Samsung is about to launch a new Android phone that won’t be anything like you’d expect from the most important player in the Android ecosystem. I’m not talking about the Galaxy Note 9, which is coming in early August, but about a phone that has no Samsung software features built atop of Android.
Samsung likes to run its own user interface on top of Google’s Android, and while the company improved it significantly in recent years, some buyers still don’t like it.
Sadly, those hardcore Android fans looking on a vanilla Android experience of a flagship Samsung phone will still have to wait. Yes, Samsung did make such devices in the past, including the Galaxy Nexus and the Google Edition version of the Galaxy S4. But the company was never too eager to run vanilla Android on its devices, and things aren’t likely to change anytime soon.
However, Samsung is testing an Android phone that will run Google’s Android OS, per SamMobile. But there’s also bad news about this unreleased device: it’ll run Android Go.
Android Go is Google’s stripped-down Android version for entry-level devices meant to help Google connect the next billion of users.
We’ve seen a plethora of Android Go unveiled at MWC 2018 earlier this year, and they’re all extremely affordable devices with specs that won’t impress.
The Samsung SM-J260 is exactly one such type of device. It packs an “Universal7570_Go” processor, 1GB of RAM, and run Android 8.1 Oreo. The phone might be called Galaxy J2 Core, according to available trademark applications.
Samsung has been testing the phone in four markets initially, including India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. But it looks like Samsung might sell this device in other international markets, including various countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America.
It’s unclear how much the phone will cost, or when it’ll be released, but it sure looks like we’re going to see an announcement soon.