August 21, 2023

First Russian Smartphone


First Russian Smartphone
The R-Fon, in all of its glory. Telegram, @appsimru

Introducing the R-Fon! Touted as the first Russian smartphone, and valued at 40,000 rubles ($426), it turns out it is actually a Chinese Linux phone worth 17,000 ($181) rubles.

Vladimir Zykov, head of the Russian Association of Professional Users of Social Networks and Messengers (APPSIM), broke the news by sharing images of the "innovation" on Telegram. Speaking to RIA Novosti, Zykov said that the forthcoming device from Rutek will cost up to 40,000 rubles and will be released in the coming year. Zykov acknowledged that production will depend on foreign components, but said the venture also employs an unprecedented level of domestic production. He underlined that the phone will proudly sport the "Made in Russia" label, marking a distinctive development in the realm of Russian technology.

“It is clear that some parts will not be made in Russia, but there have never been phones made in Russia with such localization,” Zykov said.

The details surrounding the supposed new Russian marvel were cross-checked by the Eurasian Economic Commission and their online database. Data within this registry reveal that the device's actual producer is Bopel Mobile Technology Co. Limited, its headquarters in Hong Kong.

Rutek’s registration of the phone reveals a strategic choice: not within the Russian borders, but in neighboring Kazakhstan. As pointed out by analysts at Mobiltelefon, this decision is believed to be a calculated move to evade possible sanctions.

"R-Fon," a clumsy transliteration of "R-phone," is slated to house a Media Tek Helio G99 processor and 6.7-inch display. The phone is expected to have a 50-megapixel primary camera, 8 gigabytes of RAM, 128 gigabytes of internal storage, and a robust 5000 mAh battery. Curiously, a smartphone boasting identical specifications, including a similar processor, is already available in the Russian market for a fraction of the cost of the R-Fon. For instance, the Chinese device Tecno Pova 5, with the sole distinction of a more capacious battery, retails for a modest 14,470 rubles ($150 USD), a fraction of the purported price of the "Russian phone."

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