Technology

New “Android Go” phones show how much you can get for $100

Enlarge / Android Go has access to the entire Play Store, but these are Go-specific applications.

Mobile World Congress is taking place this week, and we're starting to get a better idea of ​​what Google's new "GoGo" initiative will look like. Android Go is a special configuration of Android 8.1 (with a selection of special applications "Go") that targets low-end devices with 1GB of RAM or less.

MWC has seen a ton of manufacturers sign up for the program and announce the delivery of phones with the Go configuration, so it's time to take a look at the hardware horizon.

Nokia 1-Probably to come everywhere, except in the United States

The Nokia 1.

This one comes in a blazing red.

The color surrounds the side.

It seems really cheap.

Here is a "dark blue" version.

The front of the blue.

You can take off the back and replace it with a different color.

HMD (the licensee of the Nokia brand for phones) seems to be the most cooperative third-party equipment supplier, announcing recently that all the phones that it manufactures will be part of the stock " Android One "from Google. Android program. For the Android program Go, he has the "Nokia 1".

For $ 85, you get a 4.5-inch 854×480 (16: 9) IPS display powered by a MediaTek MT6737M 1.67 GHz four-core multimedia processor (Cortex-A53), 1 GB of RAM and 2150mAh battery. The low storage needs of Android Go will be needed here because it only has 8GB of internal storage plus a MicroSD slot. In addition to that, you get an old-school MicroUSB port, headphone jack, LTE, GPS, 802.11b / g / n, Bluetooth 4.2, and there are optional dual sim models. There is no NFC, no fingerprint reader and no resistance to dust or water.

The Nokia 1 brings back an old-school phone concept: replaceable back covers called "Nokia Xpress". You can peel off the colored plastic back shell and replace it with a different color for a new look. It also means that the battery is replaced! When you remove your back, you can remove the battery and, if you have one, replace it with a fully charged battery. Unbelievable.

Since Android Go is normal Android with a special configuration, OEMs are still allowed to dress it up. But the Nokia data sheet conveniently indicates that there is "no skin and no UI changes" on Android.

The availability of the country for all these phones seems a little uncertain, but the Nokia data sheet lists specific versions for "EMEA" (Europe, Middle East and Africa), "APAC" (Asia-Pacific), " LATAM "(Latin America)," Australia "and" India ". None of these areas mention an American version.

Alcatel 1X-The Most Disturbing Go Android Phone

The Alcatel 1X. This screen looks awesome.

This version with a fingerprint reader is superb.

This version without a fingerprint reader does not look great.

The left side.

The right side.

TCL (the licensee of the Blackberry brand for phones) joined the Go Android part with the Alcatel 1X (not to be confused with the Alcatel X1 ). The 1X is interesting as it is a kind of mini-flagship, with an extra-large 18: 9 screen and an optional fingerprint reader. It's also the most confusing phone on our list.

The price starts at $ 100 (about $ 122), but there's something like seven models combining different RAM amounts, cameras, cell tapes, optional fingerprint readers, optional NFC, and Dual SIM optional, in order to set the exact price the specifications you want is quite difficult. There does not seem to be a "better" version, since you can get either a fingerprint sensor or NFC, but not both. There is even a version with 2GB of RAM and a better camera, but that does not come with Android Go, so we will ignore it.

The display is still a 5.3-inch LCD screen, 960 × 480 IPS. The 1X comes with a kind of MediaTek SoC quad core – the website says that each model has a 1.3 GHz MTK6580, while the press release in my inbox says that it's going to be a good thing. is an MT6739 of 1.28 GHz. I asked TCL to clarify, but, anyway, it uses Cortex A53 cores. For basic specifications, you get 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a MicroSD slot and a 2460 mAh battery.

For the rear camera, Alcatel says that it has an 8MP sensor that is then "interpolated to 13MP". I do not know why a company would want to do it. This seems to suggest that the software will take an image of 8MP and blow it to a larger size, which generally makes a picture blurry and ugly. It's not like if 8MP was a low resolution, which corresponds to something like 3264 × 2448, which is enough for 960 × 480 display. Will not that make it worse? # 39; s image?

In addition to that, you get a MicroUSB port, a headphone jack, LTE, GPS, 802.11b / g / n and Bluetooth 4.2. The real disadvantage of this device will probably be the skinned version of Android. If Go is supposed to be light and fast, does not counting destroy the goal?

In terms of availability, up to now, there is no word if it is related to the United States or not.

ZTE Tempo is really going to the USA!

The ZTE Tempo Go. Check out these hardware buttons labeled ambiguously.

The back is probably plastic, but this texture is crazy looking.

The side and the bottom, where you will find a headphone jack.

The ZTE Tempo Go is not the most interesting Android Go phone, but it is one that actually comes to the United States. Linked to the United States means that it is the rare Go Android phone that does not use Mediatek chipset.

For $ 80, you get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 210, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of built-in storage, a 2200 mAh battery, a 5 MP rear camera and a 2 MP front camera. The Snapdragon 210 uses four A7 CPU cores, which are absolutely old and are not even 64-bit. The design is not great either, with a 5-inch 854 × 480 screen and old capacitive hardware navigation buttons. Buttons are not even well labeled – you get a home button and two dots.

As usual, there is an old MicroUSB port, a MicroSD slot, an LTE and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

All the rest

Many other companies have announced MWC specific Android Go models, or at least they have announced their intention to create an Android Go phone in the future. Google posted a blog to complete the ads, but we have the most interesting detailed above. Here is the rest of the domain.

The Google blog article mentions that the General Mobile GM 8 GO has been announced and is coming to "people in Turkey and around the world", but it seems There is almost no coverage. There is nothing on the site of General Mobile and while pre-MWC there was a leak saying that the existing GM8 aircraft would get a GM8 version GO, there is no announcement cover out there that I could find. What's really weird is that the GM8 seems way too high-end (with 4GB RAM) for Android Go.
Google claims that Huawei has also "committed significant resources" for Android Go, with a device coming in "all major emerging markets in the near future".
The Indian OEM LAVA International Limited makes the LAVA Z50 for India only. It's pretty much in the same direction as everything else in the list above.
Another Indian manufacturer making a Go phone for India only: Micromax Informatics Bharat Go .
A company called TRANSSION will launch Android Go phones into a "diverse set of international markets, particularly in Africa."

Up to now, Android Go phones all seem to be hovering around $ 100, which should be enough to make a smartphone "cheap, but good". A price tag of $ 100 is actually not the bottom of the price market – remember that there are still devices like the Walmart phone that I've looked at it a few years ago. Everything seems to go straight to the high end of Android Go specifications.

The advertised phones also seem to focus primarily on the developing world, but when I talked to Google about Android Go (about two months ago when it was released to OEMs), it was said that Google was waiting at the end of the market pretty much everywhere, especially in prepaid markets. I guess there's not a lot of companies that want to worry about a coordinated launch for low-end phones, while Mobile World Congress is the beginning I'm going to Would expect a steady stream of Android Go phones in the future.

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