Su­per Light

En­try-level smart­phones get a boost with An­droid Oreo Go edi­tion

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - CONTENTS - By Nidhi Singal il­lus­tra­tion by Raj Verma

One out of three fea­ture phone users in In­dia is ex­pected to up­grade to a data-en­abled phone by the next year, ac­cord­ing to a study by In­ter­na­tional Data Cor­po­ra­tion. Sens­ing a huge op­por­tu­nity, phone com­pa­nies have been on a low­bud­get smart­phone man­u­fac­tur­ing spree – ones that come with lower spec­i­fi­ca­tions but sup­port mo­bile In­ter­net. How­ever, bundling a fully-loaded An­droid op­er­at­ing sys­tem in these en­try-level smart­phones was a fu­tile move. De­vices slow­ing down and the peren­nial short­age of stor­age left con­sumers dis­con­tented. When Google’s An­droid Oreo Go edi­tion – a trimmed down/ op­ti­mised ver­sion of An­droid’s lat­est ver­sion – tai­lored for smart­phones with 1 GB or less of RAM was launched, en­try-level smart­phones found their match.

Ex­plain­ing what the Go Edi­tion is, Sa­gar Kam­dar, Di­rec­tor of Prod­uct, An­droid says, “An­droid Oreo Go edi­tion is specif­i­cally op­ti­mised to bring the magic of Google and An­droid to smart­phones with lim­ited mem­ory and pro­cess­ing power.” It fo­cuses on of­fer­ing more stor­age and bet­ter per­for­mance with­out com­pro­mis­ing on se­cu­rity. Google has de­signed a set of apps that con­sumes less mem­ory and stor­age space, and of­fers the same ex­pe­ri­ence as An­droid Oreo.

With the app size halved and fewer pre-in­stalled apps, the user would get al­most dou­ble the in­ter­nal stor­age (avail­able for use) as com­pared to smart­phones with the same in­ter­nal stor­age run­ning on An­droid Nougat.

Lava is one of the first few hand­set man­u­fac­tur­ers to have adopted the An­droid Oreo Go Edi­tion. And this is what it dis­cov­ered: in a smart­phone run­ning An­droid OS, of the 8 GB in­ter­nal stor­age, only close to 3 GB was user ac­ces­si­ble. But with the An­droid Oreo Go edi­tion, users will get close to 5.5 GB (out of the 8 GB in­ter­nal stor­age) for down­load­ing apps and stor­ing con­tent. This also helps in boost­ing RAM per­for­mance by upto 50 per cent, en­abling ap­pli­ca­tions to open quickly.

The Go edi­tion comes with apps such as Google Go for in­for­ma­tion, YouTube Go for watch­ing videos with lim­ited con­nec­tiv­ity, the Google As­sis­tant (voice as­sis­tant) and the Files Go app to get rid of un­wanted con­tent. The op­ti­mised ver­sion will of­fer

With app size halved and fewer pre-in­stalled apps, the an­droid oreo go edi­tion of­fers dou­ble the in­ter­nal stor­age

the same se­cu­rity fea­tures as on An­droid Oreo; the apps come will come with built-in mo­bile se­cu­rity and the Find My De­vice fea­ture. Be­sides, users will be able to down­load al­most any app from the Play Store – the apps de­signed for the Go edi­tion will be high­lighted.

“Cur­rently, roughly 55 per cent of smart­phone sales still come from the sub-$100 cat­e­gory. If this re­ally is an op­ti­mised OS, it will help de­vices that don’t have the high pro­cess­ing power, high bat­tery and high mem­ory to process ap­pli­ca­tions and de­liver a great ex­pe­ri­ence,” says An­shul Gupta, Re­search Di­rec­tor, Gart­ner.

Sev­eral hand­sets pow­ered by the An­droid Oreo Go edi­tion will soon hit the mar­ket. For in­stance, Lava’s Z50 will have a 4.5-inch, 2.5D Curved Corn­ing Go­rilla glass dis­play, pow­ered by 1.1 GHz Quad-core Me­di­atek Pro­ces­sor, paired with 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of in­ter­nal stor­age and sup­ports 10 In­dian lan­guages in­clud­ing Hindi. There is a 5 MP rear and front cam­era, too, with flash. Although Lava has not yet re­vealed the price of Z50, it will be bun­dled with a cash­back of­fer of ` 2,000 from Air­tel.

With an eye on first-time smart­phone users in In­dia, Air­tel and Google have part­nered to bring a range of An­droid Go based 4G smart­phones to the In­dian mar­ket un­der its ‘Mera Pehla Smart­phone’ ini­tia­tive. Mi­cro­max’s Bharat Go, ex­pected to be priced around `5,000 with ba­sic fea­tures such as a 4.5-inch dis­play with a res­o­lu­tion of 854x480p, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of on­board stor­age, is a part of this ini­tia­tive.

Lead­ing chipset mak­ers Qual­comm and Me­di­atek, too, are sup­port­ing this plat­form. The lat­ter is work­ing closely with Reliance Jio for an An­droid Oreo Go Edi­tion smart­phone. Nokia, too, has an­nounced the launch of Nokia 1 – a com­pact smart­phone with a 4.5-inch dis­play, 1.1 GHz Me­di­atek pro­ces­sor, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of in­ter­nal stor­age.

The new plat­form is ex­pected to breathe life into the jaded low-end smart­phone cat­e­gory. “Peo­ple were not mov­ing from fea­ture to smart­phones, opt­ing to buy an­other fea­ture phone in­stead. If there is a qual­ity smart­phone, not only in terms of hard­ware but also in terms of the ex­pe­ri­ence, fea­ture phone users will feel en­cour­aged to up­grade to smart­phones,” adds Gupta of Gart­ner.

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