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Google widens Android One program net with Pakistan launch

The Android One program targets consumers in emerging markets who are looking for smartphones with an untainted Android experience, devoid of the typical bloatware and customisations that they can expect from major vendors like Samsung.

At the same time, Android One is also about offering that vanilla Android experience in an affordable package, so that more consumers can afford to make the switch to smartphones.

Android One launched in India in September of 2014, and has since expanded to include other Asian countries. The latest market to join the program is Pakistan, where QMobile's A1 is now available.

Yesterday, Google announced (opens in new tab) that the aforementioned Android One device is available through local retail stores, featuring "high-quality hardware" that it tested with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. Just like other Android One devices, it arrives with the latest version of Android out-of-the-box, and with the promise of fast updates to new releases.

Here are the most-noteworthy specs: 4.5-inch IPS display with FWVGA (854x480) resolution; 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 1,700 mAh battery; 5-megapixel main camera; 2-megapixel secondary camera; 8 GB of internal storage; microSD card slot; dual-SIM; Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth; FM Radio; GPS; dimensions of 132 x 67.9 x 9.15 mm.

The smartphone's recommended retail price is PKR 11,500, which is about £73. While not the cheapest smartphone around, it does have the advantage of having Google's blessing and proper Android support for some time to come.