Hey there, we wanted to research and find the best software android phone out there in the market, from the likes of Google’s Pixel Series to the Android market dominator the Samsung lineups. Let’s first do an analysis of what different companies offer from UI Skin to the Latest Android Versions. Let’s begin with finding out the Best Software Android phone for 2021
Whats an Android UI Skin?
So basically, it’s a modified version of the Android Operating System based on what Google current version of OS is offered. The Companies create a User Interface on top of the vanilla version of android. Many of you might know Android skins and Custom ROM’s as well, this is basically made from the principle of modification also known as “Mods”
They change system level UI as well as provide their own launchers on top, Most companies make their Own skin just to place ads and do marketing.
What’s good is they have a bunch of a load of features that the stock version doesn’t provide, It’s good to have those features but it makes the UI slow and performs sluggishly at times.
How long will Android Phone get OS Updates?
From the track record and history of Android, Only the Google Series of Lineup of devices the old Nexus & Pixel Series have gotten 3 years of OS updates along with frequent security patch updates. But as of 2021, Samsung has announced & has promised 3 years of OS updates and 4 years of security patch updates for its Flagship and budget-premium lineup of devices.
By far the best Software Android phone was a Pixel Series. Certainly, Qualcomm also announced its newer Chipset which will be focused to support Android Version for up to 4 years, And we are yet to see any brand implement this feature as hardware is promising, the only thing that needs improving is the Software.
So, Some of you might think what if we can use custom launchers if it just changing User Interface.
That’s a great way to deal with the Home screen of Android, as most brands follow iOS copy skins by installing stock launcher like NOVA or Lawnchair – launchers it helps improve the UI on the front end. But what launchers can’t do is change system level UI like setting or navigation drawer, lock screen or manage notifications. Even if some tries to do it, it’s always buggy filled with ads and bloatware ( But they do offer premium versions without ads & bloatware as well).
Best Software Android Launcher : NOVA launcher
What are the parameters kept in mind for the best software android phone
So we found out from bunch of users in Twitter what they wanted and here is the list :-
“Longest Software Support”
Best software android phone should at least provide fast and long software support. As most users like to keep their phones for as long as it runs fine and doesn’t start lagging and freezing generally android users keep their devices for around 2 years – most are budget segment devices, but some premium ones as well, because companies provide max 2 years of updates.
- Clean Stock Android with Best Performance
- Regular Security Updates
- At least 3 Major OS Updates
- No Ads, No Bloatware
- Good RAM Management
- Fluid Animations with Fewer stutters
- Optimized battery usage
So, Basically this what we look for an Ideal Best Software Android Phone in 2021. First we list the top picks for the list and the crown the champion android phone.
1. Google Pixel Series
The No.1 OG smartphone for “Best Software Android” is Pixel Series, they are the most intuitive software experience almost closely matched with Apple’s iOS. They have clean stock Android which will suffice most users as those extra features aren’t required for day to day activities.
UI : Stock UI – vanilla version of android
So, what do Pixel Series offer, they launched their lineup with Pixel 4A, Pixel 4A 5G and Pixel 5. All of them were targeted for premium midrange or budget. As all of the them run on Snapdragon 7XX Series of chipset. Generally meant for midrange, but known for high battery optimization.
Google Pixel 5
Quick Specs: 6.0″ OLED 90Hz display, Snapdragon 765G with 8GB RAM/128GB Storage. 4080mAh Battery with all the Flagship features like IP68, wireless charging, and other certifications.
Its was launched on 30th September 2020 with Android 11 Out-of-the-box
Software Support: The company has promised that it will provide updates up until October 2023
3 year OS & Security Updates – Most likely 3 Iterations of the android version will be provided up until android 14.
What Does it Offer: Fast android security updates, early access to upcoming android versions like Android 12 or 13 with Developer Preview. Fluid and smooth experience with good RAM Management, & Optimized battery as well. Checks out most of the boxes for the overall best software android phone.
Cons: Mid-level performance, not ideal for long term usage and not meant for gamers.
2. Samsung S21 – Series
Samsung is No.1 when it comes to Global android market share with the most bought premium android devices from th S Series to Note Series, they are directly compared with new iPhone because of how great they work for Android Operating System.
UI : OneUI
Samsung released 3 variants of S21 all with 5G – the S21, S21 Plus and most featured packed S21 Ultra, we look at the most premium version as all the three have similar specs and software, only there’s a minor change in camera and screen size.
OneUI might be considered as the best software android because a lot of the companies from the likes of Oneplus, LG & Few Others starting taking inspiration from the software and somewhat copied their UI principal which is a good thing for the end consumer. As their UI was built for One-handed mode which other brands also implemented.
Samsung S21 Ultra
Quick Specs: 6.8″ dynamic AMOLED 120 Hz, with Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 (based on different regions) with up to 16GB RAM and 512GB storage, 5000mAh Battery with all the Flagship features for Android and more like Reverse wireless charging etc.
It was launched on January 29, 2021 with OneUI 3.1 based on Android 11.
Software Support: The company has taken new routes in term of software updates & has promised up to 4 years of Android updates. Up until Android 14.
3 year OS & 4 year Security Updates which is the most we have seen for Android up until now.
What does it Offer: It the most updated and feature-packed Android device money can buy as both Hardware and software of the device is Top-notch, It brings the long software support of Pixel with extra performance and improvements on the hardware level. It takes the Android experience up a notch from other Android vendors.
“longest and best software android support as of now”
Cons: Not a big issue but some bloatware and marketing ads of Samsung is shown here and there, which users need to find disable in the settings or delete unnecessary Microsoft junk, which is kind of annoying as users are paying a high price for the device.
3. Oneplus 9 Series
Oneplus was one of the major brands that competed with the likes Pixel lineup of series because of its fast and reliable version of Android OS, which was built on stock Android but much faster & smoother, without any hiccups. They recently changed their UI principles to take on their own UI Skin for Android called the OxygenOS which indeed clean, minimal, no ads & bloatware which users love.
Its previous Oneplus lineup of series was regarded the best software android phone in the market, As they were a lot faster & smoother than Pixel Series and they unlike Older Pixel Series which slowed down quite a bit were the complete opposite of them, they were recommended go-to Android for best UI experience.
But things have changed, And in 2021 we see new Oneplus with a lot of differences from before and their take is much possessive now, with Lots of bugs and slow patch-ups etc, to say the least. Their brand now is focusing more on marketing & hyping rather than improving it on a software level. They could have been the best software android phone – but their approach is different now.
UI : OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11
They have released three variants this time around with a lot of focus on cameras with partnership from Hasselblad, but we aren’t into cameras, for now, their range is Oneplus 9 & 9 Pro and Oneplus 9R for Some Markets cheaper version with similarities with Old Oneplus 8T
OnePlus 9 Pro
Quick Specs: 6.7″ LTPO AMOLED 120 Hz, with Snapdragon 888, up to 12GB RAM and 256 storage, 4500mAh Battery with all the Flagship features for Android and 50-watt Fast wireless charging.
It was launched on March 23, 2021 with OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11.
Software Support: The company hasn’t promised anything about software, from the track record they are known to provide 3 major OS updates for their Flagship with a few here & there security updates mostly on a quarterly basis. (Guaranteed 2 year of OS updates – As we speaking of New Oneplus now).
No promises up to 3 years OS & Security updates may subject to change as the brand is taking a different route this time around.
What does it Offer: The cleanest version of Android with a ton of customization & useful features, without any bottlenecking and performance issues. Runs like a charm as it has a high Ram.
Cons: It should’ve been none as they were best for Software. But after Carl Pie left the Company, their software support has become a little sluggish over time, And a lot of users have reported few freezes in UI & Camera after some updates. Maybe because of in-experience software engineers. This should not be a problem, But they aren’t acknowledging a lot of issues fast in recent times & are slow to address them.
So far we have seen top tier smartphones now let’s go to the mid-tier segment as most users tend to buy this range.
4. Samsung A Series
Samsung A-Series has to be one of the popular premium midranges of devices as they apart from the processor, have all the flagship-level features like IP rating, in-display Fingerprint & great cameras as well. The Samsung Galaxy A51 was one of the top sold Android phones in the market with over 6 million units sold, this year Samsung yet again launched its successor the A52 & A72.
UI : OneUI 3.1 based on Android 11
So, the company launched several variants of A Series for different markets the A52 5G, A52, A72 5G and A72, we will be taking look at A52 5G as that device makes the most sense for the price point.
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
Quick Specs: 6.5″ AMOLED 120Hz, Snapdragon 750G with up to 8GB RAM & 256GB Storage, 4500 mAH Battery along with IP67 Rating and OIS on cameras.
Its was launched on March 17, 2021 with Android 11
Software Support: It’s the best we have seen in this price segment as brands don’t even properly give 2 years of update that too with a lot of delays, but Samsung has surprised us, And now they have promised 3 years of OS updates and 4 years of security updates. Making it the best Software Android phone for the price.
“longest and best software android support on a budget as of now”
3 year OS & 4 year Security Updates best software android in this price segment.
Only Competitor is Pixel 4A.
what does it Offer: Almost the same UI stuff as the S21 Series with OneUI 3.1 on top mostly can run smoothly for 2 years can’t tell about later, as its mid-range chip and software updates slow down devices over time with battery degradation.
Cons: Unusual marketing and bloatware found in OneUI which can be disabled, Also a ton of Microsoft Apps pre-bundled which is both good & bad depending upon the usage.
5. Android One Series
So, Coming to Our Last spot on the list basically, this isn’t very great in terms of Software as a lot of companies don’t provide a quality update – (Tons of bugs), But the Android One has to be best for its price range and what it offers on paper at least if everything goes well. They are best for the budget segment.
If the execution is perfect might be the best software android phone under 200$, But company screw up updates, my most logical assumption is they slow-down and introduce bugs so that user look for newer options and give them a sale for current gen products.
Xiaomi A1 with Android One was one the most sold android phone out there with the best software android out there, it was the best example for android one, as it not only got 2 OS updates but regularly was getting security updates for up to 3 years, I have personally used it, and it still works like a charm on Android Pie. The UI is smooth if we maintain storage space and interestingly there are no Ads.
Coming to the 2021 Best Android One, certainly, we haven’t found the One we needed to be on the list, As the popular ones aren’t getting fast updates as promised & there is quite a bit of delay.
For the sake of Placeholder we will list few of the devices which we know will be worth it.
“Best Software Android Support on a budget”
Nokia 8.3 5G
This is a one-year-old smartphone with an old 1 year Android Operating System, It was launched on March 2020 with Android 10 and recently has gotten an Android 11 update most likely it will get only another OS update. 2-year security updates.
Its good because of its clean stock android almost Pixel like experience with no ads & bloatware and same goes with its cheap models running Android One. Performance and value isn’t their best suite, but the best software android for the price range it offers.
Few Other Models we recommend almost like stock
Nokia 5 & 3 Series running Android One
Motorola G-Series of Lineup mostly they are stock android, but aren’t well known for fast updates
Samsung M-Series mostly gets 2 major OS updates, along with security patches.
Winner: So, who is the winner for Mid 2021, As we are yet to see Newer Pixel Lineup & Note Series of Devices. Well, for now, the best software android with all the features and perks & High-end performance goes to Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Best Software Android Phone 2021: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
No Phone is perfect so we had to choose for the most optimal and consistent performance with an overall balanced set of features for the best software android phone one requires, who can actually compete with likes iPhone Pro Series of Devices.
Stay tuned as 2021 is not over yet and we see a new competitor for the best software android phone in future, As brands are getting better at Software updates.
“Best Software Android will be updated once the release of newer versions of the above releases come”
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