By Imran Khan
We were a bit curious when we heard about smart phones that are available in the country, but are not marketed as well as the big names. The likes of Samsung, Sony and to some extent Nokia have flooded the market with what is generally accepted as the best smart phone offerings. Samsung’s latest, the Galaxy S4, is definitely a device that boasts the latest in smart phone technology, including a quad core processor and HD display. It also comes equipped with a host of features, so many in fact that the average user will probably never even get around to using most of them.
This brought us to the question: “Is it worth it, or is there something with similar specifications out there?” We also wanted to chase cost as an S4 costs in the region of R8500 on prepaid.
So, with that said and agreed on, we went on our search. The first contender was found to be the Huawei Ascend P6. Huawei have been in the country for some time and started off by introducing mobile internet to the country. Some of us would remember the Huawei internet dongles offered on contract by cellular companies. Huawei have stepped up their game by challenging the big boys with their android smart phones.
The Chinese smart phone manufacturer has put together a device that can easily stand up to Samsung, HTC, LG and Sony. The P6 is powered by a 1.5 gigahertz quad core processor and 2 gigabytes of memory. It has a beautiful 4.7 inch LCD touch screen that will easily display images taken by its 8 megapixel rear camera, or 5 megapixel front camera. The device runs on the latest Android Jelly Bean system and is upgradable to version 4.4 (Kit Kat) in 2013. On paper it is pretty close to the S4 and after testing one out, to be honest, we love it much more.
Another company on the wings is Hisense. We know them for their beautiful television screens, LED displays and off course the huge ferris wheel at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town. However, Hisense is slowly introducing smart phones to South Africa. Their latest device is the HS-U950 which packs a dual core 1.2 gigahertz processor, 4.5 inch screen and runs on Android version 4. The Android system is upgradable to Kit Kat in the new year as well. The phone also has a dual sim card capability, which is quite handy. The camera is not impressive at just a 5 megapixel autofocus version, but the rest of the features stand up to the competition.
After finding these alternatives our next target was price:
• Samsung S4: R8000 via Dion Wired
• Huawei: R4699 via www.cacell.co.za
• Hisense HS-U950: R2102.13 via www.geekville.co.za
Both these devices offer exceptional quality at an incredible price point, however brand popularity is the issue that holds back their success. So, in the end, decide for yourself what is more important to you.