Last weekend I went scouting for an entry-level smart phone in the range of Rs. 5000 to Rs. 7000 for my dad. He is shifting from a feature phone and is 70 plus year old. I wanted to give him an uncomplicated phone, easy to use, stutter free and runs the latest software. There were a plethora of phones running Android and few even Windows OS. Though Windows OS is simple to use, it is a vacuum when it came to the app eco system. The Lumia 530 had a washed out screen and the design was also boring and the others were out of budget. Most of the Android phones available in the market were running older versions of Android and had 512 RAM. I was looking for the latest OS with minimum 1 GB RAM. I finally has to decide between the Moto E and Micromax A1 (probably the only option available in the online retail market right now). The deciding factor was the camera but in my hearts of hearts I wanted to test Android One as I have heard about the optimisation that has been done by Google under the hood. What excited me about Android One platform is the support by Google as if it is the companies own child. Google is giving 2 years minimum support on software and will keep updating it with the latest one. To start with this phone will have a lollipop support soon. The experience of the software is stock with minimum bloatware and the hardware is certified by google to give the user optimum experience. I must say I was presently surprised with the performance as it delivers what it promises, nothing less or more. The stock Android experience is like beauty with brains and simplicity.
With Micromax A1 I did compromise on the screen quality and the built when compared to Moto E but then I thing for the camera it is worth as my dad likes clicking pictures. His main attraction was to get whatapp, Skype (another reason why I wanted a front camera), Viber and Facebook on the phone where he will share things and stay connected with his friends and family. There is a lot of hype about Xaomi phones and their killer features but I for one don’t really appreciate the custom skin overlay. I like the stock Android experience. And with the continues software support Android One is a very good buy. Google has gone wrong in promoting this product only on online stores. I for one bought it from a retail shop as they have started it now. The price will be little higher but you get to see and feel the product (old school thought process). This is in spite of me being an internet and technology junky, you can very well imaging the large number of people who are not connected or not that savvy.
I personally use a Xolo Q1010i which in itself is a fab phone with awesome features like a camera with Sony Exmor R sensor, gorgeous display (720p IPS) and is powered by 1GB RAM coupled with a quad-core Mediatek processor clocked at 1.3 ghz running 4.4.2 Kitkat. But I am not sure wether Xolo will update it with lollipop or not. But with Micromax A1 it is guaranteed. Micromax A1 or any Android One phone is similar to any Nexus device from Google because till the time the hardware supports, they are guaranteed software updates and in case the updates are not possible you can always look at custom ROM’s like Cynogenmod. That’s the reason I am calling the Android One platform ‘The common man’s Nexus’ minus the price.