Mobilegeeks had earlier reported about Google India issuing an invite for an event on September 15. We predicted that the event would most likely be for the debut of the first of the much awaited Android One based phones. As it turns out, the event was indeed for the grand launch of the Android One line up in India.
Three Indian mobile phone makers Karbonn Mobiles, Spice Mobiles and Micromax Mobiles officially launched the first of the devices tagged under the Android One brand. At an event held in New Delhi earlier today, these companies were the ones named by Sundar Pichai at the Google I/O event in June where Google first talked about the Android One project. The three new handsets announced by these Indian phone makers are the Spice Android One Dream UNO Mi-498, the Micromax Canvas A1 and the Karbonn Sparkle V.
All three handsets share similar specifications which include the following;
A 4.5-inch FWVGA display with a display resolution of 854×480-pixel, a quad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek processor, dual-SIM capability, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of on board storage, microSD card slot for memory expansion and a 5 megapixel main camera. All the phones are powered by a 1,700 mAH battery that should keep them powered on for an entire day of nominal usage. On the software front, all three devices would come with Android Kit Kat. However, updates for these phones would come faster and more importantly they would be coming directly from Google itself and not the manufacturers. Buyers can expect an update to Android L in the not too distant future.
When it was first announced, the Android One program looked quite relevant to several emerging markets. However, in the three months that Google took to announce these low cost handsets by local manufacturers, competition has come in the form of Motorola and Xiaomi who have started launching phones with higher end specifications for the price of a low cost device. While the near $100 prices of the newly launched Android One handsets do make them affordable, it is slightly more expensive compared to the Xiaomi Redmi 1S which retails for Rs.5,999 in India. The lowest priced Android One toting device on the other hand starts at Rs. 6,399! Specs wise, the Snapdragon 400 toting Redmi 1S easily blows away its higher priced Android L competition.
Needless to say, it would take these India players a lot of effort to justify the Rs.6,399 price tag of their low cost devices. We may in the days to come witness the prices of these Android One handsets go down further.