15 September, 2014

Google unveils Android One phones with Spice, Karbonn and Micromax

Google has unveiled its first set of Android One low-cost smartphones in the Indian market, partnering with Indian hardware vendors Spice, Micromax and Karbonn. The three phones will be available online on Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal and via Reliance Digital, Croma and The Mobile Store, offline.

The phones will be available for purchase online starting September 15, 3:30pm IST.

Under the Android One programme Google partners with local phone makers to create and sell affordable yet feature-packed Android phones. Google essentially provides hardware reference boards and software support to partner vendors under the programme.

Google will also have Wi-Fi-equipped mobile demo trucks called 'Showroom on Wheels' in 600 locations across 20 cities to allow potential consumers to experience the Android One phones. Google has also appointed 30,000 Android One ambassadors who will spread the word about the phones.

Airtel will offer 200MB free data per month for app downloads and updates via Play Store. However, Google clarified that it is not paying Airtel for the subsidy and other telecom operators will also join the programme in the near future.

Google is also launching support for Google Play News Stand in India with 30 Indian publications on board.

Sundar Pichai, the Google executive who heads Chrome and Android divisions at the company, said the Android Devices will get direct software updates from Google and will get early access to Android updates just like Nexus devices.

However, Pichai said that Google will not pump in any marketing money and will not support OEMs to market the phone.

He informed that Acer, Alcatel, Asus, HTC, Intex, Lava, Panasonic, Lenovo, Xolo and Qualcomm are also joining the Android One programme.

The first three Android One phones include Spice Android One Dream UNO Mi-498 phone, priced at Rs 6,999.

Spice Android One Dream UNO Mi-498 sports a 4.5-inch IPS FWVGA (480x854p) display. The hardware specifications don't seem to ground breaking but Google's backing could surely make a difference when it comes to software experience.

The phone is powered by a 1.3GHz MediaTek quad-core processor, Mali-400MP graphics and 1GB RAM. The phone has 4GB internal storage and a microSD card slot that supports cards of up to 32GB capacity. The phone will also come with 10GB Spice Cloud cloud storage space and 35GB Google Drive space.

Spice Android One Dream UNO runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat, the latest iteration of the OS and comes preloaded with Flipkart, Flipkart eBook and Facebook apps in addition to Reverie Smartpad for Indian language input support.

It sports a 5MP rear camera with LED flash and support for full-HD video capture, and a 2MP front-facing camera. The phone has a 1700mAh battery.

In terms of connectivity, the dual-sim Spice Android One phone supports Bluetooth 4.0, 3G, Wi-Fi and A-GPS.

The other Android One phone, Karbonn Sparkle V has been priced at Rs 6,399. It will be available in blue, red, white, and grey colours.

The phone sports a 4.5-inch IPS FWVGA (480x854p) display. The hardware specifications don't seem to ground breaking but Google's backing could surely make a difference when it comes to software experience.

The phone is powered by a 1.3GHz MediaTek quad-core processor, Mali-400MP graphics and 1GB RAM. The phone has 4GB internal storage and a microSD card slot that supports cards of up to 32GB capacity. The phone will also come with 35GB Google Drive space.

Karbonn Sparkle V runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat, the latest iteration of the OS.

It sports a 5MP rear camera with LED flash and support for full-HD video capture, and a 2MP front-facing camera. The phone has a 1700mAh battery.

In terms of connectivity, the dual-sim Karbonn Android One phone supports Bluetooth 4.0, 3G, Wi-Fi and A-GPS.

Micromax is the third Android One partner, but the price of its Canvas A1 smartphone has not been disclosed yet. It will be available in white and metallic black colours.

The phone sports a 4.5-inch IPS FWVGA (480x854p) display. The hardware specifications don't seem very impressive but Google's backing could surely make a difference when it comes to software experience.

The phone is powered by a 1.3GHz MediaTek quad-core processor, Mali-400MP graphics and 1GB RAM. The phone has 4GB internal storage and a microSD card slot that supports cards of up to 32GB capacity. The phone will also come with 35GB Google Drive space.

Micromax Canvas A1 runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat, the latest iteration of the OS.

It sports a 5MP rear camera with LED flash and support for full-HD video capture, and a 2MP front-facing camera. The phone has a 1700mAh battery.

In terms of connectivity, the dual-sim Micromax Android One phone supports Bluetooth 4.0, 3G, Wi-Fi and A-GPS

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