HMD Global reportedly working on an Android Go-powered Nokia 1, may launch at MWC 2018

At its annual I/O event back in May 2017, Google announced Android Go, a lightweight version of Android OS that is targeting emerging markets – markets where smartphone buyers are mostly comfortable with spending no more than $150 on a handset (approximately Sh 15,000).

When rolling out the new Android 8.1 Oreo, Google also released the Android Go edition of Oreo. The company reiterated that the OS is meant for any OEM to take advantage of, just like it already happens with the standard Android OS. The only difference is that it has been optimized to work with low-specced devices that characterize emerging markets.

Since the new Android Go Oreo is already available in AOSP, it is only a matter of time before devices powered by this OS start showing up. And indeed it appears that HMD Global is already setting the pace. Apparently, while most of us were nursing Christmas hangovers, a report surfaced online suggesting that the Finnish company is working on a phone dubbed Nokia 1, which, obviously, should come behind the Nokia 2 in the pecking order.

If this report is to be believed, the Nokia 1 will ship with nearly identical hardware specs as the Nokia 2, among them 1GB RAM, 8GB storage and a 720p display screen of unknown size, but probably a 5-inch panel. As you would expect, the Nokia 1 will reportedly exchange hands at between €70 and €80, which translates to the regions of between Sh 9,000 and Sh 10,000. This is slightly cheaper than the current Sh 12,000 that retailers are asking for the Nokia 2, but of course, don’t expect the phone to be a copycat of the latter in every aspect.

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Nokia 2

As it is, the Nokia 1 may see a March 2018 launch, which points towards a possible debut at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 event that kicks off on February 26 in Barcelona, Spain.

While this report has not been confirmed whatsoever by HMD Global, the company’s latest activities do suggest that this could indeed be the case. HMD has recently confirmed that the Nokia 2 Oreo update will bring along some – or all – of the goodies of Android Go. This should be a much welcome change for those who opted to get this phone because, to be honest, it has a bunch of mediocre specs to be running the same OS as the likes of Samsung Galaxy Note 8 or OnePlus 5T.

Note: The images used in the article are for the Nokia 2 and not the Nokia 1.

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