Category Archives: android

Karbonn Sparkle V & Android One

Android One

Android One is a label that targets emerging markets. It specifies the minimum hardware requirements that a smartphone must have to be supported for 2 years by Google. This is one of the major opportunities for us in Mauritius. Some of you may think that it's too good to be true, but it exists, as I got myself an Android One phone !

Karbonn Sparkle V

I bought an android-one certified phone from an Indian Manufacturer Karbonn. Mine is the Karbonn Sparkle V. When I got it, It was still on Android 4.4. As soon as I configured the wifi, It offered the possibility to be updated to Android 5.0 . Many high end phones are still shipping with Android 4.4 today without any updates to Android 5.0. sparkle

  • Display size: 4.5 inches
  • CPU: Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7
  • Internal memory : 2GB
  • GPU: Mali-400MP2
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Camera (back): 5 MP, 2592 х 1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
  • Camera (front): 2MP
  • GSM: 2G, 3G, 4G

User experience

Yesterday night, I updated to Android 5.1.1. UX-wise, the phone is very responsive, and snappy. My only complaint would be the lack of internal storage space. I think that 4GB would have been better. Another version of the Sparkle is currently brewing. I hope that Google bumps the hardware specs for the next Android One label. The price is very competitive: Rs 5700-5900 depending on where you buy it. Overall, I'm very happy with my purchase, and I definitely plan to buy another Android One phone at the end of this year.

Android One firmware


It is worth pointing out that Google offers 2 years of firmware update support. This is fantastic, as I get the equivalent of a Google Nexus phone, at a much more reasonable price. This is the major win for the Android One phones. Unlike manufacturers that tend to ignore firmware updates after 6 month, Google makes a smart move here.


Android One camera issue

Android One camera freeze


While attending a wedding today, I wanted to use my camera to record videos. When I switched to video mode, The application froze. Android reported that it was not able to connect to the camera.

Dark Powers of Linux to the rescue

Since Android was running a Linux kernel, I knew from experience that this was very likely a device driver module. Of course, since I did not have full access to the android kernel message log, I knew that it was based on my instinct :)

I still wanted to record the speeches about the responsibilities of Marriage from the gentleman who took his time to lecture the newly wed couple. So, I knew that I had to find a way to reset the camera. My idea was since I had switched to video mode before it froze, it probably remained in that state. I quickly killed the application, and reloaded it . Unsurpringly, it started directly in recording mode. I just had to click on record, and it did the trick.

My theory is that switching back and forth from camera to photo mode causes the driver to hang up with the Android kernel. Since my phone is supported by Google, I sent a report to them on the phone itself, including how to reproduce it :)

Google Android One rocks

Thanks to the support from Google, I can send bug reports to them, as the phone is supported for 2 years. Unlike other phone manufacturers, it's much better in my humble opinion.