ZTE Tempo Go Launches For Just $80 In US

The ZTE Tempo Go, a smartphone running Android’s new operating system specifically for lower-powered mobile devices, has officially launched in the United States with a price tag of $80.

The device, made by Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer ZTE, is the first device running Android Go to be made available in the U.S. and marks the latest attempt by Google to offer a budget-friendly smartphone.

ZTE at Mobile World Congress Chinese manufacturer ZTE released Tempo Go, a $80 Android smartphone. Photo: Miquel Benitez/Getty Images

The Tempo Go looks and operates similarly to just about any other Android phone, though the specs for the device reveal it is clearly less powerful than the most popular smartphones on the market.

It sports a 1.1GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor, 1GB of RAM and a 2,200mAh battery that promises about 12 hours of talk time. It also features a 5-inch screen and two cameras—a five-megapixel primary lens and a two-megapixel front-facing lens.

While the device is unlikely to blow anyone away, it isn’t intended to. The Tempo Go is intended to be a device that can reach consumers who don’t already have or can’t afford pricier smartphones.

It runs Android Go, a lightweight version of Google’s Android operating system found on millions of smartphones. Android Go is optimized to run on low-end hardware, allowing consumers to pick up less powerful devices and still get most of the operating system’s functionality.

In addition to stripping away some of the more resource-heavy functions of Android, the lighter version of the operating system also features “lite” versions of popular apps. Instagram, Facebook, Skype and a number of others all offer simplified versions of their app that demand fewer resources and eat up less data.

Android Go and budget smartphone options like the Tempo Go are designed primarily to get a foothold in developing markets like India, but they will likely find a market in the U.S. as well.

A study from Pew found 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone. That leaves 23 percent who are still without one despite the devices becoming increasingly essential—about one in 10 Americans have no internet connection at home and can only access the internet from their smartphone.

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