Last spring, Google said it was taking another shot at reworking Android to keep it running fast and smooth on lower-end devices. The initiative was called Android Go, and the very first phone running it — technically, “Android Oreo (Go Edition)” — is being announced today by Alcatel. It’s called the Alcatel 1X, and, well, it’s not all that much to get excited about.
That’s partly because the 1X is a low-end phone, which means it has to impress on value rather than specs and flourishes. But it’s also because, in our initial hands on with the phone, the operating system didn’t run all that smoothly, despite Google’s optimizations. Stay tuned as we’ll have more impressions on Android Go throughout the week, but Alcatel hasn’t given us a thrilling first look.
I just had my first Android Go experience, which was to have the screen freeze up on me while moving an icon across the home screen. Auspicious start.
— Vlad Savov (@vladsavov) February 24, 2018
The 1X’s specs are appropriately minimal: it has a quad-core MediaTek processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a 5.3-inch 960 x 480 display. It charges over Micro USB. The one bright spot is that the display has an 18:9 aspect ratio, so the bezels are somewhat trimmer on the top and bottom. One not-so-bright-spot is that some models of the phone won’t include a fingerprint sensor. (They will include Alcatel’s “Face Key” facial recognition feature, though.) The phone will launch in April for €100 for a single-SIM variant and €110 for a dual-SIM variant.