Just two days ago, we learned that the first devices running Google's new 'Android Go' platform would be announced next week at Mobile World Congress. Now it appears Alcatel has jumped the gun a bit, and unveiled the world's first Android Go phone alongside a slew of other devices. It's called the 1X, and it's not much different from a typical budget phone, except for the software.

Some of the phone's specifications include a quad-core MediaTek processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage, and a 5.3-inch 960x480 display. On the plus side, it does have an 18:9 aspect ratio, which is still a rarity on budget devices. Strangely, there is no fingerprint sensor, unlike many other phones in the sub-$100 range (like LG's new K series devices). We tried it out for a few minutes, and it seemed decent enough, but the tiny navigation buttons seemed odd. Our own Scott described it as, "the plain oatmeal of phones."

The Verge also spent some time with the 1X in Barcelona, and their initial impressions were not good. Vlad Sarov experienced freezing issues, but that could be the result of a pre-production device. Alcatel recently rolled out spamware to some of its phones, but it's not clear if the 1X suffers from that or not.

The 1X will go on sale in April for €100 (about $122), or €110 if you want the dual-SIM version. There's no telling if this will be sold in the United States or not, but thanks to the above-mentioned spamware, I'd personally stay away from all Alcatel devices.

Press Release

BARCELONA – February 24, 2018 - TCL Communication has today unveiled an all-new evolution in the company’s Alcatel smartphone portfolio, which includes three new product series – the Alcatel 5, 3 and 1 series. As part of the Alcatel 1 series, the company is unveiling its first Android™ Oreo (Go edition) with the Alcatel 1X, which also features the latest Alcatel smartphone design language and technology. This optimized version of the Android operating system is ideal for the Alcatel 1X, bringing a new benchmark for smartphone affordability and connectivity to customers across the globe.

“We are honoured to offer our first smartphone running Android Oreo (Go edition) to our customers throughout the world,” said Christian Gatti, Global President Alcatel Business Division and Executive Vice President TCL Communication. “Our vision is for every smartphone user in the world to have access to an amazing Android experience, and the introduction of our Alcatel 1X powered by Android Oreo (Go edition) now gives them the opportunity to own one of the best value Alcatel smartphones ever.”

  

The Alcatel 1X will feature a new suite of popular pre-installed Google apps designed for increased speed, less demand on storage, and efficient data use. This includes the brand new Google Go, Files Go, Google Maps Go, YouTube Go and Gmail Go, as well as performance optimizations to Chrome, Google Play and Gboard. It will also feature the Google Assistant for Android (Go edition), enabling entry smartphone customers to experience the convenience of the Google Assistant, whether they’re asking it questions or telling it things to do.

“Android’s mission has always been to bring the power of computing to everyone, and part of that is ensuring a great experience across the broadest range of devices,” said Sagar Kamdar, Director of Product, Android. “Android Oreo (Go edition) is specifically optimized to bring the magic of Google and Android to smartphones with limited memory and processing power. We’re excited to see TCL Communication launch one of the first devices powered by Android Oreo (Go edition) in the Alcatel 1X.”

With Android Oreo (Go edition), these applications and features have been optimized to be smaller in size meaning less storage requirements and offering Alcatel 1X customers more storage space out of the box. And best of all, they still have access to millions of the latest Android apps, games, music and more via the Google Play Store.

About TCL Communication

TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited (TCL Communication) designs, manufactures and markets an expanding portfolio of mobile and internet products and services under three key brands – TCL, Alcatel and BlackBerry - with its portfolio of products currently sold in over 160 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Incorporated in Hong Kong, TCL Communication operates nine R&D centers worldwide, employing thousands across the globe. For more information, please visit www.tclcom.com.

TCL is a registered trademark of TCL Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Alcatel is a trademark of Nokia used under license by TCL Communication.

Trademarks, including but not limited to BLACKBERRY and EMBLEM Design are the trademarks or registered trademarks of BlackBerry Limited, used under license, and the exclusive rights to such trademarks are expressly reserved.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.  BlackBerry is not responsible for any third-party products or services.