Google brings low-cost Android One smartphones to India

Saqib Shah
September 15, 2014

Google has revealed the first handset that will roll out as part of its affordable Android One programme, starting in India.

The tech giant is partnering with local Indian manufacturers to produce a series of entry-level devices that come with the latest version of Android; KitKat 4.4.

Android One forms part of a new strategy for Google that sees it targeting so-called emerging markets, such as India, in a bid to further push its OS.

Although markets such as India already contain cheap Android devices, Google is promising a more hands-on approach. Consequently, Android One handsets – like the new Karbonn Sparkle V Red (shown above) – will benefit from regular updates.

Comparing the $100 Karbonn Sparkle V Red to a standard entry-level Android smartphone, such as the slightly pricier Motorola Moto E, shows that its specs aren’t radically different to the type of low-cost phones we’re used to in the west.

The handset has the same 1GB of RAM as the Moto E, a 5MP camera and (as mentioned above) comes with Android KitKat 4.4 out of the box. It also has a good-sized 4.5 inch display with a  480 x 854 resolution – less than the Moto E’s impressive 540 x 960 pixels.

Aside from the Karbonn Sparkle V Red, Google is set to unveil other Android One devices by domestic Indian manufacturers such as Micromax and Spice Mobiles throughout the day today. We’ll update this article as and when they are revealed.

The Karbonn Sparkle V Red costs Rs. 6399 in India. The Android One programme is thought to be the brainchild of Chennai-born Google exec Sundar Pichai, who first revealed plans for its rollout at his company’s I/O conference in June.

About the Author

Saqib Shah

Tech/gaming journalist for What Mobile magazine and website. Interests include film, digital media and foreign affairs.

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