As is was expected, Google revealed the first Android One phones at an event held on Monday in India. The first phones under Google's Android One project are priced at around 6,399 rupees ($105) to capture the low-cost segment.
The handsets provide a minimum set of features determined by Google, which has sourced several of the components to help cut manufacturing costs. Google is offering OEMS the coice of the the CPU, the GPU, the storage, the type of battery, the type of camera.
Google's minimum standards forthe Android One are:
- a 4.5in (480 x 854) display
- 1GB of RAM (random-access memory)
- a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP front one
- a quad-core processor sourced from Taiwanese company Mediatek
- the ability to run the next version of Android, due for release soon
The first set of Android One devices features MediaTek’s Mobile System-on-Chip (Mobile SoC) based on quad ARM Cortex A7 processors. The processors are managed by MediaTek’s CorePilot technology, a scheduler algorithm with adaptive thermal and interactive power management that delivers multi-tasking performance and sustained performance-per-watt. Also inherent in the MT6582 is integrated multimedia hardware (audio, video, graphics and camera) as well as UMTS Release 8 modem capabilities.
In addition, the phones been tailored to suit the local market by including a micro-SD slot, a replaceable battery, a built-in FM radio and the ability to support two Sim cards simultaneously.
Micromax, Karbonn and Spice Mobiles are the companies working with Google at launch.
The company has also teamed up local network Airtel to make it cheaper to download Android updates and new apps. vIf connected to Airtel data used to download Android updates will not be subtracted from a customer's allowance for the first six months. Users can also download 200MB worth of apps from Google Play on top of their data plan.
Karbonn, for example, is launching the "Sparkle V Red," (pictured below) which comes with dual SIM slots, a 4.5-inch display (480 x 854), a 5-megapixel primary camera, 1GB of RAM and, importantly, the latest version of Android (KitKat).
Android One's launch folows the recent release in India of two low-cost smartphones running Mozilla's Firefox operating system. Samsung also intends to sell budget-priced Tizen phones in the country, a system it currently uses to power cameras and smartwatches.
Handset makers Lenovo, Acer, HTC, Asus, Panasonic and Alcatel have also recently joined the Android One programme along with the chipmaker Qualcomm, all of which would launch devices at a later point.