LAVA Z50 Android Go smartphone
The LAVA Z50 is India's first Android Go smartphoneLava

Google's ambitious Android Oreo (Go Edition) seems to be gaining some traction. After HMD Global unveiled the Nokia 1 Android Go smartphone at MWC 2018, Indian smartphone maker Lava has gone ahead and announced its first Android 8.1 Oreo (Go edition) smartphone called the Lava Z50 at MWC 2018. 

For the uninitiated, Android Go is a lightweight version of Android that has been optimized for low-end smartphones that run with less than 1GB of RAM. And while the Nokia 1 is expected to go on sale sometime in April, the Lava Z50 will jump the gun and go on sale as early as mid-March and will be available at over 100,000 retail stores across India. With this, the Lava Z50 will become the first Android Go smartphone in India.

Meanwhile, the company is yet to disclose the price details of the Lava Z50. However, the phone will come bundled with a cashback offer of Rs 2,000 from Airtel as part of its "Mera Pehla Smartphone" initiative. Additionally, the Lava Z50 will also come with a 2-year warranty like the rest of Lava Z-series smartphones.

That said, the detailed specifications of the Lava Z50 are yet to be announced by the company. Details such as the battery capacity, maximum expandable storage via microSD card, dimensions, and weight are not mentioned in the press release. However, the key specs like screen size, camera details, RAM and processor have been revealed.

Lava Z50 Android Go Specifications

The Android 8.1 Oreo (Go edition) running device comes with a 4.5-inch FWVGA (480x854 pixels) display along with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass protection on top. It is powered by a quad-core 1.1Ghz MediaTek MT6737M processor which comes mated with 1GB of RAM.

Lava Z50 Android Go smartphone
Lava Z50 is powered by Android Oreo (Go edition)Lava

The Lava Z50 features a 5MP rear and a 5MP front camera, both of which come with LED flash and dual Bokeh mode. The device packs in 8GB of storage with which is expanded via a microSD card of unspecified maximum capacity. The company also says that the Z50 facilitates search in 10 major Indian languages including Hindi, Gujarati, and Tamil. Besides, the handset also enables translation right from the home screen.

Being an Android Go device, the Lava Z50 comes preloaded with optimized Google Go edition apps such as YouTube Go, Maps Go and Gmail Go. The phone will be available in Black and Gold color variants.

Lava claims that Lava Z50 offers up to 50 percent faster performance compared to other smartphones with the same kind of specs. This is largely due to Android Go's implementation that optimizes the phone to use lesser RAM and lesser storage space. The Go apps like YouTube Go also take up very little space on the phone.

"With Lava Z50, powered by Android Oreo (Go edition) we are giving our first-time smartphone users an impeccable software designed for faster processing, more memory at hand vs. Non-Android Oreo (Go edition) phones, and the possibility to get entertained through YouTube Go, to help users control their data (usage). The camera has been enhanced to give Dual Bokeh experience and an LED flash for night time video calling. I must say it is a great opportunity for both – consumers and the brand," said Gaurav Nigam, Head – Product, Lava International, commenting on the announcement.

"Android's mission has always been to bring the power of computing to everyone, and part of that is ensuring a great experience across a broad range of devices. Android Oreo (Go edition) is specifically optimized to bring the magic of Google and Android to smartphones with limited memory and processing power, and we're excited to collaborate with Lava to take the next step on that mission by launching the Lava Z50," Sagar Kamdar, Director of Product, Android, said.

Google announced Android Go at its Google I/O 2017 Conference in May last year. The version was rolled out to developers and testers in December 2017, and it is now being made commercial with the launch of phones like the Nokia 1 and Lava Z50. With Android Go Google aims to offer an enhanced experience to budget smartphone buyers and for this, it has partnered with many Indian and international smartphone brands including Nokia, Micromax, and Lava to bring out Android Go smartphones.