Micromax, Spice and Karbonn launches Android One smartphone

Today Google launched the first family of Android One smartphones from Micromax, Spice and Karbonn.

These phones are available for purchase through online channels- Snapdeal, Amazon and Flipkart in India from today and at retail stores across India from early October.

The first three Android One smartphones are Karbonn Sparkle V, Micromax Canvas A1, and Spice Dream UNO. The Karbonn Sparkle V is available in Magnum Blue, Mild Grey, Wild Red and Pearl White and would be sold online exclusively at Snapdeal. Micromax Canvas A1 is available in Black, and White and would be sold online exclusively at Amazon. Spice Dream UNO is avaialable in Black and White and is available online exclusively at Flipkart. Prices for all smartphones start at Rs 6,399.

The Android One phones offer a high-quality experience, running the latest version of Android (4.4 KitKat). They will be some of the first phones to get the new Android L release — an update that will offer Google’s new material design, improved battery life, enhanced security features and smarter notifications.

In terms of hardware, the phones feature front- and rear-facing cameras, 1 GB of memory, fast quad-core MediaTek processor, long battery life as well as features particularly important to Indians, including dual SIM slots, a FM radio tuner, and a microSD card slot for additional storage.

Through Google Play, Android One phones have access to over one million apps that allow people to message friends, make video calls, socialize, check news and weather, and play games. Google apps such as Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Search, and Google Translate will come pre-loaded on the phones.

For Android One smartphones, Airtel SIM cards will provide free over-the-air (OTA) updates, and 200 MB per month worth of app downloads from Google Play for the first six months — all without counting toward their mobile data plan. Additionally, a data compression feature on Android One’s Chrome browser will help compress the amount of data flowing between the phone and the Internet.

Google also announced that in coming weeks much of YouTube will be available offline in India, meaning that people can store videos in the YouTube app when they are on Wi-Fi and watch them later — a great benefit for times with a slow connection or re-watching videos without using up the data plan.

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president, Google said, “By working closely with phone and silicon chip makers to share reference designs and select components, we’re making it easier for our partners to build phones that are not just great to use, but also affordable. With Android One, we not only want to help people get online, we want to make sure that when they get there, they can tap into the wealth of information and knowledge the web holds for everyone.”

At today’s Google press conference, Pichai also 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. Google also unveiled that Android One phones will launch in Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka by the end of the year.

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