Russia’s Yandex launches the Yandex.Phone – its first Android smartphone

A few months after it released its smart display with AI assistant, and after inking an agreement with Uber, Russia’s Yandex is back again with another product that hints it will continue to explore more areas. The local search giant popularly known as the Google of Russia earlier today announced the Yandex.Phone -its first and only smartphone loaded with its own maps, weather, and GPS apps.

With the entry-level,  it looks like the firm is positioning its own services at the forefront of the device and favoring its own search engine, even though it comes bundled with a couple of Google apps. Aside from loading the device with the likes of its weather and Map apps, Yandex is also loading the with its own intelligent assistant, Alice which first debuted with the $160 smart speaker launched earlier this year.

Adding voice to the launch, Fedor Yezhov, corporate VP of ecosystem products at Yandex said the “Yandex.Phone is built to offer Russian users a smartphone equipped with all the localized 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. Fully integrated into the phone, Alice provides users with comprehensive access to Yandex apps.”

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In terms of the internal makeup, the isn’t particularly a masterpiece. It features a 5.65-inch FHD+ 18:9 aspect ratio display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, no notch,  and is powered by the Snapdragon 630 chipset coupled with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage.

Yandex.Phone specifications

  • 5.65-inch (2160 x 1080 pixels) 2.5D curved glass display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
  • 2.2 GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 630 14nm Mobile Platform with Adreno 508 GPU
  • 4GB LPDDR4 RAM,  64GB internal memory, expandable memory with microSD
  • Android 8.1 (Oreo) with Yandex Launcher
  • Dual SIM
  • 16MP rear camera with LED flash, 5MP secondary
  • 5MP front-facing camera with LED flash
  • Dust and water resistance (IP54)
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • 3.5mm audio jack, FM Radio
  • Dimensions: 150.1 × 72.5 × 8.28mm; Weight: 163g
  • 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 5, GPS, USB Type-C
  • 3050mAh built-in battery with fast charging

Priced at 17,990 rubles/US$270, the Yandex.Phone will be available starting from December 6 via Yandex Store at the company’s Moscow HQ, followed by a wider roll out to other retailers in the country.

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