Despite how much I am involved with Android now, and my ever-growing addiction to the platform over the past couple of years, I was surprised to reckon a few weeks ago that I have never experienced Android like it was created and meant to be — ie. on a Nexus device. I have owned and used an HTC Desire Z, an Iconia A100 tablet, a Samsung Galaxy S3 and an LG Optimus 4X HD, but never a Nexus device. That’s because I live in Lebanon, where Nexus devices are a black market rarity and Samsung is everywhere.
However, I eventually managed to convince the local LG team to lend me a Nexus 4 for review. And *insert expletives* I’m blown away.
I don’t know any Android enthusiasts who prefer HTC Sense, Samsung TouchWiz, or any other third-party UI over stock Android and Holo. Most people I know either buy Nexus, or root their device and install CyanogenMod. But then, I’m in an unusual position, surrounded as I am by Android tech writers — perhaps that’s not the case for everyone.
Still, I have to wonder why manufacturers continue to insist on using these skins. I know, I know, it helps with branding and to differentiate their Androids from all the other Androids – but with the dozens of devices out there, I’m surprised that the only top-of-the-line stock devices (hardware-wise) are in the Nexus line.
So this week’s question is a simple one: if a manufacturer did make a decent device running stock Android, without it being a Nexus device, would you consider buying it? Yes or no only — elaborate in the comments if you like.