The Google Android Go project for entry-level buyers is finally taking off. The first smartphone based on the new Android Oreo (Go edition) OS will be called Tempo Go. It is made by Chinese company ZTE.
Unveiled at the MWC (Mobile World Congress) 2018 in Barcelona, the new smartphone is expected in the US at $80 (approximately Rs5,175).
We expect more announcements on Android Go at the MWC and at a lesser price, as Google had assured that some of the Android Go smartphones will cost less than $50 (approximately Rs3,235).
There is no update on the availability and price of ZTE Tempo Go for the Indian market yet.
Among Indian phonemakers, Micromax has also showed interest in the project, but is yet to make any announcements.
ZTE Tempo Go is an ordinary-looking smartphone with a 5-inch screen and wide bezels. The screen has a resolution of 854x480p, which is not bad for the given screen size. Most smartphones at this price point offer a 4-inch screen at most.
The Tempo Go is driven by Qualcomm’s entry-level Snapdragon 210 quad-core processor with 1GB RAM, and offers 8GB internal storage with the option to add up to 32GB more via microSD cards. It supports all major 4G LTE networks and has a 2,200mAh battery. The specs make it ideal for casual users with limited requirements.
Android Oreo (Go edition) is a lighter version of Android Oreo, designed especially for low configuration smartphones. It was developed to narrow down the gulf between entry-level smartphones and those priced upwards of Rs10,000. Most smartphones selling under Rs4,000 run older versions of Android with poorly optimised custom UIs, resulting in a sluggish performance.
With Android Go, Google strives to deliver smooth experience to users on entry-level smartphones with 512MB or 1GB RAM. Smartphones based on the new OS will run a totally different set of Google apps, carrying the “Go” suffix. These apps have been redesigned from ground up for low configuration devices, and will require less space, use less data and load faster than the original counterparts. Some of the Go apps such as Google Assistant Go, Maps Go, YouTube Go, Gmail Go and Files Go are also available on regular smartphones and can be downloaded from the Play Store.
ZTE is not new to entry-level smartphones. It was one of the first phonemakers to adopt Mozilla’s web-based Firefox OS. However, it could not compete with Android smartphones in terms of the apps experience and is no longer supported by Mozilla.