During the Google for Nigeria event, there was an announcement that sent ripples down the spine of the mobile enthusiast: a plan to introduce a 13k smartphone in partnership with MTN and TD.
Few weeks after the announcement by Google, the Freetel ICE 2 was launched in Nigeria by TD mobile in partnership with MTN. Nigeria is making a transition into the digital economy, driven by an increase in smartphone penetration. An increased access to mobile will help increase knowledge therby making it an enabler for people to learn, communicate and also improve their lives. These are core part of Google’s mission, hence the need to onboard a lot of people and provide them with Google services.
The Freetel ICE 2 is one device which serves that purpose of bringing many people online, Google has the history of partnering with smartphone manufacturers to produce high quality but low cost Android smartphone, Android One: a program first announced by Google CEO, Sundar Pichai in 2014 was also unveiled in Nigeria in partnership with Infinix
Going by the 13k price point, it is expected that the Freetel ICE 2 will be a basic smartphone without the top specifications expected of a 2017 mobile device, however, it still provides the day to day Android experience and most especially deliver access to Google’s services such as Map, YouTube, Search and device and data protection.
SO what do you get from the 13K Android phone? Apparently the basics, a 4-inch all plastic smartphone with screen resolution of 480×800 pixel, a Quad core processor with clock speed of 1.2GHz.
Internal storage is little, just about 4.5GB but with an SD card slot for memory expansion. I am almost certain that the capacity will only work efficiently with a maximum of 8GB SD card. With 1GB of RAM, the device performs relatively well with basic apps like Whatsapp, BBM, MTN music+, myMTN app, TD Africa and other pre-installed Google apps like Duo, Gmail, Maps.
The camera on the ICE 2 is 1.9 megapixel, I mean this shouldn’t be a snag because you shouldn’t expect that camera quality you get on mid-range or high end phone. This basically just allows you document events and memories without the glamour of quality… Yes!! Nothing for the gram!!
It is a dual SIM phone powered by Android 7.0 Nougat and comes with Google Play Protect which ensures the security of devices’ apps and data. Running few aps on the phone gives you steady performance but if you decide to ‘overload’ by installing heavy or memory hog apps, you may just end up getting worked out by frequent app crashes.
The question of whether to buy the device has come up in several discussions I have had with people and I have always shared the sentiment of buying only if you are not a heavy smartphone user, you don’t care about the gram or perhaps you just want it as a second phone for basic communication and relative access to the internet. In Nigeria, over 70% of online users access the web via their phones, yet there is still a huge number with limited access to the internet and this is where the Freetel ICE 2 can come in. At 13k, it is easier get more people connected and provide them access to data and data services.