More evidence has emerged that Samsung could be gearing up to release its first ever entry-level Android Go handset.
According to the latest news, Samsung is testing this budget device in multiple markets, which implies a larger release than previously thought. According to that exclusive report, Samsung is testing different variants of the device in different regions worldwide, with the SM-J260F being tested in the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Caucasus Countries, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, France, and Poland.
Model number SM-J260M is being tested in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, Peru, Panada and Paraguay, while SM-J260G gets a portion of the Asian market, including Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. It’s currently unknown whether each model number will have any significant changes to the others.
We previously got our first look at the currently unannounced device thanks to model number SM-J260G appearing on a Geekbench benchmark report. According to that report, the device comes with a quad-core Exynos 7570 processor and 1GB of RAM — these meager specs putting the device well within the usual range for an Android Go smartphone. The motherboard number is also mentioned as being “universal7570_go” — further adding to the speculation.
The operating system is listed as the latest version of Android Oreo — Android 8.1 Oreo. Since we have yet to even get a hint of Android 8.1 Oreo on Samsung’s top-end flagships, it seems a safe bet that this phone will be equipped with the stock, low-demand version of Android.
The bets are out on the name of this device, and judging by the model number and Samsung’s past behavior, our money is definitely on some variant of the Galaxy J-range. The Galaxy J2 Core seems likely, since the Galaxy J-range has been Samsung’s go-to budget model range, and it’s a range that the South Korean tech giant hasn’t been afraid to experiment with in the past. Recently, Samsung released a version of the Galaxy J2 Pro with no internet access, specifically intended for students studying for the Korean College Scholastic Ability Test.
Android Go is Google’s attempt to break into rapidly developing markets dominated by low-spec budget devices. As such, Android Go is a bare-bones version of stock Android that makes much lower demands on system resources — to fit lower-end hardware — and special versions of Google’s G Suite apps, specially optimized to fit and run on entry-level devices.
Since it’s a product directly from Google, phones with Android Go tend to benefit from security patches and updates straight from the search giant — which cuts down heavily on the delays often seen in other, higher-end smartphones that come with manufacturer-altered versions of Android. Thanks to the low demand on system resources and timely updates, Android Go is Google’s best shot at dominating emerging markets in Brazil, India, and other high-growth areas.