Bangalore-based CREO today launched the Mark 1 smartphone, priced at Rs 19,999, and running on its customized Fuel OS based on Android. While on paper the smartphone boasts a good set of features, the company is actually focused on the software part. In a time where smartphones have become a commodity, CREO is betting on software and regular OS updates to be key differentiators against rivals. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the software features on offer with the new CREO Mark 1. Also Read - Hike Messenger acquires Bengaluru-based startup CREOAlso Read - CREO Mark 1 price cut by Rs 6,000; to now compete with Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and Lenovo Zuk Z1
Before we dive into the features part, first let’s quickly take a look at Mark 1’s specifications. It features a 5.5-inch QHD display, MediaTek Helio X10 octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB internal storage, which can be further expanded up to 128GB using a microSD card. It also features a 21-megapixel rear camera, 8-megapixel selfie camera, 3,100mAh battery with Fast Charging support, and connectivity options like dual-SIM card slots, and 4G LTE support. Also Read - CREO rolls out its monthly update for FUEL OS, focuses on improving audio experience
Refuel: CREO’s Fuel OS may look like stock Android OS, but the talking point are all the proprietary features that make the Mark 1 experience unique. One of the first features that warrants a mention is called Refuel. As the name suggests, this app is what will be used to update the operating system. Every month, CREO will introduce a software update that will bring with it new features. The company says, updating the smartphone regularly with new features will feel like switching to a new phone.
Community: These updates and the new features is powered by CREO’s online community. In other words, the company’s followers will regularly suggest new apps and features that should be included in the upcoming updates. Community users whose suggestions make it the final build will be credited on the forums. Also to ensure transparency, the company will show the adoption rate and users rating for each feature.
Sense: This is a built-in search feature, which lets users look for anything on a phone. Though it may sound similar to Apple’s Spolight feature, the key difference is the contextual functionality. In other words, you can simply type a word like food or recharge, and you will be offered results like Zomato, Paytm among others. Sense can be called upon from anywhere with double-tapping the home button.
Echo: This is a new take on an answering machine, and doesn’t need Internet nor is it restricted to any network operator. If you can’t answer a call, the caller will hear your pre-recorded reply and will then ask the caller to leave a message. These messages are saved locally on the device and can be played anytime from the call log.
Retriever: This feature ensures that you don’t lose your phone. Every time a new SIM card is inserted into the phone, an email is sent to registered id with the time and also the phone number of the SIM card. This feature too works without an Internet connection.
Notifications Manager: As the name suggests, the feature lets you control the notifications you get with just a top. Instead of going into settings, users can simply tap on a notification and then choose to block or mute the app from sending you notifications any more. This is good for apps that tend to spam your phone with many notifications.
Inbox: CREO is trying to make its SMS app a bit more smarter and more in line with email clients. Not only are messages automatically tagged as Spam, but messages are also automatically categorized into different categories like Peple or Businesses. The app is also smart enough to detect an OTP and automatically copy it so you can paste it with just a tap.
Camera features: The Mark 1’s cameras are accompanied by the ability to record slo-mo videos at 1080p resolution, as well as a feature called 3D Photos. You can use this feature to capture a photo and immediately convert it into a GIF that can then be shared on Facebook and Twitter. There is also a Live Photo mode that lets users record small three second videos.
Upcoming updates: CREO says that the next OS update is coming on May 13. It will bring in new features like Photo Editor, Selfie Screen Flash, Automatic BKG Data Manager, Auto & Customizable Echo and Sense 2.0.
Customer Care: You can also use the Sense feature to fire up CREO’s customer care service. Type CREO Support and the phone will connect to a representative who can not only help you with the phone’s new features, but also suggest the closest service centers. Currently the company boasts 106 service centers in 96 cities, and also has phone pick up and drop service in 15 cities.