Way back in June (feels like a long time ago now) at Google’s annual I/O event we were given a number of announcements including the launch of Android Wear, Android Auto, Android TV and Android One. The last of these ‘Android One’ has generally received limited interest since I/O although it is quite possibly the most interesting and certainly the most important. For those of you that may have missed Android One (probably due to all the Android Wear talk recently), in short it is designed as a budget-friendly version of Android created to run on low end smartphone devices. Generally speaking, this is mainly geared towards emerging markets where the more premium devices are simply too expensive or too rarely released. As a result Google created Android One with the ethos of making Android available to all, regardless of device or cost.
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Although this has been minimally discussed since I/O (compared to the other Android announcements) it does seem that at least hardware companies are taking it seriously. Qualcomm in particular seems very interested to make sure they are part of the Android One revolution on the ground floor. Qualcomm is probably most well-known for their line of processors in mobile devices. If you have read any articles recently on any of the premium devices being released you would have heard of Qualcomm and in particular their Snapdragon processor which seems to have become the go-to processor for premium devices. Well, in a bid to mirror Google’s intentions with Android One, Qualcomm have also come up with a budget-friendly processor, the Snapdragon 210. This will be a perfect fit for the sub $100 smartphone market (and Android One) and will ensure all android devices regardless of cost offer 4G LTE services (wireless connection for high speed data). You might think that a budget processor means budget performance and to some degree this is true. However, that does not mean bad performance. The Snapdragon 210 (when considering the cost of the device it will run on) seems to be a real all-round processor. The 210 will consist of a 1.1 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex A7 CPU, Qualcomm Adreno 304 GPU, 802.11n (2.4GHz) WiFi, USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC support. In addition, the 210 will also support (up to) 8MP cameras while offering 1080 HD video capture and playback. Lastly, the 210 will also support screen display resolution up to 720p and come equipped with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 support (up to 75% faster charging apparently).
So with the combined efforts of Android One and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon it does seem although budget devices will be cheap on price this won’t necessarily mean they cheap out on performance. However, we will have to wait and see the finished products before we can make any concrete verdicts. Anyone looking forward to Android One and sub $100 handsets? How does a budget Snapdragon processor with these specs sound to you? Let us know by leaving a comment.