Intel Announces 'Yolo' Low-Cost Smartphone For Africa - All You Need To Know

By Alexandra Burlacu email: | Jan 25, 2013 02:45 PM EST

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Intel and Safaricom have announced Africa's first Intel-powered smartphone, a handset named Yolo that is aimed at first-time smartphone buyers in Kenya.

The Yolo smartphone is based on an Intel design and packs Intel's core technology. It sports a 3.5-inch display, a 5-megapixel camera, and HSPA+ modem support.

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The device is available from Safaricom, an Intel partner and a major mobile network operator in Kenya. According to Intel, the smartphone's target audience is "cost-conscious...first-time buyers."

"We're redefining what cost-conscious Kenyans can expect from a smartphone, said Peter Arina, General Manager of 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," added 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 will cost Kshs. 10,999 (about $126), and it will also pack 500MB of free data. The 5-megapixel camera allegedly sports "advanced imaging capabilities," including a burst mode capable of producing seven pictures per second. Meanwhile, the video mode can shoot 1080p videos. The handset will initially be available countrywide in Safaricom stores, but a wider release across other African countries is also in the cards.

The Yolo smartphone also packs an Intel Atom Z2420 processor under the hood, as well as Intel's Hyper Threading Technology that can reach processing speeds of up to 1.2GHz. According to Intel, the handset will also support FM radio and it will sport a slot for expandable memory. Moreover, Yolo is also equipped with Intel's XMM 6265 modem for global roaming. For added protection, data back-up and restore capabilities, users can also enable the handset with McAfee mobile security software, notes the press release.

The Yolo handset is based on Intel's latest smartphone platform for emerging markets, which made its debut earlier this month at the International CES 2013. With Intel Inside, the smartphone promises to provide fast Web browsing, great multimedia capabilities, and an excellent Android apps experience.

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