First introduced during the Google I/O conference last year, Android Go is a lightweight version of Android 8.0 Oreo optimized to run better on lesser hardware.
Google focuses on optimizing three main areas in Android Go: the operating system, the Google Play Store, and Google apps.
While in essence the new software project is aimed at developing markets, some Android Go devices are going to make it to the US. The first one to be announced for this market is the super-budget ZTE Tempo Go, but models will probably be offered at a later date. Like for example, the Nokia 1.
In this article, we take a look these two new Android Go smartphones, both of which were unveiled at MWC 2018 in Barcelona this week. Continue reading below to get an idea of which might be best suited to your needs.
Design and display
The ZTE Tempo Go is a compact smartphone with a rather interesting pattern on its back (most likely made of plastic) that will be offered in the US with a sub-$100 price tag.
ZTE’s first Android Go phone sports three capacitive buttons below the display, and does not have a physical home button. Since it’s a low-end device it doesn’t feature a fingerprint scanner either. On the bright side, you’ll get a 3.5mm headphone jack, so you can use your trusty pair of headphones.
A rear-facing loudspeaker adorns the back, as well as the main 5-megapixel camera with LED flash.
ZTE’s Tempo Go packs a 5-inch display with pretty low 854 x 480 resolution. It’s not much, but it should suffice for small-scale activities like reading emails or searching for info on Google.
While the ZTE Tempo Go doesn’t necessary look like a dirt-cheap phone, it’s pretty obvious the Nokia 1 belongs to the low-end category.
It’s tiny, coming with a 4.5-inch display with the same 854 x 480 resolution and features a colorful (red or blue) plastic back. The fun part here is that HMD is bringing back Nokia’s popular polycarbonate Xpress On covers for the Nokia 1. A wide range will be available for nostalgics.
The Nokia 1 does not include capacitive buttons, so users will have to rely on on-screen buttons for navigation purposes. Like in the case of the ZTE phone, you’ll find a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Performance and battery
Designed to be basic phones, the two Android Go phones come equipped with minimalistic specs.
The Nokia 1 will ship out with a 1.1GHz MediaTek processor, backed-up by 1GB of RAM and just 8GB of built-in storage. The ZTE Tempo Go is to be fueled by a 1.1 GHz Snapdragon 210 with the same memory configuration, so performance between the two models should be quite similar.
Users will be able to expand memory on board of the Nokia 1 up to 128GB, and only to 32GB on the ZTE phone.
What about the battery? Well, the Nokia 1 accommodates a 2,150 mAh removable battery which HMD says can offer up to 15 days on standby and 9 hours of talk time.
As for the ZTE Tempo Go, it relies on a slightly larger 2,200 mAh battery, although we can’t tell you whether it’s removable or not.
Cameras and software
These days all phones have cameras, and so do these two Android Go devices. Obviously, they are pretty basic, but users will be able to snap a picture or two if they so desire.
The ZTE’s Android Go offering will go to market boasting a main 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and a 2-megapixel selfie-snapper, while the Nokia 1 will offer the same combination of sensors.
Both devices run the Go version of Android 8.0 Oreo which comes pre-installed with “Go” version of popular Google apps.
ZTE has confirmed the ZTE Tempo Go will be coming to the US with a super-affordable $79.99 price tag attached. The Android Go phone already appears on the company’s official US website, but it’s listed as Sold Out for the time being. The handset will also be offered through AT&T and T-Mobile.
As for the Nokia 1, we’re not 100% sure the phone if the phone is going to make it to the US. Although some rumors seem to indicate this will be the case. If the phone does make it stateside, it will most likely only support AT&T and T-Mobile networks (like it’s the case with the Nokia 6).
HMD said the Nokia 1 will be available globally for $85.
What should I get?
Really it’s up to you. But we can highlight that the ZTE Tempo Go boasts a larger display and a design that looks a bit more premium. It also has capacitive keys and includes a slightly larger battery.
As for the Nokia 1, it’s tiny, colorful and supports Xpress On covers. What’s more, it includes a removable battery and can take microSD cards up to 128GB, as opposed to just 32GB.