This is the Freetel ICE 2, the ₦13,000 smartphone Google promised us

October 3, 2017
3 min read
The Freetel ICE 2

During the Google for Nigeria event in July, Google announced a ₦13,000 smartphone it planned to introduce into the Nigerian market in partnership with MTN.

That promised smartphone is the Freetel ICE 2, a low-end device targeted at emerging markets. The question is, how much smartphone can you really get for ₦13,000?

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Let's take a look under the hood

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  • Android  7.0 Nougat
  • 4-inch IPS LCD screen

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    • 1GB RAM
    • Dual SIM (3G), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
    • 8GB internal (expandable with SD card) memory

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  • 1.2 GHz single-core processor
  • 2MP main camera with LED flash and auto-focus
  • 0.3MP front VGA camera
  • 1350mAh removable battery

 The contents of the box (no bundled earphones)

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Charger, startup guide and Android tips.

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Volume rocker and power/sleep both are on the right side of the phone

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Earphone jack at the top

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At the back of the phone are the camera sensor and flash to the left edge

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Speakers at the bottom back

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And on the bottom edge of the phone is the USB charging port

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Quick thoughts

Coming from a mid to high-end experience, the Freetel ICE 2 is not an exciting phone. The display performs quite averagely under direct sunlight, the processor can only handle basic multitasking, the camera is not particularly Instagram-friendly and only about half of the available internal memory is accessible to the user (thankfully, you can use a memory card).

Indeed, if you found, and clicked on this post, chances are the Freetel ICE 2 is not targeted at you. The device is best-suited for anyone who has never used a smartphone and wants a first taste of basic online services like email, instant messaging (aka WhatsApp) and maybe YouTube Go. So essentially, late adopters, low/zero income earners in urban areas and most people in remote rural areas.

Of course, it could also serve as a secondary device for those who already have smartphones. However, I suspect that for both groups (newbies and old-timers alike), the 1350mAh battery could be a potential deal-breaker. I don't imagine that anyone coming from a sturdy battery-life featurephone experience, for example, will be patient enough with a phone that can barely hold a charge for a full day. Especially those in rural areas with limited access to electricity.

I may be wrong. Who knows? Perhaps the incentive to finally get online would far outweigh battery performance. Come to think of it, how much should anyone realistically expect from a ₦13,000 smartphone? Maybe not so much.

While the Freetel ICE 2 is currently available for purchase in Nigeria, we don't yet have specific details on where you can get it. We will update you as soon as we do.

UPDATE: 1 year after, here’s what is going on with the Freetel ICE 2.

I bully myself because I make me do what I put my mind to. Find me on Twitter @MuyoSan.
I bully myself because I make me do what I put my mind to. Find me on Twitter @MuyoSan.
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I bully myself because I make me do what I put my mind to. Find me on Twitter @MuyoSan.

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