Lenovo has confirmed that going forward, it will be abandoning its Vibe Pure UI Android customisation which ran on top of its recent Android smartphones in almost all markets. The company will be switching to stock Android experience, and the Lenovo K8 Note will be the first smartphone from the company to ship with Android 7.1.1 Nougat out-of-the-box. Anuj Sharma, Head of Product Marketing, Smartphones, Lenovo MBG India confirmed the news to Gadgets 360.
"What we have done in last 11 months is we looked at what we had in terms of software perspective. We have been close to the consumers and we saw what they were asking for. There was a certain trend and we have now decided to cut the Vibe Pure UI off from our phones. So you will now get the stock Android which consumers have been asking for," Sharma told Gadgets 360.
Much like Moto phones, the Lenovo phones will come with some software enhancements like the addition of Dolby Atmos tech which has been part of Lenovo phones for some years now, and the TheaterMax. Apart from that, the interface and bloatware will be replaced with stock Android experience.
"There's no more Vibe UI going forward and we are moving to complete stock Android for all our future Lenovo phones. This is a huge transition for our business perspective," he added.
For those unaware, Lenovo started selling smartphones in India back in 2013, and the company's Android smartphones ran Vibe UI on top which gradually saw improvements over the years, and was rebranded the Vibe Pure UI with the launch of the Lenovo K6 Power launched last year. The move to the new Vibe Pure UI was also an attempt to reduce bloatware, and the company's latest decision to move to stock Android is once again driven by consumer demand. He also talked about how custom overlays over android tend to use more resources than stock android.
"It was a lengthy process to get done. As Lenovo had to align all markets where it sold Android devices. The cultural differences that came in where for example in China Android isn't a very popular choice when you compare it to custom skins," explained Sharma. "But this was something for which Lenovo pushed really hard. For the Indian market, the preference was with stock Android experience."
Running stock Android will mean that the Lenovo K8 Note users can be assured of getting the Android O update, the company said, when it's made available by Google. "The stock Android will also mean that it will be more efficiently updated to next Android OS. It also makes it easier to support for extended period of time," Sharma added.
The company also confirmed that the all smartphones launched this year under the 'K series' branding will receive Android O update. Anuj, however, explained that the timelines will vary as per chip manufacturer support, internal development and testing requirements.