Bits And Bytes (week of 11/6)



  • I chose better performance but honestly all of these options are good reasons to go stock. But my biggest reason for wanting stock is to see nouget in its purest form. However, if ZTE made only changes we agree on and make those changes optional, I wouldn't be disappointed if it weren't completely stock.

  • eladmitzeladmitz Posts: 35 ✭✭✭✭

    The same reason but selected

    Lower defects
  • Stock Android has become very functional, as well as aesthetically pleasing. I have yet to find a manufacturer that has made a skin/customizations that: 1) appeals to me more than the stock Android experience and 2) doesn't drastically alter the performance negatively over the stock setup.

    OEMs need to focus on innovative features or killer specs and less on a software interface that literally ruins otherwise nicely built phones.

  • I voted for lower defects, but I think that's only part of the answer (and honestly, all of the above make up a very compelling argument for stock Android!).

    Skins and customizations don't integrate into the ecosystem as easily. New features take longer to roll out and might have subtle problems created or exacerbated by the skin. And of course, as Linus Torvalds said, with enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.

    I used to have a Samsung device, and every bug I encountered with it wound up being a bug in TouchWiz. I switched from that to my Nexus 5, which has been an overall very clean experience.

    A few months ago I tried helping a friend with a Samsung phone change a configuration setting. I realized that I didn't really even know how to use his phone! Even having used TouchWiz in the past, going from stock Android to a skin feels very much like using a different OS. I want my phone to just get out of my way and let me get done what I need to get done. I don't want to have to re-learn how to do everything whenever I get a new device, but I also don't want to be locked in to one phone vendor.

    So yeah, stock Android all the way. Don't segment Android into a sub-ecosystem.

  • frozenstufffrozenstuff Posts: 58 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Surprised you're the only one that said this. DPI is set way too high and I'd love the Nougat dpi scaling.

    I agree with the wifi switching. I noticed that was missing. Nothing is worse than getting stuck on an access point with no data because I tend to leave my wifi on.

  • I voted for longer support, but I think all of these are good reasons for a stock Android phone.

    To be more specific, I look for phones that have a long term commitment to security updates. Personally, I don't need the biggest, fastest, newest phone out there. I use my phone mostly as an organizer and internet surfing device. Security is important to me and I want to make sure my phone is up to date on any available patches.

    I have been a Nexus user for a long time. I am currently going to ride out my Nexus 5X as long as I can. If you make an affordable stock Android phone and commit to security updates for 3+ years, I'm in! In fact I'll buy 2. One for me and one for my partner.

    I also wanted to add that I created this account just to make this comment. I was linked to this page from a story on Phandroid. I think it's wonderful that a company would even ask for this kind of feedback from it's customers. Clearly, Google didn't ask what we wanted while designing the Pixel.

  • Cleaner UI/Skin.

    Android has come a long way in terms of UI. Most of the skins these days simply add an unnecessary layer of design and rearrangement of the system, menus, etc. The stock UI is clean and simple... Keeps the phone quick and smooth and offers a common experience across devices that stick closely to it. My #1 reason for buying Nexus was the UI. When Moto adopted it, I bought a Moto X Pure. if ZTE can save money on skin/UI design to provide a speedy upper mid range device that is Daydream compatible... They will have a clear winner. Huawei had this opportunity... They've chosen to pass it by. Watch their sales plummet and step up ZTE.

  • kvaughnkvaughn Posts: 40 ✭✭✭

    With greater dev support for custom ROMS everything else will also happen.

    Custom ROMs can improve performance, have cleaner GUI/skin, be updated faster, have less bloatware, get supported longer by the custom ROM devs.

    I guess that leaves lower defects as my number 2 vote since I assume you mean hardware defects.

  • I voted for quicker updates because I think the security of your customers data should be your number one priority. One of the best ways to stay secure is to keep your software up to date. Vulnerabilities will happen and you need to be able to quickly patch them. I just recently switched from an iPhone to a ZTE ZMAX Pro because I wanted to try out Android. So far the device is great and I like using it but I am extremely nervous that my Android security patch level is June 1, 2016 and that some malware has come out since then that can steal my data or do something else bad. You need to work on keeping these phones up to date with, at the least, the security updates. The features that come with other updates are also very nice but security should be a top priority. My secondary reason for switching to stock Android would be a cleaner user interface and skin.

  • dwbostondwboston Posts: 118 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Cleaner UI, and restore the Stock Android settings like Do Not Disturb.  Cleaner interface will lead to better overall performance - the two aren't mutually exclusive.

  • pingupingu Posts: 3 ✭✭✭

    I chose cleaner UI, but all the other choices, especially better support for custom ROMs, pretty much apply. I prefer the cleaner stock android UI which will give better performance and also hopefully easier and faster updates because you don't need to adopt newer Android versions to your own Mifavor UI. Go for stock android and leave the modified UIs to custom ROMs.

  • I voted for less bloatware, but literally all of the options in the poll are accurate and applicable. If the Axon 7 had stock or near-stock Android, it would have been my immediate pick over the Moto X Pure Edition. There is a market of people who want mid to high-end Android phones with a near-stock ROM, rooting capabilities and good specs. Now that the Nexus line has been (at least temporarily) replaced by Google Pixel, ZTE could EASILY capture this market with their own Nexus competitor. I'll be first in line to buy.

  • I voted for quicker updates, as nothing bothers me more than to have to wait for a manufacturer to support a release, if they decide to do so at all.

  • copoliicopolii Vancouver, BCPosts: 18 ✭✭✭✭

    I think would have been a more useful vote if it were multiple choice. So here are my choices in order of preference:

    1. Longer support: It sucks to be stuck with a bug that you know has been fixed, but you just can't get it because the manufacturer already has your money and no longer cares about your 6 month old device.
    2. Cleaner UI: I've been on Android since the beginning. When things were all vanilla, it was nice and uniform across the board. Then came Sense UI, Touchwiz, and whatever Motorola called that clusterf*ck. They all sucked. They all took something that worked and twisted it to be something that was theirs and honestly the ONLY place where I saw that as being an improved UI was in a small community based rom, called Cyanogenmod. Back then, they supported maybe 5 devices. Having the 'reboot' option in shut down menu? It seemed like a no-brainer to me. The ability to deny permissions to certain apps (like, say, keeping Facebook out of my addressbook)? Hell yeah. The list goes on. Back on topic: Now we have 10 times as many OEMs and Android UX, and I've tried many, but the one I miss almost instantly after playing with Touchwiz or MiFavor (no offense) is the vanilla UI. Because they all suck. They all twist the familar and ideal UX and turn it into something that makes you think "WTF". Example: The Wifi/Bluetooth settings tile in stock Android vs almost all other flavors. In stock UX, I can tap the WiFi icon to toggle WiFi or the text to connect to a different AP. In other flavors I can tap the tile to toggle, but to change (and I bet a lot of you don't know this, I didn't) you have to long press. There's absolutely no hint of it in the UI. There are plenty of other examples.
    3. Quicker updates: Major updates bring new and exciting features. I really don't want to have to buy a new phone every year to get these features. This (and #1 above) somewhat tie in with #2: OEMs often have so many changes in the code that it's just a huge undertaking to sync up with upstream changes and as such most OEMs just skip it. On the other hand we have the security updates. My Galaxy S6e (that I had before my Axon7) is still on the April patch. We're in November.

    Motorola eventually understood that the key to having your own user experience AND having fast updates was to leave the base Android experience untouched and instead ship their own apps. Now this immediately brings up the bloatware nightmare and rightly so, but there's a fix for that too. Cyanogenmod's Google Apps add-on (Was it called Pacman?) had a nice little thing that they added to the bootup wizard: It would install the bare minimum requirements and then would show you a list of the other Google Apps that you may want. ZTE can do a very similar thing. To make sure your apps won't be run on incompatible versions of android, set both MinSDK and MaxSDK in your apps. If you haven't updated your app for Nougat yet, the Nougat devices won't be able to install it until you update and bump up the MaxSDK. You can make your apps only available to ZTE (it would make sense for some) and others can be available publicly. If your app is a quality app, it gets your name out there too.

    Oh and PLEASE fix the damn encryption bug: I want to encrypt my device and require a password to boot. This is a stock feature. Why was it removed in the first place?

  • Signed up just so I could vote for "lower defects" because the encryption failure that resulted from the deviation from stock horrifies me and makes me want to put my phone into a locked drawer until it is fixed. Even then, there will still be trust issues after making such a major mistake.

  • All of these reasons are why I only buy pure Android devices for myself.  I have bought other's including ZTE phones for family members and always end up disappointed and we end up moving on to something else.  It's a shame because your hardware even on the low end devices is great but are hobbled with bloatwear and no wait to remove it or make it better.

  • I went with Cleaner UI and Look, but almost all of the options are things I agree with. Performance is a big gripe I have as well, stock Android because of it's slim and light nature usually outperforms most OEM skins of Android. For example, the System UI on MiFavor takes up close to 1GB of RAM. On my previous Nexus devices, the System UI would take 300MBs, 500MBs at the most. If you guys go the stock route, everyone will benefit. The users will have better performing devices, and you guys would sell a lot more Axon 7s because people really value the stock Android. It's the reason the OnePlus 3 is doing so well right now. I can see this phone easily outselling the OP3 if it gets stock-like Android, because to be honest it already beats it on the hardware front. Good luck, and I hope you guys go the stock Android direction.

  • I voted Greater dev support for custom ROMs,

    because that kinda includes lesser bloatware, quicker and longer updates,

    but I agree that Cleaner user interface and skin is the most immediate benefit. Stock or near stock UI is the most user friendly interface, period.

  • I voted for Better Overall Performance.

    I feel like "Better Overall Performance" takes qualities listed that I liked which were Cleaner UI and skin, quicker updates, longer support, and less bloatware. I maybe misinterpreting the word performance, however I am taking it as how the phone runs and how good it is, not necessarily just the phone's processor, how fast it will go and things like that. When I think of performance I think of the overall package of the phone and I think that stock android or a light skin helps a lot with the performance of the phone.

    I find that having a clean UI as something that I find important and prefer. While skins like touchwiz and other major skins are getting better, I still find that stock android or something close to it like motorola's skin and roms like cyanogenmod gives me the best performance for what I like. For myself, I like to put action launcher onto my phones and emulate the google pixel launcher with the my folders as covers (my preferred type of folder as I think it looks better) and I set the background color for the app drawer to be an off color to the background rather than just white. By having a light skin or just stock, adding action launcher on top of the phone does not add a lot to the phone and my phone maintains its smoothness.

    Quick updates are an important part of overall performance. Updates are a part of performance as they often improve the experience and the performance of the phone. When you have a light skin on top of android or even stock android, these updates would hopefully come much quicker. By having an updated phone, you are always going to have the best software assuming that the company who made it, in this case ZTE, did not make a mistake.

    I also believe that longer support is a very important part of the overall performance of the phone. Like I iterated above, the experience and performance of the phone often comes with further iterations of the OS. When you have longer performance.

    Bloatware can also affect the performance of the phone. When there is bloatware on the phone, there is storage on the phone that is being taken up. In addition, sometimes, the bloatware will run in the background giving the phone worse performance than it really could have.

    Overall, stock android or an extremely light skin improves the overall performance of the phone.

  • robirizarryrobirizarry Saugerties, NYPosts: 4

    I voted "lower defects"  because I had to choose one.  However, I think they are all valid. Please add your tweaks through stand alone apps - all of which the user should be able to uninstall. Tweaking the core code base leads to needless issues for both ZTE and the user. Focus on the hardware and some useful apps and let Google focus on the operating system.

  • I chose Cleaner user interface and skin, I just don't like all the clutter that can be put on a device using a skin.

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

    ​, unfortunately the Jive software used to manage the site does not allow for multiple choice polls.  Just wanted to let you know. Thanks!

  • I actually like alot of the modifications zte has made for the Axon 7. But if it means more roms and mods (freedom) i'll chose stock.

  • My main interest when buying a new phone is weather I can install custom Roms/OS on it. All of the above reasons are also very important to me but as long as I can customize my OS and have access to the bootloader, I won't have any problems tweaking the UI and adjusting performance capability.

  • sobolevsobolev Posts: 9 ✭✭✭✭

    Voted for the "cleaner user interface and skin" option because 1) stock Android rocks and 2) it will probably make other software tweaks easier.

    Thanks to give us the possibility to vote ZTE!

  • Would like to see a vanilla use interface that is rootable for those that want to tweak it to their liking.

  • Wow this was the hardest vote ever. I love this device but I've had to factory reset about 10 times since getting it a month ago. Because of this, I voted for less defects.  But I would love to see a greater development community where more tweaks can be made. Stock Android would only unlock the full potential of the Axon 7

  • There are so many advantages with keeping a mostly stock phone with the ability to unlock the bootloader. But the main reason, the reason that will rocket your brand into the stratosphere, is it's what the people want. Make a product the people want and they will buy it. It's business 101. Look at the success of the Nexus line, the OnePlus brand.. mostly fantastic devices with incredible value for your money.

    If you took your Axon 7 Pro, updated it with the latest hardware, an above average camera, kept the dual speakers, maybe jazzed up the design a bit, and threw mostly stock android on there with an unlockable bootloader, you would have yourself a goldmine.

    The information is there, people are basically telling you how to take their money, if you listen you will succeed.

  • I voted for "cleaner interface", but another important reason is that this is an ANDROID phone. I honestly feel Apple users love iPhones because the experience is consistent. Android can have that consistency WITH the customizable nature of Android. People go to Android because they want to make their device their own, and could possibly be tired of accepting what Apple has in mind. To me, UIs like TouchWiz, Sense, and MiFavor are doing the same thing as Apple.... taking choice away from the user, while not doing the one good thing Apple can claim... and that is a consistent experience.

    Google has spent a lot of time and money to develop their UI. They have a "big picture" in mind that individual manufacturers don't always understand. By developing your own UI, not only are you possibly running counter to a unified vision by Google, but you are hurting new user/Apple convert adoption by making it tougher for users to switch devices due to wasted time learning a new interface. I have had my Axon 7 since release and I still spend way too much time searching through the settings menu trying to find settings whose locations I've already committed to memory on other phones.

    On top of all this, the time spent designing, implementing, testing, and maintaining a separate UI is a giant waste of time. I already feel like ZTE is slow to release fixes, so I have to question why you would add extra work to your plate when your customer base seems to be enthusiasts who appreciate more the hardware design of the phone, and less the UI design (constant theme in all reviews of the phone).

    You will probably never win over people with a UI the way (gag) TouchWiz has. Those users have a hard time moving from Samsung phones because they can hardly operate inside the stock Android UI. In my humble opinion, you are not appealing to *anyone* by sticking with MiFavor. We are here because we like the physical design of the phone and it's unlocked, customizable nature. Embrace that.... don't discourage it.

  • I voted to "less bloatware". From all phones I had, the ones with less bloatware worked better.

    I wanted to say I wanted to selection all the options, since I can't, I'm going to say what I don't want:

    1. I don't want a pre-installed S Note, calendar, dialer or whatever app that stock Android and Google already has a better alternative.

    2. I don't want the notification system messed up, one of the most praised things about the Android platform. Don't change it, tweak it but don't make it your own.

    3. I don't want iOS-like unpolished non-material icons, themes, and menus. Follow the design philosophy of the ecosystem.

    4. I don't want a less featured system than stock Android. If you change it, be sure to add features not remove them.

    5. I don't want to factory reset my phone every time like imbarone.

    I guess that one way would be to make things easier for development community as possible, so the minority that wants specific stuff would be happy. Instead of spending time maintaining the bloatware.

    My last ZTE phone was a ZTE Blade, was also my first Android phone. From many Android devices I've tried, I ended up with an iPhone, because it delivered a more consistent experience,

    I've been seeing good things about ZTE Axon 7, seems it's a step in the right direction, I wish it had on-screen navigation keys.

    What's next? Maybe an Android One device? That'd be nice.

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