Alcatel first phone running Android Go, the 1X, will go on sale in the US next week for $100. Not only is this Alcatel first device running Google’s optimized OS for cheaper phones, it’s also the one and only phone running it that’s currently for sale in the United States.
Technically, ZTE beat Alcatel with the launch of an Android Go phone in March, but ZTE has since been banned from buying US components and is basically sitting dormant until the ban is lifted. So thanks to an unlikely series of events involving US sanctions on Iran and North Korea, Alcatel gets this dubious honor. (And it won’t be for long: the Nokia 2.1 launches with Android Go in July.)
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The 1X isn’t a particularly exciting phone, but that’s usually the case with Android Go devices — they’re built to be cheap, but still run smoothly. As far as it goes, the 1X at least looks somewhat modern. While it has pretty noticeable bezels, the phone’s screen still has the tall 18:9 aspect ratio that more and more phones are moving to. It also comes with a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone.
After that, things get less impressive: it has 16GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, a MediaTek processor, and a 480 x 960 resolution for its 5-inch display. I got to use the phone briefly earlier this year — it’s clearly the weakest of Alcatel new line of phones; but it’s also pretty inexpensive,so there’s not too much more you can ask for.
The phone launches next week through Amazon. It’ll be an unlocked GSM model, so it should work on AT&T and T-Mobile.