It’s a bit of a surprise but as with all things, there’s always a first time. Samsung has launched a brand new entry-level smartphone – Galaxy J2 Core (SM-J260G) – and it runs Android Go Edition. The company was first reported to be testing its first Android Go device in global markets earlier in June.
Running Android Go means a couple of things. Don’t worry, mostly good things. Its lightweight nature means it will run smoothly on low-spec hardware. In fact, it’s designed to run well on devices with 1GB of RAM and low-end processors.
Stock Android also means it will be one of the first devices to get Android updates. It runs Android 8.1 Oreo (Go Edition) out-of-the-box.
You may remember the Nokia 1 that I used recently. It ran surprisingly well, and I found that even using it as a daily driver, it wasn’t as crippling as I initially expected. HMD Global also has the Nokia 2.1, which is slightly better spec-ed (and pricier) than the J2 Core.
So, for just MYR379, the Galaxy J2 will give you a 5-inch display (960×520) and a quad-core Exynos 7570 processor with 1GB RAM and 8GB of onboard storage. The good news is there’s microSD storage expansion if you need more.
In the camera stakes, it gets an 8MP shooter on the rear with flash, and a 5MP selfie shooter on the front.
There’s a reasonably large 2,600mAh battery that should see it running through the day.
Running Android Go, the Galaxy J2 Core gets light “Go” versions of YouTube, Gmail, Maps, GBoard and Google Assistant.
With the Galaxy J2 Core, Samsung may be looking to wrestle back its market share in the entry-level segment, especially in emerging markets like India where it has taken a beating by the likes of Xiaomi and Nokia.
Will we see more “cheap and cheerful” Android Go (perhaps even Android One) from Samsung? Never say never.
The Samsung Galaxy J2 Core is available at all authorised Samsung retailers nationwide.