The Yahoo brand is releasing its first-ever smartphone, but don’t expect too much. The $50 product is a re-skinned ZTE handset that now comes in purple.
The company’s parent, Verizon, is launching the phone to help drive subscribers to the Yahoo-branded mobile phone service, which arrived back in March.
For $40 a month, the plan gives you unlimited data, talk, and text over Verizon’s 4G network. In addition, subscribers get access to Yahoo Mail Pro, the ad-free version of the email service, which comes with 1,000GB of storage.
Verizon is now filling out the service with a Yahoo-branded phone, which goes on sale today. However, the product appears to be no different from the existing $59 ZTE Blade A3 Prime offered over the Yahoo Mobile site. As far as we can tell, the only difference is the purple casing.
Verizon has been marketing the new product to major users of Yahoo websites who don’t necessarily need the computing power of a pricey flagship smartphone. The company has tailored the product’s interface to feature pre-installed Yahoo apps, including Yahoo News, Yahoo Sports, and Yahoo Finance, which have been optimized to run fast over the hardware. Owners will also get free access to Yahoo Mail Pro for ad-free email.
The $50 price tag will also appeal to customers on a budget. However, the phone’s specs are pretty low-end. The hardware comes with a 5.45-inch 720p display, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, 2GB of RAM, and only 32GB of storage.
The phone was also never built 5G. Nor does Yahoo’s mobile phone service currently offer the 5G connectivity either. But on the plus side, the Yahoo-branded phone does comes with a microSD card slot for up to 2TB of memory, a headphone jack, and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. (Full specs for the ZTE Blade A3 Prime can be found here.)
If you’re happy with your existing phone, you can still join Yahoo’s mobile phone service. The brand offers a compatibility tool to check whether your phone will work on Verizon’s network. You can also buy a new phone for the Yahoo service plan.
“Later this year, Verizon’s leading 5G nationwide network will also be included with all Yahoo Mobile plans and compatible devices,” the carrier added.