Android One Philippines Official Launch, In Photos : TechPinas Brings The Exclusive Event To You

Just a few hours ago, I graced Google Philippines' warm invitation for the formal unveiling of new smartphones under its Android One program, which was held at WhiteSpace in Makati City.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines

Like what I've shared in a previous entry, Android One aims to bring high-quality handsets to as many people as possible via a great combination of hardware and software in 'packages' that almost everyone can afford -- less than Php 5,000 per unit, to be exact.

According to Mr. Caesar Sengupta, Google's Vice President for Product Management, Android One phones in the Philippines will come with the latest and most fluid version of Android right out of the box. Android 5.1 Lollipop supposedly offers up to two times better the performance of Android 4.4 KitKat and comes with a slew of software enhancements including the sleek Material Design interface that offers responsive natural motion, realistic lighting and shadows, and bold edge-to-edge graphics for a more enjoyable and visually appealing mobile experience.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
I got to interview Mr. Sengupta at the event and I asked him questions that I'm sure many of you would want to know answer to, like 'What exactly makes Android One different from Nexus?' and 'What was the process that led you to work with your current partner handset makers in the Philippines?' I got his answers on video and I will share them with you within the next few days.

Google Philippines announced two smartphones by local electronics giants that will herald the arrival of Android One in the country. One is made by Cherry Mobile and the other is by MyPhone. Both smartphones share largely the same technical specifications with a few differences here and there; I will feature both of these devices in upcoming TP entries so stay tuned!

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
Meet Cherry Mobile One...

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
... and MyPhone Uno. Both phones are equipped with a 4.5 inch FWVGA IPS display, 5 MegaPixel autofocus camera with LED flash at the back, 2 MegaPixel fixed focus front cam for selfies, 1.3 GHz Quad Core ARM Cortex A7 and Mali 400 based MediaTek MT6582 chipset, and 1 GB of RAM. CM One, which comes with an ever slightly larger battery pack, has 8 GB of ROM while MyPhone Uno has a pre-installed microSD card 8 GB.

MyPhone Uno vs Cherry Mobile One, Android One Philippines
Side by side photos of MyPhone Uno and Cherry Mobile One; Which Pinoy Android One smartphone do you prefer, TP Friends? Leave a comment below.

MyPhone Uno vs Cherry Mobile One, Android One Philippines

Design-wise, the photos speak for themselves. MyPhone Uno has a rounder look while Cherry Mobile One dons a more structured build. Also, the former's back cover has a matte texture while the latter's back plate flaunts a near-glossy, metallic sheen.

"We are very happy to bring Android One smartphones to the Philippines. Working with great partners like Cherry Mobile and MyPhone, we have designed and brought to the market these high quality smartphones at highly affordable prices. We cannot wait to see what Filipinos do with them," Mr. Sengupta shared.

TP Friends, I'm currently working on my initial posts about the two above-mentioned handsets (that I bet you're all very interested about). While those are 'in progress', let me share with you some photos that I took during the landmark local tech event:

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
At the registration booth. I think TeamAsia did a wonderful job managing this launch. I personally want to thank Miss Gelyn, Miss Anna, and Florence for being so accommodating.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
At the receiving area where technology bloggers and members of the media mingled with Google reps in the region and student ambassadors in the Philippines.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
Google gave each attendee a lollipop with a sticker showing one Android 5.1 Lollipop feature.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
"Five years from now, what we're going to see is a major change in the digital landscape here in the Philippines. We're going to see every Filipino introduced to the power of internet. Today, we already have forty four million Filipinos online. And this year alone, we're going to see ten million Filipinos coming to the internet for the first time. 10 Million Filipinos; That is two times the size of the population of Singapore. And when you think about it, that's almost one million Filipinos going online every single month. [...] Currently, the Philippines is the second largest internet market in South East Asia [...] With today's announcement, Google hopes to contribute to the ever increasing number of Filipinos who will discover and experience the power of the internet [...] Imagine what one can do. In fact, imagine what 100 million Filipinos online can do to make this nation even greater," said Google Country Manager, Mr. Kenneth Lingan, in his opening keynote.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
Mr. Caesar Sengupta explained Google's vision behind Android One as well as the 'recipe' for (or what exactly constitutes) an Android One device. He also introduced both Cherry Mobile One and MyPhone Uno in his presentation.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
There are currently 3 Billion people around the world who already have access to the internet -- but there are still more than 4 Billion people who have yet to go online. Google wants to put the wonders of the internet at arm's reach of practically everyone the world over; And that's the driving force or vision that's backing Android One.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines

The Philippines is actually the sixth country to be included in the Android One program following India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. Clearly, Google is targeting fast-growing economies and rising or emerging mobile markets for this initiative.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
Cherry Mobile One and MyPhone Uno are the very first Android One devices in the Philippines. Mr. Sengupta told me, however, that Google is open to working with other manufacturers - both local and international - that are interested to release Android One handsets.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
Mr. Maynard Ngu (CEO and Founder, in blue suit) and Mr. Lonson Alejandrino (Product Marketing Manager) of Cherry Mobile at the Android One presentation.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
Mr. Jaime Alcantara (President), Mr. Kevin Tan (Vice President), Mr. Richard de Quina (VP for Marketing), and Mr. John Chica (Head of Marketing) of MyPhone likewise graced the launch.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
Mr. Sengupta proceeded to explaining the different hardware and software features that distinguish 'Android One' models from other Android smartphones in the market.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
Check out the screen at the back: Those are only some things you need to do to create a smartphone.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
Apart from having the same 'reference board', all Android One releases - at least, for 2015 - must have the following hardware features: microSD card expansion slot, Dual SIM card slots, user replaceable battery pack, built-in FM radio, and 4 to 8 GB of internal storage.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
Both CM One and MyPhone Uno will ship with Android 5.1 Lollipop right out of the box, which already addresses some issues and bugs that users experience on the initial Lollipop version. That's great -- but in terms of software, the biggest benefit in owning an Android One phone is that - for two years following the purchase - it will always be one of the first to get firmware upgrades or updates from Google (just like Nexus).

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
Technical Specifications have to be 'standardized' across all Android One releases.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
Touch response, screen transitions, and gaming experience are all very smooth on Cherry Mobile One running Android 5.1 Lollipop that Mr. Sengupta used as a demo unit in his talk. I also got the chance to play with MyPhone Uno in one of the booths and the 'feel' is just the same.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
In conjunction with the launch, Smart Communications and Sun Cellular - as partners of Google - will help Android One users get free over-the-air (OTA) updates to the operating system and certain amounts of app downloads from Google Play for the first six months without counting toward their mobile data plan.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
Mr. Sengupta also took the opportunity to introduce relevant enhancements to Google services specifically Translate, Voice Search, and Youtube.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
Translate and Voice Search now understand the Filipino language better, which greatly helps these services deliver far more accurate answers and results as demoed by Mr. Lingan.

Android One Philippines, Youtube Offline
You can now view Youtube videos offline by conveniently downloading saving them to phone's cache. You should be able to do that on any Android One handset.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
Google will be running advertising campaigns in the Philippines - via out-of-home, TV, and print - to promote Android One. Google is hoping that this would make more Pinoys interested to check out the upcoming smartphones under this project.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
After the talks, bloggers and members of the local media were invited to visit the booths scattered around the venue to experience both Cherry Mobile One and MyPhone Uno. This was the selfie booth; I took a few groufies with Google reps and ambassadors.

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
Yeg and Maxlee of Smart Digital Team playing with Cherry Mobile One, which will be available as a bundled device with Sun Plan 399 with just Php 500 cash-out!

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines
After more than three years, I finally saw Ms. Aileen Apolo de Jesus of Google Philippines again! I missed you, Aileen! So nice to see you again!

Android One Philippines, Android One Smartphones Launch in the Philippines

Alright! That's it for now, TP Friends! As I've said, I'm currently working on more blog posts (and on some videos too) about Android One so kindly stay tuned for those. In the meantime, I hope you can share this entry with your friends so they too can somehow experience this really cool Pinoy Android One event. Thanks!

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