The Google I/O conference was held back in June from the 25th to 26th. At this event, Google unveiled various of their upcoming plans like the Android Auto, Android L and even Android TV. Something else that was unveiled at the event has the capability to revolutionize the low-end smartphone market. Yes guys, we are talking about the Android L.
Google unveiled the Android One program on June 25th and the Indians might be happy to hear that the program is meant for the Indian smartphone market. Google scheduled it for a September 15th release which is tomorrow.
Wondering what actually Android One is? Well, lets us clear out the confusion. Android one is surely not a new version of Android as it sounds. It is indeed program by Google that plans on bringing timely Android updates to cheap smartphones manufactured by OEMs. Wondering how cheap? The smartphones would be under $100 as promised by Google and would be running the latest version of the Android. Not only that, they will also be the first devices to receive the Android updates, much like the Google Play Edition smartphones we have today. The Android One devices will set the minimum standards for Android phones that would be able to enjoy the latest version of Android and also have access to Google Play Store. Google also promises that the under-$100 smartphones would not compromise on the hardware quality to make the costs low but instead would cut out on the profit margin to provide users with the ultimate Android experience.
To make this possible in a country like India, Google has teamed up with three Indian smartphone manufacturing companies that are known for bringing out feature rich smartphones at not so high prices: Micromax, Karbonn and Spice.
The Android One program by Google is aimed at reaching 5 billion new Android smartphone users by providing them affordable and feature rich smartphones. For instance, Google’s SVP for Android Sunder Pichai revealed during the Google I/O conference this year that he had been using a Micromax Android One smartphone for some time now and he felt comfortable with it. The device reportedly supported dual-SIM, a microSD card, FM Radio and a 4.5″ screen.
Some believe Google has taken some inspiration from Apple for the Android One program. This is being said because Apple has long been in control of both the hardware and the software of the smartphones it produced and it has been appreciated for doing so. Looks like Google is upto it too now.
The first Android One smartphone is ready to hit the Indian markets tomorrow and some believe it is going to be manufactures by Spice.The features of one such smartphone named the Spice Android One Dream UNO Mi-498 have been leaked online, thanks to the online retailer Flipkart who listed the device online with its specs. The listing has been taken down now but thanks to Techpp, we could manage a screenshot of the device’s specs and the price.
As you can see from the screenshot, the smartphone boasts of a 5 MP rear snapper with a 2 MP camera on the front. It has dual-SIM support and runs on the latest version of Android, Android 4.4.4 Kitkat. Other features include a 4.5″ screen with a resolution of 854 X 450 pixels which makes it FWVGA, a 1.3GHz MediaTek quad-core processor paired with 1 GB RAM. The device also has 3G support and is powered by a 1,700 mAh powerhouse that lies beneath the user-removable back panel.
This smartphone is priced at INR 6,999 ($115) which is a little higher that the $100 price promised by Google for the Android One smartphones. This price not only breaks Google’s promise of providing a $100 smartphone but also puts it in competition with the similarly priced Moto E and the more recently released and much cheaper Xiaomi Redmi 1S.
Will Android One devices actually deliver what they promised to deliver? If they can do so, the low-end smartphone market will truly be revolutionized. We’ll find out soon what happens. Till then, stay connected for more updates.