GOOGLE HAS LAUNCHED the first Android One smartphones in India, as it looks to rival Nokia in emerging markets.
Google first coughed on Android One at its I/O conference earlier this year, outing it as a reference platform for developers to quickly design and build "high quality, affordable" Android smartphones that will be sold in developing markets.
The firm launched the first Android One smartphones today - the Spice Android One Dream UNO Mi-498, the Micromax Canvas A1 and the Karbonn Sparkle V.
The phones, all three of which will be sold with data plans from Bharti Airtel, feature similar specifications. There's a 4.5in 854x480 resolution display, a quad-core 1.3GHz Mediatek processor, dual-SIM functionality, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of onboard storage along with a microSD slot. There's also a 5MP rear-facing camera, a 2MP front-facing camera and a removable 1,700mAh battery.
The phones, much like Google's Nexus devices, also run stock Android. While Android One provides an entry-level experience, users will still find access to Google Play, and will receive guaranteed software updates for two years directly from Google.
Talking to the BBC, Google SVP Sundar Pichai said, "We provide our OEMs a menu, effectively. They can choose the CPU, the GPU, the storage, the type of battery, the type of camera.
"It really saves them a lot of effort in terms of identifying the right hardware, doing all the testing you need to do to get the software to run on this hardware. We tune it, we work out the bugs... we keep it secure, we update it and so on."
Google's first Android One smartphones come with a starting price of around $100 (£65), and are expected to roll out to more countries towards the end of the year. µ
The best and most-boring ultraportable around
The Note 10 could beat the bork-prone handset to market
They're kind of cute though