A smartphone that provides Indians with a paltry 2GB of internal storage in late 2014 is nothing short of a ripoff and deserves to be treated with contempt.
Even if it’s offered at $105.
I checked out two Android One smartphones that were introduced in India today – Karbonn Sparkle V and Spice Dream UNO Mi-498.
In both cases, user available storage is a measly 2.2GB that will quickly fill up with a few Bollywood videos, Tollywood music albums and a bunch of apps.
Buyer frustration is inevitable.
Google is beating the drums about its new Android One initiative that aims to provide “high quality smartphones” with good specs at low prices to the 5 billion earthlings without smartphones through partnerships with device vendors like Karbonn, Spice and several others.
But a 2GB internal storage smartphone is most definitely not a high quality smartphone by any yardstick. Who are you trying to kid?
If you ask me, no smartphone should be sold without internal storage of at least 8GB. Preferably 16GB.
Expandable storage via microSD cards and cloud storage are all fine and dandy in theory but they sometimes won’t work with a lot of apps. And cloud is highly vulnerable to theft!
Android One is targeted at countries like India, Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal where smartphone penetration is still very low.
Internal storage capacity is pretty low on the list of Indian consumers as far as I can tell. Also it has an 8 GB card included for all storage needs. But Karbonn Sparkle V doesn’t look that ‘revolutionary’ in the price range.
For some context, we recently bought Nokia Asha 502. It has only 64 MB of internal storage. However, a 4 GB card is included. We bought another 8 GB card to be safe (~ 200 Rs.). Turned out to be more than enough.
The real issue is likely to be performance of processor, touch screen, battery, camera et al. Asha 502 unfortunately sucked on touch screen, camera fronts. So don’t buy it but not because of poor internal storage.
The Firefox OS phones recently released in India do look like a game changer in the price range.
1. My understanding is that some apps won’t run off external card.
2. Perhaps a lot of first-time Indian mobile phone buyers don’t care about apps and storage and use it only to talk.
Firefox OS mobile phones could take off if it works reasonably well. $35 is a great price!
3. In the U.S., most phones are purchased from carriers (AT&T, Verizon etc) or from Apple because of subsidies (>90% of people do not pay full price upfront for a smartphone in US). In India, I suspect smartphones/feature phones are purchased from countless small & big retailers and online.