Google’s new Android One range is designed to be deployed across the world, representing a light, easily affordable smartphone with which members of developing communities or countries can get involved in the high tech world of Android at an affordable price.
The first wave of these Android One devices, packaged with a light easily used version of Android which can be directly updated from Google HQ, are coming out from manufacturers Spice, Karbonn and Micromax.
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These models come with a 4.5in screen, 1GB of RAM, 5MP camera and a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processor, along with a microSD slot for storage, which also means the phone’s storage can be swapped out and held onto for later.
The mandate from Google for the Android One range is that there should be no regional or local conflicts between the version of Android on the phones and networks, reducing the need for after sale update and apps not being compatible with the phone’s software.
Updates are to be pushed to phones directly from Google, similarly to how they are on the Nexus range. Android L is also set to come to these Android One phones next year when it arrives later in the year.
The next step for Android One is to get more manufacturers on board, but luckily Acer, Asus, Lenovo, HTC and Panasonic are interested in Android One, with their involvement bringing the budget range to Indonesia, Pakistan and Nepal later on in the year, and hopefully these manufacturers should also bring along Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors with them.
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With regards to pricing, the phones are expected to go for 6399 Rupees in India, just over 100 US dollars. India is the second biggest worldwide market for mobile phones, but currently smartphones are not yet making it into the hands of consumers, either due to the price or low availability. Android One’s handsets hope to change that, bringing the smart, user friendly version of Android to the masses.
Interestingly the phones look pretty decent, but there’s not really much information on whether they will come to the developed world just yet. A budget Android phone wouldn’t go amiss, especially since Android L and Google pushed updates are on the cards. We’ll cover the story further if the phones do come to the UK.