Google's take on phones was never meant to be pretty—it was just supposed to do all the things the iPhone could. All that mattered was that big touchscreen, and Computer Lite™ things like email and internet. And it did! It was rough, but hey, so was the first iPhone.
But as the software advanced into a fantasy cartoon playground for people who care about custom ROMs and spending hours tinkering with settings, the hardware stalled. Every new Android phone was like every other Android phone—and not in an Ah, slight refinement! way. Just a lazy way. Just a, Hey, let's make this part red now way. All smartphones are basically just glass rectangles, but the Android lineage has never cared to be anything more—never put any attention into powdering its pedestrian little face. More here.