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Lava Pixel V1 launch: This is how Android One gets a second life

The Lava Pixel V1, is not a budget phone, but a mid-range device in contrast to the earlier Android One smartphones.

 Lava Pixel V1, Lava Pixel V1 Android One, Android One, Android One new phone, Lava Pixel V1 First look, Lava Mobiles, Lava Pixel V1 smartphone, Lava Pixel V1 Price, Lava Pixel V1 First impression, Lava Pixel V1 price, Lava Pixel V1  specs, Android One Lava Pixel V1, Lava Pixel V1  Android One, Technology, technology news, Mobiles, Smartphones Lava Pixel V1 is the new mid-budget Android One smartphone. (Source: Shruti Dhapola)

Android One, the much-hyped Google program for affordable, pure Android phones, is getting a rebirth in India. However, the first of this new breed, the Lava Pixel V1, is not a budget phone, but a mid-range device.

When Google launched Android One for the world from India last September, there were three OEMs, Micromax, Karbonn and Spice, on the platform offering very similar devices. All three had the same specifications, running the same plain vanilla Android OS. And that was Google’s idea, almost like a reference design for budget phones.

But the affordable Android One did not exactly fly off the shelves despite Google’s marketing muscle. Counterpoint Research estimated that the cumulative shipments of Android One were to hit 1 million by the end of December 2014. The report noted that the phones would face tough competition from Xiaomi and even other devices from the very OEMs manufacturing Android Ones.

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Now, with Lava’s Pixel V1, Android One professes to offer a higher set of specs. Lava is confident that the device can fill a void in the mid-range market. Navin Chawla, Vice President & Head Product, LAVA International, says the reason for going with Android One was simple: “constant updates and lag-free performance”.

“People want smartphones with the latest OS and one that keeps getting updated. This was one of the things which we felt was missing in the market. The second was a very stable and lag-free performance and software,” Chawla adds. For the consumer, Android One, will be a win-win situation as there will be frequent, but smaller updates.

Chawla is confident that Android One has now evolved from its initial form. “Last time the phones were available only online. Now we are taking it online and offline.”

There is a clear shift in strategy too. “We are targeting the second-time smartphone users and not first time users like with the earlier Android One phones. We’ll be able to get users who will value the overall proposition which Android One offers and they are more discerning,” says Chawla.

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While the Lava phones will offer mid-range specs in terms of display, camera and processor, one feature that stands out is the 32GB onboard storage, unheard of in this price range. However, in a highly competitive market like India, this advantage could soon be lost as OEMs like Xiaomi and Asus won’t take long to offer the same or even better storage.

With Android One, Google’s idea was to dominate by removing the fragmentation from the Indian market, and gradually from others. India is the world’s fastest growing smartphone market and it is crucial to get Android One to work here. And that is why, this experiment is getting a second push.

First published on: 28-07-2015 at 09:58:28 am
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