Although there were only two generations that Google launched a cheap smartphone for the market, the truth is that they have completely penetrated the market. The Nexus 4 and the Nexus 5 were excellent cell phones that for a time represented that there was no need to spend a lot of money to have a good cell phone.
It's been a long time, and the market has changed a lot since then. Buying a cell phone for a thousand euros is no longer crazy, although there are still good phones at an affordable price.
The Nexus no longer makes sense in the market, although they were the best of Android
Although for a while they were the best of Android, today the Google Nexus no longer has much sense to exist.
On the other hand, Google will no longer make accessible endpoints such as Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 . We have already talked about this, and also about Google's alternatives to the low-end. It does not look like it, but we have a new replacement for Android One.
Xiaomi Mi A1: one of the best cheap cell phones
I've been testing the Xiaomi Mi A1 for a few days as the main phone, and the truth is that this surprised me. In recent years I have tried and recommended many mobile brands, but in the end, the customization layer ends up being an aspect that does not convince everyone.
"I want pure Android with quick updates" say many. And hey, it's a pretty consistent preference to have a cell phone with as few additions as possible.
For this reason, for me, the Xiaomi Mi A1 is a key cell phone for the international expansion of Xiaomi (I'll talk about my long and tense experience the other day). We have forgotten MIUI, and we have the same experience in software that we would have on a Nexus.
Android One is the new Nexus
The Xiaomi Mi A1 is not the only cellphone aimed at the average reach of Android One. HTC has launched the HTC U11 Life with this version of Android. Motorola has also signed up to have an Android One mobile phone, specifically the Moto X4.
These two terminals are already strange because the experience of the Motorola and HTC layers is quite close to Android Puro, which makes us think that Google's plans with Android One go beyond what we have seen.
A few years ago, Android One was an Android brand targeting low specification devices . With the arrival of Android Oreo, this task falls into Android GO then it seems that Google has decided that Android One phones raise the bar.
Android One is the revolution in the mid-range we expected
With the introduction of the Xiaomi Mi A1, we wonder if Android One has the potential to become the revolution we expect in the mid-range.
Google does not update these phones but supports tags
Something that caught our eye when Google introduced Android One in those days was that it seemed like Google would be the only one that would face the manufacturers, directly updating the terminals.
It was not like that, and Android One did not always offer what users deserved. Already when the Mi A1 was presented, the same happened, and this is what will be Xiaomi himself who will take care of the updates.
Even with this, they promised that the update for Oreo will be quick and that Mi A1 will be among the first to have Android P. All this sounds very good, but given the experience, I do not trust that it happens until you see it. (now has Android 7.1.2 with October security patch).
Even depending on the manufacturer, what Google can do with Android One is quite powerful, since it is a brand that shows Google relies on those manufacturers, something that, as users, increases our confidence.
Even if Google is not the one that updates, it's a guarantee of trust behind the project.
What future can you expect from Android One?
Android One is not the Nexus or Google Play Edition relay yet, but we believe it has the potential to save.
Currently, the only warranty offered by a mobile phone with Android One is to have a software experience like we can have in Pixel but in equipment more measured in terms of specifications (and price).
With Android One, we can experience the Nexus at a more moderate price.
But we think Google should not be limited to this kind of support and that can go further, since they are more modest terminals, they are not competitors to Pixel, but if this helps strengthen their own brand, and improve relationships with manufacturers.
On a personal level, there are phones that I would like to see with Android One, such as the Galaxy A5 2017 or the Honor 9, mobile phones that we love, but maybe with experience Nexus would like even more .
To make it as easy as possible for these manufacturers to get the updates within a minimum time frame (one month behind the Pixels to avoid competition would be a good number) would be excellent. Android One by could be a business opportunity for Google taking care of the updates in exchange for a price by the manufacturer.
Is Android One the new Nexus brand?