The real action is about to begin in the smartphone industry as OEMs such as Samsung and Sony will be heading to the MWC 2018 later this month to unveil their best phones. While more of the action will be at the top end with flagship phones, the year 2018 is shaping up to be inclusive, including those looking to get their first smartphone.
Last year, Google unveiled a slimmed-down version of Android OS dubbed Go edition, with the first installation coming as part of Android 8.1 Oreo. Android Oreo Go edition brings a lighter version of the same OS that is not resource-hungry and thus can work smoothly on devices with entry-level specs, including 512MB RAM and 4GB storage.
Currently, there’s a good number of Go phones out there led by HMD’s Nokia 1, but we expect even more OEMs to join the party, including the big two, Samsung and Huawei. Although most details of upcoming Android Go phones remain unknown at the moment, we have picked up some information here and there that will make your wait easier as well as remove a few uncertainties over the status of future Go phones.
So, which phones will be available under the new Go edition umbrella? Let’s find out.
Asus is launching its first Android Go-powered smartphone dubbed ZenFone Live L1. The phone will start selling in Indonesia on May 17, but the pricing has not yet been revealed by the company.
As for the specs, most of what had popped up in previous rumors and leaks remains intact but since we knew only a fraction of what Asus was lining up, here’s a complete rundown of the specs you get on the ZenFone Live L1.
- 5.5-inch 18:9 HD+ display screen
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor
- 1GB RAM and 16GB expandable storage (up to 2TB)
- 13MP main camera and 5MP front camera
- 3000mAh battery
- Android 8.1 Go edition
- Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, microUSB, 3.5mm audio jack, 4G LTE, Face Unlock, etc.
Although Asus hasn’t confirmed all the markets that will receive the ZenFone Live L1 handset, it’s most likely to sell across multiple markets globally. There’s word that it could be valued at about INR 7,500 or $110.
Motorola’s Moto C series made its debut in May 2017 and going by tradition, we should see the successor to the handset in May 2018. Well, we are almost into July yet the Moto C2 isn’t here yet. But then again, Motorola’s launch dates for 2018 smartphones have been quite hazy, however, this doesn’t mean we have nothing at all on the Moto C2.
As per reports coming from the FCC, Motorola is not only preparing a successor to the Moto C handset, but also its first Android Go smartphone. There’s no confirmation that the device in question is indeed the Moto C2, but judging by the specs sheet and the fact that the Moto C is the company’s most entry-level offering, it’s likely that this could be the Moto C successor.
Speaking of specs, the 1GB RAM and 16GB storage mentioned, the same specs sheet found on the Moto C, are in today’s world associated with Android Go devices. Once again, we don’t have any proof that the XT1920 handset is indeed an Android Go device or the Moto C2, but everything points towards this direction.
The alleged Moto C2 is also expected to come with a 2000mAh battery unit and will measure 147.88mm tall, suggesting that we could be looking at a slightly bigger display screen compared to the 5-inch panel found on the Moto C, which measures 145.5mm tall.
It’s also worth noting that the OG Moto C also came with a 1GB RAM and 8GB storage variant but due to its timing, Motorola was forced to go with a full version of Nougat. Now that Android Go is here, we see no reason any OEM, not just Motorola, would launch a device with similar specs yet preinstalled with a full version of Android Oreo.
General Mobile GM 8 Go
General is known for what it does in Google’s Android One program, but it’s not about to end there. According to a new report, the Turkish company is preparing a new General Mobile GM 8 Go handset that will debut at the upcoming MWC 2018 event.
The GM 8 Go, as you’d expect, will reportedly ship with a 5-inch HD+ LCD display screen, which means you get the new taller-than-usual design. Under the hood, the phone gets a MediaTek MT6739 chipset paired with 1GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage, which should be expandable.
For the optics, you get a 13MP shooter on the back and a 5MP lens for selfies. The GM 8 Go will also come with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and of course, Android 8.1 Oreo (Go edition) will run the show out of the box.
Keeping the GM 8 Go alive will be a massive 3500mAh battery unit, something that should be the phone’s major selling point.
Micromax Bharat Go
When Google announced Android Oreo Go edition, it was quickly followed by reports that India’s Micromax, which has worked with Google before on Android One phones, will be the first to unveil an Android Go smartphone in India dubbed Bharat Go.
This was supposed to happen last month, but it hasn’t up until now. However, it’s evident that the launch is drawing closer than ever. The Bharat Go phone is expected to retail at about INR 2,000, but details about the specs and features remain unknown.
The company has previously unveiled an INR 999 Bharat 2 Ultra smartphone in partnership with Vodafone and given that this phone has specs like a Spreadtrum SC9832 SoC, 512MB RAM, and 4GB storage, we expect the INR 2,000 Bharat Go to offer much better specs and features.
Lyf Android Go phone
Reliance Industries has a 4G VoLTE feature phone dubbed JioPhone and there’s no doubt it has been making heads turn in India. Apparently, the company isn’t stopping there, rather, there are plans to bring an even better Android Oreo Go smartphone under the Lyf brand.
At the moment, details about this Lyf Android Go phone are still unclear, but it has been confirmed that it’ll rock a MediaTek chipset. In addition to carrying an affordable price tag of under INR 1,500, Jio will reportedly adopt a similar marketing strategy to what it did with the JioPhone by bundling a Jio SIM card and subsequently bring the cost even lower.
Although there’s no known date, the Lyf Android Go phone should be out “as soon as possible,” probably by March 2018. It’ll be an interesting move by Reliance Jio because it can still bring over most of its KaiOS-based apps to Android Go devices.
Intex Android Go phone
In addition to Micromax, another Indian company that will also unveil an Android Oreo Go edition smartphone is Intex. So far, there’s nothing much known about the kind of device Intex will add to the Go portfolio, but being an INR 2,000 smartphone, we don’t expect much from it.
Intex is also expected to unveil its Android Go phone this Q1 2018, but the date, just like many others, is still unclear.
Lava Android Go phone
Lava is one of the many home-made companies that are finding it difficult to compete with big names in the budget segment. To remain relevant in the market, the company is among the many that will be embracing the new Android Go platform and while we know the device will be very affordable, like others, the specs and features remain a mystery.
Also, it’s still unclear whether we’ll see a Lava Android Go phone this Q1, but even if it doesn’t, it should be here in early Q2 2018.
Karbonn Android Go phone
Another Indian company that has also confirmed a partnership with Google with respect to Android Go is Karbonn. The company makes some solid budget phones, but with Oreo Go, you can expect things to get even better – although not spicy better.
In the initial report, it’s noted that the Karbonn Android Go phone will also come with a price tag of INR 2,000 and will be released this Q1 2018, but the exact date remains unknown.
Huawei Android Go phone (Y series)
Huawei is so far the only big-name company that has been mentioned in the same line with Android Go. While we had wind that the Chinese OEM will unveil a Go-focused smartphone, the company has finally confirmed this by saying that it will unveil a Go device under the popular Y series.
Whether Huawei will also give the Honor division a Go model is still unknown, but given Honor already sells pretty affordable devices with top-notch performance, it’s unlikely to happen. Still, we can’t rule out anything at the moment.
Samsung Galaxy J2 Core
Samsung is also said to be working on its first Android Go phone that will go by the name Galaxy J2 Core. This name isn’t confirmed, but it’s likely to be the case. As for what proof we have that it’ll be an Android Go phone, the Geekbench listing says the phone will have a “Universal7570_Go” motherboard, which pretty much leaves little to the imagination.
As for the specs, the same platform talks of an Exynos 7570 chipset alongside Android 8.1 Oreo, another indicator that this is an Android Go device, which is based on Oreo 8.1 and not 8.0, the version we expect to see on other Samsung phones coming out henceforth. Like any other Go device, you get just 1GB of RAM.
This one is a little different. We do know that the Nokia 2 is already available for purchase in most markets across the globe. The phone comes preinstalled with Android Nougat out of the box and has been promised an upgrade to Android Oreo and Android P, just like other HMD phones.
As part of the upgrade to Android Oreo, however, HMD confirmed that the Nokia 2 will receive Android Go-like memory management. The Nokia 2 is already capable of running the standard Android OS, albeit with some minor struggles. If it gets the lighter and more optimized Android Oreo Go edition, you can expect much better performance from the device, which should make it an interesting option for first-time smartphone buyers.
At the moment, it’s still unclear whether the update will give the Nokia 2 the full Go edition or just some sections of it, but it’s definitely an option worth looking into, especially since it has been guaranteed an upgrade to Android P.