Google had unveiled Android One at the I/O 2014 saying that it wants to take the Android experience to affordable entry-level smartphones too. Well, Google has now launched its first three Android One smartphones in India with its hardware partners Karbonn, Micromax and Spice as its “initiative to make high-quality smartphones accessible to as many people as possible.”
The three smartphones released by the Mountain View based tech giant in the Android One family are – the Karbon Sparkle V, Micromax Canvas A1 and Spice Dream UNO. The three phones are available at their respective online retail stores. The Karbon Sparkle V is being sold on Snapdeal for INR 6,399 ($105), the Micromax Canvas A1 on Amazon for INR 6,499 ($106) and the Spice Dream UNO through Flipkart for INR 6,299 ($103).
These Android One smartphones will be available at the brick and mortar retail stores from early October. They will have “features that people in India will find particularly useful” such as dual SIM support, built-in FM radio and a replaceable battery. All the three smartphones will carry similar specifications and Google says that the hardware partners can make their own customized changes in design and minor software with the core software being the same.
The new phones will feature a 4.5-inch 480 x 854 pixels resolution IPS display, MediaTek MT6582 chipset with 1.3GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU and Mali 400 MP2 GPU, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage expandable up to 32GB via microSD card, 5MP rear camera with LED flash, 2MP front camera and a 1700mAh battery. Other common specs are 3G, GPS, GPRS/ EDGE, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The smartphones will have pre-loaded Google apps such as Gmail, Google Search, Google Maps, YouTube and Google Translate. All these phones run the Android 4.4.4 KitKat stock version and will get latest updates directly from Google up to two years. They will also get Android L as soon as it is released later this year.
Google has partnered with India’s leading mobile carrier Airtel, and users with Airtel SIM card will get free software updates for the first 6 months. They will also be able to download about 200MB worth of apps (about 50 apps) from the Google Play store for 6 months which won’t be counted towards their mobile data usage.
Google has also announced that Android One users will be able to download YouTube videos and then watch them offline whenever they want. They will also get free 12 month subscription to magazines and newspapers and they can browse the articles inside the app even when they are offline. In addition, the online retailers are giving attractive offers like discount on accessories, financing options and free memory card.
Although first Android One phones are from Micromax, Karbonn and Spice, Google is adding other hardware partners such as Acer, Asus, Alcatel, HTC, Lava, Intex, OneTouch, Panasonic, Xolo and Lenovo. Google will also partner with Qualcomm. India is the first country to get Android one smartphones, they will be launched in Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal by the year end, with more countries covered next year.
As Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president had said during the Google I/O event early this year that the company wants to bring a pure Android experience and timely software updates to affordable $100 smartphones. About 1.75 billion people in the world have a smartphone but with Android One, Google wants to target the next 5 billion people on the earth who cannot afford the pricey smartphones.
Have a look at the video below introducing Andoid One: