Smartphones with Least Bloatware

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itsgot8
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Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by itsgot8 » Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:48 pm

Hi BH community,
I'm starting to consider the replacement for my current phone, which is a Samsung S4. I'm interested in phones that come with the least amount of bloatware and have great cameras. I've looked at the Essential Phone but it always seems like it's out of stock.

Any recommendations?

The Wizard
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by The Wizard » Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:52 pm

The Google pixel phones don't seem to have much...
Attempted new signature...

niceguy7376
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by niceguy7376 » Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:53 pm

One plus brand - very good camera and least bloatware plus decent priced than samsung or apple

quantAndHold
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:54 pm

Either Google Pixel or iPhone. The other major brands are all loaded with the stuff.

jyoung
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by jyoung » Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:55 pm

Moto G6 has very little... Relatively

Conch55
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by Conch55 » Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:56 pm

An older iPhone such as a 6s or 7 would be a decent choice. I still use a 6s and have no issues with it.

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jhfenton
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by jhfenton » Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:10 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:54 pm
Either Google Pixel or iPhone. The other major brands are all loaded with the stuff.
+1 Those would be my choices. Stock Android or stock iOS with a clean path to upgrades.

mancich
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by mancich » Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:11 pm

iPhone

megabad
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by megabad » Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:12 pm

My colleague has a Nokia 9 and it is pretty impressive. I couldn't notice any bloatware really (and it is Android One) so I think it is pretty good from that perspective. It supposedly has super duper high end cameras.

mptfan
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by mptfan » Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:13 pm

Google Pixel, pure Android. I have the Pixel 3 XL. Best. Phone. Ever.

ThriftyPhD
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by ThriftyPhD » Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:45 pm

If you go with Android, you want to find a phone with as 'Vanilla' an OS as possible.

The Google Pixel (previously Nexus) phones are stock android. In the past, Nexus was the answer if you wanted an Android phone. Now Google has Android One which has various agreements that will keep you in a minimal bloatware, up to date OS for a reasonable time.

All iPhones have stock iOS which doesn't come with bloatware.

Topic Author
itsgot8
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by itsgot8 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:15 am

Thank you everyone for the feedback.

dsmclone
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by dsmclone » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:29 am

Had 4 Google phones in a row and a few months ago bought a OnePlus. I was worried about the bloat ware but don't notice it at all. The one thing I do notice is 1/2 the price, great performance, and my first true all day battery.

clutchied
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by clutchied » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:38 am

mptfan wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:13 pm
Google Pixel, pure Android. I have the Pixel 3 XL. Best. Phone. Ever.
agreed! it is exceptional

Traveller
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by Traveller » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:12 am

jyoung wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:55 pm
Moto G6 has very little... Relatively
I agree with this. I stopped buying top of line iPhones about 3 years ago as the prices were getting crazy high to me. I then had a sprint htc phone that was LOADED with bloatware, until just last week I got a moto G6 (from costco for $200). It has a very very clean android environment (oreo) with very little bloatware.

xb7
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by xb7 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:37 am

Another possibility if you're not "technically averse" is to just pick the phone you like, then root it, i.e., gain root level operating system permissions and then just uninstall the bloatware.

I've rooted a device or two, but I don't do this during the first year or two of ownership because I don't want to have extra hassles to upgrade the operating system. I'm NOT suggesting this as an ideal solution for the normal user, and I haven't done it myself for my most recent devices. But it IS an option.

I think it comes down to what you dislike about bloatware. For me it used to be the amount of internal memory I lost due to crap I didn't want. But recent devices have more internal memory, and for android devices at least, it's common to be able to add a microSD card --- for me that's to hold large things, like maps, video, photos/videos that I take, that sort of thing.

My current phone is a Galaxy S8 and it's the first phone internal memory hasn't been an issue (mine has 64GB of internal memory). If a particular piece of bloatware is actually doing something you dislike, to include slowing down the phone in any way, you can just disable it: settings->apps, then force stop, then disable. This is what I do now when I get a new phone. Well, that, and remove the icons from the screen(s) (or maybe put in my own alternate launcher, a step much less likely to present any issues vs. rooting the device).

mariezzz
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by mariezzz » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:05 am

I'm not minimizing the problems with bloatware, but if you're installing any apps or enabling almost anything that comes with the phone (including google maps or other things google uses to track you, or browsers), you're doing the same if not worse than bloatware does. If you're enabling email on your phone, you're doing this.

sailaway
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by sailaway » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:42 am

Much of the bloatware actually comes from the carrier. You can get around this by getting an unlocked phone. I was quite surprised with the difference between a carrier branded and unlocked of the same phone model.

Even better is to root the phone, choosing a simple ROM and if you use google apps, choosing the smallest package that has what you want. If you are borderline techy, be aware that rooting instructions only walk you through half of the process. You still have to install an OS (known as a ROM), so things will go smoother if you choose one and understand those directions before you start the process. I happened to choose a ROM that stopped being updated immediately after my choice, which caused its own series of problems, so my experience with rooting was pretty miserable.

Turbo29
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by Turbo29 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:04 am

Just bought a Moto X4 for $149. Very little extra on Motorolas. Note: I bought an unlocked phone and did not buy it from my carrier.

longleaf
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by longleaf » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:29 am

Make sure the phone has "Android One" written on it.

From Wikipedia:
Android One is a near-stock version of the Android operating system released by Google. Android One cannot be altered by the companies that make the phones, and only runs on certain smartphones. The Android one brand promises to have updates, security patches, bug fixes, and manufacturer support for period of between two and three years.

Or go with an iPhone.
Frugality, indexing, time.

xb7
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by xb7 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:56 am

sailaway wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:42 am
Much of the bloatware actually comes from the carrier. You can get around this by getting an unlocked phone. I was quite surprised with the difference between a carrier branded and unlocked of the same phone model.
Great thought. With the caveat that on occasion, not having a carrier-provided phone can also be an issue --- you might at least ask someone at your carrier if any such issues could arise (and who knows, you might even talk to someone who actually knows something --- or maybe not, always a crap shoot I think).

For example, with my plan I'm supposed to get an hour of free 'gogo' wifi on flights, but I have to have used wi-fi calling at least once to enable this. Problem: my unlocked non-carrier provided phone doesn't have and apparently can't get wi-fi calling with my carrier, I've tried all options I could find and called and talked to an intelligent tech and ... nope. I don't know if the particular cell phone frequencies are still a potential issue in the days of 4g and coming 5g, but at least in the past sometimes an unlocked 3rd party phone might not support all of the frequencies that your carrier uses, to get the most and/or fastest coverage. Maybe there are other potential issues, though I've not run into any.

inbox788
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by inbox788 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:17 pm

ThriftyPhD wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:45 pm
All iPhones have stock iOS which doesn't come with bloatware.
Agree with sentiment, but it all depends on your definition of bloat.

The stock phones include software, apps, and hooks that don't interfere or reduce the performance of the phone, but they're still there. If you don't use Twitter/Facebook/Flicker/Vimeo, Home/Health/Activity/Game Center, etc. you can now not load them or delete them, but previous versions made it a harder.

Still, the situation is far, far better than the bloat on many Android phones that significantly degrade performance from the onset.

Is TouchWiz bloatware? Looks like they finally killed it. What did they replace it with? Bixby?

bhsince87
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by bhsince87 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:50 pm

I've got a Samsung S8, and I was able to uninstall or disable every piece of bloatware that came with it.

No need to root.

There were one or two apps that put up a bit of struggle, but a quick google search found step by step instructions for killing those.

I was actually pleasantly surprised at how easy it is now.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams

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Pizza_and_Beer
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by Pizza_and_Beer » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:28 pm

Google Pixel 3/3XL

Beezthree
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by Beezthree » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:40 pm

niceguy7376 wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:53 pm
One plus brand - very good camera and least bloatware plus decent priced than samsung or apple
i second this recommendation. i've owned basically every elite/flagship phone from all the major companies and my One Plus is easily my favorite and without a doubt the best bang for the buck as well. don't get an essential - research their history. it's fraught with issues from the top down and i'm not even sure they are continuing to manufacture phones anymore. i had one for a few months last fall and while it was gorgeous and had a great feel, it was constantly having issues.

the One Plus has a very very light skin on top of stock android - it actually adds some worthwhile options - but it's always updated quickly and doesn't really have any bloatware at all on it. (it's also a very important feature for me as well.)

capsaicinguy
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by capsaicinguy » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:57 pm

The Wizard wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:52 pm
The Google pixel phones don't seem to have much...
I second this. I usually disable/uninstall all the extra junk anyways but my last two google phones haven't had much.

CFM300
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by CFM300 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:26 pm


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CyclingDuo
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by CyclingDuo » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:03 am

itsgot8 wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:48 pm
Hi BH community,
I'm starting to consider the replacement for my current phone, which is a Samsung S4. I'm interested in phones that come with the least amount of bloatware and have great cameras. I've looked at the Essential Phone but it always seems like it's out of stock.

Any recommendations?
iPhone. Best cameras are found on the 8 Plus, XS, and XS Max. Best camera for close up shots that also does well in dimly lit situations - XR.
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." ~ Steven Wright

batpot
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by batpot » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:06 am

An unlocked, carrier-independent phone is best.

Motorola have been very clean for me, with some actually useful proprietary "gestures", but there are a lot of options out there now.

Topic Author
itsgot8
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Re: Smartphones with Least Bloatware

Post by itsgot8 » Mon May 06, 2019 10:10 am

Just wanted to update this thread.

I took the recommendation of some posters in this thread and went with the Moto G6. Costco had them for $149.99 and it was an offer I couldn't pass up. I haven't had the chance to play around with it too much but so far it seems pretty good. The only negative I have so far is that the camera doesn't take good indoor pictures like an iPhone but outdoor pictures look great. I suppose that's to be expected as my previous Android phone also was bad at taking indoor photos.

Thanks to everyone who put forth suggestions.

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