Redmi Note 7 vs Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 showing drop down ads in MIUI

If you’ve got a smartphone from a Chinese OEM, you know what ads look like in Android skins and pre-loaded apps. Xiaomi is famous for stuffing ads in MIUI. Realme calls them “commercial content recommendations.” Even Oppo includes ads in Color OS. However, Chinese phone makers aren’t the only ones placing ads in Android skins and pre-loaded apps as part of their business model. Samsung is also notorious for having apps in its default apps. However, the company recently decided to cease the practice on proprietary apps including Samsung Weather, Samsung Pay, and Samsung Theme.

While ads can be annoying, they allow smartphone vendors to offer devices at more affordable prices. That’s definitely something consumers can benefit from even if that means seeing a few ads in the bargain. Many OEMs also let users disable ads entirely. So we thought of asking you, our readers, how you feel about ads on Android skins and pre-loaded apps. Here’s how you voted in our poll and what you had to say about your experiences.

What do you think of ads in Android skins and pre-installed apps?


The pie chart above shows that our readers are very clear about how ads on Android skins and pre-loaded apps make them feel. Simply put, they hate them.

85% of the almost 2,000 voters that responded to our poll said that they despise ads on their phones. 13% voted to say that they’re okay with having ads on Android skins and pre-loaded apps as long as that means paying less for a phone.

Related: How to remove ads on Xiaomi phones with MIUI

Only 2% of the voters are absolutely fine with seeing ads on their devices.

What you had to say

EasyCare: No ads. Period. My phone isn’t free, they can put their ads somewhere else.

Joey Isham: If they’re gonna load up a bunch of ads then the product should be free. Also, many of the ads cannot be interrupted or stopped which, in my opinion, should not be allowed because you can’t call 911 if needed while the stupid ad is playing.

Lcd1701: When you pay a significant amount of money for a smartphone, having ads forced upon you is worse than in free/IAP apps in the Play Store. I stopped using Samsung after the S4 because of the bloat and unkillable apps unless it was rooted, and it’s really insulting that they stuff ads now onto phones you overpay on already. My devices after that S4 were Nexus 6P, Essential (RIP), and now Pixels – first 3a now 4a. This is why stock Android is never overrated.

Irvan: I’m fine with ads on a lower-end device, not on a $1,000 flagship.

Joeb Splik: I pay big $ for Samsung top phones. They don’t need to make more $ by dishing out ads. I read somewhere that they’re going to stop this practice because of customer backlash. Hope this is true.

Wongwatt: Ads are everywhere anyway, but that doesn’t mean I should have to put up with them embedded in a device I paid money for.

Albin: No way. But I’m curious if the system-wide ad blocker I use to eliminate app pop-ups and cartoon boxes would work as well on these ads.

Cliff R: Unless they do like Amazon and their Kindle “This is ad-supported” for users to pick over a non-ad version, then I don’t think they should be there. It is only acceptable if the end-user can elect to go with one or not.

Notepad: Ads on a flagship or any expensive phone is a no-no. On lower-end phones or budget phones, ads are acceptable if they are not intrusive or if they don’t affect the phone’s normal usage.

Jeff Namhie: I am not so financially desperate that I’m willing to accept ads to lower a phone’s price.

CR45H 0V3RR1D3: 3 factors. 1: What you can afford. 2: What compromises you’re willing to make. And 3: Can the BL be unlocked. If money isn’t a concern, then, buying the device directly from the OEM can avoid extra carrier bloat(Pixel’s being the best, naturally). It also usually guarantees that the BL can be unlocked, which is what will open up the other ways of removing bloat/ads, via custom ROMs, root, ADB, etc. If you don’t have the option to play loose and free with your wallet, then, number 2 comes into play. What bloat/ads are you willing to put up with, in order to have access to something you might not otherwise have? Think of this like watching a show on tubi, pluto, peacock, or any of the other numerous streaming apps that offer free movies/tv, as long as you watch a few ads. The mindset is the same. And lastly, obviously, if the BL can be unlocked, then that naturally makes the compromises that much easier to make.