A few months back at I/O event, the Google had announced its plans of bringing budget friendly smartphones in India. Today at an event in Delhi, India, Google announced its revolutionary project called Android One with three hardware partners. Well, what are its advantages and disadvantages of Android One?
Android One is a Google’s attempt to revolutionize the budget friendly smartphones in countries like India and Philippines. One can call it as the younger brother of Nexus project. In this, Google will partner with hardware manufacturers to bring high-end smartphones with pure Android experience at a very affordable cost. Basically, you get a device that is certified by Google.
Well, the Nexus smartphones are priced at $300 and above for a high end smartphone. But Android One smartphones will cost around $100 and so they fall under entry level segment. We have three devices launched today namingly Karbonn Sparkle V5, Micromax Canvas A1 and Spice Dream Uno.
What can you expect from $100 smartphone? Every device comes with pros and cons because nothing satisfies the human being. So let’s have a look at some.
Advantages of Android One
- OS Updates: Android One is similar to Nexus project. These are the first amongst other smartphones to get latest OS updates. All the three devices which are launched today runs on Android Kitkat 4.4.4 version. All these will surely get next big “L” update. However, we are not sure about how many OS upgrades these budget smartphones will receive.
- Pure/Stock Android: Android being an open source allows manufacturers to dump in their own stuffs which will slow down the device as the day passes. The advantage of buying Android One smartphone is, it will run on stock Android. Any device that runs on stock Android will consume less RAM and so, more RAM available for other tasks.
- Location based Customizations: Android One program is not only designed for India. Later this year, it will be expanded to other countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. So, to attract the users to buy this device, they are adding these location based customizations. Like in India, the Google Translate feature has been updated for better Hindi translation. Also, Google Now understands the Indian accent better and will push local updates like Cricket. The company promises to bring in other customizations for India as well.
- Brands: Yeah, you heard it right. Not just Micromax, Karbonn and Spice will be producing Android One smartphones. Soon Asus, HTC, Acer, Xolo, Panasonic, Lava, Intex, Alcatel and Lenovo will be coming up with Android One smartphones. So that means, we will get to choose between a range of smartphones in coming days.
Disadvantages of Android One
- Hardware: It is said that, Google will be providing a set of device specifications to choose from to manufacturer. But what we have seen so far with the 3 devices launched today, they are running low efficient MediaTek processors. Yes, it does perform well, but not up to the mark of Snapdragons. Also, 5MP camera is what we see in many devices in this price tag. Google might have added some additional pixels to attract photographers.
- Build Quality: It’s cheap and made of full of plastic. Also, it doesn’t look premium.
- Pricing: The hardware which Android One smartphones carries is less than what we saw on recent device launches. Read our review of Redmi 1S. Xiaomi Redmi 1S is best in the segment and carries much higher spec and costs less as well. You also have the likes of the Moto E, the Asus ZenFone 4, the Micromax Unite 2 and the Lava Iris X1 which are also powered by Android.
- Too Late to the party? Yes, it is. Google might have thought about this program sooner than this. Looking at crowded segment amongst smartphone, Android One will have a tough task ahead. Devices are highly specced and costs similar to this smartphone. This will surely play a huge role in choosing a budget friendly smartphone.
We heartily welcome Android One regardless of whatever it does in India. Will soon share our reviews on these devices. Stay tuned!