Gear Reviews

CREO wants to take on Android flagships with its $300 Mark 1 smartphone

Written by Jaivik Shah

After teasing its first phone last month, Bangalore, India-based CREO has launched the Mark 1 in New Delhi today with the promise of a new software feature each month and top-of-the-line specifications.

The dual-SIM Mark 1 features a 5.5-inch quad HD display and runs the company’s own Fuel OS layer atop Android 5.1.

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Under the hood, you’ll find a 1.95GHz Mediatek Helio X10 octa-core processor paired with 3GB RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. You can add up to 128GB more space with a microSD card.

The 3,100mAh battery supports quick charging so you can get two hours of talk time in 10 minutes.

For imaging, the Mark 1 sports a 21-megapixel camera on the rear with support for 4K video as well as 120fps slow-motion recording in full HD.

There’s also an 8-megapixel camera for selfies along with a 3D photo feature that exports animated pictures as GIFs. It’s all packed into a 190g device that’s available in a gun-metal finish, which you can personalize by having your name or a custom message laser engraved onto the side bezel.

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You can have your name or a custom message engraved onto the side of the CREO Mark 1

 

CREO’s own Fuel OS sticks with a mostly stock Android interface and adds own a few interesting features, a number of which are borne out of suggestions from its users. For one, its Sense assistant can be invoked by double-tapping the hardware home button to search for anything on the device, from apps to contacts to help using its software.

It also comes with Echo, a built-in voicemail inbox. You can use it to respond to a call with a customized greeting when you’re too busy to answer it, and retrieve the recorded messages at any time.

CREO's Fuel OS includes useful features for retrieving your lost phone, device-wide search and voicemail
CREO’s Fuel OS includes useful features for retrieving your lost phone, device-wide search and voicemail

Retriever is designed to help you find your phone if it’s stolen. When a new SIM is inserted, the app automatically sends an alert to your email address with the new phone number associated with it, along with the device’s location. — all without an internet connection.

In addition, the company says it will deliver regular updates with a new feature each month. In May, the Mark 1 is scheduled to get a new photo editing tool and a fullscreen flash for selfies.

CREO’s Mark 1 will go on sale in India for Rs. 19,999 ($300) on Flipkart as well as the company’s site.

It’ll be interesting to see if the fledgling hardware firm can beat out flagships like the OnePlus 2 and the Moto X. It already comes in at a lower price point and offers a unique way to personalize the device, and it’s set a challenge for itself to deliver useful features over time.

Stay tuned for an in-depth review in the coming weeks.

About the author

Jaivik Shah

Jaivik Shah is Editor At Large of TechOptimals, He writes about how technology is changing the way we live and work in the 21st century.
Contact Jaivik at jaivik@techoptimals.com.

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