First Android One phones launch in India, lots more to come

First Android One phones launch in India, lots more to comeThere’s plenty to moan about in the world of mobile, from stupid names to stupid phones to stupid hyperbolic promises, but here’s one thing I do like.

With Android One, Google has its eyes on “the next five billion”, offering affordable phones with decent specs – and a handful of other neat twists. Positivity abounds below.

The Android One hardware promise includes “lots of processing power”, front and rear cameras, and expandable storage, so consumers in emerging markets – who until now could only afford feature phones – will be able to do things like perform Google searches, get directions from Google Maps and upload selfies for the first time.

In India, where Android One makes its debut, consumers can enjoy dual SIM options, replaceable batteries and FM radio.

Arguably best of all, Google will take control of the update side of things, and while we’ve been known to poke fun at people inexplicably desperate to get their hands on the latest software version, that means up-to-date security fixes, and consistent access to the latest Android apps and services.

As I mentioned in the intro, there are a couple of other neat twists, too. If you have an Airtel SIM, you’ll be able to download up to 200MB of Google Play apps each month without eating into your allowance, while Android One will introduce downloadable YouTube videos.

Micromax, Karbonn and Spice have now launched MediaTek-fuelled Android One handsets in India starting from Rs 6,399 (roughly £65), and there’s further support on the horizon from Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, Xolo, and good old Qualcomm.

By the end of 2014, Android One will hit the Philippines, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, with more to follow in 2015. Good news for emerging markets; not so good news for Mozilla and Firefox OS.

Read more about: Android

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