I Chose an Android One Device Over All Types of Smartphones

Choosing a reliable smartphone is hard. But, I have an answer

Shalitha Suranga
Oct 26 · 5 min read
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Photo by Nifty Leather on Unsplash

The smartphone market is huge and very competitive. A new set of smartphone models are getting released regularly. Indeed, every smartphone model is not perfect, there are some pain-points as well. However, we can become a bit smarter to choose a mobile phone which is having overall good things. If we draw a decision-tree for selecting a good mobile phone, the operating system can be the first decision because modern mobile phone hardware components are almost alike due to the competition between manufacturers.

Choosing a reliable smartphone is hard because there are a lot of smartphone models in the market, and it is not practical to use everything for finding the best matching one for us. Additionally, we cannot trust modern reviews on the internet. I had to face this situation a few years ago, and I eventually found an answer. First, I removed iOS devices from my wishlist since their operating system is having so many limitations even for developers. I appreciate the following sentences said by Richard Stallman who is the founder of the Free Software Foundation for Apple devices at an interview.

He figured out a way to make computers that are jails to their users but make them so shiny that millions beg to be jailed. — Richard Stallman

Thereafter, my only choices were Android and Windows. The Windows mobile community was so small and there was no mature application ecosystem. Additionally, the Windows mobile operating system had Windows 8-like UI which I don’t like so much.

Android Has Many Flavors

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Photo by Kaizen Nguyễn on Unsplash

Today, the Android operating system is almost like Linux. There are many customized Android versions similar to the Linux distributions because Android is an open-source project. Therefore, it is completely up to us to select a preferred flavor. Unfortunately, many customized versions come with bloatware and. Some distributions have modified the original UI so much to build a unique style of manufacturers. My opinion is that Android One devices are performing better than other smartphones (iOS, Windows, and devices other Android flavors) considering comparison factors such as performance, bloatware count, the reputation of the particular hardware manufacturer, software upgrades, and price.

I am currently using a Nokia 6.1 Plus. However, smartphones that use stock Android are obviously great. However, some drawbacks are coming from the price and the manufacturer. For example, Google itself doesn’t produce Google Pixel devices and those devices are expensive than Android One devices. Android operating system and Android One devices both are performing well in all aspects due to the following key factors according to my experience.

Minimalism

Android One concept motivates manufacturers to do lesser modifications to the original operating system by allowing users to experience a near-stock version of Android. There are not so many bloatware like other most popular distributions. Therefore, these devices have a very good battery life and performance. Indeed, Android One manufacturer usually doesn’t try to promote their apps over Google applications. Google-styled applications promote minimalism and do what is need without over-complicating things.

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Simple user-friendly Settings app in Android One, screenshot by the author

The majority of users are using Gmail and other Google-made applications which are linked to a single email address. Everything is simple when there is one centralized account. Further, the usability and workflow of Google-style applications are matching exactly with Android’s system UI.

Upgrades and Hardware

Android One devices will receive at least two years of operating system upgrades and patches. Since these mobile phones are using near-stock Android, software updates can be downloaded very earlier than other Android mobile phones which are having highly customized Android versions. From my experience, Android One devices receive security patches about one time per month. Importantly, most of the built-in apps are residing in Google Play Store and those apps are having separate release pipelines by enabling faster and frequent feature delivery for users.

Nokia’s Android One mobile phones have overall good durable hardware components. Further, all other manufacturers who are on the list are well-reputed digital device manufacturers too.

Linux is great, So Android is…

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Photo by Paul Carroll on Unsplash

The Android operating system was built modifying the Linux kernel which is initially written by Linux Torvalds. Android and Linux kernel, both modules are open source projects. Therefore, there is a very high probability to catch core-level vulnerabilities because the open-source community is involved, unlike closed-source mobile operating systems. Indeed, almost the internet runs on the Linux kernel for many years by giving a better proof to accept that the Linux kernel is very competitive with the XNU kernel which is used by iOS. Perhaps, kernel-level comparisons are not needed nowadays because modern mobile hardware is powerful enough to overcome the existing drawbacks of kernels.

Earlier, the just-in-time (JIT) compilation concept based Dalvik virtual machine was the application runtime for Android. Thereafter, Android Runtime (ART) replaced Dalvik by introducing ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation concept to achieve better performance, efficient hardware usage, and longer battery life.

It is so important that choosing a smartphone shouldn’t be limited to the brand and features. Simplicity, freedom, and long-term support are also key points for people who think smart.

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Shalitha Suranga

Written by

Software Engineer at 99x | Apache PMC member | Open Source Contributor (Author of Neutralinojs) | Technical Writer

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +734K people. Follow to join our community.

Shalitha Suranga

Written by

Software Engineer at 99x | Apache PMC member | Open Source Contributor (Author of Neutralinojs) | Technical Writer

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +734K people. Follow to join our community.

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