ZTE could be the hero we don't deserve but the hero we need, as it's looking to fill the stock Android void that the Nexus devices' end has brought.
When the Nexus successor Pixel turned out to be a premium device similar to the likes of the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7, it disappointed a lot of consumers looking for the affordable stock Android experience that its predecessor delivered.
That means the new Phone by Google comes with a hefty price tag — the Pixel starts at $649 and tops out at $749, while the Pixel XL begins at $769 and ends at $869.
Of course, there's now a noticeable gap left behind in the $400 price range for a stock Android handset because of that.
ZTE Wants To Know Why You Want The Stock Android Experience
ZTE is holding a poll to figure out why users want stock Android. The choices include "Quicker updates," "Longer support," "Cleaner user interface and skin," "Better overall performance," "Less bloatware," "Lower defects" and "Greater dev support for custom ROMs."
"We've heard our community's voice loud and clear: stock or near-stock Android! But everyone has different reasons for this preference. In this week's poll, please select the top reason from the list below. We would've allowed for the top two or even three selections, but our platform doesn't have this feature. However, you can elaborate in your comments. Note: this is an important poll for us to present findings to our R&D team," ZTE says.
At the time of this writing, a cleaner UI is what the people want the most, leading the tally at 40 percent. Coming in second place is support for custom ROMs at 13 percent.
It should be mentioned that this isn't exactly a confirmation that ZTE will ship out a stock Android smartphone, but if anything, it shows that it's considering to make one. Even a small chance of that happening is likely good news in anyone's book.
What's more, it's worth pointing out that the manufacturer did say it's going to hand over the results to its research and development team. That's a positive sign that something might be in the works in the near future.
How ZTE Handles Updates, Historically Speaking
ZTE isn't really known to send out timely updates, but it looks like the tides are about to change starting with the Axon 7, as the handset is set to receive Android 7.0 Nougat in January.
More than that, there's also word around that it's going to get Cyanogen support soon.
Other Options Among The Current Smartphone Brood: ZTE Axon 7 And OnePlus 3
While waiting for what ZTE has in store, the Axon 7 and OnePlus 3 are arguably great substitutes that are up to the task.
First off, the OnePlus 3 is running on a near-stock Android, and the OxygenOS only has a few customizations here and there. Meanwhile, the Axon 7 has a stock Android skin available. Needless to say, it's a pretty light UI.
Wrapping Up The Android Stock Possibilities
Long story short, there's a good chance that a new smartphone that provides the stock Android experience is hitting shelves in the future thanks to ZTE.
Interestingly enough, garnering user feedback is nothing new to ZTE. Remember the crowd-sourcing contest Project CSX?
At any rate, the smartphone maker looks like it wants to give what the people want, but it has to know what it exactly is before taking steps.
What do you think of a stock Android experience on a ZTE smartphone? Hit us up in the comments section below and let us know.