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Android One launches in Africa with new $87 handset

by Jacob Kleinman | August 18, 2015August 18, 2015 7:00 am PST

Android One is expanding beyond Asia, Google announced on Tuesday. The company’s budget-focused stock Android smartphones are heading to six countries in Africa, though for now there’s only one available handset.

The HOT 2 is a sleek plastic Android phone developed by a Hong Kong-based company called Infinix. It’s available for as little as N17,500 ($87) in Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco and the Ivory Coast. That should cover about a third of the continent to start.

The new device packs a 5-inch 720p display, a 2200mAh battery with power saving features, a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front-facing shooter, 16GB of expandable storage, dual SIM slots, a quad-core MediaTek processor, an FM radio tuner and runs Android 5.1 Lollipop. It’s available with 1GB of RAM in black, white, blue and red. There’s also a pricier version with 2GB of RAM and a gold design.

Beyond promising regular Android updates, Google is also planning to rollout offline YouTube support later this year. The feature will make it possible to save videos for later and then watch them in the next 48 hours, even without an Internet connection.

A report last week suggested Google could be relaunching Android One with a cheaper $50 phone after struggling to make an impact in Asia with its first round of releases. It’s unclear if the company is still working on a larger reboot, but for now it clearly isn’t slowing down its plans for expansion.

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Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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