Vodacom has become the latest operator to debut a low-cost, own-branded smartphone aimed at getting more South Africans connected to the Internet.
Following the launch earlier this year by MTN of the Steppa smartphone, which costs R499 — read TechCentral’s review of it — Vodacom has announced it will also begin selling a low-cost unit it’s calling the Smart 4 mini for R899 on prepaid. It’s also available on aggressively priced 24-month contract deals starting at R49/month.
The Smart 4 mini, which was developed by Vodacom parent Vodafone (it retails in the UK for £50), has a 4-inch capacitive touch screen, 16m-colour TFT display and dual-core 1,3GHz processor. It runs Jelly Bean, the Android version that preceded the current KitKat release.
It supports 3G using HSPA+, has a 3,2-megapixel camera, comes with a 1 400mAh battery, FM radio (crucial to attract sales in the target market) and has 4GB of flash storage and 512MB of RAM. There’s a built-in speakerphone. Wi-Fi is also supported.
Vodacom says the device is meant to give “value-focused customers fast access to videos, music and apps at a fraction of the price of high-end devices”.
The operator says it will give all Smart 4 prepaid customers 250MB of data upon activation and, for six months thereafter, a further 250MB whenever they recharge their airtime with R29 or more. Those who buy the phone on contract will receive 100MB for 24 months. However, contract calls are set at a relatively high R1,80 to R1,90/minute (depending on the tariff plan). The out-of-bundle data rate is R1/MB. — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media