Is Android One Still a Viable Option?

The Android One program was initially created to provide a clean and tidy game, with the A11 update delayed while most manufacturers had already updated their phones. For the time being, Android One has been mostly limited to entry-level, budget and mid-range phones, with only a few of the more powerful options opting for the slim operating system. Not your average Android news, a diverse mix of tips, information and analysis with veteran Android journalist JR Raphael. Strictly speaking, the HTC U11 Life and the Xiaomi Mi A1 would qualify for Android 10 if two years of guaranteed Android updates mean two years from the release date. However, the pace of new devices appearing on the program's virtual shelves has been reduced to a trickle, and phones that are still alive and well within the walls of Android One aren't keeping their unique promises of quick and frequent software updates.

Mishaal Rahman, senior technical writer at Esper and a former genius at XDA, recently spoke about the enormous number of restrictions that OEMs send Android One devices to. Worse, Xiaomi had promised that the Mi A3 would be one of the first phones to receive Android 10, a promise that people who own the device still stick with it. In fact, these phones were designed to work with almost standard Android, just like the Nexus or Pixel series, but at much lower prices. This has proven to be the case with older Android One phones anyway, returning to those of the size of the Micromax Canvas A1. Nor has it received the Android 11 update, which is already seven months old, despite being part of the Android One program. The phone is powered by Android Go, a lightweight version of Android designed for basic devices with limited memory and storage.

The original Android One devices then emerged in India, which fit that basic proposal, but things have moved on. Whether it's a minor bug fix, a security update or a major update to Android 9.0 Pie, manufacturers must adapt it to their specific software. Not only does two years of software updates not always mean two years of software updates, but there are also questions as to whether the Android One program provides faster access to Android operating system updates. This may sound strange, but Android One also offers support for hardware elements of a manufacturer's device. Motorola One is another example, as it launches an entire family of Android One phones such as the Moto One Vision. So is Android One still a viable option? It certainly looks like it is.

Despite some delays in software updates and restrictions from OEMs, there are still plenty of advantages to using an Android One device. The clean and slim operating system provides users with an experience similar to that of Google's Pixel series at much lower prices. Plus, users can rest assured knowing that their device will receive regular security updates and bug fixes for at least two years after its release date.

Paul Phommajack
Paul Phommajack

Unapologetic coffee junkie. Incurable writer. Mobile Android enthusiast. Knows APK files inside and out. Possibly an Android himself.