Lenovo has decided to embrace stock Android.
Here's the deal: Lenovo makes smartphones, but it layers its own software skin - Vibe Pure UI - over top of Google's Android operating system running on the phones. Now, however, in what is presumably an attempt to cater to consumer demand, it's decided to ditch the skin and go with pure, clean Android. That means you won't get any bloatware, added gimmicks, or clunky "enhancements".
For instance, when reviewed the Lenovo P2 earlier this year, we noticed the phone's software experience had a few added-extras. They didn't just change the way the phone looks, they changed the way you actually use the phone. Digging into the settings, we could choose to hide the navigation buttons, or choose to have the touch-sensitive home button react to gestures, for instance.
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Anyway, according to Gadgets 360, which interviewed Anuj Sharma, Lenovo India’s head of marketing, customers have been clamoring for stock Android, preferring it to Lenovo’s skin. Lenovo also realised switching to stock would allow it to roll out timely updates to its line of phones. (That includes the Android O update due to arrive after Google releases the final version of the OS later this year.)
The Lenovo K8 Note, which will launch in India on 9 August, will be the first to ship with pure Android 7.1.1. But you can expect all forthcoming Lenovo smartphones to run stock Android. The move should bring Lenovo’s phones up to par with Motorola’s devices (Lenovo bought Motorola 2014), too, as Motorola has been using a mostly stock version of Android since the Moto X.
You can read more about Android 7.1.1 from our guide.