Vodacom, through parent Vodafone, has launched two new premium own-branded smartphones in an effort to push up the number of high-end 4G/LTE users on its network.
The telecommunications operator’s own-branded devices have proved highly popular among consumers, in part because of their aggressive price points relative to brand-name devices.
Last year, the company sold 2,5m Chinese-made Vodacom-branded devices in South Africa, accounting for 25,7% of total device sales. Parent Vodafone has sold 85m such devices in the past 10 years.
Citing GfK research, Vodacom said it is the second biggest smartphone seller in South Africa after market leader Samsung. It said it is number one in tablets.
In addition to the two new handsets, the top-end Smart Platinum 7 and midrange Smart Ultra 7, Vodacom has said it will also begin selling its first own-branded virtual reality headset.
“With these exciting new devices, Vodacom is now able to offer devices, not only in the entry-level smartphone and tablet category, but also in the premium mobile class as well”, said managing executive for product and commercial management Zunaid Mahomed in a statement.
The Vodacom Smart Platinum 7 features a 16-megapixel main camera and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor and supports LTE. A successor to the Vodacom Smart Ultra 6, the Smart Ultra 7 features a 13-megapixel camera and has a 1,8GHz MediaTek MTK6755M CPU octa-core processor.
In addition to the high-quality premium smartphones, Vodacom also unveiled a new range of mid-to-lower entry level smartphones. These include the Smart Prime 7 (entry-level LTE; R1 799) powered by a Snapdragon 200 processor, the Smart Mini 7 (mid-tier 3G; R699), the entry-level Smart Kicka 2 (R499; launching mid-July) and the Vodacom Smart Tab 2 3G tablet (R999).
As part of the launch offer, Vodacom will be selling its first virtual reality headset as a bundled accessory to the Smart Platinum 7. The 260g Vodafone Smart VR headset promises a “fully immersive VR experience”.
More details of the two new high-end phones follows:
The Smart Platinum 7 (R7 999 with VR bundle):
- Fingerprint sensor placed on the back of the device;
- 5,5-inch 2K Amoled display and front-facing landscape stereo speakers;
- Snapdragon 600-series octa-core processor, supported by 3GB of RAM;
- 32GB, which can be expanded by up to 128GB with an SD card;
- 3 000mAh battery and Quick Charge 3.0, which will restore half the smartphone’s charge in 30 minutes;
- 16-megapixel HDR rear camera with super zoom, phase detection auto-focus and zero-second shutter lag. Both the rear and 8-megapixel front camera have flash;
- LTE capable.
The Smart Ultra 7 (R3 199):
- 1,8GHz MediaTek MTK6755M CPU octa-core processor, supported by 2GB of RAM;
- 5,5-inch full-HD screen, toughened with Dragontrail glass;
- 16GB internal memory. Up to 32 GB can be added with an SD card;
- Flash on both the 5-megapixel front and 13-megapixel rear cameras. Phase-detection auto-focus;
- 2 960mAh battery.
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