Android One, an initiative meant to introduce budget smartphones with a “pure Android experience and timely OS updates”, is still a bit of a stranger to most of us. Google has been mostly quiet after announcing the project back in 2014, but now has every intention of getting the program into African markets after being mostly Asian-run. The new handset, the Infinix HOT 2, which is certainly a budget phone, is already selling out like crazy.
Google reports Nigeria is home to over 50 million internet users, 95 percent of which use a mobile device to surf with. Google paired up with Africa-based Infinix to make a reliable alternative to simply having internet. The Infinix HOT 2 does a good job of being a functional “HOT cake” (yeah, we get it), while maintaining its modesty. Priced at only 17,500 Nigerian Nair ($88 US), this thing sold 30,000 units within 20 minutes at launch.
Slow connections in some of these areas will be appeased by an offline version of YouTube, which allows users to save a video for when a better connection is found. Users can watch on the Infinix HOT 2's 5-inch touchscreen with 720 x 1280 resolution, which runs a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek CPU, and a 2,200mAH battery. It also comes with 1GB or 2GB RAM (prices vary), and 16GB of internal storage via microSD slot. Finally, it sports an 8MP rear-facing camera and 2MP front-facing camera for shooting photos (Somtoo).
Sure, the Infinix HOT 2 isn't the most beautiful of hardware we've seen. But a smartphone doesn't have to be made from Apple to be functional. Among the images shown, we can tell there is still a beloved angular rear plate, a solid-looking build, and various colors to choose from. Beyond that, it really has everything expected of a smartphone, if not more, for the under $100 price tag. The most important thing is that it runs the latest Android (currently Lollipop 5.1.1, with a Marshmallow 6.0 update soon), which is said to include many new features for faster multitasking and performance. Because these phones will continue shipping out to less internet-ready areas like Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Morocco, and Ivory Coast, those who are just getting started with the web will have something reliable to work with (PC Mag).
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