Motorola already announced the Moto E5 Play, which is a regular but inexpensive Android phone. Now, there’s a new variant of the device that runs Google’s Android Go. This phone looks a lot like the regular Moto E5, but the specs have gotten a tweak to fit within the Android Go guidelines, and it won’t be available in most markets.
The regular Moto E5 was already a modestly specced device, but the Go version of the phone takes it a step further. There’s only 1GB of RAM (half what you get on the non-Go phone), a Snapdragon 425 processor, and a 480p 5.3-inch screen — that’s the kind of resolution you’d expect from a phone back in 2011.
Android Go is designed for low-end hardware, and Motorola’s phone is actually more powerful than others in several ways. For one, the Snapdragon chip is faster than the MediaTek chip used in most Go phones. You also get 16GB of storage, and many Go phones only have 8GB. The screen, while low-resolution, is at least 18:9 ratio to better fill the front of the device. It also appears to retain the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor from the standard E5 Play.
This phone is technically called the “Moto E5 Play with Android Oreo (Go Edition)” because both Google and Motorola are extremely weird about maintaining a brand identity. Even though the hardware has been altered, Motorola says this is still the E5 Play. Google, meanwhile, wants to emphasize that Android Go is still “real” Android. So, it’s called Android Oreo (Go Edition). This phone should just be called the Moto E5 Go.
Android Go is designed to offer a more consistent experience on low-power phones like the E5 Play. The defining factor appears to be 1GB of RAM, which isn’t enough to run Android under normal circumstances anymore. The OS has streamlined code to operate with higher efficiency, and there are Go versions of most Google apps like YouTube and Gmail that run better on these devices. However, overall system performance still won’t be as fast as phones that cost just a little more.
Android Go makes the most sense in extremely low price ranges in developing markets, where consumers are often stuck with sketchy gray market phones. Moto appears to be going a little more upmarket, though. The Moto E5 Play with Android Go will cost around €109 when it goes on sale in Latin America and Europe. Honestly, the pricing and availability seem to miss the point of Android Go.
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