Common readers know I’m a longtime iPhone consumer, one who’s all-in on Apple’s ecosystem. However I’ve lengthy been Android-curious, and have reviewed smartphones operating Google’s cellular working system because the very first one, the HTC Dream, was launched in 2008.

Once in a while, I take into consideration shopping for an Android phone. Final month, I did extra than simply assume.

I’m now the proprietor of a Pixel 6 Pro, the flagship smartphone from Google and thought of the vanguard system for the Android OS. When a brand new Android model is about free upon the land, it reveals up first on Pixel {hardware}. Extra about that in a minute.

I spent my money this fashion as a result of, though I’m acquainted sufficient with Android to write handset critiques, I don’t carry the experience on the platform that I do for iOS, Apple’s cellular working system. Pixel possession is my shot at altering that.

This isn’t to indicate in any manner that I’m on the street to turning into an Android switcher. As I mentioned, I’m fortunately surrounded by Apple’s {hardware}, proud of Apple’s software program, tapped into Apple’s companies, and I don’t see that altering anytime quickly. What others deride as “lock-in,” I take into account “enablement.”

iPhone customers who can copy textual content or photographs from their handsets and immediately paste them right into a doc on their Macs, iPads or different iPhones know what I’m speaking about.

No, on this case I’m taking myself to faculty, enrolling in Android College. Since I obtained the phone after shopping for it from Amazon, I’ve been spending as a lot time utilizing it as my iPhone 13 Pro Max. It’s not my day by day driver, however for now it will get equal time. I’ve been customizing it, putting in (and uninstalling) apps, tweaking settings and signing up for companies.

This isn’t the primary time I’ve gotten up shut and private with a Pixel 6 Pro. I reviewed it final November, declaring on the time:

“From its stellar digital camera to its lovely 6.7-inch show to its uncommon design to its Google-designed processor, it’s an instantaneous contender for the very best Android system you’ll be able to personal. Bonus: It prices lower than the competitors, too.”

Choosing the Pixel as my Android testbed wasn’t a easy determination. I thought of what I wished to accomplish and the factors vital to hit that objective. Right here’s what I require from an Android system I call my personal:

Longevity. Apple supplies not less than 5 years of updates for its iOS gadgets, however usually customers get greater than that. Some low-end Android gadgets don’t get any OS updates, and even flagship fashions might solely obtain one or two. That’s altering — Samsung now supplies 4 years of OS updates and 5 years of safety fixes, whereas Google provides Pixel telephones three years of OS updates and 5 years of safety patches. To ensure I get numerous updates, my selection wanted to be a brand new mannequin, not one thing that’s already a 12 months or two outdated.

Minimal bloatware. Like Home windows PCs, Android gadgets are infamous for bloatware, pointless apps that get in the best way and sometimes duplicate OS-native apps. I wished a tool comparatively freed from junk, or not less than one the place a lot of the offending apps may very well be eliminated. The nearer to “pure” Android, the higher.

Mainstream. I didn’t desire a system that’s not available in america, or with little or no service help. I wished to take a look at a number of carriers with it, so it wanted to be unlocked.

Drum roll, please

Sadly, it’s virtually not possible to discover a system that meets all these standards. Nonetheless, I narrowed my picks down to a brief record of 4 telephones, and requested social media followers and readers of my private weblog at dwightsilverman.com for his or her ideas. The record:


Samsung A53 5G
– On the larger finish of Samsung’s mid-range line of telephones, the A53 has an honest digital camera system and show, good battery life and a responsive processor. It’s additionally an glorious purchase at $450. I rejected it as a result of Samsung makes important modifications to Android. It additionally has a infamous quantity of bloatware on it, a few of which may’t be eliminated.

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