India has the second-highest number of cell phone users at 1.28 billion with these numbers only rising every day. The country has become a battleground for smartphone companies who want to grab as many customers as they can. Because once people become fans of certain brands, it’s difficult to change their mindset.
Even company like Apple that makes premiums smartphones has upped their game in luring customers to their ecosystem. Due to good marketing in India, Apple iPhone sales saw a massive 34% increase in sales in Q4 2021. Extremely high priced smartphones doing this well makes the sad state of stock android smartphones even more disheartening.
Stock android phones in India
When it comes to stock android phones in India, you have very limited options. Devices like Pixel 4a Pixel 3 etc are now 2-year-old which in the smartphone cycle is a huge amount of time. Phones like Pixel 5a and Pixel 6 are not available in the country and would not be in the foreseeable future.
So where do Indian stock android fans go? Well, there are options from Motorola in Edge 30 Pro and others. The problem with Motorola devices however are their updates. Motorola is one of the worst companies when it comes to android updates. Your new phone could never get the next version which nullifies the whole point of a stock android phone.
Essentially stock android fans in India are left with no options other than to ask their uncle from the USA to bring them a Pixel or shell out crazy money for overpriced imported Pixel phones on Amazon. Google has no intention of bringing Pixel devices to India!
Who doesn’t Google launch Pixel phones in India
Google does not launch phones in India because they do not have the ability to produce that many phones, simple as that. Google is a software company that manufactures hardware only to showcase its software product and nothing more. Google has made Pixel 6 so they could showcase the full capability of Android 12.
Unlike Apple Google does not want to be a top dog in smartphones as its hands are already full with Google Search and other endeavours.
List of Stock Android phones in India
If your primary need is a stock android phone then I’m sorry to say this but you would be settling for old hardware. All these pure android smartphones are either a few years old or are made by companies other than Google on mid-range hardware. These are your best options for a stock android phone in India.
- Google Pixel 4A
- Motorola Edge 20 Pro
- Motorola Edge 20
- Motorola G60, Edge 20 Fusion etc
- Pixel phones from Amazon
Note: Latest Google Pixel phones sold on Amazon are being sourced from outside India and they are massively overpriced. The Pixel 6 for example is being sold at Rs 60,000 which is way more than the actual price (Rs 47,000) for this device. Similarly, the Pixel 6 Pro is being sold at Rs 84,000 as opposed to Rs 69,000. None of these phones is worth it at those prices.
Stock Android ROMS
ROMS like Pixel Experience are very stable and a viable option if you want to use stock android phones in India. Flashing a ROM however is a big task in itself. It also voids the smartphone’s warranty which isn’t what most people are okay with.
If you have an old phone or if you do not care much about the phone’s warranty being void, you can flash Pixel Experience on your smartphone and enjoy the stock android experience.
Is Stock Android Better?
In the past, UIs like Touchwiz, LG UX, MIUI etc were not very well optimised and often lagged while running. This made stock android massively better in terms of performance as they were stable that making them a delight to use. Now however as companies have polished and refined their UI, there isn’t much of a difference between the two in terms of performance.
Samsung’s One UI is even better in some instances than the stock android. The stock android today has only one advantage over other UIs and that is its design. If you’re a fan of pure Android experience and want the OS on your to be just like Google intended then only go for Pixel phones otherwise there are better options out there from Samsung, Xiaomi etc.
Conclusively it can be said that stock android phones in India are a dying breed. It is more likely that you would not find a device with stock android but even if you do chances of it sporting poor hardware or laden with issues is too high. You’re better off with another smartphone!