Tourist brings back North Korean Samjiyon Android tablet, marvel at the specs and video

Tourist brings back North Korean Samjiyon Android tablet, marvel at the specs and video
Admit it, there is a novelty value to this tablet which lends an air of allure. Outside of bragging over having a North Korean tablet, or playing a copied and version of Angry Birds, you probably will not have much use for this device.

The Samjiyon tablet may or may not be actually assembled in the hermit kingdom that is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, but now that we can see it in action that factor probably does not matter too much.

The tourist who bought it, Michael, asked that only his first name be used so he does not catch any grief from the Dear Leader when he makes return trips to the north. That said, he initially only wanted to take a picture of it when he saw it for sale in a shop near a restaurant where he and some colleagues just had lunch.

He asked as a sort of joke how much the Samjiyon cost and decided to buy one when the price came to about $200. Not a lot of money for a tablet by western standards (not a great value either considering the hardware), but way out of reach of the common North Korean who is probably lucky to see $50 per month along with basic staples like...food.

As for the functionality of the tablet itself, some of the familiar Google are there, like a browser, gallery and camera. However, YouTube, Google Play and Gmail are not on board for obvious reasons. The browser would seem like a treat, but it appears the tablet’s connectivity is deeply controlled. We had heard there was no internet capability on board at all, but it looks like it is hard-wired to only allow it to tune-in to government approved networks. There is also an analog TV tuner on board, so you can get DPRK approved broadcasts.

Hardware-wise, the Samjiyon features a 1.2GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, and 8 or 16GB of storage. The display is 1024x768 resolution and dimensions of the device overall are 187x124x10mm. Physically, the tablet has what you would expect, a power/lock button, volume rocker, a camera, 3.5mm headset jack and what looks like a mini-USB plug. As you can see in the video, the performance seems adequate.

Suffice it to say that it does not look like the Nexus 7 has anything to worry about compared to this powerhouse coming from Pyongyang.

source: CITE World




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12 Comments

1. WHoyton1

Posts: 1635; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

Error...tourist....who how's on holiday to north Korea.......BTW awesome tablet for the supreme Leader!

2. Kayutoki

Posts: 4; Member since: Jul 14, 2013

phonearena where is Sony's q1 2013 reports?? they just announced.... and they made a huge improvement nice to know

3. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

I noticed the fieldrunners icon. Has the game been warped by North Korea so the attacking soldiers wear american uniforms?

4. the_best

Posts: 139; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

how can a device lag with that kind of harware? Honestly not even the laggiest os ever the windows vista would lag at unboxing with that hardware.. andorid is the worst OS ever when it comes to pure Power!

5. rawbow

Posts: 428; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

dude android defines true power when it comes to mobile computing period

9. the_best

Posts: 139; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

then howcome android demand better hardware then ios and wp for the same smoth experience? i mean the kind of hardware used in todays smartphones are way better then what was used in pc's 10 years ago, and they never lagged like android right of of the box. Is it really that hard to build a stable os? apple, microsoft and blackberry doesnt seem to Think so anyway.

11. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

Android demands a lot of resources when your providing more features for the customers with every major and minor release, hence higher hardware requirements. This made it especially annoying and difficult in the early days of android but has gotten a LOT better over the years.

12. the_best

Posts: 139; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

yeah thats what thay said with windiws vista to, but you know what after we go vista we got win 7 with even more features and less lagg might i ad, and then we got windows 8 and more features, and this is probably the first lag free windows pc OS ever. well the 95 was pretty sweet to back in the day =) But the argument with many features is bullsh't. My personal theory is that android is an old OS with many build ons, and google are forsed to continue on the same os for the sake of apps, and the longer they do that they will loose to the younger OS's. even windows had to scrap DOS evnetually, losing a lot of programs. when will google scrap android for something better?

6. gazmatic

Posts: 822; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

no nexus killer is right

7. EXkurogane

Posts: 863; Member since: Mar 07, 2013

Still better than Apple's mini sanitary pads, since it has similar or higher ppi for only $200. /s

8. tadaa

Posts: 267; Member since: Apr 18, 2013

maybe it was Michael H. who bought it

10. dorianb

Posts: 617; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

$50 a month?! I make that in 1/2 day. Thank you 1stworldproblems.

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