Nokia 2 to benefit from Google’s Android Go optimizations targeted at 1GB RAM devices

HMD Global’s cheapest smartphone in the market, the Nokia 2, is, mostly, a good bargain. For just Kshs 12,000 or less (the recommended retail price is Kshs 11,000) one gets a device that runs near-stock Android whose maker has promised to release Android Oreo to it at a later date (hopefully soon), a sizeable 5-inch HD display, 4G LTE connectivity and a big battery to make sure that carrying a power pack (“Power Bank”) is the least of a user’s concerns.

However, the only bone I’ve had to chew with the Nokia 2, despite providing what is perhaps the best value for money at its price in the Kenyan market, is the memory. The Nokia arrives with a measly 1GB RAM. Let’s not kid ourselves, on Android, 1GB of memory is a big bad joke not because the operating system itself is as resource-hungry as ever (forget all the promises that Google makes every other time a new version of Android is announced) but also because after the system has had its lunch and dinner, there’s very little left to cater for the equally resource-hungry applications that users would want to run. Limited memory also means that not many of such apps can be run at a go and proper multitasking, now a core component of Android, becomes a bad rumour.

Thankfully, the Nokia 2 arrives with Android 7.1, Nougat, which means there’s room for that promised Android Oreo. While we still don’t have the specifics as to when the said update will arrive, we at least know what it will entail thanks to HMD Global’s Chief Product Officer Juho Sarvikas.

In a tweet, see below, Sarvikas responds to a user query with information that the Nokia 2’s planned Oreo update will actually include the memory optimizations that Google has released to the Go edition of Android 8.1 Oreo which are meant to make using 1GB RAM and other low-cost Android devices a pleasurable experience.

Android Go was released in early December with lots of features for the low-cost smartphone buyer like more storage space by halving the number of pre-installed Google apps, better memory management, better data management and entire section of the Play Store dedicated to helping users find apps that are optimized for their “Go” devices.

Here’s to hoping other makers of 1GB RAM devices take this route as well. It’s a new year, that is not asking for too much now, is it?

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