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Would You Pay a Small Fee (Less Than $20) For a Stock Android OTA Download Option?

<body><p>I get that companies want to differentiate their phones to stand out and one of those ways to do that is to put a skin over stock Android. Sometimes these skins can be great and even enhance the overall Android experience while still remaining fairly "light" (original Moto X comes to mind). If I recall correctly, Moto X also had most of its enhancements setup as apps which could be updated through the Play Store. That would be another great option if Axon could offer some of its features (like its camera) as a separate downloadable app. What better way to build a devoted customer base than offer the power of choice to people? Stock Android with the ability to install Axon's enhancements or leave them off. That was one thing Motorola did very good in my opinion. The original Moto X was an awesome overall phone and one of the biggest reasons was for it's relatively light Android interpretation with intelligent, very useful enhancements. Other manufacturer skins tend to overcomplicate and are detrimental to performance versus stock android (earlier versions of Samsung's Touchwiz come to mind).</p><p></p><p>So considering phone manufacturers want an identity and they have invested money into software development for their skinned Android OS, what if we, the customer, financially incentivized them to give us a stock Android option they could provide us OTA? I understand they would have to invest some time into developing a stock version to work with their hardware and time costs money.  So let's offer to pay them to cover that cost of development and give them good reason to give us a choice to install stock Android on the Axon 7.</p><p></p><p>Here is the kicker though. If we are paying for this option, it also must NOT void ANY of the phone's warranty. Custom ROMs or unlocking the bootloader, I can somewhat understand the warranty argument. If a stock Android download, developed by Axon, is offered, there should be no reason warranty should be altered in any way.</p></body>

Would You Pay a Small Fee (Less Than $20) For a Stock Android OTA Download Option? 325 votes

82% 268 votes
17% 57 votes


  • hollaphollap United StatesPosts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    1000 times yes.

  • DrakenFXDrakenFX Mobile United StatesPosts: 2,127 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    If they do it and release factory images along side Stock Android and a software to flash stock images (Odin , LG UP, etc) and everything mention from OP, SURE count me in.

  • mrknight85mrknight85 United StatesPosts: 649 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I Would pay the damn $20

  • rczriderrczrider AshevillePosts: 352

    No.  I can (and have) unlocked my bootloader without voiding my warranty and CM is on the way (with or without ZTE's official help).  There's no compelling reason for me to pay for this (except to donate to the devs putting their time into doing what ZTE should have been doing from the beginning).

    EDIT: ​'s take is valid, though.  If they give me everything I want (unlocked bootloader without voiding the warranty, factory images, and a vanilla Android ROM option), then sure.

  • I'll pay to use any version of Android that is not miFavor.

    Not in favor of miFavor

  • I thought unlocking bootloader voided the warranty. I saw the option in my settings but didnt want to try it.

  • mrknight85mrknight85 United StatesPosts: 649 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    unlocking your bootloader from zte or 3rd party voids your warranty

  • gryphticongryphticon Quebec, CanadaPosts: 315 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    No, if we should pay for something, it's for the MiFavor skin. I really liked ZTE so far but them pulling out a stunt like that and charging for stock android would no longer make me recommend their products. I don't want a micro transaction in a phone in order to get a different version of the OS.

  • rczriderrczrider AshevillePosts: 352

    That toggle switch doesn't do anything.  It won't actually unlock your bootloader.

    And yes, unlocking the bootloader voids the warranty, assuming they know you unlocked the bootloader.  Which they would only know if you went through their official unlock request (which isn't even available anymore).  Thanks to some brave folks who did it, some enterprising devs over at XDA figured out how to unlock (and re-lock) without ZTE's permission.

    So you can unlock, do whatever you want, and re-lock if you need to send it in.  It's a shame that this is necessary, but it's stupid (and illegal in the EU) for ZTE to void the warranty for something that does not in any way harm the device.

  • rczriderrczrider AshevillePosts: 352

    I guess, but why would you tell them you unlocked the bootloader in the first place?  It's stupid (and illegal in places like the EU) for them to void the warranty for something that doesn't actually harm the device in any way, so I choose to ignore their ridiculous policy and do what I want with the phone that I purchased.  They'll honor the warranty if something breaks on the phone because they won't have any idea that I unlocked my phone in the first place.

  • mrknight85mrknight85 United StatesPosts: 649 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    what if someone hard bricks the device and can't relock the bootloader then they can't sent it in for repairs and why not just buy a device with a unlocked boot loader if flashing roms and molding the system is so important to that person or persons people bought the device know there was a chance the boot loader would not be unlock able the complain later down the line and zte is not the first company to void warranty if you unlock bootloader or root your device come on people

  • tabletalker7tabletalker7 Posts: 167 ✭✭✭✭✭

    20 bucks to get a stock version of android?  I would pay 20 bucks for that - who do I pay?

  • hollaphollap United StatesPosts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    It wouldn't be much different than an app that chargers to remove ads.

  • birkbinnardbirkbinnard United StatesPosts: 118 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A $20 fee to allow installing free software strikes me as a somewhat questionable marketing/sales strategy, but I'd go for it just to be able ot use stock Android.

    Of course I would also expect my full warranty to stay intact.

  • xxbrun0xxxxbrun0xx Hartford, CTPosts: 69

    Right now? Absolutely. But if it doesn't come until after we have stable CM builds? No thanks.

  • musicdjmmusicdjm United StatesPosts: 3,126 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Id pay the extra money to keep the warranty intact, It cost ZTE a considerable amount of time and money to work out bootloader unlock process and all the logistics of the whole thing. Although its not an ideal situation to pay for the service I would pay in order to make it fair for those who arent unlocking so they dont have to foot the bill for those of us who do.

  • jasonscarterjasonscarter United StatesPosts: 1,961 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    With Google effectively killing off the Nexus line, there really won't be any "stock" android phones making it to market in my opinion.  What is on the Pixel is still a special version with the Google Assistant.  It remains to be seen if Google will allow OEMs to use that, or push it out to older Nexus phones. 

    I think the future of these stock ROMs are going to have to rely on the developer community, and that means unlocking your boot loader to get them, thus voided your warranty from certain manufacturers.

    With the release of the Pixel, Google is now directly competing heads on with OEMS, so it will be interesting to see what happens.  As much as the hard-core Android fans love stock, history shows the Nexus line really didn't sell that well outside of the enthusiast crowd.

    My backup phone is a Nexus 5x, and who knows if new things like Google Assistant will be pushed out to it, or if Pixel is going to be Google's vision for what they think Android should be going forward.

  • rangerlgrangerlg Cypress, TXPosts: 89

    I agree.  I voted no because of this.  It isn't like ZTE has too develop Android from the ground up, they already have the base and then they skin the UI on top.  It would seem like less work to get Android on the device so not worth $20 IMO.  Also, would it violate any of the GPLs attached to the software?

  • jasonscarterjasonscarter United StatesPosts: 1,961 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Don't know what they can do now years later.  Turn back on OEMS?  Doubtful, but I believe they are truly pushing to get the word out that they ARE Android.  As for OEMs and their skins, I think it gives them the opportunity to differentiate themselves from other brands.  Some do it better than others.

    The people that really want to tinker with different ROMS or roll with stock will just continue to go to the developer community.  But will OEMs get mad they are directly competing with Google now?  Hard to tell, but Samsung is always wanting to get Tizen out to the masses...

  • hollaphollap United StatesPosts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    One thing is for sure, If Tizen is overlayed with anything remotely looking like Touch Wiz, I will not get one.

  • No way. ZTE sold the Axon 7 on the basis of crowd sourcing, listening to users, etc. They need to stick to that part of the bargain. Its not the the cost of $20 bucks but that as a user I expect:

    - Frequent OTA updates. And if users are asking for something outside of your own thinking....ask yourself is ignoring it  worth losing a customer base in a highly competitive market?

    - Honor your Passport 2.0 Warranty. Everything in it.....if I need a temp phone I hope you have enough to provide, etc.

    - Bug fixes. Fix known issues quickly and communicate them to users.

    - Day dream compatibility-----can I use a Goodle VR headset with the ZTE Axon 7 in November

    - Don't ask me for more money. No offense but you need me as a customer more than I need you---there are other options out there.

    In my opinion ZTE is already slipping and may have missed the boat as its been three months since release. Ask yourself this....how many people  (in general, friends, family, co-workers) even know about the ZTE Axon 7? To steal market segment ZTE should have put out a near bug free phone---and focus the OTAs on what customers are asking for....next android os, give MiFavor as an option, provide stock android now (if you have an option that says stock in the phone it better really be stock). If the early reviews from customers and industry was....wow folsk here is the real flagship killer of 2016----great camera, very few bugs, wonderful battery life, superb warranty, killer screen, great cell/wifi connectivity, etc----folks would have been drawn to the device from the start.

    Look how Hyundai achieved this task...imagine if their cars had bugs or broke down, or had promised features that did not work right---they would have tanked like Suzuki cars in the USA. You only get one real shot to run with the bigger companies. Issues with WIFI, Cell phone signals, mics.....customers will skip these headaches for apple or huwaei or alcatel or blu, etc. And the last thing I want is to fork over more money into this.

  • xxbrun0xxxxbrun0xx Hartford, CTPosts: 69

    The problem with expecting support from a company after purchase is that it's hard for the company to quantify how much it's support of current customers is worth. Will features added after launch help sell phones? For the most part no. Most reviewers do an initial impressions and move on, so when potential customers google "Axon 7 reviews", they find early reviews from the big sites like MKBHD, Cnet, Android Central, etc. They would need to dig through forums to see that all of the initial complaints have been resolved with software updates.

    I think paying for updates is actually a pretty interesting concept. It keeps the business focused on the product that their current customers already have rather than shifting focus to the next handset. This could be a way for manufacturers to keep their customers happy and make their phones relevant for longer. I'd be willing to pay for monthly updates and improvements, and I'm guessing MANY others on this forum would too.

  • leapsevenleapseven Posts: 85 ✭✭✭✭

    No, I feel it is really light and once things like the bell and DPI are sorted out(Nova launcher helps a lot with this) I don't really really see a problem with it. I haven't seen any evidence that the included skin slows the phone down. I would however do it for free.

    I think this should really be all or nothing decision. If ZTE wants to fill the void that the Nexus series left it may be a good choice.

  • Thx. Yes I am assuming ZTE is reading this site. And pretty keep saying the same rant over and over. Apologies if I seem jaded or annoyed. Just getting frustrated. I have two phones that work great (lucky I guess). But I don't think ZTE has raised the bar high enough.

This discussion has been closed.