Earlier in the week, Google finally pulled the wraps off the much anticipated Android One smartphones -- Micromax Canvas A1, Karbonn Sparkle V and Spice Dream UNO -- at New Delhi.
With the release of affordable stock-Android OS based devices, Google is expected to stir a huge storm in the budget smartphone segment in the sub-continent, leaving many Indian smartphone consumers spoilt for choices.
All the three Android One handsets -- Micromax Canvas A1, Karbonn Sparkle V and Spice Dream UNO -- are priced competitively compared to other devices in the market, considering that they get latest OS updates and will give a stiff fight to the current popular devices Xiaomi Redmi 1S and Motorola Moto E.
This is an exciting time in the Indian smartphone market, where all brands (both MNCs and domestic) are flooding market with feature-rich devices.
To help give clear perspective on the devices, we have briefly described the key specifications of the smartphones.
[Note: all the recently released Android One devices - Micromax Canvas A1, Karbonn Sparkle V and Spice Dream UNO boast same specifications inside, but differ in terms of exterior outlook]
First up, Xiaomi Redmi 1S flaunts a 4.7-inch HD screen with pixel density of 312 ppi, highest in its class (entry-level smartphones).
On the other hand, Motorola Moto E comes second with a 4.3-inch qHD (960x540p) screen featuring Corning Gorilla Glass 3 scratch resistant shield. Its screen has a pixel density of 256 ppi and boasts of splash resistant screen/body enabling users to take/answer calls even in rain. No other smartphone under this price-range offers this feature.
Android One devices Micromax Canvas A1, Karbonn Sparkle V and Spice Dream UNO all sport 4.5-inch FWGA IPS LCD screen with 480x854p resolutions.
Processor, Storage and RAM:
In this aspect, Xiaomi Redmi 1S once again trumps the competition thanks to Qualcomm's 1.6GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU. It is aptly backed by 1GB RAM and 8GB inbuilt memory (expandable up to 64GB).
Motorola phone too houses a chipset made by industry leader –Qualcomm, but it is slow compared to Redmi 1S' CPU set. Moto E houses a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 series dual-core processor and comes packed with 1GB RAM and 4GB inbuilt memory (expandable up to 32GB).
On the other hand, Android devices ship with 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processors and come packed with 1GB RAM and 4GB inbuilt memory with options of expanding up to 32GB.
[Note: More the cores in the CPU, more smoothly the smartphone works]
Mobile Operating System:
In this aspect, all phones almost stand even as they run on the ubiquitous Android platform, but Android One device owners will have slight advantage over the competitors thanks to stock Android OS. They run on the latest v4.4.4 KitKat OS and are guaranteed to get the upcoming new Android L OS as well.
Moto E comes close second as, it too ships with near-stock Android OS with value-added Moto Assist apps. It recently got updated v4.4.4 KitKat (read full report, HERE), but it is still unclear if it will get the next Android L OS update.
On the other hand, Xiaomi Mi3 ships with v4.3 Jelly Bean with custom MIUI.
Specifications wise, Xiaomi Redmi 1S comes on top with 8.0-megapixel camera and a 1.3-megapixel front camera.
Android One devices Micromax Canvas A1, Karbonn Sparkle V and Spice Dream UNO are said to ship with 5.0-megapixel camera with LED flash, auto-focus and full HD video recording ability. And on the front, they house a 1.3-megapixel snapper with Fixed-focus camera for video chatting.
On the other hand, Motorola loses this battle as it comes with less superior 5.0-megapixel camera with no LED flash and neither a front-camera.
[Note: More mega-pixel count in the camera does not guarantee a good quality photograph. It all depends on the type of the lens, size and aperture.]
Price is one of the most important aspects of this comparison article as it plays a crucial role in the minds of the price-sensitive middle class and the aspiring youth population, which form the biggest chunk of the India's demography.
Google has addressed this problem giving premium mobile software experience by launching devices under ₹7,000 bucks. Earlier, people had to shell close to ₹25,000 plus for Nexus 5 (and Nexus 4) to experience a stock (Vanilla) Android smartphone.
All three – Micromax Canvas A2, Karbonn Sparkle V and Spice Dream UNO -- Android One phones are available at Amazon India (HERE), Snapdeal (HERE) and Flipkart (HERE) for ₹6,499, ₹6,399 and ₹6,299 respectively.
Motorola Moto E costs ₹6,999, whereas the Xiaomi Redmi 1S costs ₹5,999, but the only problem is that, it's very hard to get our hands on the device. The company hosts weekly (every Tuesday) flash sale (via Flipkart), but it gets over in seconds. [Read full report, HERE]
Nexus 7 (2012 & 2013 edition) maker, Asus too has released feature-rich budget Android phone Zenfone 4 (A450CG) for ₹6,999. If interested, consumers can also go for A400CG model, which costs ₹5,999. Only difference between two is their display size, battery capacity and camera specifications. [For more information, click HERE]
Key specifications of Xiaomi Redmi 1S, Motorola Moto E, Micromax Canvas A1, Karbonn Sparkle V, Spice Dream Uno Mi-498:
|Models||Xiaomi Redmi 1S||Motorola Moto E||Micromax Canvas A1||Karbonn Sparkle V||Spice Dream UNO Mi-498|
|Display||4.7-inch HD (1280x720p) IPS LCD screen with Gorilla Glass 2 shieldPixel density: close to 312 ppi (pixels per inch)||4.3-inch qHD (960x540p) screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 3Pixel density : 256 ppi||4.5-inch FWVGA (854x480p) screen||4.5-inch FWVGA (854x480p) screen||4.5-inch FWVGA (854x480p) IPS LCD screen|
|OS||Android v4.3 Jelly Bean with custom MIUI||Android v4.4.2 KitKat(v4.4.4 released)||Android 4.4.4 KitKat (Android L update confirmed)||Android 4.4.4 KitKat (Android L update confirmed)||Android 4.4.4 KitKat (Android L update confirmed)|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 series quad-core CPU with 1.6GHz CPU speed||1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 series dual-core CPU||1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek CPU||1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek CPU||1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek CPU|
|GPU||Adreno 305||400MHz Adreno 302 GPU||Mali-400 MP||Mali-400 MP||Mali-400 MP|
|Storage capacity||8GB, expandable up to 64GB||4GB, expandable up to 32GB||4GB, expandable||4GB, expandable||4GB, expandable up to 32GB|
|Camera||Main: 8.0-megapixel camera with auto-focus, LED flash, HDR,Front: 1.3-megapixel camera||Main: 5.0-megapixel camera (no flash)Front : no camera||Main: 5.0-megapixel camera with LED flash,Front: 2.0-megapixel camera||Main: 5.0-megapixel camera with LED flash,Front: 2.0-megapixel camera||Main: 5.0-megapixel camera with LED flash, full HD video recording, 5X digital zoomFront: 2.0-megapixel camera|
|Battery||2000 mAh (Li-Polymer);||1980 mAh (Li-Ion);Can provide power for close to 24 hours under mixed media usage||1700 mAh; Talk time: up to 6 hoursStandby time: close to 160 hours||1700 mAh; Talk time: up to 8 hoursStandby time: close to 160 hours||1700 mAh;Talk time: up to 17 hours (2G) & 10 hours (3G)Standby time: close to 160 hours|
|Network||2G & 3G||3G||2G & 3G||2G & 3G||2G & 3G|
|Add-ons||Dual-SIM slots, Bluetooth v4.0 (with LE, A2DP), micro-USB v2.0, GPRS/EDGE, microSD card slot,||Dual-SIM slots (micro), Bluetooth v4.0 (with LE), Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), micro-USB v2.0, microSD card slot, FM radio,||Dual-SIM slots, Bluetooth v4.0, Wi-Fi, microSD card slot, micro-USB, FM Radio, A-GPs with Google maps||Dual-SIM slots, Bluetooth v4.0, Wi-Fi, microSD card slot, micro-USB, FM Radio, A-GPs with Google maps||Dual-SIM slots, Bluetooth v4.0, Wi-Fi, microSD card slot, micro-USB, FM Radio, A-GPs with Google maps|
|Dimensions||137.0 x 69.0 x 9.9 mm||124.8x 64.8 x 12.3 mm||N/A||113.0 x 66.0 x 10.4 mm||132.0 x 67.0 x 9.15 mm|
|Weight||158 g||142 g||N/A||N/A||104 g|