India’s Lava International and Google Inc. have launched a new Android One smartphone, a 5.5-inch phablet, at a price that makes the brand no longer accessible to the masses, but is targeted more at large-screen enthusiasts.
The phone is called Pixel V1 and is priced at 11,350 rupees (about $180), Lava said, in a press release on Monday. While the Indian smartphone maker is selling it online exclusively on Flipkart, the Pixel V1 will also be available in some 65,000 physical retail stores across the country.
The Pixel V1 will, however, face serious competition from cheaper Chinese rivals, including Lenovo Group’s K3 Note and Xiaomi Corp.’s Redmi Note, both of which offer mostly comparable, or better, specs and features in addition to supporting 4G networks in India, which the new entrant does not.
The Pixel V1 has been developed in close collaboration with Google, which has certified the smartphone for its performance benchmarks, Lava said. The phone will ship with Android Lollipop version 5.1 out of the box, and is assured of future updates from Google.
The Pixel V1, in addition to its 5.5-inch screen, has 32GB internal storage, which is double that offered in the K3 Note, for instance, making internal storage the one point on which the phone scores over its cheaper rivals.
It also has a memory card slot for another 32GB, and 2GB RAM. The phablet has a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 8MP/5MP cameras with software programs that deliver the equivalent of 13MP/8MP, according to the release. The dual-SIM 3G phone has a 2,650mAh battery.
On the other hand, the K3 Note, which costs less than 10,000 rupees and the Redmi Note, which costs less than 8,000 rupees, offer faster processors, batteries with larger capacity and 4G support.