Stock Android VS. Customized Android is a never ending battle ongoing since Android was first introduced. What gives device manufacturers the ability to customize the android the way they want is because android is an open source project.
Because android is an open source project, handset manufacturers are free to use it the way they want. Customizing the Android is to change the user interface, add some more features while keeping the basic operating same as before. This allows the device to work on android platform at the same time allows to host some of the additional features which do not find their way in the original ROM.
Samsung, Sony, HTC, Lenovo, Gionee all have their own ways of customizing the handsets. For eg. Samsung does its own customization under the name TouchWiz UI, while HTC is known for its Sense UI.
Stock Android is also sometimes referred as pure android as it is installed into the handset with little or no customizations from the manufacture.
|Features||Stock/Pure Android||Customized Android|
|Camera||less features with few options.||Contain a lot of options to add effects, adjust colour tones, and many modes.|
|User Interface||No customizations, and the same as Google makes it.||In most cases complete Overhaul for home screen, change in background opacity and many more visual optimizations.|
|Options||Restricted with options Google releases with the android versions.||Plethora of options, with many modes, anti-theft functions, backup and more control.|
|RAM||All the allotted RAM or most of it is used for the applications only.||Almost 1/3rd of the RAM is used by the customizations like TouchWiZ UI.|
|Battery Drain||Less compared to similar customized counterpart as only installed applications use it.||More as compared to pure android as it has many applications running at the same time.|
|Features||May be absent depending upon the version of Android||Many of them have features like say "Cheese" to take a picture, move eyes to pause movies.|
|Price||Generally less costly as compared to Customized phones||Costly due to the efforts put in for the customization.|
Its up to you to decide which phone you want, but for average users I would recommend Customized Android over Pure Android.
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