The first Android Go phones will be unveiled at MWC next week and will go on sale shortly thereafter.
Designed for entry-level smartphones with between 512MB and 1GB of RAM, the scaled back Android Oreo OS features lightweight versions of Google’s most popular apps.
“Go” editions of apps like Maps, Gmail, Chrome, YouTube and Google Search take up less space on the handset, consume less data and are less taxing on the phone’s memory, making them easy for lower-end devices to handle.
Related: MWC 2018
The Google Assistant is also on board, enabling users to quickly send messages, set alarms and more, using only their voice
Google is also adding dedicated areas of the Play Store, where users can access lightweight apps, while Google Play Protect offers the same protection against malware.
Google handed the Oreo version of Android Go to manufacturers back in December.
“Starting next week, you’ll see the first set of Android Oreo (Go edition) phones, and soon after they’ll be available for you to purchase,” the company says.
Phones will be available for as little as $50 (around £35), but we’ve yet to hear which manufacturers will build phones running Android Go.
While Android Go is designed for people who need them as the “first and only way people get access to the internet,” there could also be interest for a wider range of customers.
An inexpensive weekend phone running Android Go and only costing $50 might be tempting for some people who want to get away from their all-singing-all-dancing flagship smartphone.
In a blog post on Friday, Google wrote: “We’re inspired by the success of Android across a wide range of devices, including entry-level phones which in many cases are the first and only way people get access to the internet. These devices need to be affordable, and the experience needs to be great. We don’t just want to provide people with access—we also want to provide a useful, high-quality experience.”
Does Android Go sound appealing as a low-end, low hassle solution? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.