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Intel launches the Yolo, its first smartphone for Africa

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Intel's chips for smartphones have made strides since we first reviewed them last year, but it's still fairly rare to find one in the wild. So what is Intel telling people who might take a gamble on a more niche processor? Yolo. Released through carrier Safaricom, the Yolo is Intel's first African smartphone, as well as the first phone we've seen to use the Lexington Atom chip Intel announced at CES. Despite what will jump to mind for most of us, the name is a nod to the Lava Xolo X900, the very first Intel phone. The Xolo was announced for India in mid-2012, while the Yolo is now coming to Kenya.

The Yolo is based on Intel's reference design from CES, with a 3.5-inch screen and 1.2GHz processor; if it follows the specs we saw there, it'll have a pretty minimal 320 x 240 display and dual SIM support. According to a reviewer at Techweez, who also took the photo above, the phone runs Ice Cream Sandwich and supports HSPA+. Intel's chips can offer longer battery life without sacrificing performance, though we found Lexington sluggish at CES. The company is targeting developing markets with Lexington, sidestepping the problems with LTE support it's encountered elsewhere. The Yolo will sell for 10,999 Kenyan shillings, or about $125. There's no word on whether it will start showing up in other countries in the future, though Intel said at CES that multiple companies were working on Lexington phones.