Google announced Tuesday that its Android One program is making its debut in Turkey, marking the program’s first presence in Europe.
Android One is Google’s initiative to get as many inexpensive internet-connected smartphones to as many hands as possible in developing countries where billions of people still don’t have access to the internet.
It also doesn’t hurt in Google’s efforts to expand its sphere of influence to people that would normally never have the opportunity to connect to its internet services like Google Search, Chrome, Google Now, and its myriad of apps in the Play Store.
Android One was first launched in India in September 2014, and it’s since expanded to six more countries, including Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka.
Up until now, the phones offered by the Android One program were serviceable at best with low-end processors, relatively low-spec cameras, and compatibility with older and slower 3G networks.
But Google’s collaboration with Turkish network provider General Mobile will see a handset that wouldn’t seem out of place in the developed world, where premium devices like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6 reign supreme.
The General Mobile 4G smartphone will be the first Android One smartphone to connect to LTE networks, which is much faster and more reliable than 3G. It will also contain better internal hardware for better performance with a 5-inch display, as well as a 13-megapixel camera.
As with all Android One phones, the General Mobile 4G runs on a near-stock version of Google’s latest operating system, Android 5.1.
It will be available in Turkey for the equivalent of around $US260.
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