Video: Five top improvements in Google Android 8.1
Google's lightweight Android Go OS aims to improve Android performance on lower-end devices with less than 1GB RAM.
The company hopes the optimized version of Android will deliver a more consistent experience on cheap hardware, and spur declining smartphone adoption in emerging markets where consumers are sticking to more reliable feature phones.
Google last week teased that the first Android Go or Android Oreo Go Edition devices would be announced at Mobile World Congress 2018, with some expected to be priced at under $50.
Now there are at least three Go edition phones arriving in coming months, including Alcatel's 1X, HMD Global's Nokia 1, and ZTE's Tempo Go, though none costs less than $50.
TCL Communication says the Alcatel 1X will cost €100 (about $120) when it arrives in select markets in April. The phone is powered by a 1.3GHz MediaTek quad-core processor, with 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a microSD card slot.
The device features a 5.3-inch 18:9 display with a resolution of 960 x 480 pixels and has an eight-megapixel rear camera and five-megapixel front camera. A dual-SIM variant will be available for €110 ($135).
It features a five-inch LCD display with 854 x 480 pixels, a five-megapixel rear camera and two-megapixel front camera. According to CNET, it will work on GSM via AT&T and T-Mobile.
Finally, the HMD Global has debuted the Android Oreo Go edition Nokia 1, which will cost around $85. The Nokia 1 runs on a 1.1GHz MediaTek quad-core processor, with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage.
It features a 4.5-inch IPS display, a five-megapixel rear camera and two-megapixel front camera. There are separately sold azure, grey, yellow and pink Xpress-on covers available for $7.99 each.
Explaining the purpose of Android Go last week, Google mobile exec Hiroshi Lockheimer said "there are new markets emerging where consistency in experience is becoming even more important."
Previous and related coverage
Google hopes cheap Android Go devices will convince consumers worldwide to upgrade from feature phones.
The fourth quarter of 2017 marks the first year-on-year decline in sales in the smartphone market.