It’s Android One day today and we’ve got one of the first smartphones from the program with us, the Spice Dream UNO. Spice was one of the three manufacturers chosen for the program announced at the Google’s IO conference back in June. The Indian manufacturer, along with fellow competitors Micromax and Karbonn, has launched its first Android One device today, with a lot of support from Google. The Dream UNO, which is based off a strict chassis mandated by Google has its chipset powered by MediaTek and has almost the same specifications as the other phones that launched today. Priced at Rs. 6,299, the Dream Uno fulfills the idea of Android One, an affordable high quality device with stock Android that’s set to receive updates as fast as Google delivers them, so how is the device? We captured the unboxing and the first impressions of the device in a video –
Let’s take a look at the box contents the device comes with, first –
- Spice Dream UNO in black
- Normal earphones with mic
- USB travel charging plug
- Micro USB cable
- Scratch guard
- Information guide and Warranty card
At first look, the Spice Dream Uno has a very familiar understated design that we’ve come across in many budget devices (Moto E, for example) these days. But the Google influence was obvious when we looked at certain design elements, like this –
Recognize the ear piece? That’s very similar to the Nexus 5, which says a lot of things about Google’s influence, possibly helping out OEMs with hardware design too. Also, note that the phone has on-screen buttons, another thing that Google likes.
Build quality wise, the phone comes with a really nice soft touch plastic finish for its back panel, again, reminding us that this might be something Google advocated in the phone’s design process. The rubbery grip that the back panel provides, works in favour of a better grip.
The Android One logo features prominently on the back of the device, and yet again, just below the logo is the round motif for the loudspeaker. Overall, the quality seems really good for the price it comes at. The Xiaomi Redmi 1S and the ASUS Zenfone 4 spring to our minds as the logical competitors for the Android One devices, and of course, the Moto E, although it has inferior specifications.
Talking of specifications, the Spice Dream Uno comes with a 4.5 inch FWGA display, which is very reflective and glossy, but it does look decent at first glance. Under the hood, the device is powered by the MediaTek MTK6582 chipset, with a 1.3 GHz Quad Core processor and the Mali 400MP GPU, which is the same across all the three phones launched today. The internal storage is pegged at 4 GB with around 2.05 GB available to the user, but we found that the phone doesn’t allow you to take photos or screenshots without a micro SD card inside. This is really weird, as the 5 MP camera on the back barely takes up space per image, and screenshots shouldn’t be a problem at all, but that is the case with Android One, it looks like.
As mentioned earlier, the phone comes with a 5 MP camera at the back, with auto focus, and a 2 MP(meaning 1920×1080) front facing camera. And under the back panel sit the dual micro SIM slots, which you can note in the video. The battery capacity is at a lesser-than-expected 1700 mAH but we feel it might be enough to last a day. Moving to software, the phone comes with the latest Android version, 4.4.4 KitKat, with obvious hardware related modifications. Here’s a list of things we found different in Android One, random order –
- New boot animation for Android One
- There is no Gallery app, just Google Photos
- Dual SIM settings are similar to what MediaTek based phones previously had
- The phone is very fast, looks like Google have indeed optimized it for the hardware
- There is a FM radio app, looks very similar to what the MediaTek based phones previously had
- Flipkart and Flipkart e-books apps pre-installed
- As noted above, micro SD card needed for using the camera or taking screenshots
- No sign of direct app installation to SD card, partial moving might be possible in app settings
We’ll be letting you know a lot more about this device, with a full walkthrough of the hardware, its details and the software of course, so stay tuned to the blog and check our YouTube channel regularly for all the updates. This is it for now, have any questions? Sound off in the comments section below. More coming soon.