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General Mobile Announces $300 Android One Device At MWC

February 22, 2016 - Written By Kishalaya Kundu

Android One may not quite have been the roaring success that Google would have had hoped for, but the tech giant from Mountain View, CA hasn’t apparently given up on its Android One ambitions just as yet. In the middle of last year, Google decided to relax the hardware requirements on Android One OEMs to generate more interest among users and manufacturers alike. Finally, Google’s plans seems to be paying off somewhat, seeing as Turkey-based General Mobile, one of Google’s newer Android One partners, has just announced the launch of an all-new mid-range Android One handset meant for the international market. The device is called the GM 5 Plus, and will reportedly come with a price-tag equivalent to $300 when launched late next month.

Following its Turkish launch, GM apparently also intends to take the device to as many as fifteen other markets globally, which should please Google no end knowing that its Android One project is still alive and kicking. The American tech giant will probably still need support from more manufacturers especially in countries like India, which is where the initial Android One devices were launched in the first place. Although Android One met with a lukewarm response from users in most regions worldwide the first time around, Google has been planning a reboot of the project, and towards that end, has allowed greater freedom to OEMs by allowing them to choose their vendors rather than keep its vice-like grip over everything with an eye towards quality control.

Coming back to the GM 5 plus, the newest member of the Android One family is by far the most ‘premium’ of all such devices launched thus far, and comes with a metal frame and textured back cover that comes in four different colors. As far as the hardware is concerned, the phone features a 5.5-inch 1080p display that’s protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4. The device has a Snapdragon 617 SoC under the hood and sports 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. Interestingly, both the front and rear cameras on the GM 5 Plus come with 13-megapixel sensors, and while the front cam has a single LED flash, the rear shooter is paired with a dual flash.

The phone will be the first Android One device to feature a USB Type-C connector and the 3,100 mAh battery can be charged super quickly, thanks to support for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0. On the software side of things, as is the case with all Android One devices, the phone will run pure, unadulterated Android in the form of 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Whether the phone is able to revive Android One and breathe some new life into it, remains to be seen, but Google and General Mobile will certainly be hoping so.