After announcing Android Go and Google I/O last year, and then releasing the software late last year, Google’s Android Go edition has finally made it to hardware with six handsets announced all with sub-$100 price tags.

What is it?

Android Go is Google’s latest attempt at conquering the entry level handset market, with Android Go optimised to run on handsets with between 512MB and 1GB of RAM. Google says that the (Google) apps including GMail Go, YouTube Go, Files Go and more, pre-installed on Android Go handsets are up to 50% smaller in footprint with many of the same features.

Google has also been working with third-party developers including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp for ‘Lite’ versions of their apps – they’ve even been working with game makers for lighter versions of games including a lightweight version of Subway Surfers from developer Kiloo.

Where’s the hardware?

Beyond the more high profile launches for Alcatel, Nokia and ZTE, a further three manufacturers: Lava, Micromax and General Mobile, have also announced devices running Android Go. The hardware is extremely nice across their entire range, with Google featuring the handsets in a well appointed display stand as part of their Android Garden between the halls at MWC this year.

The stand itself has a display of Nokia 1 handsets mounted to the wall showing off the various features of Android Go such as the substantial storage savings and timely Android Feature and security updates.

The hardware ranges a bit in features, size and of course design. As for specs, here’s a handy run down:

Nokia 1 Lava Z50 Micromax Bharat Go General Mobile GM8 Go ZTE Tempo Go Alcatel 1x
Display 4.5″ 480×854 resolution 4.5″ 480×854 resolution 4.5″ 480×854 resolution 5.5″ HD+ (720 x 1440) 18:9 Aspect Ratio 5.0″ 480×854 resolution 5.3″ 480×960 resolution
CPU 1.1GHz MT6737 1.1GHz MediaTek MT6737M Quad-Core 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6739 1.1GHz Snapdragon 210 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6580
Storage 8GB with microSD Card 16GB 8GB with microSD card slot 16GB
Camera 5 MP Rear with LED Flash
2 MP Front
5MP Rear w/ flash+
5MP Front w/flash
5 MP RearCamera with LED Flash
3.2MP Front Camera
13 MP Rear with AF , f2.0
5 MP Front, f2.2
5 MP Rear with LED Flash
2MP Front
8MP Rear with LED Flash
5MP Front
Battery 2150 mAh 2900mAh 3500mAh 2200mAh 2460mAh
OS Android 8.1 (Go Edition)

If you want to see each one in the flesh here’s the front and rear of the phones:

Alcatel 1X

Nokia 1

Lava Z50

Micromax Bharat Go

General Mobile GM8 Go

ZTE Tempo Go

Android Go is coming to Australia with the Nokia 1 and Alcatel 1 confirmed to be coming to Australia. The Alcatel 1/1x is the odd one out here with two editions being released. At this stage Alcatel is intending to launch the Alcatel 1 – which has no fingerprint sensor – in Australia.

I’ve been using the Alcatel 1 for a couple of days and so far it’s quite impressive. I’ll be bringing a more complete review of the phone in the coming days, so stay tuned.