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Published on September 16th, 2014

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Google finally unveils Android One

Yesterday, three phones were launched to flag off Android One, from Micromax, Karbonn and Spice. More tie-ups are to follow.
by Manik Kakra | @Manik_K on Twitter

Google unveiled its long-talked about project, Android One, in India on Monday, September 14, 2014. The project is Google’s take on the low-end devices that do not usually get OS updates or provide a good, consistent experience. But more on that later.

First off, these phones were launched to flag off Android One – Micromax A1, Karbonn Sparkle V, and Spice Dreams Uno.

Yep, the first three OEMs to join Android One are Indian’s Micromax, Karbonn, and Spice. All these phones have the same internal hardware and run on the latest Android 4.4.4 OS (near stock Android). The differences between them arise from the colours available, material used and looks.

Karbonn-Sparkle-VThe phones sport a 4.5-inch 854 x 480 touchscreen, and weigh around 140 grams on an average. Under the hood, there is a MediaTek 6582 SoC (1.3 GHz quad-core processor, Mali 400MP2 GPU) coupled with 1 GB of RAM. On the back, there is a 5 MP camera (with an LED flash), which can record 1080p videos at 30 FPS; while the front gets a 2 MP one. These dual-SIM phones come with 4 GB of on-board storage space expandable up to 32 GB (you get additional 10 GB online storage with the Spice phone); and carry a 1,700 mAh battery unit.

Connectivity-wise, there is Bluetooth, microUSB 2.0, 3.5 mm headset jack, FM Radio and 3G support. You can buy any of these phones for Rs 6,399 from online stores, depending on which handset you want, and later they will be available in retail stores as well.

Talking about Android One, Sundar Pichai, Senior Vice President, Android, Chrome and Apps, was clear that they want to provide quicker OS updates and a better user experience for devices priced around $100. Google is joining hands with more manufacturers like HTC, Lenovo, Xolo, to name a few, as well as Qualcomm on the silicon side. The project will soon be launched in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Philippines.

Airtel users will get 200 MB of free data bundle for the first six months for their app updates and OS updates. It is not clear whether this data bundle also includes data surfing and other needs. You can order the Spice Dream Uno here, Micromax A1 here and Karbonn Sparkle V here.

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