What you don’t always get with third-party Android phones is a guarantee that your device will get software and security updates delivered straight from Google.
That’s why Google launched the Android One program a few years ago. The company works with makers of low-cost smartphones to offer devices with stock Android software and updates delivered straight from Google. For the most part, those phones have been offered in developing markets. But it looks like they may be coming to the United States.
The Information reports that the first Android One phone will launch in the US by mid-2017, and that there will be an ad campaign to support the device.
It’s expected to sell for less than $300, and likely won’t have hardware that’s on par with what you’d get from a Google Pixel phone. But like a Pixel (or the Nexus phones before them), an Android One phone will get software updates for at least 18 months. That includes monthly security updates and any major operating system updates that come out during that time.
It’s not yet clear what phone maker will manufacture the Android One phone coming to the US. Google has partnered with a variety of budget device makers for Android One handsets sold in other markets.