You might think smartphone use is limited in North Korea, considering how smartphones offer access to pretty much everything the North Korean government is censoring from its citizens.
But North Koreans have been using smartphones since 2013, most of which are supposedly made within the country's borders by North Korean companies.
A North Korean news site called NKNews.org has been reporting on the country's smartphones released over the years, and some of them don't look half bad! With a few tweaks to remove the built-in censors, some of these smartphones could probably work just fine in other countries.
Check out five smartphones that North Koreans have been using since 2013, and some they're using now:
The "Pyongyang Touch"
Little is known about the "Pyongyang Touch," which was released back in 2014. It's unclear what kind of specs it had, but it did come in pink, navy blue, and white, according to NK News, citing a pro-North Korea website based in Japan called Choson Sinbo.
The "Pyongyang Touch" was supposedly popular with North Korea's youth. It ran a modified version of Android that was "localized for North Korean purposes." It was unable to call overseas and couldn't connect to the internet.
The original "Arirang"
The "Pyongyang Touch" could have also been the "Arirang." It's truly unclear. It's not like these phones or the companies that made them have accessible websites.
It was said that the original "Arirang" phone was actually some sort of clone or rebranded model of the Chinese-made Uniscope U1201 from 2014.
Based on the Uniscope U1201, the original Arirang had a 4.3-inch display, dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip running at 1.2GHz, an 8-megapixel camera, a dual-mode "dual-network" capability for GSM and CDMA networks. It also had a "3D stereo sound chamber design," and a 1,900mAh battery.
The "Jindallae 3" — translated to the "Azalea 3"
One of the more recent smartphones that became available to North Koreans is the "Jindallae 3," which translates to "Azalea 3," which was released in June 2017. It was produced by North Korea's very own Mangyongdae Information Technology Corporation, according to the North Korean state-run DPRK Today news outlet.
It's unclear if there was a Jindallae 1 or 2, and the Jindallae 3's specs aren't immediately obvious. But it does look quite nice, and it was also available in black.
"We have solved all the elements of intelligent hand phone development such as the device circuit design of the main motherboard, the design of the operating system, and so on," the North Korean outlet DPRKNews.com said in a translation into English by Google Translate.
"The study group improved the performance of hand phone battery by reflecting opinions of users who used existing intelligent hand phones, further improved the safety and activity of the system program, and added various kinds of apps needed for people's business and life."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Credit: YouTube/NK News