Update: Turns out the General Mobile 4G, the Android One device that launched in Turkey, has been available for sale in the Netherlands since August. That said, Google did not officially launch Android One in the country, to our knowing.
Original post: One year after its launch in Asia, the Android One program is expanding to Europe.
The first European countries where Android One devices will be sold are Spain and Portugal, where local phone maker BQ will offer the Aquaris A4.5 for €169.9 and €179.9 respectively.
As a second generation Android One smartphone, the Aquaris A4.5 is a notch above the barebones devices the program was initially known for. Don’t expect anything spectacular though, this is still a budget phone through and through. Features include a 4.5-inch 540 x 960 display (245 ppi), a quad-core MT6735M processor from MediaTek, 16 GB of internal storage (10.5 GB free), 1GB of RAM, a 2470 mAh battery, a 8MP rear camera, a 5MP front camera, and LTE.
The Aquaris A4.5 runs Lollipop 5.1 and Google offers two years of guaranteed updates. In addition, BQ promises a very generous 5-year warranty for the hardware, as well as dedicated support.
At roughly $200, the Aquaris A4.5 is significantly more expensive than Google’s initial promise to offer a quality Android experience for under $100. To be fair, the price is still very good for the European market, and still cheaper than the $260 price tag of the Turkish Android One smartphone (higher tariffs in Turkey may explain that). That said, if you don’t need a pure vanilla Android experience and guaranteed updates, the 3rd generation Moto G offers better specs at a comparable price.
Android One is now available in Southeast Asia, Turkey, and several African countries. With the program’s arrival to Europe, Google seems open to experimenting with Android One in mature markets that are less sensitive to price. For now there is no indication that Android One phones will launch in other European countries (or even North America), but this first step is definitely a positive sign.
As for India, Google admitted that the first batch of Android One phones hasn’t lived up to expectations, and suggested the next generation could be even cheaper, with a “sweet spot” in the Rs. 2,000-3,000 ($30-$47)range.