Android Go arrives at Samsung in its thrifty Galaxy J2 Core

The company joins the program for a Samsung-bloatware-free, data-managed, entry-level phone.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin

Android Go is the closest you can get to the stock version of Google's operating system on a non-Google phone -- it's Google's bloatskrieg against the irritating mass of third-party software that ships on many Android phones. It also includes tools to help manage data consumption for areas where your signal isn't always great or data is too expensive. 

Google created it for regions with a high cost of living relative to income, which tends to go hand in hand with poor signal coverage. Into that market Samsung is launching its first Android Go phone, the entry-level Galaxy J2 Core.

Though only available in Malaysia and India at launch, Samsung does say it will expand to other markets in the future. Samsung didn't provide a price, but the higher-end J2 launched in April starts at 8,190 rupees, which is about $120, £90 or AU$160. The J2 Core will likely cost less. 

Specs include:

  • 5-inch, 960x540-pixel screen
  • 8-megapixel f2.2 rear camera, 5-megapixel f2.2 front camera
  • 1GB up to 8GB RAM
  • Exynos 7570 processor
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz), Bluetooth 4.2, USB 2.0
  • 2,600-mAh battery
  • Android Oreo Go Edition

Samsung doesn't specify which networks it will run on, but the J2 runs on 2, 3 and 4G, so those are probably a good bet. That's an improvement over the J2 Pro, launched recently, which doesn't connect to any networks at all.

Watch this: What is Android Go?

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