If South Korea has Samsung, North Korea has Samjiyon. A tourist who chooses to go by the name “Michael” was able to purchase an Android tablet in North Korea, then take it with him outside the country to share with everyone else in the world. He even declared it to the customs officers in the airport but they didn’t mind. Lucky us.
According to Michael, the Samjiyon is “surprisingly impressive” and actually stand toe-to-toe with the leading tablets from other manufacturers. He said it felt responsive and fast, launching apps and the camera on the device felt fluid, and games didn’t lag. That might have something to do with the specs on the device, which can match fairly well with Samsung’s own Galaxy Tab 2:
- 1.2GHz CPU
- 1GB DDR3 memory
- 8GB or 16GB internal storage
- 7-inch screen with 1,024 by 768 pixel resolution
- 2 megapixel camera
- 187 by 124 by 10 millimeters
- 250 grams
Because North Korean citizens aren’t actually allowed to access the internet, there’s no way to connect the Samjiyon to a WiFi network. But to make up for that, North Korea has nicely thrown in some free apps, many of which are quite interesting.
As you can see among the different apps for studying and accessing information via the country’s intranet, there’s a copy of Angry Birds Rio, Field Runners and another “Defense Game.” Not bad for a $200 tablet. I think.
For a look at the Samjiyon in action, check out the video below: