Here’s what you need to know about the current wave of Android One phones.
The Android One program was initially designed as a way to ensure seamless updates for entry-level devices, but Google didn’t see a lot of traction on that front. As such, Google went back to the drawing board and reimagined Android One as an initiative that isn’t limited to the budget segment.
Today, you’ll find Android One phones on sale from $200 all the way to $800, and the unifying theme among all of these devices is a clean and uncluttered user interface along with the promise of quick updates. The program isn’t confined to emerging markets either, as there are Android One phones up for sale in the U.S., UK, and most global markets.
With handsets available across a wide variety of price points, there’s no dearth of choice if you’re looking for a capable phone with pure Android.
Nokia 8 Sirocco
Earlier this year, HMD Global announced that it would be committing to the Android One program for all of its upcoming phones. The Finnish manufacturer revived the Nokia brand last year, introducing phones with classic industrial design and a clean user interface devoid of any bloat. So it stands to reason that the next step for HMD would be to formalize its association with Google by partnering over Android One.
The Nokia 8 Sirocco is the most expensive Android One phone currently available, with the phone selling for just over $880 (£649) in the UK. HMD has also kicked off sales in India, where it costs $745 (₹49,999).
The Nokia 8 Sirocco features a 5.5-inch QHD panel, Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, dual 12MP cameras at the back, 5MP front shooter, and a 3260mAh battery.
The phone has a dual curved screen, and while it’s still using a 16:9 display, it has minimal bezels at the top and bottom. The curved form factor and the durable chassis make it stand out in this segment, and being an Android One device means it will be one of the first to receive platform and security updates.
See at Flipkart
Nokia 7 Plus
The Nokia 7 Plus is one of the best mid-range phones of 2018. It comes with an eye-catching design that sees copper accents along the mid-frame and at the back, and is currently the only device in HMD’s portfolio to adopt the 18:9 form factor.
It isn’t lacking in the hardware department either, thanks to a Snapdragon 660, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage along with a microSD slot. It also comes with dual 12MP + 13MP cameras, a 16MP front shooter, and a 3800mAh battery that delivers two days’ worth of usage from a full charge.
Nokia 7 Plus review: Come for the value, stay for the excitement
The build quality is outstanding, and honestly, you can’t ask for much more from a $400 phone. The Nokia 7 Plus is available from Amazon India for $385 (₹25,999), and is up for sale in the UK for $475 (£349).
See at Amazon
HMD’s budget phone has been refreshed for 2018 with a beefier chipset and USB-C. The Nokia 6.1 has the same durable chassis as the 2017 variant, but is now powered by the Snapdragon 630.
You also get 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, 16MP camera, 8MP front camera, and a 3000mAh battery. And unlike the rest of HMD’s lineup, you’ll be able to buy the Nokia 6 in the U.S. for $269.
See at Amazon
Xiaomi Mi A1
Xiaomi’s Mi A1 is one of the best value-for-money phones around. For what amounts to $220, you get a 5.5-inch Full HD panel, Snapdragon 625 chipset, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, dual 12MP cameras with a dedicated zoom lens for 2x optical zoom, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.2, and a 3080mAh battery.
Xiaomi Mi A1 review: Best of both worlds
The Chinese manufacturer hasn’t put a foot wrong with the Mi A1, but the main drawback with the phone is availability. The Mi A1 is officially sold in India and other Southeast Asian markets, and has recently made its debut in Europe for €229. If you’re looking to pick it up from a country where it isn’t officially available just yet, then your best bet is to go through a Chinese retailer.
See at GearBest
Motorola Moto X4
The Moto X4 is an important device as it’s the only device outside the Nexuses and Pixels that is officially certified to work on Project Fi. There’s plenty to like with the phone, and the decent hardware combined with Project Fi’s service makes it a potent combination.
Moto X4 review: A mid-range phone done right
On the hardware front, the Moto X4 offers a 5.2-inch Full HD panel backed by Gorilla Glass 3, Snapdragon 630, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, dual 12MP + 8MP cameras at the back along with a 16MP front shooter, IP68 certification, and a 3000mAh battery. The phone retails for $399 in the U.S., and is up for sale in India for ₹22,999 ($360) for the variant with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
See at Google
HTC U11 Life
The U11 Life has a lot of hardware similarities with the Moto X4. You get a 5.2-inch Full HD screen, Snapdragon 630, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, and IP67 dust and water resistance. You lose out on the dual cameras — with the phone sporting a single 16MP shooter at the back — but you do get a 16MP camera up front as well.
HTC U11 Life review: High style at a low price, with compromises
HTC has opted for differentiation with a feature called Edge Sense, a squeezable frame that lets you launch the camera or Google Assistant by just pressing down on the sides of the phone. Other specs include a 2600mAh battery, and while that’s decent enough to last the better part of a day, the phone doesn’t have a 3.5mm jack. You do get HTC’s USonic earbuds bundled in the box though. Not bad considering the phone costs $349.
See at HTC
If you’re looking to pick up an Android One phone in Japan, SoftBank’s Y!Mobile has you covered. The carrier has a strong lineup of phones, including Sharp’s X1 and S1, Kyocera’s S2, and the HTC X2.
Let’s kick off with Sharp’s offerings first: both the X1 and S1 feature Full HD IGZO panels and are dust and water resistant. The X1 has a 5.3-inch screen, is powered by the Snapdragon 435, and offers 3GB of RAM/32GB storage, microSD slot, 16MP rear camera, 8MP front shooter, and a huge 3900mAh battery.
The S1 features a 5.0-inch screen, Snapdragon 430, 2GB of RAM/16GB storage, microSD slot, 13MP camera, 8MP front camera, and a 2530mAh battery. Both Sharp phones are on Android 8.0 Oreo.
Coming over to the Kyocera S2, the budget phone has a 5-inch 720p display, Snapdragon 425, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, microSD slot, 13MP rear shooter, a 2MP front camera, and 2300mAh battery. The S1 is available on monthly plans starting as low as $20 (¥2,138).
Finally, the HTC X2 offers a 5.2-inch Full HD panel, Snapdragon 630, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, microSD slot, 16MP front and rear cameras, and a 2600mAh battery. The phone is certainly the most feature-rich when seen next to other Android One devices in the country, and that corresponds to a monthly plan of $30 (¥3,434).
See at Y!Mobile
General Mobile GM6/GM5/GM5 Plus
Turkey’s General Mobile 4G was the first Android One device to feature a Snapdragon chipset. The phone made its debut in 2015, and while Indian vendors rolled out Android One devices a year prior, they were running MediaTek’s MT6582 platform.
Currently, the Turkish phone manufacturer offers three Android One phones: the GM6, GM5, and the GM 5 Plus. The GM5 and GM5 Plus are older devices running the Snapdragon 617, with the former featuring a 5-inch 720p display with the latter offering a 5.5-inch Full HD panel.
The GM6, meanwhile, features MediaTek’s octa-core MT6737T chipset, and has 3GB of RAM/32GB of storage, 13MP rear camera, 8MP front shooter, and a 3000mAh battery. Crucially, all three devices have received the Oreo update.
See at General Mobile
What Android One phone piques your interest? Let us know in the comments!