Days after the launch of Xiaomi's first vanilla Android featuring Mi A1, HTC is set to join the once unsuccessful Android One programme run by Google. The Taiwanese company is reportedly developing a new model that will arrive with Google's Android One brand.
According to Twitter user LlabTooFeR, HTC's first-ever Android One smartphone will on Android Oreo out of the box. The handset, codenamed HTC Ocean_Life, will also have a custom Sense 9.0 that will not include "most of the HTC apps" but would come pre-installed with few customisations such as Edge Sense and Zoe, in addition to the HTC Camera app.
Highly trusted leaker Evan Blass has confirmed the leaked details and even revealed an official render showing the front of the smartphone. "This is true. And it looks like this, for those who haven't seen..." Blass tweeted in response to the original leak.
Considering the codename of the leaked smartphone, it appears to an Android One version of the HTC U11 Life that will arrive in the US with 5.2-inch full HD display. The handset is also reported to have a Qualcomm's Snapdragon 630 chipset under the hood and will come with a 5.2-inch Full HD display, 16-megapixel rear and front camera sensors and water resistant build. Furthermore, HTC is rumoured to empower the new smartphone with its proprietary squeeze gesture support. This was originally designed for the U11 flagship.
The latest development of supporting Android One initiative is the continuation of the relationship between HTC and Google that was bounded with the arrival of the Pixel range last year. However, the plan prominently comes at the time when Google is redefining its strategy for a pure Android experience.
Also read: Xiaomi demystifies Android One for Google, but by sacrificing MIUI
While the first batch of Android One phones that were launched mainly in the South Asian markets back in September 2014 didn't bring any success, Google partnered with Xiaomi and launched the Mi A1 to expand the area of its key programme and bring pure Android to the masses. The Mi A1 has already debuted in India and is arriving at over 40 worldwide markets in the coming months.
Motorola plans to make competition tougher
Just like HTC, Motorola is also planning to bring its Android One smartphone that will be a rebranded version of the recently launched Moto X4. The new model is expected to help Google bring Android One experience to the US. It would include a dual-camera setup and run the newest Oreo version.
Market analysts believe that Google is aiming to broaden its Android One initiative by launching the new hardware in the worldwide markets. However, it is interesting to see how would the market react towards the development. The move would ultimately help the Android maker to deliver uniform security updates on a large number devices.