Most phone makers add a custom UI on top of Android — such as OnePlus’ OxygenOS or Samsung’s One UI — with extra features and a different design. However, these so-called “skins” often come with pre-installed apps that impact the overall user experience. That’s why there’s a demand for phones with stock Android, which hasn’t been modified by another manufacturer.
If you’re in the market for a phone running stock Android, keep reading: you’ll find the best ones below that should fit any budget.
moto g100 – versatile Smartphone with an amazing selfie camera
The moto g100 does not disappoint when it comes to the fundamentals – it offers a solid battery life, a top-tier performance, and display and camera image quality that are very much okay. But the G100’s real strength lies in the combination of features that you can’t find together in a single phone. Ring lights for close-ups (and actually good close-ups) are only slightly more common than unicorns, dual selfie cameras which offer up amazing selfies.
When it comes to Android Motorola was briefly owned by Google from 2012-2014 which for me embedded a culture into their operating system that respects stock Android, but fills the gaps left by Google perfectly. I do know wherever I finish reviewing a Motorola many of the features I feel are stock Android and look for in other handsets. Gestures are a big one, to this day chopping your phone to turn on your flashlight I think should be standard on all handsets.
The Ready For platform has gotten mixed reviews but you can find it sold without the dock which brings down the price about 50€. I feel the dock shows the potential of Android as you can power an external screen with multiple apps running side by side. But to each their own.
It is running Android 11 and will get upgraded to Android 12, Motorola will provide 2 major OS updates (Android 12 & 13) as well as 2 years of bi-monthly security updates.
The moto g100 has been built for versatility so the Snapdragon chip inside is easily powerful enough to meet whatever you throw at it. It also has some comfortable futureproofing as the Snapdragon 870 chipset, is essentially a ‘lite’ version of the super-powerful Snapdragon 888 found in most top Android phones.
We were able to find the moto g100 for around 400€ which makes this phone incredible value.
- Lots of processing power
- Solid camera performance
- Solid fast fingerprint scanner
- Dual Selfie Camera for great selfies
- Great battery life (1-1.5 days)
- Good value
- It’s a large phone
- Slow to charge – 20W charging
- Low light photos can lack detail
Nokia G10 has been launched with a 6.5-inch HD+ v-notch screen, a Helio G25 SoC with 4GB of RAM, a triple-camera setup at the rear with 13MP + 2MP + 2MP camera sensors, and an 8MP selfie camera sensor. A 5050mAh battery powers the smartphone from within. It is one of the best stock Android smartphones as it runs Android 11 without any customizations and supports two years of software upgrades and three years of security updates. You can find it for 130€ which makes it a budget phone that in hand feels mid-range.
Nokia has committed to 2 years of updates which include 2 major version updates, so the current Android 11 OS will get Android 12 & 13.
- Beautiful finish
- Decent cameras for price point
- Nice and clear screen display
- Huge battery
- Budget phone that feels solid
- Slightly slow to register and load
- Built-in speakers hardly worth using
- Camera app slow to navigate and use
- Fingerprint and facial unlocking can trigger too easily
Google Pixel 6
Google launches its Pixel’s with the latest version of Android, so they’re running Android 12. It seems obvious that Google’s own handset would make the list, but the truth is that the past few Pixel’s have fallen short. This year the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are smartphones worth buying especially if camera is at the top of your list. it packs Google’s new Tensor chipset, the first silicon built by the company. It will handle any and all AI tasks that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro perform. That means that other resources could be freed for other tasks, potentially leading to better performance and battery life.
Google Pixel 6
- Fantastic photos
- Good price
- Intriguing design
- No zoom lens
- Middling battery
- Limited storage
Google Pixel 6 Pro
- Multitalented camera
- Big and beautiful screen
- Comes running Android 12
- Love it or hate it design
- Limited storage
- Average battery life
The 899€ Pixel 6 Pro earns its name compared to the basic Pixel 6. With an extra rear camera, a larger and faster 120Hz display, and more memory, it’s got plenty of hardware that will allow it to go toe-to-toe with Samsung’s and Apple’s latest phones.
However, the regular Pixel 6 is the phone to get if you want the best value. For $649€, you get a 6.4-inch 90Hz display and great cameras.
Google will guarantee Android version updates until Oct 2024 and security updates until Oct 2026.
ASUS ROG Phone 5
If you are looking for a gaming phone the ROG Phone 5S or the Pro version are the way to go. They have a Snapdragon 888 5G processor with 16GB of RAM . The display has a high refresh rate of up to 144 Hz, which has a touch sampling rate of 300 Hz. In gameplay it’s capable of the highest detail settings and has broad support for most titles with more than 60 FPS.
The two front-facing speakers get very loud and provide a good sound image. There is also wide support for Bluetooth codecs as well as an excellent audio jack. In terms of battery life, the Pro model is a bit more efficient than the standard variant, both have 6000mAh battery.
You have to be willing to spend 870€ for this phone but this banging gaming prowess is served with a nearly stock Android experience. The ASUS ROG 5 runs Android 11 with the in-house ROG UI is used. Users who do not like this can switch, during the setup, to the standard UI, which is very similar to a pure Android.
ASUS has committed to 2 years of updates which include 2 major version updates, so the current Android 11 OS will get Android 12 & 13.
- Strong performance
- Clean Android
- Audio jack with Quad-DAC
- Powerful speakers
- Bright and accurate display
- No wireless charging
- No microSD support
- No IP certification
Motorola sponsored this article, all ideas are still our own.