Initially advertised as a program exclusively meant to bring some of the Nexus magic to budget-mindful audiences in emerging Asian markets, the Android One initiative could well spread to the developed West as soon as early next year.
Usually, when something seems too good to be true in the mobile tech décor, it’s because it isn’t. True, we mean. Or it is, but with catches and strings attached. Not ultra-affordable Android One Nexus replicas though.
They’re very much authentic, cheap beyond our wildest dreams, supported by Google for two whole years after their commercial release, and available for the masses. The Indian masses for now, with Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka the ensuing destinations on the Google-coordinated project’s tour of the continent.
Any Westerners feeling left out? Based on information posted on Android One’s newly created official website, chances are your pain will be soothed soon enough. We have no ETAs for a second wave of stock Android-running hardware, but what we do have is a rich list of names likely in charge with building them.
Existing partners Karbonn, Micromax and Spice are on there, alongside several other low-profile OEMs in the grand scheme of things, like Lava, Xolo or Panasonic. But guess who’s also on board to produce sub-$150 Android Ones? Acer, Asus, HTC and Lenovo, that’s right.
And while all four are headquartered in Asia, it seems very unlikely they’ll come out with always up-to-date smartphones, and never bring them to European or North American shores. The same goes for Alcatel, with Qualcomm set to supply all these higher-profile device manufacturers with alternatives for MediaTek processing solutions.
The (distant) future sure sounds bright for Android One, albeit Google apparently has an unforeseen and unusual glitch to work out in the short term. The shorter, the better.
According to multiple early testers of the Micromax Canvas A1, Karbonn Sparkle V and Spice Dream Uno, the three One pioneers don’t allow users to operate their otherwise decent cameras if no microSD card is installed.
That’s right, you need external storage not just to stock photos, but actually snap them in the first place. Even worse, attachments and virtually any sort of data can only be saved if a microSD card is on board the device.
Now granted, you wouldn’t be advised to use the smartphones merely relying on the 2.3 gigs of accessible internal storage space either way. Plus, Micromax and Spice bundle their Android Ones with complimentary 8 GB microSD cards. But still, Big G has to address the bug (hopefully, it’s a bug), and remove the ridiculous limitation. Otherwise, it’d be like the Canvas A1, Sparkle V and Dream Uno come with no internal storage. And that’s unacceptable.