Google’s Android One program doesn’t seem to be as successful as anyone wanted it to be, but the rest of the mobile industry too is struggling to find a pathway to profitability and success. That said, this doesn’t mean that Google has abandoned the platform or that there aren’t OEMs making great hardware.
Case in point: General Mobile has just announced their newest device, the 5-inch GM-5, and it’s packing Android 7.0 out of the box. That’s right, there is an Android One device running Nougat before the majority of the devices on the market. Don’t be mislead by the origins of Android One, sure this isn’t a Pixel competitor but neither does it look to be a cheap phone with nice software; the GM 5 could be a real contender.
The GM 5 is sporting a 5-inch HD display, an unnamed Snapdragon 4 x 1.2 GHz processor (it may be a Snapdragon 4xx series), paired with 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage and expandable SD card support. Check out the full specs below.
|Key Specifications:||General Mobile GM 5 (Android One)|
|Release date||November 2016|
|Screen technology||IPS LCD|
|Resolution||1,280 x 720|
|Core config||4 x 1.2GHz|
|MicroSD||Yes, up to 64GB|
|Android OS||Android 7.0|
|Vendor skin||Android One|
|Dimensions||140.5 x 69.75 x 9.3 mm|
Now this isn’t a Google phone, this is General Mobile’s phone running Google’s supported Android One platform, however, this is still a significant device. With Android security an ever present and increasing concern, it is pivotal that there be a range of Android devices supported by Google, either through partnerships or direct manufacturing that provide all budget levels with access to safe and secure Android devices. To do otherwise would be to abandon their moral responsibilities.
But wait you say, Apple doesn’t make affordable phones, to which I respond yes, Apple does not allow there to be unsecured low tier devices as part of their ecosystem.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a world phone, it is only being released in 20 markets, which are; Azerbaijan, Albania, Afghanistan, Belgium, Bosnia, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Iraq, Kenya, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, Pakistan, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey and Uzbekistan.
With the combination of what looks to be solid and reliable hardware and Google’s Android One stock software experience, this is a device that I would desperately like to use. Yes, it’s missing NFC, something that really needs to make its way into the lower tier hardware, yes the camera would not be perfect, or perhaps even great.
However, with entry level devices what I am looking for is a reasonable cost, a safe and secure OS and obviously a good user experience when using apps and services. I’m not expecting Pixel or even Nexus 6P level performance but one would hope it would still be an enjoyable user experience. We don’t have a price for the device yet, but if previous models are anything to go by it will be inexpensive.
What do you think of the General Mobile GM 5 Android One phone?