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Exclusive: First Samsung Android Go handset being tested in dozens of new markets

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Last updated: July 12th, 2018 at 16:35 UTC+02:00

Recent reports have suggested that Samsung might be willing to take part in Google’s Android Go program. It has a device in the pipeline with model number SM-J260G which has already been benchmarked. The benchmark gave us enough clues to conclude that this is likely the first Samsung Android Go handset.

We reported last month that Samsung had started testing the SM-J260 in four markets on the Indian subcontinent – India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. We can now reveal that Samsung is testing its first Android Go handset in dozens of new markets across the globe.

First Samsung Android Go handset

The markets in the Indian subcontinent where this handset was initially being tested are where the company has traditionally released many of its budget devices. It wouldn’t have surprised anyone if this handset was kept limited to those four countries. It turns out, though, that Samsung is testing the handset for dozens of markets across Europe, Latin America and Asia.

The SM-J260F is being tested in the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Caucasus Countries, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, France and Poland. It’s testing model number SM-J260M in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, Peru, Panada and Paraguay. The new markets in Asia for the SM-J260G include Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.

It’s quite likely that the company may be testing the waters for a stock Android-powered device from Samsung. Launching its first Android Go device in dozens of markets across the globe will enable Samsung to ascertain if there’s enough demand in the market for its smartphones that offer an unadulterated Android experience.

Many of our readers have said that they would like Samsung to adopt a mix going forward, that it should offer some stock Android devices in its lineup as well. Android Go offers the perfect platform for that since it’s an iteration of Android Oreo that’s meant for devices with 1GB of RAM or less. Samsung can test the waters with a low-end device first to see if there’s interest from customers before deciding how to proceed further.

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