Android One Smartphones – Very Little to Offer Apart From the Budget

“Android One will bring high quality smartphones to India”, is what Sundar Pichai, Vice President of Android and Chrome Apps, Google when he unveiled the Android One smartphones in India. The Android One programme was conceived only for India, yes it is. Indian Market is one of the biggest markets in the world, which has the major share of mobile phone buyers and users in the world. And so its obvious that leading mobile phone makers would take special interest in luring indian customers towards their devices. And Android One is one such attempt made by the tech Giant, Google. Android One can’t just be one of the several range of devices in Google’s plans. Its more than that. It was actually designed for the next billion indian users who are yet to get into smartphones. And Android One is Google’s offering for such users to experience Android smartphones. Smartphones shouldn’t be smart alone for Indian users, they must be economic too. When you get to know about some smartphone that offers you almost everything and is so cheap that you need to worry for nothing, then obviously it will be a huge success in India. This message was received by the mobile giants, when Moto G became the best selling mobile phone in 2013. It was offering almost everything a smartphone needs to have: a great rear shooter, bigger screen, higher pixel density, quad core processor and more, for just around 12k-14k. Before Moto G was released one must be shaking his heads to chose between the Galaxies of samsung or the Xperias of Sony. But once Moto G was released, things changed a lot. Smartphone prices fell to ground one after the other. The entry level smartphone business was further heated up with the next Moto, the low cost Moto E. It stunned everyone with its greatest ever specs for a budget phone, being priced at a mere 6999 INR. And then came Xiaomi with its Mi3 and Redmi 1s that changed the opinion of users about the entry level price tag. Xiaomi Redmi 1s offered such a splendorous specifications like Quad Core, 8MP rear shooter, 8 GB ROM with a high resolution screen but still priced at 6000 INR, that it is still out of stock even now. Having seen such a competition at that price segment, any smartphone maker aiming at that price level should come up with something that every other phone lacks in that level. Google has not taken it too much to its nerves, but still wanted itself to be a tough competitor to these devices. May be that is the reason we see Google restricting the price tags of its Android One devices to less than 6499 INR. It can’t be said that the specs of these devices can be any match to that of Xiaomi or Moto E, but still Google has managed to rope in some decent hardware as well as software specifications. All that Google needs to lower its prices is to rope in some indigenous mobile brands, who must be capable enough to push these devices into the markets upto the expectations. Might be for this that Google might have come into an agreement with OEMs like Micromax, Karbonn and Spice initially. And to maintain the curiosity among the buyers, Google launched its devices into e commerce stores like Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal. The phones were almost the same in design and can be like replicas in terms of hardware specifications. All of these run Android 4.4.4 stock version, with assured updates from Google including the much anticipated Android L, if considered. Neither Android One is a huge change from the actual Android, nor is a low cost version of Android L. Its just like a framework or a set of guidelines imposed by the Google to all its associated OEMs to follow while designing and making these smartphones. And hence they are alike. One thing is confusing, when you make three replicas of the same thing and offer the users at three different price levels that differ by a mere 100 bucks, isn’t it a hectic marketing strategy?, That is what it feels when you look at the specifications of these three devices, or you can say one set of specifications replicated into three different smartphones. Micromax Canvas A1, Spice Dream Uno and Karbonn Sparkle V. Micromax is offering the costliest among the three at 6499 INR, while the cheapest is Spice Dream Uno at 6299 INR. Karbonn Sparkle V is priced at 6399 INR.
Common Specs include:

  • 4.5” FWVGA display
  • Cortex A7 1.3 GHz Quad-Core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB storage (expandable up to 32GB)
  • 2x micro SIM
  • Front and rear facing cameras (2MP and 5MP)
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion, 1700mAh
  • Android™ 4.4, KitKat® (and gets the new version soon after it’s released)

One thing you have to say is what these phones have an edge over the other phones in this category is, assurance of Google. Yes, even you can’t say that Redmi 1s can get KitKat update, but Google boasts that even these phones can get Android L update. Adding to this is the purest Android you gonna get. Although you can notice the same in Moto E, you cant get a Quad Core phone that has a great pair of cameras at this point. According to me, Android One is laudable in this aspect, that it has made the smartphones much reliable, affordable and assured. Its just a week that these phones have come into the market, and their success depends on further smartphones that are going to compete in this range.

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