What are the differences between stock Android, Android One and Android Go

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Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel

We tell you the differences between Android, Android One and Android Go, three versions of the same operating system focused on very different terminals and whose appearance varies greatly from one to another. When we talk about operating systems, we need to know that for both mobile devices and laptops, there are many different ones. However, on computers we are divided between Linux, Mac and Windows; on phones we have iOS and Android.



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In the following lines, we will focus on cell phones. Therefore, we will explain the differences between Android, Android One and Android Go. Android is the most used operating system in the world. Google has worked and still works very well, working with several companies, to bet on their operating system and create a big block against Apple and your iPhone 😉


Think that in the year in which the first Android smartphone was released, many different operating systems and from different manufacturers were running on the phones, this until the arrival of the green robot, which revolutionized the scene.

However, sometimes, there may be users who say that their Xiaomi does not have Android, but MIUI, or that their Huawei does not use Android, but EMUI. Or that your Samsung doesn't use Android, but TouchWiz (or Samsung Experience). And no, all of these "operating systems" are Android and depend on Google. They are simply layers of software that each of the manufacturers has installed on their smartphones.


Now, why do these phones have custom operating systems, while a Pixel or a phone like Xiaomi Mi A2 uses pure Android? What is the difference between pure Android and “the other Android”? Below we are going to answer these questions and we will tell you what are the differences between Android, Android One and Android Go.



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What are the differences between stock Android, Android One and Android Go

Android or stock Android

Android, or stock Android to differentiate it from new versions, is the first version of Android, the original and, curiously, the purest. Android was born in 2003, but it was bought in 2005 by Google and only in 2008 did we see the first Android phone, the legendary HTC Dream con Android Apple Pie (and 10 years later, we have Android Pie, OS version 9.0).


This is the original Android that several manufacturers are working on to develop their terminals, and it is the one that has undergone the most changes over time. Additionally, Google allows different manufacturers to add their own software to personalize the device.

This is called the "customization level", and in practical is what we find in the vast majority of phones Samsung, Sony, Huawei or LG, to name a few of the best-selling brands. This applies to almost all Xiaomi mobile phones.

Examples of phones with levels of customization:


  • Samsung Galaxy S9 + con Samsung Experience / TouchWiz
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 with Xperia Home
  • Oppo R15 with ColorOS
  • Huawei P20 Pro with EMUI
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 with MIUI
  • LG G7 with LG UX

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Android One, the purest version

The Android operating system is quite complicated, since we are talking about a single operating system, but with numerous changes depending on the manufacturer. Something easier to understand is Android One. And it's the purest version of Android installed on non-Google devices. This initiative was born in 2014 and is useful to improve the performance of those low-end terminals released in emerging markets.



The layers of customization that are added to Android are real resource hunters, especially a few years ago, and have always hindered the performance of many devices. This doesn't happen with Android One. That is, those who adhere to the "plan" Android One is practically forced by Google not to touch the system "too much" operating. Google allows manufacturers to slightly modify the camera app and add some additional applications, such as some from Xiaomi.

This results in mobiles with a very clean version of android and even faster. By not having the customization layer on top of the operating system, the performance is smoother, as there is nothing that consumes resources. Therefore, when we analyze a mobile phone like Xiaomi Mi A2, for example, we appreciate the fantastic performance with Android One and Snapdragon 660 as the processor.

updates? In Android One phones, like Android, Google doesn't interfere. That is, Google releases the new version of Android then it is the manufacturer who decides when to update their terminal. However, as there is less “software”, the frequency of updates is generally higher. And yes, 18 months of updates are guaranteed, so a newly purchased Android One already runs on the latest version of Android, and has at least secured another update if not two.

Examples of mobile phones with Android One :


  • Xiaomi Mi A2
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
  • BQ Aquaris X2
  • HTC U11
  • Nokia 8
  • Nokia 7
  • Nokia 3

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Android Go

We've come to an end with Android Go, the latest to join the party. In December 2017, Google decided that it wanted to end fragmentation in the low range and launched a controlled Android operating system which it called Android Go. The goal is to be the operating system for very low-end mobile phones and hence Google here. sets limits.


If a manufacturer wishes install Android Go on your terminal, it must be a mobile device with 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of storage space. This is an initiative for cell phones with very few resources, which is why Google controls all of these terminals. Here we are faced with the purest version of Android, since updates depend on Google itself.

So that Android Go has its own store and applications (called "Go") who consume fewer resources than their big sisters. That is, YouTube GO consumes less than the "normal" YouTube app. You will be asked why and for whom an Android Go mobile phone is, and the answer is simple: for the emerging markets.

In countries like Malaysia and India, mobile phones of this type are extremely popular. Therefore, Google wants there to be phones under $ 100 that meet Google's quality standards and perform as well as possible. Hence the birth of an operating system like Android Go.

Examples of mobile phones with Android Go:

  • Nokia 1
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 Core
  • Moto C2

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