Google releases its first set of ultra-cheap Android One smartphones in India. They will be available from their respective online retail partners in India from 3:30pm on Monday.
Google has finally launched a new line of low-cost smartphones in India on Monday, hoping to convince more people in India and other emerging markets to upgrade their handsets. The new phones will cost around 6,399 rupees ($105) and be the first to use the Google’s Android One platform which was designed to give emerging market users a more reliable and affordable way to get online using their phones.
In India the Android One smartphones will be made and distributed by Micromax Informatics Ltd., Karbonn Mobiles and Spice Group – will be available from their respective online retail partners in India from 3:30pm on Monday, with physical retail store availability in early October. Data plans for the phones will be offered from Bharti Airtel Ltd., the country’s largest telecommunications company by subscribers.
After launching in India, Google said it plans to expand Android One to Indonesia, Philippines and other South Asian countries by the end of 2014 and in more countries in 2015.
Google said that Android One phones offer a high-quality experience, running the Android 4.4 KitKat. The company added these phones will be the first to receive the Android L release, and update that Google says will offer the new “material design, improved battery life, enhanced security features, and smarter notifications.”
Where To Buy
The Micromax Canvas A1 will be available in Black and White colour variants exclusively via Amazon, priced at Rs. 6,499. The Spice Dream Uno will be available in Black and White colour variants exclusively via at Flipkart at Rs. 6,299, and the Karbonn Sparkle V will be available in Magnum Blue, Mild Grey, Wild Red and Pearl White colour variants exclusively via Snapdeal at Rs. 6,399.
All 3 smartphones bring similar features hardware specifications that are considered important by Indians – dual SIM card slots, a FM radio tuner, and a microSD card slot for additional storage.
Google apps such as YouTube, Gmail, Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Translate will come pre-loaded on the phones.
Karbon Sparkle V, Micromax Canvas A1, and Spice Dream Uno include the following specifications
- 4.5-inch (480×854 pixels) IPS FWVGA display
- 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processor
- 1GB of RAM, 4GB of inbuilt storage
- Expandable storage support via microSD card (up to 32GB)
- 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash
- 2-megapixel front camera
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, GPRS/ EDGE, 3G
- 1700mAh battery
Google said that Airtel is offering a promotion to reduce data costs for those who buy Android One phones. Users will get free over-the-air (OTA) updates, and 200MB a month’s worth of app download from Google Play for the first six months. Plus, Google is touting the data compression feature on Android One’s Chrome browser.
Google also announced that in the coming weeks, the YouTube app would get offline video playback in India. That allowing users to store videos via Wi-Fi on their Android device, watch them later without data connectivity.
Sundar Pichai, Google Senior Vice President of Android, Chrome & Apps, announced an expanded set of hardware partners for the Android One initiative, including Acer, Asus, HTC, Alcatel Onetouch, Intex, Lenovo, Panasonic, Lava, Xolo, and chipmaker Qualcomm.