Karbonn Mobile Sparkle V Android One smartphone

You might not have heard the name, but Karbonn Mobile has brought the first Android One smartphone to the UK in the form of the Sparkle V. See also: Best budget smartphones 2014.

The device, along with three others smartphones, are available today from Amazon starting at just £49 thanks to London-based manufacturing partner, Santok. The Sparkle V Android One will cost £129 and will be on offer as part of Black Friday on Amazon for £99. See also: Best Black Friday deals 2014.

The price might sound pretty good but when Google announced Android One at its I/O conference earlier this year, it said they would be less than $100.

Jay Pau, CEO of Santok Group, said: "For far too long the UK mobile device market has been dominated by a small group of huge brands and this has meant that the price for smartphones has been pushed extortionately high.  There are currently low-end cheap alternatives, which offer what people pay for them.  With Karbonn we are introducing a high quality brand, with leading technological innovation and cutting edge design, but without the 5* price tag."

Android One is a standard made by Google and provides a set of minimum specs which the devices must adhere to – similar to Ultrabook laptops. The idea is to offer affordable smartphones for emerging markets.

The UK is not an emerging market but nevertheless, the firm believes it will be a hit here with Deborshi Sarkar, Head of Sales at Santok claiming: "We firmly believe that this launch is going to shake up the playing field and market dynamics in terms of price proposition.  Consumers in the UK are increasingly being driven by price as the cost of living continues to rise and no longer will they need to compromise on their smartphone choice."

The Sparkle V Android One comes with a 4.5in qHD display (480 x 854), quad-core processor, 4 GB of storage and 1 GB of RAM. It comes in white, red and blue but faces stiff competition in the UK from devices like the Moto G, HTC Desire 510 and EE Kestrel – some of which are actually cheaper.

Karbonn Mobile smartphones

Karbonn Mobile has also launch three other budget smartphones with the A5S, A19 and Titanium S6 which cost £49, £89 and £119 respectively. They all have basic specs and run Android 4.4 KitKat but won't be updated to version 5.0 Lollipop. The Android One device will be one of the first to get the new software over the air, though – somewhere between mid-December and early January.