Overview of the smartphone General Mobile GM8 Go: Turkish state employee with Android 8.1 Oreo Go Edition

    Greetings to all!

    About a week ago, the inexpensive General Mobile GM8 Go smart phone with the Android 8.1 Oreo Go Edition operating system got into my zagrebushchie - it is still a rather rare version of the “green robot” in our area. I drove the smartphone thoroughly, tested it this way and that, discussed it with myself and is now ready to share my feelings with you.

    So, the device was released by the Turkish company General Mobile. She herself prefers to consider herself an American. This is what is stated on the website of the Ukrainian operator Lifecell (see screen below). The latter is responsible for bringing General Mobile GM8 Go to the Ukrainian market.

    There is nothing surprising in all these "American stories". Small local brands that order equipment from Chinese factories love to tell that they are actually American, Korean, European, or some other. If only "registration" was in a more or less serious country. For example, Prestigio with its Belarusian roots nods in the direction of Cyprus, and Highscreen sometimes mentions its alleged German origin. So with General Mobile.

    The price of General Mobile GM8 Go is 3,000 hryvnia ($ 110, 7,200 rubles). It turns out that the device is not very cheap. Google, I recall, at the time of the announcement of Android 8.1, Oreo Go Edition promised that smartphones with this version of the OS will cost less than $ 100. As you can see, the hero of this post is a bit beyond the specified limits. Anyway, in the Ukrainian market.

    What is interesting about General Mobile GM8 Go? The device intrigued me first of all with its software. As I said, the model is running Android 8.1 Oreo Go Edition. This is a lightweight version of Android, designed mainly for smartphones with weak hardware and small amounts of RAM (1 GB) and internal memory (8-16 GB). Such devices are in the lines of ZTE, Alcatel, HMD (Nokia) and a number of brands. That in Russia, that in Ukraine, that in other countries of the post-Soviet space, models with Go Edition are still practically not widespread. But soon, probably, we will have them en masse. So it was interesting to get acquainted with General Mobile GM8 Go and understand what this Go Edition is all about.

    To remind you, the collaboration between General Mobile and Lifecell (previously called Life) is rooted in the end of the two thousandths. Then in Ukraine, in the Life salons, it was possible to buy General Mobile DST-01 - something rather strange, inconspicuous, and strongly resembling Fly phones of that time. However, since then much has changed. Today, General Mobile products are no longer frightened by either quality or design. Smartphones as smartphones. Sometimes cool, sometimes ordinary. Which category does the General Mobile GM8 Go belong to? I will tell you below.

    General Mobile DST-01

    Contents of delivery

    The set is unexpectedly rich. Waste paper, charging at 2A, MicroUSB-USB cable - these are all standard basic components of a complete set.

    By non-standard carry headset and bumper cover. These accessories come with smartphones (especially budget) quite rarely.

    Bumper normal quality - it is clear that inexpensive, but sits tight.

    Headphones are not very high quality, but, I think, 90% of GM8 Go buyers will be satisfied. And they will also say thank you for putting them in the kit.

    Design, construction, body features

    The Chinese partners of General Mobile have not created anything new in terms of design. Similar in appearance to the case today dozens of smartphones. It is enough to put a number of GM8 Go and, for example, Xiaomi Mi A1, to understand that they have a lot in common.

    The developers of the “Turkish” smartphone tried to make it up for non-separable models like the same Mi A1. However, in fact, the back cover of the General Mobile GM8 Go is removable. It is enough to pry the panel with a fingernail for a special nest ...

    ... a little pull - and the panel will remain in your hands. I will note that the panel is actually white, and the golden layer is paint. (In my case, the layer is golden, but in nature there is also a gray version of this smartphone.) And for some reason, the feeling that after a month or two carrying in a pocket this paint will start to fade does not leave.

    There is no metal in the design of the General Mobile GM8 Go case. It is evident that they tried to make it visually more expensive, somehow embellish it, but ... it turned out so-so. Say, comrade zazhralis? I answer: recently I was engaged in a new mother-in-law Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A - I installed applications, set everything up, and so on; it is also a device without any claims, and yet it is even more pleasant to the touch, and slightly better on specs, and costs exactly the same in Ukraine as the American-Turkish model. However, in comparison with Xiaomi, I will be back below.

    The GM8 Go battery is removable, which is probably a plus. “Probably”, as it is not so easy to buy another battery to use in turn with a complete one. In any case, I didn’t find a battery for this smartphone on the Lifecell website. However, if you set a goal and search through AliExpress, then you will surely find a suitable battery.

    Slots for separate cards. In the sense that in GM8 Go you can insert simultaneously two SIM cards of the MicroSIM format and a MicroSD card. This is a definite advantage of the smartphone, because today more than half of the new models come with idiotic hybrid nests. This is when you can insert either two SIM cards, or one SIM card and USB flash drive into the device.

    Regarding the buttons - just look at the photos and see where that is located. With ergonomics, everything is fine, so I will not dwell on it.

    Interface connector - MicroUSB. Not surprised: I have never seen an Orthodox USB Type-C at devices of this level and at such a price.

    The result in terms of body and design is something like this: for the second time (it’s silly to blame smartphones today, because they are almost all secondary) and quite cheap (this is a more serious and right to life accusation), although it’s pretty nice. The smartphone is not ugly, not beautiful, but just neutral. He does not cause bright emotions in me, as well as rejection. Positive points are a removable battery and separate card slots.


    The display in the GM8 Go is trendy - in the sense that it has an aspect ratio of 18: 9 (5.5 inches diagonal, resolution 1440 x 720 pixels, IPS matrix). This is where its advantages, by and large, end. No, the screen is something normal for a smartphone for such money (3,000 hryvnia, $ 110, 7,200 rubles). But not outstanding. The viewing angles are wide, the picture is slightly yellow, it becomes barely visible in the sun, the black color is not quite black, there are no any picture settings (including the color temperature). In general, the screen is like a screen. Seen and better.

    Display coverage - Gorilla Glass without specifying the generation. Oleophobic coating, apparently, no. Well, or it is quite weak. Because the surface of the display gets dirty at times.


    Chipset MediaTek MT6739 - a piece by modern standards is quite simple. It includes four ARM Cortex-A53 cores with a frequency of up to 1.5 GHz, a graphics accelerator PowerVR GE8100, an LTE modem (Cat. 4), dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.2 and a GPS / GLONASS receiver.

    All this is supplemented with 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal memory. Plus, you can stick a card up to 128 GB, which is a lot, since often devices of this level only support 32 GB.

    The results in the same AnTuTu are expectedly low, but you don’t expect any great deeds from such hardware.

    However, in WoT Blitz with basic graphics settings and frame rates around 35-40 you can play (it is tolerable, although not very much). In Asphalt 8: To take off with the average graphics settings - too. There are no obvious brakes. That is, it is obvious that this is never a gaming machine, and nevertheless it is possible to pass the watch or two for a toy. All these typical observing aspirations in the style of “ah, here such a chipset means to play on this smartphone in general is unrealistic” are not close to me. Playing on General Mobile GM8 Go in toys with 3D graphics is quite realistic, if not with the high, as on more expensive devices.

    From a pleasant note I note normal navigation implemented (both GPS and GLONASS are supported). In the case of smartphones on MediaTek chipsets, this is not always possible. And here and the satellites are sought quickly, and the accuracy is quite high.

    Wi-Fi, again, dual-band. This is not always the case with smartphones of this level.

    But there is no NFC. It is sad.


    The cameras of the GM8 Go are so typical of the quality of smartphones of this class that I will not describe the results of their work with all the details.

    This is how the 5-megapixel front camera fotka:

    This is how the 13-megapixel main camera takes pictures:

    However, I can not share one unpleasant moment. For the first time in a long time, I was faced with the fact that after pressing the photo receiving button, I need to hold the smartphone for a second without moving for another second. Otherwise the frame will be blurry. Something like this:

    I remember it was similar in cheap models of the year of commercials in 2011. But today? I don’t know what to blame for such slowness — poor optimization or the notorious “total gig” of RAM.


    My smartphone works for about two days. This is not much and not enough for a 3,500 mAh battery and not the most economical 28-nanometer chipset. In short, quite typical result. And yes, I played GM8 Go in Asphalt 8 for 5 hours and 30 minutes. After that, the smartphone went out. More precisely, I did not pass out, but said that 3% of the charge remained. And I knocked him out myself.

    Other small and not very small moments

    In this section, I will talk about some points that are not particularly sticky. But which, in my opinion, are also quite important and worthy of mention.

    First, the GM8 Go has an LED that can glow in different colors. When charging - orange, if there is a notification - green. This is a positive point, since quite often in budget devices there is either no indicator at all, or it is solid.

    Secondly, GM8 Go has Dolby Mobile sound enhancement. It works with the connected headphones. There are a lot of modes for different scenarios (movies, games, music, etc.). The sound does change, although, in my opinion, it does not always become relevant for a particular situation after activating a particular mode. For example, I liked listening to music more in the “Cinema” mode. Well, the whole sound is not bad. Not perfect, no. Virtually no bass, for example. But not bad. And here I will say that the speaker (located on the bottom of the case) is quite loud. From the pocket of jeans the melody is heard perfectly.

    Third: the GM8 Go has a noise reduction system based on two microphones. One is on the bottom of the case, the second - near the rear camera. The system works, with the interlocutor's wind you hear normally, he too - you. In calm weather, the transmission of speech is also normal.

    Fourth: GM8 Go has a fingerprint scanner. It works so-so (7 correct recognitions of a finger out of 10). But in general, it's great that it is there, because in smartphones of this level, developers usually prefer to do without fingerprinting.


    As I already said, the most interesting thing in GM8 Go is the software, namely Android 8.1 Oreo Go Edition. Google took the usual release of Oreo and something was cut off from it, having received the Go Edition at the exit. This version a) helps to save Internet traffic, b) supposedly significantly faster works on weak hardware and c) takes up much less space in the memory of smartphones - and this is no longer supposedly, but really so. Suppose a smartphone has a built-in 16 GB drive - just like the General Mobile GM8 Go. A typical Oreo would have "eaten" about 5-6 GB, and Go Edition - less than 3. This is very important for developing countries whose residents can not afford to buy not only a smartphone, but also - in addition to it - a USB flash drive. Due to the small “weight” of Go Edition, the user will get more space for photos, software, music, etc.

    For Android 8.1 Oreo Go Edition, there are (and, in fact, preinstalled) special versions of Google applications available - Gmail Go, YouTube Go, Google Maps Go, Google Assistant Go. Again, they occupy much less space in memory than regular versions — on average, by 50%. Plus, these stripped-down applications should run on weak hardware faster than normal Google services.

    Good is an idea or not very good - I do not presume to judge. I didn’t find any special visual differences between, for example, Gmail and Gmail Go, but Google Maps Go is different from the usual Google Maps application for the worse. The interface is simpler and less convenient, the options are smaller, but the speed of its work ... The speed of the figs - I will say straight. When scaling maps occur jerks and delays, the menu opens slowly.

    On the left is the usual Google Maps application, on the right is Google Maps Go.

    At the same time, the owner of the smartphone on the Oreo Go Edition can also install completely normal versions of Google services.

    The funny thing is that the regular version of Google Maps on GM8 Go tupit less than Google Maps Go. Here is such, as they say, zakovyka. Why it was necessary to make a fuss with lightweight versions of applications — specifically, using the example of GM8 Go, is not very clear. Less space in memory - OK, yes, there is. Increasing the speed of work - no, I did not notice this. It's exactly the opposite. Maybe it's in a particular smartphone model and it is not fully doped firmware, maybe - Google itself has not yet fully optimized everything. I do not know.

    The Android interface on the GM8 Go works as a whole quickly, but it cannot do without occasional sudden lags. That is, to say that yes, Go Edition works perfectly and finally, without brakes, it is impossible. By the way, from the visual differences of the Go Edition version I will note the square icons.

    Google said that smartphones created as part of the Go Edition program will quickly receive security patches and latest OS versions. Well I do not know. The security level in General Mobile GM8 Go at the time of testing was dated March 2018. And no smartphone updates found.

    As to the quick receipt of new versions of Android, I would not roll my lip either. The same Xiaomi Mi A1, participating in a similar Google program Android One, received Android 8.1 Oreo only in July. Although this version of the operating system is already a year. In short, that the models on Android One, that models with Go Edition - this is not the "Nexus" in terms of the speed of obtaining updates. Updates do not arrive instantly.

    In general, I still do not understand - what kind of garden is it called Go Edition. Google reported that smartphones with this version of the OS - and this, I recall, models with a maximum of 1 GB of RAM - should cost up to $ 100. But GM8 Go costs 110 bucks. And for this money, it's really possible to find a model with 2 GB of RAM, which will be fine (without the brakes that happen on the GM8 Go) to cope with the usual Android. And with games for him. And with almost any software. A typical example is the same Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A. Why, against this background, buy GM8 Go with the release of Go Edition, which also sometimes slows down - I personally do not understand. For quick updates? Well, maybe. If they prove to be really fast. That is far from a fact.

    But if someone offers a smartphone for 50-70 dollars, which, thanks to Go Edition, will work at the same speed as the GM8 Go, then yes, there will be a sense in such a device. But for 110 dollars ... In short, let's move on to the next subsection.

    Comparison of General Mobile GM8 Go and Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A

    To begin with - we study the characteristics.

    Some moments will not be included in the table, and therefore they should be painted with text. Xiaomi has a slightly more pleasant plastic case. This, of course, is subjective. Still, I believe that Redmi Note 5A uses more expensive and high-quality plastic.

    Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A

    Despite the fact that General Mobile has the latest version of Android today, and even the Go Edition version optimized for devices with weak hardware (1 GB of RAM or less), sometimes there are delays when moving through the interface and when working with applications. I already spoke about it above. For comparison: in Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A are the Orthodox chipset Qualcomm (against MediaTek in GM8 Go) and 2 GB of RAM. And the device on the speed of work is perceived differently, it is faster.

    The battery is bigger for General Mobile, but smartphones work on a single charge at a comparable rate. The camera fotkaet better at Xiaomi, not radically, better.

    In general, despite the lack of a fingerprint scanner and a second Wi-Fi range, more meager bundling and a 16: 9 screen that is not quite fashionable, the Xiaomi model seems ... well, a bit more upscale or something. More interesting. And, of course, the brand Xiaomi and we know and love. Unlike General Mobile. At the same time, the price of smartphones, I recall, is the same.


    As I have already said, in its present form and in the Ukrainian reality, the concept of Android 8.1 Oreo Go Edition is not clear to me. General Mobile GM8 Go, or should be much cheaper (say, 2,500 hryvnia, $ 90, or 6,000 rubles), or it should have 2 GB of RAM. That, in fact, would make it unnecessary to use Android Go Edition.

    The smartphone itself is probably not bad. But competitors are not worse, but in some ways they are noticeably better. Stories about all of these software optimizations and quick updates (if they ever will be) might be of interest except rabid geeks. Which is good if they make up half a percent from the whole mass of potential buyers. In general, I would like to wish Lifecell good luck. It will definitely come in handy for the operator, since it will be quite difficult to sell a noticeable number of such devices (and even from an unknown brand). If at all possible. Even with the shelf, which, with the proper approach, is capable of selling very unsuccessful products. GM8 Go cannot be attributed to their number, but I don’t dare to predict the bright fate.

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