Customizability is one of the greatest aspects of the Android Operating System (OS). Android OS is kept as an open-source project. That is why phone companies can tweak the original code to remove or install functionalities according to their own taste and goals. Eventually, the world has been observing many different types of Smartphone operating systems based on Android, which are more familiar as Android Skins. Many renowned brands are releasing phones with their own customized version of Android. This article discusses the best Android Skins of 2021 and focuses on their advantages and disadvantages. Hop on to know more.
Pros and Cons of the popular Android Skins of 2021
OxygenOS is the system software introduced by OnePlus. It is undoubtedly one of the greatest and the most popular Android skins available. Let's know about it.
OxygenOS is devoid of bloatware and very much near to the original AndroidOS. Its updates are fast and reliable. Moreover, it provides users with options to help them customize their devices to personal likings.
Oxygen includes a slew of high-quality features, such as lightweight icons and visuals, as well as screen on/off gestures. To make phones operable at night, it supports dark mode.
Another advantage of this Android skin is that it includes an app locker to safeguard the apps that contain sensitive data.
Oxygen lacks a few features which, if implemented, could make the skin more user-friendly. For example, Oxygen OS neither have any privacy guard, nor have any status bar to rock brightness.
Besides, it deprives of some serious features like live display. It also lacks any background button to stop an app. Another limitation is, Oxygen OS doesn't allow the users to switch apps by long-pressing a specific button.
2. Stock Android
Stock Android is the most basic Android edition available. This is the core Android experience, with absolutely nothing added on top. Many experts strongly suggest using the as-stock-as-possible version of Android. Because, it is one of the major considerations for them while choosing the best phones.
Stock Android offers a bunch of advantages, like, bloat-free interface, fast performance, clean material design aesthetic, frequent updates, and the small file sizes – that leave extra room for the users. Stock Android is like a blank slate that users can customize after their hearts' content.
People who long for vast customization options might get disappointed by the Stock Android. Compared to the customized interface and features of different Android skins developed by other companies, plain Stock Android might feel a bit boring.
3. Samsung One UI
In 2018, the Samsung Developers made a major announcement about the installment of the new Samsung One UI for the Android Smartphones. This initiative can be considered as a promising and daring move from Samsung, but this Android Skin is not free from drawbacks.
Samsung ONE UI's skin has a rounded corner appearance which is a distinct feature. This aspect is aided by edge lighting – a popular element available on the Android phones. Furthermore, Samsung ONE UI has a move-to-wake feature. One can also navigate using gestures rather than screen buttons. This Android Skin has a fast and stable animation speed. And, its wallpaper and theme store offers a huge collection.
While some apps have already adopted the new One UI standards and its interface, others continue to use Google's core Material Theme. It can be quite perplexing for a user, when s/he switches between apps using different UIs.
4. Xiaomi MIUI
The Chinese Smartphone brand Xiaomi has developed the renowned MIUI. When the global version of Xiaomi phones implements the Stock Android, the Chinese version phones are released with MIUI. The Smartphone enthusiasts laud this Android skin, as it comes with a lot of exciting features.
MIUI allows the users to do multitasking. For instance, you can use two apps simultaneously on the supported devices. It also includes a floating window that can be opened and closed with a single tap. Besides, this MIUI Android skin comes with a fitness app that can track down various physical activities such as cycling, walking, and even sleeping.
Another amazing feature of MIUI is that the skin presents a T9 forecasting dialer. This UI eases down the act of dialing numbers through its modern contact menu that supports web addresses and email.
MIUI seems to support very limited number of languages as this Android Skin doesn't target the global market audience. To cope up with this problem, most users install different third-party apps. MIUI’s App and widget management feels a bit sluggish, which is another noticeable drawback.
5. OPPO ColorOS
OPPO has developed a special Android skin called, ‘ColorOS’. Formation of ColorOS can be identified as a remarkable departure from the stock android with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
ColorOS features a more minimalistic user interface that is fairly user savvy. The thin yet proficient elite interface creates an elegant look. The users get full support when it comes to notifications and other warning systems. What is more? This Android skin has introduced a dark mode. This feature is quite unique as the dark mode is absent in the stock android OS.
Among the drawbacks, ColorOS has some bloatware. It can leave negative impacts on the overall performance of the phone.
6. realme UI
Another Android skin that has captured much love from the users is realme UI. realme has developed this android-based skin solely for phones of its portfolio.
The key transformation offered in the realme’s Android skin is its appearance. The user interface is smoother and has customized icons. Even the display screens are highly customizable. realme UI features a smart sidebar that sports more comfortable accessibility. Gesture controls are also elegantly implemented.
realme UI has some limitations. For instance, the floating windows of different apps have less adjustability. Such apps don't give any kind of control to the users' end. It has been reported that some features of realme UI cause battery draining.
7. Xiaomi Poco UI
Besides the pioneering Android skin MIUI, the reputed brand Xiaomi develops Poco UI. This Android skin serves as the operating system of the Xiaomi's sub-brand Poco phones. For the past few years, the Poco company has generated some patronage of its own. And the customers seem to love the Android-based Poco UI.
Unlike many other Android-based skins, Poco is fast. From design to functionality, everywhere, Poco UI has presented some uniqueness unparalleled to other skins. The theme used here has a set of roundish icon packs that looks minimal. Users can customize the color of the theme from a multi-range for varieties.
As it seems, the Poco UI is a near version of MIUI. Even both UI share the same issues. N the Poco Android skin, apps and widget management are weak, And lack of language support requires Poco UI to install an update.
These are the best Android skins in 2021. Google has recently announced the imminent advent of the Android 12. The announcement clarifies that the tech giant company is about to introduce a whole deal of changes in the stock android. Experts are hoping that the next generation Android skins are about to emerge.