Android Go: What It is and Phones That It Support

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Android Go, well known as Android (Go Edition), is a simplified version of Android designed to work on home smartphones.


It consists of three simplified areas: the operating system, the Google Play Store and the Google apps, which have been reinvented to provide a better experience on smaller hardware.

Android Go Operating System

The Android Go OS is based on the standard version of Android but is optimized to run on smartphones with 512MB to 1GB of RAM. The contemporary version of Android Go was modelled after Android Oreo, but the latest version is based on Android Pie.

Android Go phones receive updates like regular Android phones; We expect the Android Q Go version to arrive in the future.

Android Go consumes less space than the standard version of Android, giving smartphones little space to store more media and factory apps; Most Android Go smartphones come with 8 or 16 GB of storage.

It is also said that devices with Android Go can open apps 15% faster than with standard Android software. Additionally, by default, Google has enabled a “data logging” feature for Android Go users to help them spend less mobile data.

Android Go Apps

Like the operating system, Google has also developed programs to make better use of the device’s memory. They require up to 50% less space and perform best on small class hardware.

Android Go smartphones come with just nine preinstalled apps, listed below:

Note that these apps might be thinner and faster, but they might be missing a feature or two.

For example, you can’t set reminders or manage smart home devices with Assistant Go, but you can do most of the other standard things like set alarms, open apps, and ask various questions.

It should be familiar that we can expect to see a host of other apps optimized for Android Go soon. Developers can now start producing applications for the operating system using the Google Building for Billions of development guidelines.

Android Go Play Store

Creating a new operating system and preinstalled app package is an excellent start for Android Go, but what happens when people begin using the device in the real world.

To help users keep the lightweight system on offer, Android Go devices have access to an exclusive version of the Play Store.

The Android Go Play Store offers the same content as a classic Play Store, and only the showcase is more suitable for devices with little storage space.

It has a featured apps section that offers apps specifically for Android Go phones, directing users to which apps will benefit them the most.

What is the aim of Android Go?

The demand for smartphones in emerging markets like India is increasing. Google expects the next billion users to come from these countries, where purchasing power is lower than that of the West.

This is why the company wants to bring you a new generation of affordable smartphones for less than $100 that run faster, offer more storage space and help reduce data consumption.

It appears like a great plan on paper, as it could enable Google to expand the fraction of users of its apps and services. However, the software is only part of the equation.

The company needs to find as many hardware partners as possible to flood the smartphone market, which not only has to be affordable but also fun to watch. Indeed, no one wants an ugly smartphone.

Some options are already available in the market, which we will see below. Before doing so, watch our short “Android Go: A Good Start” video below to learn more about Google’s Go initiative.

Best Android Go Smartphones

We saw the first set of Android Go devices at MWC 2018. Six smartphones were announced at the event, including the Alcatel 1X and the Nokia 1.

Since then, companies such as Samsung, Motorola and Xiaomi have announced many more. Android Go devices. We will not list them all in this article, but we’ll show you some of the best.

Nokia 1 Plus

The Nokia 1 Plus is in the same style as the original Nokia 1, one of the best original Android Go phones, but includes significant updates.

The screen is an inch larger, now 5.45 inches with a 75% screen-to-body ratio (the Nokia 1’s screen-to-body ratio was closer to 60%), while the chipset is faster and the camera’s front and rear are superior. The Nokia 1 Plus as well comes with a 16 GB storage option, while the original is limited to 8 GB.

These are not necessarily quick improvements, but improvements in crucial areas are welcome.

The black Nokia 1 Plus currently costs £99.00 (~ $ 111) on Amazon and £79.99 in the UK. The original Nokia 1, which can now be upgraded to Android Pie, sells for $57.88 if you want a cheap alternative.

Nokia 1 Plus specifications

  • 5.45 inch IPS LCD display with 480 x 960 resolution, ~ 197ppi, 18: 9 aspect ratio
  • Mediatek MT6739WW Chipset (quad-core)
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8 GB or 16 GB storage, microSD expansion up to 128 GB
  • 8 MP rear camera, 5 MP front
  • 2500 mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie (Go edition)
  • 145 x 70.4 x 8.6mm, 138 g

Nokia 2.1

The highlight of Nokia 2.1 is the battery which reaches 4000mAh, which puts the device on par with the Huawei P20 Pro and Galaxy Note 9 in this department.

The phone has a simple design expected in this price range and a 5.5-inch screen. Like most other Android Go phones, it comes with just 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, which can be enlarged by an additional 128GB of microSD card.

Nokia 2.1 was released in May and is available in Europe, India, and many other regions. You can get it for around 79 or 96 euros.

Nokia 2.1 specifications

  • 5.5 inch IPS LCD display with 1280 x 720 resolution, 267ppi
  • Snapdragon 425 chipset
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8 GB storage, microSD expansion up to 128 GB
  • 8 MP rear camera, 5 MP front
  • 4000 mAh removable battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo (Go edition)

Samsung Galaxy J4 Core

Galaxy J4 Core was declared in November 2018 and is Samsung’s second Android Go device. It has a 6-inch HD + display and an 18.5:9 aspect ratio, just like the company’s high-end phones.

The phone runs the Snapdragon 425 chipset, comes with 1GB of RAM, and offers 16GB of expandable storage.

The Galaxy J4 Core comes in three colours: black, blue and gold, it has an elegant design with relatively thin bezels and a curved back. It’s not officially launched in the US, but the international model (without warranty) can still be had on Amazon for around $155.

Galaxy J4 Basic Specifications

  • 6.0 inch IPS LCD display with 1480 x 720 resolution, 274ppi
  • Snapdragon 425 chipset
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 16 GB storage, expandable via microSD up to 512 GB
  • 8 MP rear camera, 5 MP front
  • 3300 mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo (Go edition)

Samsung Galaxy A2 Core

Published in April 2019, the A2 Core features typical of the Android Go version, such as a sole front and rear camera (both at 5 MP), 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of storage, as well as a 540 display and 960 pixels of 5.0 inches and 2600 mAh drums.

That’s a pretty standard set of attributes, but they help keep the price of the phone down, especially the three-year-old Exynos 7870 Octa chipset.

The $77 Galaxy A2 Core is not only one of the latest Android Go devices to hit the market, but it’s also one of the cheapest.

Galaxy A2 Core Specifications

  • 5.0-inch PLS TFT display with 540 x 960 resolution, 220 ppi
  • Exynos 7870 Octa Chipset
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8 or 16 GB of storage, expandable via microSD up to 256 GB
  • 5 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • 2600 mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo (Go edition)

Huawei Y5 Lite (2018)

Huawei’s Android Go device has a new design considering the price tag. The bezels are relatively thin; the screen has an aspect ratio of 18: 9 and the back is minimalist with an attractive camera module in the upper left corner.

Like the rest of the Android Go device, it won’t thrill you in the spec sections, with a 5.45-inch display, MediaTek MT6739 chipset, and 1GB of RAM.

The Y5 Lite (2018), or simply Huawei Y5 2018 as it is called in some markets, was announced in December and Huawei’s second Android Go device. It’s only available in certain regions, but you can get the international model on Amazon for $99.

Specifications for Huawei Y5 Lite (2018)

  • 5.45 inch LCD with 1440 x 720 resolution
  • MediaTek MT6739 Chipset
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 16 GB of storage, expandable via microSD up to 256 GB
  • 8 MP rear camera, 5 MP front
  • 3020 mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo (Go edition)

Another honourable mention is the Xiaomi Redmi Go, the company’s first Android Go device, which is currently the only one, also one of the best Android Go phones you can buy.

Additionally, in July 2018, Motorola announced the Android Go release of the Moto E5 Play for the Latin American and European markets.


Here are some of the best Android Go smartphones we’ve seen so far, although there are more. Which would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

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