Google launched Android One as a way of providing users in developing markets with smartphones that are almost on par with higher end models but are significantly cheaper and are less of a hassle to manufacturer.
Android One partners with smartphone manufacturers operating in the various markets it targets and handles the design, development, marketing, and software and security support and updates required for each smartphone model.
For it’s African distribution, Google teamed up with Chinese hardware manufacturer, Infinix, to launch the Android One in Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco and Nigeria today. The first smartphone to be made available through the project, the HOT 2, is already available through online retailer, Jumia, in each country.
Inside and outside the Infinix HOT 2, you’ll find a 5 inch touchscreen, a 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek processor, dual SIM slots, an 8MP rear camera with LED flash, a 2MP front-facing camera, 16GB internal storage, FM radio and the Android 5.1 (Lollipop) OS.
The Infinix HOT 2 comes in a standard and premium version. Both versions are pretty much the same, except the standard version has 1GB RAM and comes in black, white, blue and red, while the premium version has 2GB RAM and comes in gold.
Both versions will receive automatic upgrades to the next version of Android soon and will also get a “watch offline” feature on the YouTube app later this year, which is great for users in areas where internet speeds are a slow as a snail going through syrup.
There are one or two catches attached to this feature though, as Google pointed out, “for videos where this feature is available, people can choose to add the video for offline viewing by tapping on the offline icon that sits under the video frame. Once taken offline, videos can be played back without an internet connection for up to 48 hours.”
The Infinix HOT 2 is selling for 19 500 Nigerian Naira, which is around R1 260 here.
“We’ve been thrilled and humbled by both the progress and the work that’s left to do. But we look forward to continuing our work with partners on Android One and in the Android ecosystem more broadly to ensure that users have great phones with the latest Android innovation,” the company said.
Whether or not Android One will be making its way to other African markets, including South Africa, is yet to be seen as the company hasn’t revealed any plans to do so.