

However, the best part is that this device is among the very few to have a 4K display. Its cameras and camera-focused features are also plenty. Thus, photographers and videographers will have an extra edge while using the Xperia 1 IV.


2) ASUS ROG Phone 6 and 6 Pro

The ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro (Image via ASUS)
The ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro (Image via ASUS)

Specifications:

  • SoC: Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
  • RAM: 18 GB
  • Storage: 512 GB
  • Battery: 6,000 mAh
  • OS: Android 12

The ASUS ROG Phone 6 and the 6 Pro are among the best Android smartphones available on the market recently. These devices are focused on gamers.

They come with an industry-leading 18 GB of RAM, 512 GB of storage, and an extra-large 6000 mAh battery.

ASUS has fine-tuned the software to make them feel almost like stock. While some gamer-focused features do not make these devices as good as Google offerings, the ROG Phone 6 is a clean experience.


1) Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro

The Google Pixel 6 (Image via Google)
The Google Pixel 6 (Image via Google)

Specifications:

  • SoC: 5 nm Google Tensor
  • RAM: 12 GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512 GB
  • Battery: 5,003 mAh
  • OS: Android 12

The Google Pixel 6 lineup is among the best Android smartphones of 2022. These flagship devices pack 12 GB of RAM, up to 512 GB of storage, and Google's in-house Tensor processor.

Apart from the excellent cameras and post-processing capabilities, the Pixel devices run 100% authentic stock Android. Since Google makes these phones, the software is almost untouched, with no skins or tuning of any kind.

Thus, users searching for an authentic stock experience should get Google Pixel 6 phones for the best experience.


Guide to buying Android smartphones

With Android smartphones, options are plenty. Thus, it is relatively easy to get confused among the choices available. Thus, pointing to a few critical needs and requirements will help users before choosing their devices.

  1. Always check SoC the Android phone comes with: The SoC will determine the level of performance one can expect from a device. Thus, figuring out the performance level of a particular SoC phone pack is essential.
  2. Do not buy Android smartphones over two years old: Although older phones might seem lucrative with their price cuts and performance levels, avoid them. Phones lose their battery capacity even as they sit on store shelves. The loss can be ~40% for every year it spends unused. Thus, an older device will come with underwhelming battery life. Older devices will also have shorter support and update durations.
  3. Check battery capacity of phone before buying: Most Android devices do not come with optimized battery life. Thus, ensuring a device packs a large enough battery to suit a day's usage is essential. A phone must have at least a 4,500 mAh battery capacity to meet standards in 2022.
  4. Check whether device has enough RAM and storage. RAM and storage also determine user experience to a level. Thus, ensuring an Android smartphone has enough resources is necessary. In 2022, a phone should have at least 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage. Anything less can be considered sub-par.
  5. Consult reviews before finalizing an Android smartphone. Reviews scan devices from the inside out. Honest reviews will report any flaws in a smartphone that might drop its value proposition. Thus, consult a bunch of reviews before finalizing a phone.

Following all these points will help customers make the right decision and get the correct smartphone.

Disclaimer: This article is subjective and reflects the author's opinions.


Edited by Ravi Iyer

Comments

comments icon

Quick Links:

More from Sportskeeda
Fetching more content...