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Russia's Yandex launches its first smartphone

Tyrone Stewart

Yandex.PhoneRussian internet giant Yandex has stepped into the mobile hardware game with the launch of its first-ever smartphone.

The Yandex.Phone is built on the company’s AI assistant, Alice, and features a preinstalled suite of mobile services from Yandex. The smartphone comes with a 5.65-inch Full HD+ screen with a 2160x1080 resolution, while running Android 8.1 and being powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor. It’s equipped with a fingerprint sensor, NFC technology, as well as 12-megapixel and five-megapixel dual rear cameras and a five-megapixel front camera.

“Yandex.Phone is built to offer Russian users a smartphone equipped with all the localised tools needed for users to navigate their daily routines. Users can interact with Alice and the most widely used Yandex applications in a new way on this phone,” said Fedor Yezhov, corporate vice president of ecosystem products at Yandex. “Fully integrated into the phone, Alice provides users with comprehensive access to Yandex apps. It’s not necessary to open individual apps to solve a task – just ask Alice.”

People who purchase a Yandex.Phone will receive a free six-month subscription to Yandex.Plus, which provides unlimited access to Yandex.Music alongside discounts for Yandex.Taxi and Yandex.Drive. In addition, byers will receive 300 ruble credit for Yandex.Taxi and 500 rubles for their Yandex.Money account, as well as 10 per cent cash back on purchases made with Yandex.Money for three months.

The Yandex.Phone goes on sale at Yandex’s company headquarters in Moscow tomorrow (6 December) before becoming available across Russia through Beeline, M.Video, Eldorado, and Yandex’s Beru eCommerce marketplace on 7 December. It will cost 17,990 rubles (£212/$270).