Micromax announces Bharat Go, India's first Android Oreo (Go edition) smartphone

Jan 16, 2018

Indian smartphone maker, Micromax, has announced Bharat Go, the company's first smartphone to come with Google's Android Oreo (Go edition). The entry-level smartphone is aimed at providing an optimised Android Oreo experience to first-time smartphone users.

Micromax hasn't disclosed any specs of its upcoming phone, but the device is expected to sport 1GB RAM and 8GB of internal storage. Both Qualcomm and MediaTek have pledged support for the Android Oreo (Go edition) platform, so it remains to be seen what kind of hardware is powering Bharat Go.

During his India visit last year, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that entry-level phones in India need to cost as low as ₹2,000 ($30) to be able to attract customers. He said the Android Go will be optimised to achieve that. Micromax is expected to take note of that and price Bharat Go around ₹2,000.

Micromax isn't the only manufacturer working on an Android Go device. HMD Global also said to be working on a phone with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, dubbed the Nokia 1.



What is Android Go?

Android Go is an optimised edition of latest Android version, in this case, Oreo. Android Go edition essentially optimises the latest release of Android to run smoothly on entry-level devices. The Go edition comes with a rebuilt set of Google apps that use less memory, storage space, and mobile data. It features the entire catalogue of Google Play highlighting apps specifically designed for entry-level users. It works smoothly even with smartphones that have a RAM size of as low as 512MB. The Android Go optimised apps include Google Go, Google Maps Go, Gmail Go, YouTube Go, Google Assistant Go, and Files Go.

The idea behind Android Oreo (Go Edition) is simple, to penetrate those markets where feature phones still remain popular. India is one such big market where people's in rural areas are yet to be introduced to smartphones. With Bharat Go, feature phone users can now upgrade to a smartphone, while remaining cost-effective. The smartphone will be available by the end of January 2018.

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