Google has finally realized there is a market beyond budget phones for Android One, turns to Xiaomi for take two

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has teamed up with Google and announced a ‘designed by Xiaomi’ and ‘powered by Google’ smartphones in a first global launch for Xiaomi held in India. On the face of it, it is a great partnership considering Xiaomi is one of the most popular smartphone brands in India and Google has tried very hard to make Android One take off. So Xiaomi’s first Android powered Mi A1 priced at Rs. 14,999 could be the answer.

Back in 2014 when Google introduced Android One, it was one of the biggest events for Google and Google had high hopes from the devices. Studying the Indian market, Google chose to partner with sub Rs. 6500 devices from smartphone companies such as Micromax, Karbonn and Spice. But as good as the idea seemed at that time to come up with Google powered affordable phones, it failed to take off.

This time around, in order to sell Android One devices, Google has sought out the smartphone maker that managed to sell 25million device in India in the last three years, not a difficult decision for Google. The latest flagship device, Mi A1 is a pretty close lookalike of the iPhone 7plus design wise and incorporates its first ever dual camera configuration. The device also features 5.5-inch display, octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal memory (expandable up to 128 GB), 5MP front camera and 3,080 mAh battery. It being Xiaomi’s first Android One phone, it also promises a pure Android phone experience with regular OS upgrades. And of course the phone comes with built-in Google services such as free unlimited high quality storage from Google Photos.


With this partnership, Google will be able to capture all major emerging markets considering its a big global launch for Xiaomi and it was announced that apart from India, Mi A1 would be available in more than 40 markets around the world including Indonesia, Vietnam, Russia, Poland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Mexico.

While starting point is Xiaomi, in order to reboot Android One, Google is working with multiple original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to bring out more handsets based on Android One. But before that we’ll have to wait and see if Xiaomi helps Android one’s take two any different from the first one.