The folks at Intel have introduced a new smartphone for the African market. The name is sure to capture anyone who follows hip-hop almost immediately — it’s the Yolo! No, they didn’t name the smartphone after the acronym which stands for “you only live once,” one which should be abolished as quickly as bell bottoms were.
Instead, Yolo is a slight deviation from “Xolo,” the name of Intel’s first smartphone released in 2012, and it seems to be a very decent option for those living in an area that is quite receptive to what we’d call cheap smartphones. The Intel Yolo features a 3.5 inch 320×420 display and a 1.2Ghz processor. We wouldn’t exactly call it smashing, but hey — YOLO.
Kenya is the primary market for the device, and residents of the area will be asked to shell out 10,999 shillings — or $125 — for the privilege of walking away from Safaricom with one. The phone doesn’t look terribly bad in design, but you might have guessed that it doesn’t feature the world’s most riveting profile.
On the plus side, there does seem to be a modern version of Android running without any customization mucking things up, though expect a few pre-installed apps which should actually do quite well to enhance the experience. Intel’s not touting this thing as its crown jewel or treating this as a shining moment in the history of mobile tech, of course, but its efforts to spread the love to developing nations are highly appreciated. Read on for full press details.
The device is aimed at the growing number of cost-conscious and first-time buyers in Kenya who do not want to sacrifice device performance or user experience for cost. The Yolo smartphone will be sold in Safaricom shops countrywide at the entry price of Kshs. 10,999 and comes bundled with free 500 MB data.
The phone is based on Intel’s latest smartphone platform for emerging markets, launched earlier this month at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). With Intel Inside, users of the Yolo smartphone are assured of fast Web browsing, impressive multimedia capabilities and a great Android* applications experience.
“We’re redefining what cost-conscious Kenyans can expect from a smartphone,” said Peter Arina, general manager, Safaricom’ s Consumer Business Unit. “The Intel-based Yolo smartphone strikes a unique balance between price and performance – we consider it to be a real breakthrough. It’s great news that Kenya will be the launch country in Africa for smartphones with Intel Inside and we expect a great reception from our customers.”
“We are delighted to partner with Safaricom in bringing the first smartphone with Intel Inside to Kenyan consumers” said Aysegul Ildeniz, Regional Director for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa Region. “The new handset extends the benefits of Intel technology to more smartphone users around the world and we believe that Kenyan consumers will welcome the increased functionality and overall value of the device. We look forward to our continued cooperation with Safaricom.”
The Yolo™ smartphone is based on the Intel Smartphone Reference Design for the value segment of the smartphone market. The device is powered by the Intel® Atom™ processor Z2420 with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology that can achieve speeds of up to 1.2 GHz. The efficiency of this technology package helps to enable a smooth and responsive user experience, which includes support for 1080p HD video capture, and a camera with advanced imaging capabilities, including burst mode that allows people to capture seven pictures in a second in 5-megapixel quality.
The device is housed in a compact design and features a 3.5-inch touchscreen display for crisp text and images, support for FM radio and an expandable memory slot for greater flexibility, and HSPA+ modem support with Intel’s XMM 6265 modem for global roaming. The handset can also be enabled with McAfee mobile security software, providing consumers with added protection as well as data backup and restore capabilities when needed1.
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices. Additional information about Intel is available at newsroom.intel.com and blogs.intel.com.
Intel, the Intel logo, Intel Atom, Intel Inside, the Intel Inside logo and Yolo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.
* Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
Safaricom provides a comprehensive range of services under one roof. This includes mobile and fixed voice and data services on a variety of platforms. It is Kenya’s widest 3G network with a growing fibre optic cable footprint and its most expansive WIMAX presence.
Safaricom pioneered commercial mobile money transfer globally through M-PESA, the most successful such service anywhere in the world. Launched in March 2007 as a money transfer service, it now has over 15.2 million customers and over 45,000 Agent outlets countrywide.
1 *Device package includes information on how the end user can enable the free, limited 1- or 2-year License period.
[image via Techweez]