Best smartphones that run stock or near-stock Android


When it comes to Android smartphones, most fans of Google's platform agree that no other firmware can best the user experience that stock Android totes with itself. As per this breed of folk, neither HTC's Sense UI, nor Xiaomi's MIUI, Sony's Xperia UI, LG's UI, let alone Samsung's TouchWiz UI can come close to the pure enjoyment that derives from the "vanilla" edition of Android, regardless of the latter's version.

It comes to no surprise that the fans of the stock Android user experience are usually looking for a smartphone that will provide them with such; and if they have failed to acquire such a device, they are usually looking for ways to treat their phone to Android that is as close to stock as possible with the aid of third-party custom firmwares, almost all of which are just slightly altered versions of the AOSP platform (looking at you, custom ROMs!). 

Here follow some of the more notable and compelling smartphones of late that run stock or almost-pure Android right out of the box. Check them out right below, but note that the various Android One devices have not been listed.


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34 Comments

1. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

Nexus > Motorola > GPE devices.

21. kristoferallen

Posts: 99; Member since: Jun 23, 2010

The newest Nexus is Motorola.. What do ya know..

25. a_tumiwa

Posts: 393; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

this article forgot to put Android One devices

27. rocky46ruet

Posts: 13; Member since: Jun 23, 2014

No 1, 2, 3 are all android one!!!!

30. techspace

Posts: 1037; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

They were added after some readers complained about it. When he commented there were no android one phones.

2. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

I was expecting them to list some unknown phones in this list

3. g2a5b0e unregistered

Right. This list was pretty much pointless. Any techie could have named all of those without thinking about it. I expected at least one or two surprises.

17. itsjustJOH

Posts: 232; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

Click bait.

23. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

LOL +1 but the thing is this is one of topics that went 'hot' or got quite a few comments. So essentially PA achieved their ultimate goal of getting several view counts/comments. As long as they can achieve their ultimate reward i. e. 'clicks' no one really cares what the quality of article is, sadly.

14. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Everyone should already know that if PA makes TOP list it's usually pointless and just to fill the space on site.

4. Bondurant

Posts: 784; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

Sponsored by Motorola

5. AmitMajumder

Posts: 178; Member since: May 21, 2012

Where are the Android One Phones?

6. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

I'd like if GPE phones become available to other countries. Top quality hardware from OEMs and my favorite great software from Google :)

9. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

The GPE HTC M8 would be close to my perfect phone, if only the camera didn't suck.

7. Mxyzptlk unregistered

There's too much nuthugging for Motorola in this article. Moto X isn't that good of a phone compared to the competition.

11. tedkord

Posts: 17414; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

The Moto X is an absolutely fantastic phone compared to the competition. Especially when you factor in price, but even without it.

12. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Overpriced yes. The battery is pretty awful, the camera is very lackluster. They should treat the Moto X series with the same level of care they give the Droid and Atrix series.

13. magnanimus

Posts: 565; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

All you stated is true but you and a couple other still don't realise why people (including me) still get iPhones and the Moto X? Because the software just works! I'd gladly pick a smooth running phone with mediocre battery and camera over a speced out phone with confusing and stuttery inconsistent OS (that probably wont receive any future updates).

24. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Overpriced? It's better than the competition in regards to performance and it's a couple hundred dollars less. The battery is pretty standard, and for someone who supports Apple, I'm shocked you're even willing to bring up issues with battery life.

8. XaErO

Posts: 353; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

I thought there would be other names .. at least, other than Nexus ..

10. Telemike

Posts: 43; Member since: Nov 30, 2012

original Moto X

15. bob_monkeywarts unregistered

Sort of strange how 4 out of seven are moto low or mid-range devices and the rest is Nexuses, GPE's, and another Moto device...

20. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Not strange at all.

16. Adammcc

Posts: 6; Member since: Mar 19, 2014

How about any one that uses Omni Rom or Cyanogen Mod!

18. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

Honestly, if I were to get an android phone, the first thing I would do is flash it with Muiu, cyanogen mod, or AOSP android. Nothing else. Most of the OEM skins suck.

19. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

I love my first gen G and I picked up an E at Walmart for $50 on New Cricket to use for a backup. Most people don't yet know that Walmart is carrying the E for Cricket, not all stores have them. I use New Cricket, have since it was Aio. If you wanted to unlock it, codes are out there cheap. Good price for a stock Android phone.

22. antmiu2

Posts: 550; Member since: Jun 19, 2011

OnePlus One ,Moto G 2013 , Moto X 2013, all google play edition devices

28. rocky46ruet

Posts: 13; Member since: Jun 23, 2014

Dear fools, number 1, 2, and 3 are all android one device!!!!!

29. g2a5b0e unregistered

They added those later, man. Chill out.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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