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Some thoughts about Intel’s £80 Safaricom Yolo smartphone

Intel announced last week its first entry level smartphone design, the Yolo, which is based on the Intel Atom Z2420 processor, and will be sold to Kenyans first via mobile phone operator Safaricom Limited.

The phone costs 10,999 Kenyan Shillings (around £80) and comes bundled with 500MB data. It has yet to be listed on Safaricom’s online shop.

The chip powering it was first announced weeks ago at CES in Las Vegas and is part of Intel’s entry level “Lexington” line up. The single-core processor runs at 1.2GHz, uses a Saltwell-basd Penwell core and is paired with a PowerVR SGX540 GPU clocked at 400MHz.

It is built using a 32nm process, has 512KB L2 cache and supports Hyperthreading which makes it slightly similar to an old Intel Atom Z510 part.

The phone – which is based on Intel’s own reference design - has a 3.5in display, FM Radio, a 5-megapixel camera which can take up to seven pictures a second, a microSD card slot, runs on Android 4.x OS and supports HSPA+ connectivity.

We suspect that it is quite cheap to produce and we believe that Intel might have chosen to reduce its profits margins on such products in order to increase its market share.

Intel hasn’t announced whether Yolo-based smartphones will be available in other territories and it would be interesting to see whether this eventually happens.

Intel and Orange launched the Orange San Diego in the UK and the handset, after debuting at more than £200, was available late last year for just over £100.

As for the other Intel-based smartphone on the UK market, the Motorola Razr i, the fact that it is a single-core processor competing with similarly-priced models like the HTC One X, LG Nexus 4 or LG Optimus 4X HD makes it a hard sell.

Picture courtesy of Mulika Mwizi

Desire worked at ITProPortal right at the beginning and was instrumental in turning it into the leading publication we all know and love today. He then moved on to be the Editor of TechRadarPro - a position he still holds - and has recently been reunited with ITProPortal since Future Publishing's acquisition of Net Communities.