Is Micromax all about cheap cell phones?

Android Go: The cheap Android phones are coming

If you want an entry-level smartphone that offers somewhat satisfactory features and useful performance, you usually have to spend at least 150 euros. In the lower price ranges, you will often find outdated Android versions and poorly optimized firmware that only runs slowly on the respective device.

But that should change. With the "Android Go" initiative, Google promises to enable the production of very affordable cell phones that should nevertheless cover all the basics well. This initiative is primarily intended for emerging countries, where many people still use feature phones and a low price point is doubly important. Some manufacturers launched cell phones with Android Go at the Mobile World Congress. Engadget has looked around.

Optimized system for weak hardware

The manufacturers who have brought their Go-Phones with them include Micromax and Lava from India. But "Western" brands also rely on the purged version of Android, which requires less device memory, can get along well with less than one GB of RAM, runs quickly on weak processors and is also supposed to minimize data consumption. To enable the latter, Google has even implemented its own variants of apps such as Maps or Youtube.

Alcatel 1X

There is the Alcatel 1X, for example. The cell phone, which is to end up in stores for 99 euros in the future, has a display in the 18: 9 format, which has recently become increasingly popular, and relatively narrow edges above and below the display. Alcatel calls the resolution "VGA +", according to the author it is not "the sharpest" he has ever seen - which is not surprising considering the price point.

The mobile phone uses a user interface that has been modified by Alcatel and comes with some pre-installed manufacturer apps. Nevertheless, it runs smoothly until you have many apps open at the same time and constantly switch between them. In this regard, the company emphasizes that the firmware has not yet been finalized.

Nokia 1

The Nokia 1, the first Go cell phone from the Finnish manufacturer HMD Global, received explicit praise for its brightly colored, sharp display. With a Mediatek processor and a GB of RAM, the core hardware is not too powerful here either. Nevertheless, the device ran smoothly and, like Alcatel's 1X, could not be thrown out of step.

The mobile phone is surprisingly equipped with the Google Assistant. Surprising because Google originally stated at least 1.5 GB of RAM as a minimum requirement. But there is one difference: it cannot be activated with the voice command "Okay, Google", but only at the push of a button. The Nokia 1 will be launched in April for 99 euros.

Google: $ 50 smartphone possible

And that shouldn't have been the lower price bar yet. The ZTE Temp Go, for example, will be offered for $ 80 (about 65 euros). Google even stated that smartphones could also be seen for less than $ 50. Extensive tests will have to show whether the cheap androids actually keep what they promise in everyday life. (red, 03.03.2018)