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Android Go phones: What you need to know

Android Go phones: What you need to know

This year’s Mobile World Congress event had not only given us two new Galaxy devices (the impressive Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus models), but also showcased the first Android Oreo Go Edition smartphone devices in the face of the planet. This might be awesome news for hardcore Android fans, but for those casual consumers, some of them might be scratching their heads with regards to what Android Go is all about. This post should help.


The basics


Android Go (shortened from the full Android Oreo Go Edition designation) is basically a special version of Android Oreo that is designed to be installed on budget friendly or low end smartphone devices. 


What makes Android Go so cool is that it does not take up so much memory space, as compared to the regular version of Android. Android Go also comes with support for a fair range of Go optimized mobile apps. They include Google Go, Files Go, Google Maps Go, YouTube Go, and Gmail Go. 


How important is all that optimization?


Because Google’s Android is the most widely used mobile operating system in the world, it has its share of compatible devices that come with very low prices. Inexpensive handsets, however, do not tend to be the fastest, in terms of processing, and certainly not the most generous in terms of RAM capacity. Sure, these devices can still launch popular Android apps like Facebook or Instagram, but the overall user experience may not be as smooth or complete.


But with Android Go, these low end devices get a special version of Android that is made more simple and lightweight, allowing users to enjoy a better Android experience anyway even if they are using non-flagship smartphones. 


So which brands already offer Android Go phones?


At this year’s Mobile World Congress event, phone makers such as Alcatel, ZTE, Nokia, General Mobile, Micromax, and Lava have showcased Android Go devices. The Alcatel 1X does look promising -- with a price under $125, the device offers a display with an 18 to 9 screen ratio, as well as features like the Face key unlocking technology, a fingerprint reader, and a social mode for the camera. 


As for the ZTE Tempo Go, it might go down in history as the first ever Android Go handset to be released in the United States mobile market. Also worth checking is HMD Global’s Nokia 1. Of course, more Android Go devices are bound to hit the market in the next few months, which means that the current list will be expanding rapidly soon.