It’s not just Google Nexus devices that are starting to receive Android 6.0 Marshmallow software this week. Google has also begun offering updates for phones that are part of the Android One program.
These are low-cost phones with entry-level specs, but hardware that’s been confirmed by Google to offer a good user experience. The phones are produced by independent hardware companies, but Google is in charge of software updates for Android One phones.
Some of the first models to receive over-the-air updates are rolling out for the Spice Dream Uno, MicroMax Canvas A1, and Myphone Uno smartphones. These are all pretty much the same phone, featuring a 4.5 inch, 854 x 480 pixel display, MediaTek MT6582 quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage, and 1700 mAh battery.
The phones have microSD card slots for removable storage. Up until now that microSD card has useful primarily for allowing you to store music, videos, and other files. But one of the key new features in Android 6.0 is the ability to “adopt” external storage.
Basically, the operating system can reformat a microSD card and treat it like internal storage. This allows you to install apps and app data to the microSD card. You’ll want a reasonably fast card if you plan to do this — and Android will tell you if the card you’re using is too slow.
Still, Android 6.0 could make it very easy to increase the amount of usable storage on low-cost Android One phones that have as little as 4GB of built-in space.
Other new features in Android M include automatic cloud backups of app data, more user control over the permissions used by apps, a new app launcher, support for Google Now on Tap, and power management improvements.
Here in Indonesia Google FINALLY updated their Android One hardware. There is only one new phone called the “Infinix Hot 2″, which is an Android One phone that apparently was out already in Africa. The specs are still pretty low end: 5” HD, 1GB SDRAM, 16GB internal flash “upgradeable” to 32GB. But the price is is pretty low too: Rp. 1.3 million which is about $90 USD at today’s exchange rate. The deal KILLER seems to be: no SDCARD slot now. So Android One is now off the map for me.
The phone comes with Lollipop but will get Marshnallow eventually. the phone starts selling 07 Oct. 2015 as per the SINGLE authorized distributor site that actually works (and good luck getting it from that distributor by the way).
So THAT is still Android One’s remaining failure, you cannot easily buy the phones here in Indonesia. The phones should be available over the counter at outlets like Electronic City, and Best Denki, as well as the big box stores (Carrefour, Lotte Mart, Giant, etc.) But that would make sense, like adding an SDCard slot.
So once again… Google is Google’s own worst enemy.
Correction: It seems there IS an internal (only) user-removable uSDCard slot in the Android One Infinix Hot 2 that can take up to 32GB in addition to the 16GB internal flash memory. By the way the display is 1280×720, radio is GSM/3G, battery is 2200mAh, SoC is 1.3Ghz/quad-core (dunno brand/GPU), WiFi, BT, GPS, accelerometer, proximity sensor, light sensor, 3.5mm jack. Cameras: 2Mpix front, 8Mpix rear with flash. What it’s missing: no 4G/LTE, no NFC, no HDMI, no FM, no IR, missing sensors: temp. gyro, compass, barometer. Pretty standard stuff for a hundred buck phone in Oct. 2015.
See the “new” Infinix Hot 2 phone on the Android One site in Indonesia here (in English):
I wish they’d bring them to the States. I maintain a tracfone for my elderly father. I moved him to an Android phone with them last Winter. But they don’t have phones with 4G speeds last I knew. That’s fine – he doesn’t need a lot of data on the go actually but the Android phone had a few nice features over the older flip phone he used to carry. He uses an Android tablet anyway so the phone made sense.
My point is, I’m hardly the only person in this exact spot probably. Tracfone sells all those phones for a reason. If somebody sold a device Google kept updated that fit within the confines of Tracfones data resale agreements I would buy it in a heartbeat.
Right now he’s using a gen1 Moto E. Not a bad little phone though I wish it had a reasonable camera on it. But it’s essentially probably a Verizon phone set up to use tracfone. Chances it gets Marshmallow are about zero.
Sell me an Android One phone here in the States, Google.
8540 x 480 pixel display…
The latest Android One phones like the Infinix Hot 2 have 5″ HD (720×1280) displays. But the usual Android One phones that have been out forever have horrible FWVGA (854×480) displays.
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