Android One is a based on a standard set by Google and it is no surprise that all the three phones that have come out so far sport identical specs. In fact, except for the Micromac Canvas A1, which we reviewed last week, the other two even look more or less the same. The Canvas A1 has a steel ring around the camera, which is missing in the Spice Dream Uno and Karbonn Sparkle V. But how good are these two phones in comparison to each other? We put them to the test.
Quick Tech Specs: 4.5-inch (854x480p, 218ppi) capacitive touch screen | Mediatek 1.3 GHz quad core processor | 1GB RAM | 134mm height, 68mm width, 9.3mm depth and 140g weight | 2MP front and 5MP rear camera | 4GB internal memory with 32GB expandable slot | WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G, 1700 mAh battery | dual micros SIM
Price: Rs 6,399
Design: All three Android One phones look exactly the same from front, making it almost impossible to make out the difference. They have a distinct round grille for the speaker and that makes the first set of Android One phones unique. In the rear, all three have a clear Android One branding. The Karbonn phone has a rectangular panel to house the camera and flash, while the Spice phone has separate rounds for the camera and flash. The rubberised finish on flap makes them easy to grip.
Screen & Audio: At full brightness both screens are again the same. It is good to see screens like these come to lower price points. Both are reasonably good for the outdoors, though you will need to push up the brightness. On the audio front, the Karbonn phone seems to have slightly better quality and clarity. But that is a very subjective call.
Performance: Like with the Micromax, the two phones strike a perfect balance between software and hardware. The results is a very fluid UI that does not stall or stutter whatever you do. All the regular apps will work well. Also, the phones do not heat when you do a lot of browsing or try and push the phone by using a certain app for too long. But remember, this is a phone that costs just Rs 6,399 and you cannot expect it to perform like a flagship phone. There will be tasks this phone will find to be an uphill task.
Memory: Out of the 4GB of internal memory, but phones have just over 2GB left for the user. This is one of the places where manufacturers have tried to cut corners and keep the price manageable. So you will need to buy an SD card along with the phone and let apps and pictures save on it by default to let the phone perform smoothly in the coming months.
Software: Both phones run Android KitKat and the only way to differentiate them would be to put different wallpapers. This is pure Android, devoid of tweaks or bloatware and you will love the experience. I am tempted to say that this is the real USP of Android One, though I am unsure if consumers would really care at this price point.
Camera: There is nothing to give or take between the cameras on the two phones. They are both good clickers, though not great in any sense of the term. Also, the native camera app is the Google Camera and you can start shooting only if you have an SD card installed. The cameras will suffice your urge to click selfies and let you impress friends on Facebook with a good sunset shot once in a while.
Battery: The battery on both phones will last you till the end of the day, let’s say about 12 hours with regular use. You can get a few hours more if you reduce screen brightness.
Verdict: If Google has decided to brand the phones only as Android One and source the phones from different manufacturers, you would not have been able to find a difference between different devices. I have to say that Android One has been able to almost perfect the standard at least for now. Both these phones are good devices and it will be up to your brand preference to select between the two. I would not want to take that risk myself. Now you know why I chose to do a combined review of the phones.