itel, a mobile phone brand under the Transsion Holdings umbrella that also includes popular brands Tecno and Infinix, has a new entry-level smartphone on sale in the Kenyan market. Sure, the itel brand and entry-level devices go hand in hand as that is the brand’s focus, mostly, but this time round this is of even greater interest to us because of the platform.
The itel A32F, the new smartphone in question, runs on Android 8.0 Oreo, Go Edition, that version of Android that is tuned to be less resource-intensive hence playing nicely with devices that pack 1GB memory or even less.
The itel A32F has 1GB RAM, 8GB onboard storage (expandable via microSD to 32GB), a 5-megapixel camera at the back and a 2-megapixel camera on the front, a 2,200mAh battery and a fingerprint sensor at the back that can be customized for various use cases (quite rare for devices in this segment, I must add).
On the front is a 5-inch FWVGA (854 x 480 pixels) display. Underneath is a MediaTek MT6580M processor. Nothing out of the ordinary.
For its price, Kshs 6,500, don’t expect some other niceties like 4G LTE, though, a feature that the other Android Go devices we’ve seen so far seem to not have ignored.
That price point also means that the itel A32F is the cheapest Android Go smartphone in the country at the moment.
HMD Global’s Nokia 1 smartphone, also running on Android Go, costs Kshs 3,000 more and the other Android Go offerings from the Transsion Holding Group namely the Tecno F1, F2 and POP1, are unlikely to go that low when they eventually see the light of day in the market. Huawei’s Y3 2018, which went on sale in South Africa last week for an equivalent of Kshs 8,000 will probably be its closest rival price-wise when it eventually makes it to the local market.
Transsion Holdings committed to the Android Go program when it was unveiled last year just like it did commit to bringing Google Lens to the camera app on its devices at this year’s Google I/O.
With Tecno and itel having revealed their offerings, it will be interesting to see if Infinix, which has previously released a device under another Google program aimed at doing more or less the same things as Android Go, Android One, will follow suit.
The itel A32F is available for sale on Kilimall.