If you are tired of dealing with irregular software updates & sloppy bug fixes; and are looking for an affordable yet durable smartphone, then take a look at Google’s Android One offerings. In this article, we’ll tell you about the best Android One phones you can buy today. But first, what is Android One?
For a long time, the weakest point of the Android OS has been untimely software updates. The main reason for this being the smartphone manufacturers building their own themes on top of the OS in order to offer more features to their customer base and distinguish their products from the competition as well.
In order to deal with this problem, Google launched the Android One program in 2014.
Under this program, Google set some guidelines that the manufacturers must follow. Some of the most important ones being:
- Google sets the standard for the hardware & the software.
- The phone ships with stock Android.
- Guaranteed system updates for two years.
- Guaranteed security updates for three years.
As per this program, the manufacturers take care of the hardware & design part while Google controls the update cycle. For this, Google partnered with well-established manufacturers like HTC & Xiaomi. Later on, Nokia joined the bandwagon too.
Initially, the initiative was targeted at emerging countries; the idea was to provide the best of Android at an affordable rate. This changed in 2017 when high-priced phones started shipping with stock Android under the banner of Android one.
Now, in 2019, there are a lot of manufacturers producing multiple Android One phones. But, which one’s the best? Which one should you buy? Let’s find out.
Best Android One Phones
Now that we are done with the details, here are some of the best Android One phones.
Please note that the list is not in any specific order.
Nokia 9 PureView
By any chance, if you were living under a rock; Nokia is making Android phones. In fact, some of the best Android phones in the market, I’d say.
When Nokia came back to the smartphone game, instead of creating their own mobile OS, they went with the stock Android (in the footsteps of Android One program); something that they should have done a long time ago. Now, they offer Android One in almost all of their phones.
Nokia unveiled its flagship device – Nokia 9 PureView – in February of 2019. And, its headlining feature is the rear camera. It features a 5-camera setup at the back. They combine images into a single photo when you take a shot. It’s worth considering if you are into smartphone photography & want to take your game to the next level.
Specs-wise, it’s good & powerful. You won’t find the latest specs here since it was launched in the early period of this year. Still, it’s a pretty solid phone, spec-wise.
It features a Snapdragon 845 processor, Adreno 630, a 5.99” P-OLED screen with a resolution of 1440×2880, 6 GB RAM, a 3320 mAh battery & ships with Android 9.0, a.k.a. Android Pie. The phone is also IP67 rating certified for dust & water resistance.
Motorola One Vision
With a 21:9 aspect ratio, Motorola One Vision has one of the best displays in the list.
Motorola has been known for its OS experience for a long time now. I’ve always been a fan of both their hardware & software. I remember when I had the Moto G3 a long time ago, and using it was a pure joy every day, and the best part was the OS. With Android One & Moto One Vision, Motorola has taken that experience & has pumped it up a notch.
The phone, launched in the May of 2019, features a 6.3” LTPS IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 1080×2520, an Exynos 9609 chipset, 4 GB RAM, 48 MP rear camera, 5 MP front-facing camera, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, a 3500 mAh battery with fast charging & ships with Android 9.
The Nokia 8.1 is a robust, well-made & good-looking Android One smartphone.
Launched in December 2018, it features specs like a 6.18” screen of 1080×2280 resolution, Snapdragon 710 processor, Adreno 616, 4 or 6 GB RAM, SD card support for up to 400 GB, 12 & 13 MP dual rear camera, 20 MP front-facing camera, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, 3500 mAh battery with fast charging (which many users claim lasts up to 2 days) & ships with Android 9; upgradable to Android 10.
Another stellar Nokia phone under the umbrella of Android One is Nokia 7.1.
The smartphone features a 5.84” IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 1080×2280. It supports native HDR10 content playback. Other than that, the specs list goes something like this – Snapdragon 636, Adreno 509, 3 GB RAM, SD card support for up to 400 GB, 12 & 5 MP dual rear camera, 8 MP front-facing camera, a 3060 mAh battery with fast charging, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC & Android 8.1; upgradable to next updates.
The cameras are okay & the phone has a big bottom chin. If you are fine with that, it’s one of the best Android One smartphone you can buy.
Xiaomi Mi A2
I’ve used the MI A1 for more than 2 years & it’s one of the best Android One phones I’ve used. But, it’s old news now. If it still got system updates, I would have surely recommended it; but it doesn’t.
Then, there’s the MI A3, the latest smartphone in this line-up. And, although it has a superb build quality & design, I’m just not a fan of the screen.
The solution? Mi A2. I think it’s got the best parts of both Mi A1 & Mi A3.
The phone is pretty solid specs-wise too. It’s got 5.99” LTPS IPS LCD panel with a screen resolution of 1080×2160, Snapdragon 660, Adreno 512, 4 GB or 6 GB RAM, 12 MP & 20 MP rear camera, 20 MP front-facing camera, 3000 mAh battery with fast charging & Bluetooth 5.0.
By now, it should be pretty clear that Nokia makes some of the best Android One phones in the market. They are targeting the entry-level segment with Nokia 4.2. That’s why, for the price, the phone packs some serious value. It’s got a 5.7” screen with a screen resolution of 720×1520, Snapdragon 439, 2 GB or 3GB RAM & a 3000 mAh battery.
The specs may not look attractive on paper, but bundle them with stock Android, and you’ve got an awesome daily driver.
So, there you have it – the best Android One phones you can buy right now. Since all the phones mentioned above are in different price ranges, you’ll be getting different specifications; but the software experience remains similar. Plus, you can’t go wrong with any Android One phone, so just pick one & enjoy the Android experience as it is meant to be enjoyed.
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