If information circulating the internet is to be believed, then HMD Global is working on a smartphone called Nokia 1 powered by the Android Oreo (Go Edition). The Nokia 1 will reportedly be launched in the first half of 2018, with many pointing to a March release.
There is little information available about the smartphone, but as far as specifications are concerned, we can expect an HD display, MediaTek or Qualcomm entry level SoC, 1GB RAM, and 8GB built in storage.
This is the first time we are hearing about a smartphone sporting Google's new Android Go OS which is made for phones with up to 1GB of RAM. Android Go also brings with it lighter apps, faster app load times, and an optimised Google Assistant. Google says the lighter OS will not feel any different from the stock Android experience.
It is reported that the Nokia 1 will launch in Russia for RUB 5,999 (Rs 6,500 approximately directly converted). However, we think that the Nokia 1 will be more competitively priced in India as it is a price sensitive market. The Reliance JioPhone along with the Karbonn A40 Indian and other entry level devices are trying to make a mark in the entry level smartphone market and the Nokia 1 could be a useful addition to heighten competition.
An Android Oreo (Go Edition) powered smartphone may have an advantage over the above-mentioned phones. To begin with, Android Go apps are optimised to run on devices with 512MB - 1GB RAM and slower processors. Android Go Apps apps have been optimised to work well on the slower hardware. Android Go Apps include Google Go, YouTube Go, Maps Go, Files Go, Assistant Go, and more. Files Go will help free up space in low-end devices, allow offline file sharing and make searching for files easier. Google Go is designed to occupy less than 5MB space, with a tap-first user interface, and 40 percent lighter search results. Maps Go and Assistant Go are also lighter versions of the two already existing Google apps. YouTube Go is a lighter version of the existing app that apart from working well on low end hardware consumes less data. It is also designed to download videos over slow networks and watch offline.
These apps are especially beneficial for the low-cost smartphone market and means that a device like the Nokia 1 could give a better user experience when compared to an entry level smartphone running on a full version of Android.
To refresh your memory, Android Oreo (Go Edition) is Google’s way of making sure all low-spec smartphones run Android smoothly. Android Oreo Go isn’t a fork of Android as we have seen on some entry level devices. Google claims that apps will open 15 percent faster on Android Oreo (Go Edition). Google’s pre-loaded apps also take up 50 percent less space as Android Oreo Go uses the Android Runtime (ART) compiler to make the apps lightweight. The company confirmed that Android Go will be updated alongside each Android version, such as Android P (Go Edition), Android Q (Go Edition) and so forth.
Speaking of Google’s Android programs, the Android One programme was revived in India after the launch of the Mi A1, Xiaomi’s first device to launch with stock Android out of the box and promise of timely OS updates. Internationally the Moto X4 was launched as an Android One device but the smartphone hasn’t launched under the Android One banner in India.
While Google is working on making lower end hardware work better with the Android OS, Apple has admitted to slowing down older iPhones to prevent random shutdowns. The Cupertino giant is currently facing lawsuits for the same in the US.