Looking for an Android phone without bloatware can be likened to the proverbial search for a needle in a haystack. Bloatware has been a perennial problem in modern smartphones, Android phones especially. Almost every phone company loads their devices with it. Bloatware in smartphones refers to pre-installed software that comes with the device but is not essential to its core functionality. Bloatware can include apps, services, and other software that the manufacturer or carrier has added to the device.
Bloatware can take up valuable storage space on your device and may also slow down your device’s performance. Annoying notifications are also another pet peeve of mine when it comes to bloatware in smartphones. There are certain phones that welcome you with a barrage of notifications immediately you finish setting them up.
Table of Contents
Examples of Bloatware in smartphones
Some examples of bloatware on smartphones include carrier-branded apps, pre-installed games, and trial versions of software that you may not want or need.
While bloatware can be frustrating for users, it is often included on devices as a way for manufacturers and carriers to generate additional revenue or promote their own services.
However, it is often useless to most users, who prefer to remove bloatware from their devices in order to free up storage space and improve performance. The big problem is that most bloatware can not be deleted or uninstalled, as they are often integrated into the device’s operating system. Some can be deleted, and I usually delete them right away, but quite a number cannot be deleted and one is stuck with them.
Android Phone Companies That Have Bloatware
Almost every single aa droid phone company is guilty of including Bloatware in their smartphones. The list includes the names you likely love: Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Huawei, OPPO, TECNO, Infinix itel, Realme, Vivo, and others. All of the phones from these companies have pre-installed apps that are useless to most users.
These brands all have custom user interfaces for their phones, and those come with plenty of Bloatware. These custom Android skins include: Samsung’s One UI, Motorola’s My UX, OnePlus’ OxygenOS, Xiaomi’s MIUI, etc.
Android Phones Without Bloatware
Google Pixel smartphones: These are made by Google and are Android phones without bloatware. Pixel phones have a clean user experience that some swear and live by.
Nokia smartphones: Noka-branded Android smartphones run stock Android OS. By that, I mean Android phones without a custom user interface. As such, Nokia smartphones come without bloatware, and thus provide users with a clean experience.
Unfortunately, there are indications that Nokia phones might stray from this clean path in the near future and be blessed (or cursed) with a custom user interface sometime in the future. Till that happpens, though, you can buy Nokia smartphones to enjoy a bloatware-free experience.
The Best Android Phone Without Bloatware
What we want to know is the best Android phone without bloatware, and that doesn’t leave us with much room to navigate. Why? Nokia stopped making high-end flagship phones years ago, meaning that they have left the battle for the best Android phone without bloatware to Google. If you want a high-performance bloat-free Android experience today, your only options rest with the Google Pixel camp.
And since the Pixel 8 Pro is currently the best Pixel phone available, as at October 2023, the best Android phone without bloatware is unarguably the Google Pixel 8 Pro. Its price starts from $999 in the United States, C$1,320 in Canada, £999 in the UK, and €1,099 in the European Union.
Alternatively, the Pixel 8 drops some features and specs but is also a compelling Android phone without bloatware and is more pocket-friendly. It sells from $699 in the US, C$894 in Canada, £699 in the UK, and €799 in the EU.
If you want a more budget or more affordable Android phone without bloatware, that’s Nokia’s territory and there are multiple models available from around $100 all the way to $450 to pick from. For example, I have used the $315 Nokia G60 5G, and I found it to be a dependable smartphone.