Who would have thought, among all the brand new Android smartphones that have been revealed recently, the one to garner probably the most hype is a cheap little mid-range entry from Xiaomi. It’s called the Mi A1 and there are a lot of reasons why this phone is THE phone for Android purists to look out for.
It represents a relaunch of the Android One program and it means putting clean, buttery stock Android — designed to run on crap hardware — in phones that don’t suck at prices people like you and I can actually afford.
It’s exciting but with phones at this price point, it’s all about that RRP so it’s natural that the one question on everyone’s mind is: How much? Well, while the Malaysian launch is literally just around the corner, it appears Lazada has jumped the gun a little and revealed the official pricing for this handset.
Looking for an affordable smartphone with stock Android experience? The Mi A1 is probably the best all rounder as it packs great specs and it comes with a dual-camera system. It was launched in India last week for 14,999INR (about RM985) and it’s coming very soon to Malaysia.
Android One is an initiative by Google to deliver affordable Android devices at a lower sub-US$100 prices. When Xiaomi announced the Mi A1, it was not only their first smartphone with a stock Android experience, but it’s also the highest spec Android One device that comes with two cameras at the rear.
According to Google, they are expanding the Android One experience with more devices at different price points. Now it looks like a new one is coming soon with better specs and premium build than the A1.
When it comes to smartphones, many would consider a Xiaomi for its great hardware at an affordable price. Their Redmi Note 4 is still undoubtedly the best value for money smartphone you can buy for less than RM1,000.
However, there are purists that are not fond of Xiaomi’s MIUI custom Android interface and they would prefer a device that comes with a stock Android experience. If you’re one of them, the latest Xiaomi Mi A1 is just the phone for you. This is their first smartphone powered by Android One.
UPDATE: Malaysian availability revealed. It’s available for pre-order on 16 September.
Xiaomi launched a brand new “flagship” smartphone in India today and it’s called the Xiaomi Mi A1. You might be looking at this phone, thinking, isn’t this just a Mi 5X? Well, while you might be right based on the smartphone’s hardware, it’s a whole nother story when it comes to the device’s software.
Technological accessibility is something we take for granted. Most of us are blessed with the tools that we rely on to connect ourselves with the world. An idealistic view would be equal opportunity for everyone in the world.
Who knows the unlocked potential and opportunities of these individuals that stand outside these privileged circles.
The Android One program wants to realise a dream that people all over the world will have access to a smartphone and this is the highest specced smartphone yet to come out of the program. This is the GM Plus 5 and with it, people are going to be ready to take on the technological world.
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Google believes cheap smartphones is the next big thing and the technology giant wants to put smartphones in the hands of 5 billion people in developed countries who couldn’t previously afford them — enter the Android One platform.
First announced in June this year, Android One aims to make smartphones even cheaper (sub US$100 mark) for developing markets like India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. At the same time Google is also working with operators through the Android One platform to provide affordable connectivity packages for these devices.
Three months after the initiative was announced, the first batch of Android One devices are now ready to enter the market in India with three partner vendors — Micromax, Karbonn Mobiles and Spice. The devices will be sold specifically online initially but will available in brick and mortar stores not long after that. In keeping with the budget theme, these Android One devices will also come bundled with some amount of data with a partner operator in India. Among them is Airtel that’s offering 200MB of data monthly for the first 6 months.
To bring device development costs down even further, Google is giving vendors a device template to build off from. This includes references for hardware specifications, design and software requirements. The other benefit of this is that it makes it delivering the latest version of Android and other software or services updates to Android One devices quicker, making Android One an ambitious effort to put a smartphone in as many people in the world as possible.
So what do you get with cheap? For around RM370, There’s the Spice Android One Dream Uno with a 4.5-inch (854×480 pixel, 217ppi) display, plain vanilla version of the latest Android OS, a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processor, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of on board storage that is expandable up to an additional 32GB with microSD. You also get a 1,700mAh battery, dual-SIM support, a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera, and 3G.
In addition to the three vendors, Acer, Alcatel OneTouch, Asus, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, Xolo and Qualcomm have shown interest to support the Android One initiative with releases in more countries planned for next year.