At a media event in New Delhi, CREO unveiled its first phone, the Mark 1, for ₹19,999. The device is constructed out of metal and glass, offers high-end hardware, and runs a custom Android fork. The differentiator with the Mark 1 is monthly updates, which will be driven by community feedback.
The Mark 1 features a Quad HD display, 1.95GHz octa-core CPU, 3GB of RAM, 32GB internal memory, microSD slot that can extend storage up to 128GB, LTE connectivity, 21MP camera (Sony IMX230 sensor) with 4K video recording, 3100mAh battery with Quick Charge (unsure whether it's QC 2.0 or 3.0), and dual-SIM functionality.
When it comes to design, the phone offers 2.5D curved glass at the front and back, surrounded by a metal frame. There's also a custom engraving option.
Things get much more interesting on the software front. Fuel OS is a custom fork built on top of Android, with inclusive updates being a key differentiator. The phone will offer a user interface that is the "stockiest" available, according to CREO CEO and co-founder Sai Srinivas.
One of the unique features on offer when it comes to software is Sense, which is the "quickest way to access anything you need". A quick double tap on the home button launches Sense, and the feature is context-driven. For instance, if you search for food and you have food delivery apps installed, Sense will highlight those. In addition, you get suggestions for other food apps available on the Play Store. You can also use Sense to quickly call contacts. Just double tap the home button, start typing in your contact's name, and you'll be able to place a call directly.
The best Sense use-case is its ability to easily connect to the vendor's support structure. Should you run into any issues with the phone, you can just enter CREO support in Sense, and the app will automatically find your location, showing you nearby service centers, connect you to CREO's customer support, all directly from the interface. CREO has 196 service centers in 90 cities, which will expand to 300 service centers in 130 cities in the coming months.
CREO also has a feature called Echo, which is an answering machine built into Fuel OS. All messages are stored locally, and the feature is carrier-agnostic, which means that it works irrelevant of what carrier you're on.
The vendor is also tackling phone theft with a feature called Retriever. CREO says that the existing anti-theft measures on Android and iOS are inadequate, which is why it is going with a custom hardware-driven solution. If you lose your Mark 1, you can get email alerts even if the device's storage is erased. It is intriguing to say the least, and we'll take a look at the feature to see how it works in detail.
The vendor will roll out new features every month, while ensuring that said additions will not unnecessarily clutter the device. The next update — which will be rolling out on May 13 — will introduce an image editor, selfie screen flash, automatic background data manager, and the ability to customize Echo. CREO mentions that all feature additions will come with video walkthroughs explaining their functionality.
As for where you can get your hands on the Mark 1, CREO says that the device will be exclusive to Flipkart, and if you want the custom engraving option, you'll have to buy directly at creosense.com.
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