Google has launched the first family of Android One
phones in India, saying the move is part of a "larger initiative to bring high-quality smartphones to as many people as possible."
The search giant announced the first Android One smartphones - the Karbonn Sparkle V
, Micromax Canvas A1
, and Spice Dream Uno
- will be available from their respective online retail partners in India from 3:30pm on Monday, with physical retail store availability in early October.
(Also see: Android One Was Conceived With India in Mind, Says Google's Sundar Pichai
Sparkle V will be available in Magnum Blue, Mild Grey, Wild Red and Pearl White colour variants exclusively via Snapdeal
at Rs. 6,399, and the Spice
Dream Uno will be available in Black and White colour variants exclusively via at Flipkart
at Rs. 6,299. The Micromax
Canvas A1 will be available in Black and White colour variants exclusively via Amazon, priced at Rs. 6,499.Google
says the 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, an update that Google says will offer the new "material design, improved battery life, enhanced security features, and smarter notifications."
(Spot the difference: Micromax Canvas A1, Karbonn Sparkle V, and Spice Dream Uno specs
All 3 smartphones bear similar features hardware specifications, as well as "features particularly important to Indians" - dual SIM card slots, a FM radio tuner, and a microSD card slot for additional storage. Google apps such as Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Search, and Google Translate will come pre-loaded on the phones.
Apart from those listed above, common specifications of the Micromax Canvas A1, Karbonn Sparkle V, and Spice Dream Uno include: a 4.5-inch (480x854 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); a 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash; a 2-megapixel front camera; Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, GPRS/ EDGE, 3G, and a 1700mAh battery.
Google also announced that Airtel is offering a promotion to reduce data costs for those who buy Android One phones. With an Airtel SIM card, Android One users will get free over-the-air (OTA) updates, and 200MB per month worth of app downloads from Google Play for the first six months - all without counting toward their mobile data plan. Additionally, Google is touting the a data compression feature on Android One's Chrome browser.
The search giant also announced that in the coming weeks the YouTube
app will get offline video playback in India, allowing users to store videos via Wi-Fi on their Android device, and 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, Alcatel Onetouch, Asus, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, and Xolo, as well as chipmaker Qualcomm. The company also announced that Android One phones will launch in Indonesia, the Philippines, and additional countries in South Asia by the end of the year.
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