Best answer: Minecraft Earth is slated to launch on Android devices "this summer" in closed beta ahead of its full, public debut.

  • Best budget Android phone for Minecraft Earth: Google Pixel 3a ($400 at Amazon)

Minecraft Earth beta Android release date

Minecraft Earth is undergoing its first wave of closed beta testing, providing an early glimpse of the upcoming spinoff of the hit adventure franchise. Embracing mutual foundations of Pokemon GO, the mobile app leverages real-world mapping data and augmented reality (AR) to make the blocky world a reality. Collecting resources across the globe and scaling virtual creations, Minecraft Earth could be a big hit for Microsoft.

Minecraft Earth currently lies in a pre-release beta state, with access limited to a select pool of registered participants. In August 2019, the beta participants are limited to compatible iOS device owners residing in five eligible cities. Apple's smaller pool of curated hardware has helped streamline the rollout but leaves many Android users clamoring to get hands-on too.

Speaking during an official Minecraft Earth Q&A session, developer Mojang has reaffirmed plans to expand the beta to Android "later this summer." "I know it's the 'typical saying' that you hear, but really, we want to get the Android folks into the beta as well," states Minecraft Earth's community manager. Once launched on Android, expect a limited initial pool of players, with broader availability over time.

How to play Minecraft Earth on Android

While Minecraft Earth remains unavailable on Android, eager players can apply for a chance to play the Android beta. Microsoft picks participants from a pool of registered candidates from the Minecraft Earth beta sign-up page. After providing a Microsoft Account, location, and preferred OS, your beta application is submitted.

Your Android handset must also meet the game's system requirements to handle its advanced technologies. Minecraft Earth is limited to those running Android 7 "Nougat" or later, branching out to most phones from recent years. Your device must also support Google's "ARCore" platform that powers many mobile AR experiences, as listed via the ARCore site.

The Minecraft Earth beta is also limited to five cities, spanning Seattle, London, Stockholm, Tokyo, and Mexico City. Mojang states it has no plans to introduce further cities throughout the beta, ruling out many major hotspots until the full launch.

That's a lot of prerequisites, but if you fall under Microsoft's eligible few, you'll be in with the chance of testing Minecraft Earth on Android. While you might not be among the first testers on Android, its iOS counterpart is already fast-expanding.

Mojang is yet to commit to a release date for the full version of Minecraft Earth.

Affordable Earth-ready phone

Google Pixel 3a

The most affordable Minecraft Earth-ready Android phone you'll find

The Google Pixel 3a is the most powerful Minecraft Earth-ready phone for the price point. With impressive specs and a rock-solid camera at $400, you won't do much better than this in terms of value.

Essential Minecraft Earth accessories you'll love

These affordable Minecraft Earth accessories are guaranteed to help on your digital adventures.

Anker PowerCore 5000 Portable Charger ($18 at Amazon)

Like any augmented reality experience, Minecraft Earth will be power-hungry and drain your battery fast. This 5000mAh Anker PowerCore portable battery pack keeps phone topped up when on the move with a compact, cylindrical silhouette.

PopSockets Collapsible Grip & Stand ($10 at Amazon)

Avoid phone drops on your blocky adventures with this collapsible PopSocket grip that doubles as a stand. Grippy and comfortable to hold, it adds convenience and peace of mind to any Minecraft Earth session.

Minecraft Baby Pig 7" Plush ($10 at Amazon)

Grab your own porky Minecraft Earth companion with this affordable official Minecraft Baby Pig plush. Lined with a soft exterior and embroidered pixel detailing, don't miss out on your seven-inch friend.

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