Android

Android Go: New 'high-quality', sub-$50 smartphones to be revealed next week

The new phones will go on sale shortly after being unveiled at the MWC conference in Barcelona.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Android Oreo Go was launched by Google in December last year and is a streamlined version of Android designed to run well on low-end smartphones.
  • The new phones will go on sale shortly after the MWC conference in Barcelona at "affordable prices" as low as below $50.

Google will reveal the first Android Oreo Go smartphones at Mobile World Congress next week — promising budget handsets that will sell for below $50.

Android Oreo Go was launched by Google in December last year and is a streamlined version of Android designed to run well on low-end smartphones, due to using custom versions of Google apps that require less storage space, processing power, and memory.

The new phones will go on sale shortly after the MWC conference in Barcelona at "affordable prices", as low as below $50, says Google's Hiroshi Lockheimer, senior VP for platforms & ecosystems at Google, who reckons the handsets will offer a "a useful, high-quality experience".

They will ship with a range of software, including YouTube Go, a Go version of Google Assistant, Google's Data Saver app and the Files Go peer-to-peer, file-sharing app.

"For example, Google Go is built specifically to help new smartphone users find the information they want, YouTube Go is optimized for limited connectivity, and the Google Assistant for Android (Go edition) lets people quickly send messages, make calls, set alarms, and more with their voice and a single touch of the screen," says Lockheimer.

SEE: Mobile app development policy (Tech Pro Research)

Google says entry-level devices will run Android Oreo Go apps 15 percent faster than their full-fat counterparts and use half the storage space, with the Go OS being optimized for handsets with 512MB to 1GB of memory.

Android is already found on more than two billion phones worldwide, and by targeting low-cost handsets Google hopes to maintain that momentum by appealing to users in emerging markets.

"Android has achieved unprecedented scale in just 10 years, but there are new markets emerging where consistency in experience is becoming even more important," says Lockheimer.

Alongside the Oreo Go handsets, Google will also use MWC to unveil new smartphones from its partners running Android One, a version of the OS designed to provide a more consistent experience.

Android One devices will get feature updates for two years and security fixes for three years, according to Lockheimer. The most recent One handset to be launched was Motorola's Moto X4, which debuted late last year.

As well as revealing phone hardware, Google has also announced it will use MWC to detail new features coming to the Google Assistant and its Lens vision-recognition service.

Also see

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Android Oreo Go apps will run 15 percent faster on budget phones according to Google.

Image: Google

About Nick Heath

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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