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Friday, February 23, 2018
First Affordable Android Go Smartphones Coming Next Week

Google will showcase the ultra-cheap Android Oreo Go smartphones at Mobile World Congress (MWC), with some devices to retail for less than $50.

Google released Android Oreo Go in December - a lightweight version of Android that leaves twice the amount of space on storage-constrained, low-end smartphones. By bringing the Android OS to
entry-level phones, Google hopes to convince consumers worldwide to upgrade from feature phones.

Android Oreo (Go edition) is an optimized version of Android Oreo tailored for smartphones with 1GB of RAM or less. With a smaller amount of storage and processing power, these phones are less expensive for manufacturers to produce and can be sold at affordable prices, in some cases less than $50. With Android Oreo (Go edition), these phones are able to provide the latest version of Android, Google Play Protect, and dedicated areas in Google Play highlighting apps optimized for Go edition. Android Oreo (Go edition) phones also include a set of apps from Google that are designed to use less memory and storage space. For example, Google Go is built specifically to help new smartphone users find the information they want, YouTube Go is optimized for limited connectivity, and the Google Assistant for Android (Go edition) lets people quickly send messages, make calls, set alarms, and more with their voice and a single touch of the screen.

Starting next week, expect to see the first set of Android Oreo (Go edition) phones, and soon after they'll be available for purchase.

At MWC, Google's Android One partners are set to reveal new smartphones too.

The Android One program aimed at providing people with faster access to the latest Android OS updates, regular security updates, and an easy-to-use software design. The program got off to a slow start in 2014 but was revived last year with the launch of the Xiaomi Mi A1, and later Motorola's Moto X4.

Google said that Android One devices get Android updates for two years, including the latest AI enhancements from Google, and regular security updates for three years.

Monday kicks off Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and Google will also be showcasing new features it's developed for Google Assistant and Lens.

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