Samsung's Android Go Project Likely Expanding To The U.S.

Samsung's Android Go-powered Galaxy J2 Core (SM-J260x) appears to be on its way to the United States, based on recently spotted filings with the FCC and Wi-Fi Alliance. At the former agency, the device is listed bearing the model number SM-J260T, while the Wi-Fi Alliance refers to it as the SM-J260A. Using Samsung's relatively standardized naming conventions, the final characters in those model designations seem to indicate that the handsets will be available via T-Mobile and AT&T.

Background: The Galaxy J2 Core is a very low-spec budget model that was launched back in August and actually represents Samsung's very first mobile device to operate on Android Go. For clarity, that's based on Android 8.1 Oreo and generally means users won't find the latest in either design or performance with this budget handset. However, it should provide a smooth experience delivered by applications and firmware that are heavily optimized to better suit very inexpensive hardware. Those are also somewhat drawn back in terms of features and functionality but battery life, performance, and responsiveness are improved as a result, allowing for a near-stock feel to the OS without as much worry about running out of space or draining the battery too quickly. Meanwhile, in regions where the handset is currently available, the device averages at around $90 for pricing.

With regard to the Samsung Galaxy J2 Core itself, this is a metal and glass handset measuring 143.4 x 72.1 x 8.9mm and tipping the scales at 154 grams. A 5-inch 960 x 540 TFT display panel adorns the front while the back panel and 2,600mAh battery can both be removed. A 64-bit Samsung Exynos 7570 SoC drives the software backed by just 1GB RAM and 8GB of storage and is complemented by Bluetooth 4.2 LE, Wi-Fi b/g/n, and 4G LTE connectivity with VoLTE capabilities. The rear-facing 8-megapixel primary camera is accompanied by a single LED flash and selfies can be snapped via the front-facing 5-megapixel shooter. Both cameras feature a f/2.2 aperture. While the US Galaxy J2 Core models won't necessarily retain all of the features of the internationally available variants, those also offer support for two SIM cards and a 3.5mm headphone jack rounds out the package.

Impact: The Samsung Galaxy J2 Core isn't likely to be sold directly from T-Mobile or AT&T, although that could also be the case. Instead, as mentioned above, the budget-friendly device will almost certainly be sold directly through each company's associated prepaid carriers and partners. Similarly, as is often the case with US variations on a given handset, the exact features, pricing, and other aspects of the handsets aren't guaranteed to remain intact as sold through a given service provider. As of this writing, there's no indication as to when the new Samsung device might become available in the US either. Bearing that in mind, at very least, the new certifications do seem to confirm that it is on its way. That means that users in the US should soon have one more solid option that's truly budget-friendly without sacrificing too much on the experience or features.

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