I'm Ted, a newbie android member with a couple questions.

thontz

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Hi Everyone. I used to use Android a long time ago, before the Apple 3GS came out. When I switched to the Apple 3GS I've been using iPhones ever since. But lately their phones don't seem to last as long, especially to justify their cost, and their updates cripple the phones IMO, and their customer support is just horrible. I have a new MacBook Pro but I also have a Windows 10 Lenovo Laptop. I recently bought a Lenovo Moto G5 Plus phone with Android 7.0. I paid less than $150 for it and I didn't have to sign any ridiculous contracts. I use H2O wireless for my provider. I really like my new phone but it's a little smaller than what I'm used to with Apple. Yesterday I bought a Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus for a good deal at a pawn store. I honestly am not impressed with it because the display doesn't look as good as the Moto G5 plus and despite having the same Android 7.0, I can't figure out how to navigate through it. I hate it. With Apple, it doesn't matter the model, they all navigate the same. From going to Best Buy and playing with Android phones, it appears they all are arranged differently. So, my question is, can you change the layout on them so that they navigate and are laid out in a certain way? The reason this is important to me is that now that I've definitely decided to go Android, I want a phone with a bigger screen. I don't play games or do much social media so I don't need a powerful phone. I'm interested in a Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro. But I don't want to buy it just to find out that I hate the way I have to navigate through it. I also like the Lenovo Z5 but it's a Chinese phone only and therefore the seller says he can install English on it but it won't be able to get OTA updates. Is there another simple way to do updates on it or will I be stuck with what comes on it? The last phone that I'm interested in is a Huawei Honor 7x but I've heard bad things about Huawei. I'd appreciate the info that anyone can provide about the navigation part and layout part of Android. I prefer the way that the Moto G5 Plus is setup and I absolutely hate the way that the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is laid out. Thanks in advance for your help!
 

Rukbat

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So, my question is, can you change the layout on them so that they navigate and are laid out in a certain way?
Are you talking about the home screens (the ones you see when you turn the phone on)? If so, try Nova Launcher. You can change the number of rows and columns of apps on the home screen and in the app drawer.

Of course you can move any app anywhere you like, just by long-pressing it, then moving it.

If you're talking about the layout in the Settings app, no. The manufacturers all play with the look of that.

just to find out that I hate the way I have to navigate through it.
As I said, the way upi navigate through the home screens is up to you. The app drawer is usually alphabetical. The Settings app is up to the manufacturer. (But you normally have at least a week to return it for a refund if you really can't stand it.)

I also like the Lenovo Z5 but it's a Chinese phone only and therefore the seller says he can install English on it but it won't be able to get OTA updates. Is there another simple way to do updates on it or will I be stuck with what comes on it?
Depending on the ROM it will accept (a phone made for the Chinese market may not even accept an English ROM), you might be able to download an update at XDA Forums if someone captures the right one. Or you might be able to download the entire new ROM, have TWRP installed so you can backup and restore all your things easily, and flash an entire new ROM when there's an update.

The last phone that I'm interested in is a Huawei Honor 7x but I've heard bad things about Huawei. I'd appreciate the info that anyone can provide about the navigation part and layout part of Android.
Again, the home screen layout is up to you. You really have to specify which layout you're talking about to go any further. But even the app drawer (horizontal scroll vs. vertical scroll, search bar showing or not, that sort of thing, is changeable by you by installing different launchers. Since you already have an Android phone that's working, install Nova Launcher and see what you can do with it. (If you set up a layout you like, you can save it, copy the saved file to another phone that's running Nova, and set it up the same way by just restoring from the same file (and installing the apps it's missing, of course).
 

thontz

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Thank you for that information! I really appreciate it! I was doing further research and I read that Samsung phones use Tweak UI software overlay that goes on top of Android to make it a very different experience and I don't like it at all. I'm completely content with the layout of my Lenovo Moto G5 Plus. It's easy to navigate and it's smart. I'd even go as far as to say that I like it more than my previous iPhone! So, I'd like to find a phone with a similar layout or identical layout. On the Samsung I can't find the apps and can't manage things. On my Moto G5 plus, everything is so easy. I did buy a Sony Xperia with a 6" screen but it too had a difficult layout and was missing a few basic things that my Moto G5 plus does. For example, when I press buttons or icons or text on my Moto, I get a sharp short vibrate feel and sound from the key that I touch. The Samsung phone does this as well but the vibration is slower and sloppy. If you type texts at a fast rate, you just get continuous vibration. I do enjoy the vibration on the Moto phone though, but on the Sony phone that I ordered, it didn't have vibration as an option and the layout wasn't user friendly so I did send it back. But every time I buy a phone that I don't like, I have to pay to ship it back. I'm no longer interested in the Lenovo Z5 Chinese phone because I found out that it doesn't have a micro SD slot. I'm really interested in the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro. Many online Youtube videos highly praise this phone. It does advertise a global rom and English language but if I didn't like that phone, I'd have to pay a hefty price to ship it all the way back to China. The phone that probably makes the most sense to me right now since I like my Moto Lenovo phone is to get the new Moto G6 Plus. But that is $340 for a 5.9" screen. I also just messed up my phone since I am a total newbie. The Moto screen shows the google search bar and then a circle that displays the time and charge and weather info. I dragged the circle to towards the top of the screen. I was trying to get the google search bar underneath it. Anyways I removed my circle that displays all the important info and I have no idea how to get it back. Is there like a trash can that I can undo that action?
 

Javier P

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Welcome to the forums! Let's start with the easiest :)

That circle with the time and weather is a widget. Try this, long press an empty spot on your home screen - tap 'Widgets' - scroll down until you find 'Time and Weather' - long press, drag it to the left and place it on the screen you want.
 

Javier P

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If I understand your post correctly you are talking about the differences between manufacturers when navigating the settings and other options.

Each manufacturer include their own 'skin' and Moto phones are probably the closest you get to stock android, if we don't count Google phones. I'm a big fan of Moto devices and I love that simplicity. Samsung include a heavier skin and some people don't like it very much.

Chinese brands (Huawei/Honor, Xiaomi ...) use to have even heavier skins and, in some cases, closer to iOS than to Android.

It sounds like you could be very happy with the G6+. Now I'm using the G5S+, a bit bigger than the G5+, and I'm quite happy with it.
 

Elizabeth27

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the only way I can thing of changing the layout is holding the apps and moving it wherever you want to. Other than that you can change text size on settings. What bad things have you heard about Huawei?
 

thontz

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Thank you Rukbat and Javier P. I got my widget back and learned what a Widget is lol! I looked at the Moto G6 Plus but that is $340! As far as Huawei goes, I remember watching a 60 minutes episode that was focused on the Chinese company. If I remember right, they had chips in their devices that were spying on Americans. It was a PR mess and China invited the press to tour Huawei in China and they made a big deal about it. They had big electronic billboards on boats in the water that said Welcome America to Huawei and they had many signs along the routes to the building as well, but once the press got to the building, they were not allowed to go inside. Go to Youtube.com and type Huawei 60 minutes and you'll see a ton of videos, not good ones, on Huawei. Espionage and Security were major issues with Huawei. I really like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro. If Chinese phones are trying to get closer to iOS, I don't have a problem with that because I just got rid of iOS. I think my Moto G5 Plus is, in a way, like iOS. I just didn't like the Sony Xperia that I bought and I definitely don't have the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus that I have now. I do love the Moto G5 Plus I have. I'll check out the G5S+. The Moto G6+ is expensive for what you get and I really like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro. It's in English, global rom, supports OTA updates, a SnapDragon 636, 5.99" screen, 4000mAh battery, 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage with expandable micro SD. Multiple Youtube videos highly recommend it. And it's about $225 with tax. Also, dual cameras and fingerprint sensor. But, I have no idea how it's setup. If it's close to my Moto or a wannabe iOS setup, Ill be fine. If it's like the Sony phones and the Samsung phones, well then I'll be wasting my money. Thank you guys for all your help!
 

chanchan05

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Thank you Rukbat and Javier P. I got my widget back and learned what a Widget is lol! I looked at the Moto G6 Plus but that is $340! As far as Huawei goes, I remember watching a 60 minutes episode that was focused on the Chinese company. If I remember right, they had chips in their devices that were spying on Americans. It was a PR mess and China invited the press to tour Huawei in China and they made a big deal about it. They had big electronic billboards on boats in the water that said Welcome America to Huawei and they had many signs along the routes to the building as well, but once the press got to the building, they were not allowed to go inside. Go to Youtube.com and type Huawei 60 minutes and you'll see a ton of videos, not good ones, on Huawei. Espionage and Security were major issues with Huawei. I really like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro. If Chinese phones are trying to get closer to iOS, I don't have a problem with that because I just got rid of iOS. I think my Moto G5 Plus is, in a way, like iOS. I just didn't like the Sony Xperia that I bought and I definitely don't have the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus that I have now. I do love the Moto G5 Plus I have. I'll check out the G5S+. The Moto G6+ is expensive for what you get and I really like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro. It's in English, global rom, supports OTA updates, a SnapDragon 636, 5.99" screen, 4000mAh battery, 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage with expandable micro SD. Multiple Youtube videos highly recommend it. And it's about $225 with tax. Also, dual cameras and fingerprint sensor. But, I have no idea how it's setup. If it's close to my Moto or a wannabe iOS setup, Ill be fine. If it's like the Sony phones and the Samsung phones, well then I'll be wasting my money. Thank you guys for all your help!

1. All phones sold in China have some sort of monitoring in them. It's law there. Whether or not the company bothers to remove the software or just disable it when making units for international use is another story. Lenovo (Motorola's parent company) was in hot water in India when it was found that the units sold in the Indian market (can't remember if it was laptops or phones) still had the Chinese spyware in them.

2. All Android interfaces are just an app you can change. For example on my Samsung devices, I just downloaded a customizable launcher (Nova Prime) that will change the entire interface. You can even change the interface to turn it into almost exactly like an iPhone or even Windows phone at a surface level, so not buying a certain brand because you don't like the interface is kind of not a real reason in the Android world. You should buy a device based on features you need and other considerations, but UI isn't really an issue. You can near completely recreate the Samsung launcher look and feel on a Pixel and vice versa.
 

thontz

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Thanks Chanchan05 for that bit of information. I'm going to try to use Nova Prime on the Samsung Galaxy S8+ just to see how big of a difference it makes. Even if I can arrange the galaxy to the point that I like it, I'm not going to keep it. I'm just not a fan of the phone. So since I'm going to sell it, I might as well try Nova Prime and try to learn. Thanks!
 

STARGATE

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Hello Ted, welcome to the forums at Android Central!
I see you've already got tons of info.
It's true that you can change many things with an Android phone to make it look and feel as other phones.
Definitely try Nova on your GS8+
I'm surprised you don't like it, especially the display.
Maybe I'm a bit bias because I've loved every Samsung phone I had before: The GS4, GS5, GS6 edge, GS7 edge and now the Note 8.
Well, let us know what new phone you end up getting and also what you like and dislike about it.
On a side note, my brother might be interested in getting that GS8+ from you, shoot me a message if you're on board.
Enjoy the forums!
 

medic22003

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If I understand your post correctly you are talking about the differences between manufacturers when navigating the settings and other options.

Each manufacturer include their own 'skin' and Moto phones are probably the closest you get to stock android, if we don't count Google phones. I'm a big fan of Moto devices and I love that simplicity. Samsung include a heavier skin and some people don't like it very much.

Chinese brands (Huawei/Honor, Xiaomi ...) use to have even heavier skins and, in some cases, closer to iOS than to Android.

It sounds like you could be very happy with the G6+. Now I'm using the G5S+, a bit bigger than the G5+, and I'm quite happy with it.

BlackBerry androids are pretty close to stock as well. I use the BlackBerry launcher on my S9
 

Javier P

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Thanks Chanchan05 for that bit of information. I'm going to try to use Nova Prime on the Samsung Galaxy S8+ just to see how big of a difference it makes. Even if I can arrange the galaxy to the point that I like it, I'm not going to keep it. I'm just not a fan of the phone. So since I'm going to sell it, I might as well try Nova Prime and try to learn. Thanks!
Yeah, definitely. Nova launcher is one of the best apps to have in your phone. I've been using it since my first android phone and never came back to the stock launcher whatever phone I used. Just be aware that any custom launcher only have control over your home screens and app drawer, the lock screen, quick settings panel or the general settings appearance are out of their reach.

Let us know if you need help setting Nova up.
 

TraderGary

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Welcome from another long time Nova Launcher Prime user.
Nova Launcher Prime lets you set up your phone to work just like you want.
 

thontz

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Hi Guys! To STARGATE, I was going to send you a PM for the sale of the Galaxy S8+ but I still felt that the display was very washed out. So, I took it to the Samsung booth at Best Buy. It only took them a few seconds to tell me the phone was a counterfeit! So, I returned it and I'm still looking for a phone. Since I'm still a newbie, what is MIUI10? What is Android One? If I buy a new phone will it have one or the other? I've done a lot of research on the company called XIAOMI. They have a whole line of MI phones. They use MIUI9 or 10 depending on the model. Supposedly they have global ROM and global OTA updates. But, they still are a Chinese phone company. They have their own versions of Apple stores inside malls and they are quite popular. The just entered Europe with some new stores there. I also still like MOTO phones but when compared to Xiaomi they are much more expensive and have weaker hardware. But if they are really better, I don't mind spending the extra money. So, I'm interested in the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 pro, The Xiaomi mi max 3, The Moto G6 Plus, and also I'm interested in the Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra. Please let me know all of your opinions. The Redmi Note 5 pro has a good dual camera, a 5.99" display, 4000mAh battery, but it has a micro usb charger instead of a USB-C charger. The Xiaomi mi max 3 has the same camera, a 5500mAh battery, a 6.9" screen, and it has a USB-C charger. The Moto G6Plus has the lowest hardware and the most expensive price, but I do like Moto phones. And finally the Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra has a 6.8" screen, usb-c charging, but it's not quite as bezeless as the other models. Another thing that I do not like about the Chinese phones, is that they all have fingerprint sensors on the back. I'm left handed and with long fingers I prefer to have the sensor on the front. I listened to a few videos that said some of the Chinese phones had Face ID. So, any suggestions?
 

B. Diddy

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Welcome to Android Central! Another vote here for Nova Launcher. I put it on all of my devices, so they all behave the same way!
 

gendo667

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I'll throw another vote in for Nova Launcher and suggest looking up tutorials on YouTube. There's a lot to take in.

Happy hunting. Hope you find a device you love.
 

Mike Dee

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I also recommend Nova Prime even though I stopped using it with my Pixel 2XL. Just prefer stock on this phone but if I ever desire using a launcher it will be Nova.
 
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STARGATE

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Hi Guys! To STARGATE, I was going to send you a PM for the sale of the Galaxy S8+ but I still felt that the display was very washed out. So, I took it to the Samsung booth at Best Buy. It only took them a few seconds to tell me the phone was a counterfeit! So, I returned it and I'm still looking for a phone. Since I'm still a newbie, what is MIUI10? What is Android One? If I buy a new phone will it have one or the other? I've done a lot of research on the company called XIAOMI. They have a whole line of MI phones. They use MIUI9 or 10 depending on the model. Supposedly they have global ROM and global OTA updates. But, they still are a Chinese phone company. They have their own versions of Apple stores inside malls and they are quite popular. The just entered Europe with some new stores there. I also still like MOTO phones but when compared to Xiaomi they are much more expensive and have weaker hardware. But if they are really better, I don't mind spending the extra money. So, I'm interested in the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 pro, The Xiaomi mi max 3, The Moto G6 Plus, and also I'm interested in the Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra. Please let me know all of your opinions. The Redmi Note 5 pro has a good dual camera, a 5.99" display, 4000mAh battery, but it has a micro usb charger instead of a USB-C charger. The Xiaomi mi max 3 has the same camera, a 5500mAh battery, a 6.9" screen, and it has a USB-C charger. The Moto G6Plus has the lowest hardware and the most expensive price, but I do like Moto phones. And finally the Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra has a 6.8" screen, usb-c charging, but it's not quite as bezeless as the other models. Another thing that I do not like about the Chinese phones, is that they all have fingerprint sensors on the back. I'm left handed and with long fingers I prefer to have the sensor on the front. I listened to a few videos that said some of the Chinese phones had Face ID. So, any suggestions?
Wow! Where you able to get your money back? Hope you did!
I'm not familiar with the Chinese phones, but there are many people that like them a lot.
Finger print scanner in the back of the phone is not a big deal, you'll get use to it quickly.
I would say go with the Motorola if you really like it.
Happy hunting, and let us know how it goes!
 

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