Lava Pixel V1 - Changes from First Gen Android One devices


In September, 2014, when Google launched the Android One program, there were big hopes on it. However, even after almost a year, the program does not seem to be kicking off. Major reason for this was the inferior quality of the phones that launched under Android One. Now, Google is coming up with a new partner - Lava Mobiles - which has launched Lava Pixel V1. Let us find the improvements done over the older generation Android One phones.

With the launch of Lava Pixel V1, both Google and Lava seem to have set foot on changing the Android One scenario in India. Unlike the first generation Android One phones, Lava has given a new dimension to the platform. Google seems to have realised the follies it committed while launching the Android One phones last year. Let us see what has changed in Lava Pixel V1.
However, you will be surprised to see not much of a difference between the older Android One smartphones like Spice Dream Uno, Karbonn Sparkle V and Micromax Canvas A1 and the newer Lava Pixel V1. It does not truly qualify to be the upgrade to an Android One smartphone.

Pricing

All the Android One smartphones launched last year were priced under Rs. 7000. Most of them were off the shelf Chinese designs. Pixel V1 comes with a higher price tag of Rs. 11350. The higher pricing is due to the hardware improvements done.

However, wasn't Android One a program launched with an aim of making the Android ecosystem affordable? In fact, that was what Google had instructed its Android One partners back then. Agreed - the price hike comes with its own improvements, but still the price tag appears little out of bounds for the audience the program is meant for.

As is well known by now, the competitors have better options at this price. Regular smartphone buffs would remain sceptical with this phone which falls quite low compared to the likes of Redmi 2 or Xolo Black. Most of the manufacturers are trying to push as many features while lowering the price point while Lava and Google are moving the other way round. You can find the difference by comparing Pixel V1 to the likes of Lenovo K3 Note and Yureka Plus which makes it clear that the new version of Android One is under specced, yet overpriced.

Display

Display is definitely an improvement over the old generation devices. First gen Android One phones came with a 4.5 inch WVGA display. The resolution was just 854x480. We now have a received a bump in screen size to 5.5 inch. The phone now has a HD display at a 1280x720 resolution. The improved IPS display provides more better viewing angles and sunlight legibility. The screen is now protected by Asahi Dragontail Glass. This again is a big add on on the previous generation of Android One.

By the way, aren't we getting full HD screens at the price point at which Lava Pixel V1 is launched? Users will definitely look forward to a better option available from the competitors. I agree that the a HD and a full HD display does not make a big difference during the everyday usage, but still one would expect a higher standard from the price perspective.

Processor and performance

This would be a surprising gesture on the part of Google to continue with the low end MediaTek processor. The low cost processor was understandable on previous versions of Android One because of the pricing. The quad core 1.3 GHz processor on Pixel V1 Is the same as on the first generation of Android One phones.

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It would have been a real upgrade had Lava or Google given it a thought on upgrading the most important component inside to a more contemporary as we have seen on most of the competing devices. However, there is a boost in terms of RAM. Pixel V1 now comes with 2 GB on board RAM as compared to the 1 GB RAM we had on previous versions. This will ensure a smoother multitasking.

Storage

This is where Android One has received a biggest ever boost. Earlier Android One phones came with just 4 GB internal storage. Pixel V1 will now offer you an unbelievably mammoth internal memory of 32 GB. In addition, you also have the memory expansion options on Pixel V1 as well as the first gen devices.

Camera

This again is where Android One has got an upgrade. The first generation of Android One phones came with a 5 MP rear camera along with a 2 MP front snapper. Lava Pixel V1 features a 8 MP rear camera with LED flash. It can capture images at 13 MP quality with the under the hood software tweaks. On the front, the phone sports a 5 MP camera for selfie lovers which can capture images at 8 MP resolution with the software tweaks.

Battery

Battery capacity has been enhanced on the second gen Android One. Earlier versions had a 1700 mAh battery capacity. It has been upped to 2650 mAh. It is quite a huge boost and definitely a comparably equivalent to the present generation mainstream Android phone arena.

Software

Android One, in its earlier avatar had Android Kitkat 4.4 while Lava Pixel V1 runs on Android 5.1.1 out of the box. However, software should not make any difference as far as Android One phones are concerned. They are destined to get timely and continued updates as and when they are available. First gen Android One devices were eventually upgraded to Android Lollipop as well.

Availability

Here again, we can see a difference in strategy. First generation devices were made available only via online model. These phones were launched exclusively on Amazon, Flipkart and SnapDeal. This time, however, Google has decided to go both online and offline models. Moving on to a offline model may be helpful in garnering those buyers who are undecided on which phone to buy. Offline mode also helps in reaching out to the remote areas where Internet connectivity is still a far fetched thing.

What's my take?

Well, frankly speaking - Lava Pixel V1 is clearly an upgrade over the first generation of Android One phones. But, in the face of the other competing phones from mainstream smartphone market, sadly it bites the dust. We have plenty of low cost - yet high on quality phones available in the sub 10K price band. If you are such a die hard fan of pure Android that you are willing to miss out more possible upgrades, you may go for this one. Else, you have a lot of other options.


Article by Timmappa Kamat
Timmappa Kamat is a technology enthusiast. He has an active interest in newer technological developments. He is fond of new gizmos & gadgets. He loves to share his knowledge through tech-savvy websites as a freelancer. A Mechanical Engineer by profession, he is equally interested in blogging, with his own blog. He wants to carve a name for himself in blogging arena one day! If you need any clarifications about his articles,please respond here below or get in touch with him through his profile.

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