Asus’ $110 Android Go phone gets US release
Asus is bringing its $110 Android Go phone to the US.
At first blush, it might seem like a strange decision to bring a budget smartphone to a market that sells more phones over $500 than anywhere else.
But, it also kind of makes sense: the phones offer an affordable alternative for those who don’t need all the bells and whistles. Android Go, a stripped-down version of Android, is designed to run on low-end smartphones with less processing power.
The ZenFone Live L1 comes with a 5.5-inch screen, a low-end Snapdragon 425 processor and just 1GB of RAM. On the storage front, it offers 16GB -- not much compared to premium phones but decent enough for a phone like this.
It also has an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel camera on the front.
It’s got a few welcome surprises, too. There are two SIM slots and room for a microSD.
There’s even a face unlock feature -- something Asus has included instead of a fingerprint sensor. The problem: The facial recognition feature in many Android phones uses 2D scanning. It’s not as secure as Apple’s Face ID, which relies on an infrared camera and dot projector instead of just the front camera.
The L1 isn’t the first Android Go phone released in the US this year.
ZTE’s Tempo Go -- the first smartphone with Android Go brought to the US -- has a smaller screen and only half the storage -- but is cheaper at US$80. While the Alcatel 1X -- which has comparable specs (plus the added benefit of a fingerprint sensor) and costs less than US$100-- has less than stellar reviews.