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Best 2017 phones that run stock or near-stock Android

Best 2017 phones that run stock or near-stock Android

So, you're on the market for a stock Android device? We understand, the experience is unlike any other... and that's a pretty double-edged sword.

On one hand, we have the simplicity and the no-frills experience that Google has envisioned in the first place. Although the pack of Android manufacturers are upping their game with each and every year, it's hard for a custom Android skin to beat Google's vanilla Android on the same hardware.

On the other hand, it's quite easy to deem stock Android as boring or even dead due to the simple fact that  it is as bare-bones as you might imagine, with only the essential suite of features on board. There aren't any 'exciting' or intriguing added functionalities on deck, and it goes without saying that there are a tons of beneficial features LG, Sony, Samsung, and all the other smartphone makers throw in on their phones/custom Android re-skins.

Right below, you will find all the notable smartphones available or about to be released this year with bone-stock or near-stock Android running the show. Have in mind we've sorted them in alphabetical order.

Essential Phone


Best 2017 phones that run stock or near-stock Android
Phone

With some pretty decent hardware and sleek modern design, the Essential phone arrived with a bang. It's best feature - undoubtedly, that one won't be the bezelless design or the modular addons, but the stock Android interface that's making the phone click and tick. That's courtesy of Andy Rubin - Essential's CEO - which is also one of the founding fathers of Android itself.




Google Pixel 2


Best 2017 phones that run stock or near-stock Android
Pixel 2

The Pixel 2 follows the model set by last year's first-gen Pixel, combining top-notch specs with Google's software expertise. Powered by the latest Android 8.0 Oreo (with no bloat whatsoever), the phone offers a set of promising stereo speakers, a 5-inch OLED screen, water resistance and a rear-positioned fingerprint scanner. Its highlight, however, is the 12MP camera. While it is no slower than any other high-end camera, this shooter uses multiple frame processing to create photos with better dynamics range. Portrait mode is also on board. One thing that is missing, however, is a 3.5mm audio jack.


Google Pixel 2 XL


Best 2017 phones that run stock or near-stock Android
Pixel 2 XL

The Pixel 2 XL is the physically larger counterpart to the Pixel 2, offering the same top-notch hardware specs, in addition to a bigger screen and a greater battery reserve. Its 6-inch display is built around the 18:9 aspect ratio, meaning that it is taller, fitting more content without being impossibly difficult to hold. Stereo speakers are on board with this one, but a 3.5mm jack isn't. A highlight of the Pixel 2 XL is the 12MP camera. While it is no slower than any other high-end camera, this shooter uses multiple frame processing to create photos with better dynamics range. Portrait mode is also on board.



Motorola


All of Motorola's devices come with essentially bare Android that's only featuring some minor alterations and additional features that by no means alter the stock Android experience.



Nokia


Nokia, albeit a newcomer to the scene, is also starting off on the right foot by throwing near-stock Android on its smartphones. PhoneArena Seal of Approval!



OnePlus 5


Best 2017 phones that run stock or near-stock Android

5

Much has been said about the OnePlus 5 already, but it could easily be the best Android phone out there - even at $479, it's hard to beat its feature set, and $539 buy you a literal pocket monster. The Android interface on deck might not be as stock as purists would like, but it's pleasingly close to stock to warrant a mention.


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