- 25 Jun 2020
Kangal, 25 Jun 2020Thanks for the update Peter! Nope, disagree with your li... moreI give you credit for writing a Book here and accepting the fact that nobody will read it. Well, it is another level of comunication with one self:).
- 25 Jun 2020
WARNING, it’s a Long Read. Interesting comment, though my experience with dozens of different OEMs and phones has left me with a different impression. I’ll talk about each OS starting from the leanest barebones to the heaviest skinned.
First up, we have Stock AOSP. It’s a 1/10 for its heaviness. Yes, you can download the free and open OS from GitHub and compile it for your device. However, it’s missing some features, it isn’t the best looker, and obviously lacking Google Services API and Apps is bad for most users.
The next leanest is Stock AndroidOne OS. It’s a 3/10 for heaviness. That’s the kind you see on HMD-Nokia phones. This is great because you get all that you need, in a very lean/fast form, and with the benefit of faster updates and longer update support. Some customisation from the OEM seems to be accepted by Google, and all updates no longer are pushed out by Google but instead have to be pushed out by the OEM. The biggest benefit of this OS, is that customers know and have an expectation of software support… all other options are nothing more than “pinky promise” or “white lie”.
You could say the “Google OS” is the next leanest option. It doesn’t have “bloatware” in the traditional sense. Yet, it’s no longer lean, and it is full of software features that are useless outside of USA. Not to mention the annoying and stupid yet simple bugs. Ever since the change from the Nexus 6P to the Pixel lineup, it has been a downhill show for me. It’s a 3.5/10 for heaviness.
So what follows?
Arguably it is (OnePlus) OxygenOS, (Sony) Xperia UI, and (Motorola) Moto UI. The first two have excellent track-record for delivering software updates, sometimes better than AndroidOne. All three are basically like AndroidOne but they add a couple things on top of it, such as a dozen features, or a better Camera App etc. Super-useful things and not bloatware at all. They’re roughly 4/10 for heaviness. It’s unfortunate that Motorola is no longer trustworthy with their software support ever since they were acquired by Lenovo.
Speaking of, Lenovo (ZUI) and ASUS (ZenUI), have massively changed their OS over the last two years. Both of these companies transitioned from a Full-Skinned to a Half-Skinned OS. The current iteration is a “light-skinned” OS has been much better for it. In many ways, they’re similar to ZTE and it’s MiFavor and Alcatel OS. So even though they’re in-offensive to use, their software updates are still a work in progress. They’re a 5/10 for heaviness.
Speaking of “Half Skinned” OS, the next ones inline are (Oppo) ColorOS, (Oppo) Realme UI, (ZTE) Nubia UI. There’s no need to mention HTC and their Sense UI, since its practically a dead/absorbed company. These rate about 5.5/10 for heaviness. Obviously all three are Chinese phones which sell both internationally and in the Chinese market. I can’t speak much about Realme UI, but the Nubia UI was definitely not that pleasant to use and software updates are non-existent. However, ColorOS has surprised me…. they’ve taken a lot of inspiration from their other brand OnePlus/OxygenOS. It does get updates but not as much as needed, which is pretty much their only issue.
Okay, I purposely separated these two. The LG UX (by LG) and One UI (by Samsung) are also Half-Skinned OS. Coming in at around 6/10 for heaviness. They aren’t as light-skinned as the above options, but they have come a long way since their Heavy-Skinned (and bloated) days. The LG UX is the more boring one of the two, but its pretty inoffensive. It can look pretty stock once you apply your own theme, launcher, icon pack. However, its rock-solid stable and it is the world-leader on the audio and video fronts (Professional grade QuadDAC and Manual Mode?). Samsung’s One UI has a few more bloat, and has more bugs. But to their credit, they’ve been doing an excellent job of software updates so far. This isn’t the TouchWiz/S-Experience of old. Despite all the good things I talked about LG UX, it does not have DeX, a game-changer in my books. It reminds me back to the HP Elite X3 and how it docked to have full-Windows10 on your Desktop Monitor.
Now, here’s where things start to get off. This is sort of where things were for most OEMs about 5 years ago. They were pushing their Heavy-Skinned OS as a differentiator, but it only worked to hurt customers who got mostly ugly choices, buggy software, and little update support. In this segment we have (Huawei) EMUI, (Honor) MagicUI, and (Vivo) FunTouch OS. And they rate between 6/10 to 7/10. Honestly, there’s not much positive to say. EMUI is the best here, but that’s not saying much. They do a poor job of software updates, but better than the other two. There system management is aggressive, reminding me of the TouchWizz days. And the UI is overall clunky. There have been security flaws posted, but I haven’t noticed much bugs. So yeah, a poor performance overall, and not much else to say.
The last category is the Full-Skinned OS: MIUI (by Xiaomi) and FlymeOS (by Meizu). They rank as 7.5/10 and 9/10 respectively. You would expect the more stock os to be better, but in my experience that is not the case. MIUI has transformed over the years, and in some areas it got more stock and in others it got more skinned. Not to mention that it also has gotten both leaner and more bloated at the same time. The overall impression is like an unfinished painting, thanks to the inconsistent choices. Oh, and those Ads which could be disabled, are a very stupid idea. And they need to spend a lot of resources to fix some privacy concerns and a lot of small annoying bugs that persist. FlymeOS is the opposite of what I said. It is pretty much fully skinned with a consistent theme. It has been tastefully done too. There’s no bloatware, but the OS isn’t very lean. There’s the privacy concern, but a lot less bugs. The biggest issue with FlymeOS is that it is basically a China-exclusive, and doesn’t run well internationally/other phones. MIUI is much more internationally friendly. Both OS aren’t good for software updates, but where MIUI has some support (disregarding all their empty updates) the other option FlymeOS practically has no software support.
- 25 Jun 2020
apprise, 23 Jun 2020There are only two things I dislike about Meizu
1- The Fl... moreThanks for the update Peter!
Nope, disagree with your list apprise.
The only things bad about Meizu is:
- no support for international 3G/4G bands
- software updates aren't frequent, quite slow, and not supported too long
- the branding is very China-centric
- software stability could use more optimisations
- a couple of nitpicky things
The FlymeOS is the best Android SkinnedOS out there. It's much better than MIUI. And those Half-Skinned OS alternatives too. If you're judging it by comparing it to a OnePlus, then you are doing it wrong. Stock Android and Skinned Android are two very different approaches, and it's somewhat subjective depending on your preferences. People that criticise FlymeOS harshly HAVE NEVER USED IT. And they definitely haven't used a FlymeOS-Meizu phone by directly comparing it to another SkinnedOS phone, like a MIUI phone or FunTouchOS phone. As a caution, I'd stay away from ports of "FlymeOS as a Custom Rom" these running on different hardware is always in alpha/beta stage, and never stable.
My personal preference?
-Firstly it is always Custom ROMs. Right now the popular EvolutionX ROM is awesome. Heaps of optimisations to the power and performance, whilst having all the essential features that even Google envies.
-Secondly, I prefer AndroidOne*, so I get a completely stock experience and I can root it, then customise it, and theme it anyway that I want. And I want the base operating system to be lean and updated frequently, updated quickly, and updated for a long period.
-Besides that, if I had to choose a SkinnedOS, I would choose FlymeOS, no question.
*can substitute that with Stock Android, Pixel Android, OxygenOS, or XperiaUI.
- 24 Jun 2020
I like how the author didn't just go for a usual device list and instead made those deep links to the smartphone database. Should be the case for all such news. Much appreciated.
- Kamil from poland
- 23 Jun 2020
I have meizu note8 and i get last update in june.2019 to version 22.214.171.124EU, till today i don,t recevie any update, my phone still working on Android 8.
- 23 Jun 2020
There are only two things I dislike about Meizu
1- The FlyMe OS UI
2- The lack of support they have for global phones, I think the last time the Meizu 16s received a global update was 14th June 2019 (according to FlymeOS.com)
If you look at the specs of the Meizu 17 Pro, it could 100% compete against OnePlus 8 pro