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Zunaid Mahomed, managing executive, product and commercial development for Vodacom says, ‘With these exciting new devices, Vodacom is now able to offer options not only in the entry-level smartphone and tablet category, but also in the premium mobile class as well.’
The network has also introduced its own VR headset, bundled with a premium handset, the Smart platinum 7, which won’t be available separately.
The company first began its branded device strategy locally in 2014 to bring affordable devices to its customers after it identified cost as the main barrier to accessing the internet. The branded handsets have done well in South Africa, with over 2.5 million sold in 2014, and 3m in 2015. Globally, the Vodafone brand has sold over 85 million devices in the last decade – South Africa sitting with second biggest market share.
Here’s a list of all the devices:
Smart platinum 7 + Smart VR
The Platinum 7 is the top of the range device, bundled with the Smart VR headset. It’s super slim at 6.9mm, with a 5.5-inch 2K AMOLED display, and 534 pixels per inch (PPI). It has a fingerprint sensor at the back, which is a natural position when you hold your phone to unlock it; and lets you register multiple fingerprints.
It’s powered by a Snapdragon 652 Octa-core chip and 3GB of RAM, with 32GB of on-board storage; expandable by up to 128GB via SD card. Another great feature is the whopping 3 000mAh battery that charges it to 50% in just 30 minutes.
The handset comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow straight out of the box, and is preinstalled with a whole bunch of useful apps like the Vodacom App Store, Google suite, Cardboard (VR), Dropbox, and Vouchercloud. All devices have an app draw, so the home screen is not littered with apps – love!
As is with all premium handsets, the platinum 7 has a great camera – the Sony 16MP HDR main camera with dual-tone LED flash and dedicated shutter button features super zoom, phase detection auto-focus and zero-second shutter lag. The selfie-cam is 8MP with flash. The handset also has front-facing stereo speakers and is LTE capable.
The Smart VR powered by Oculus headset comes the Google Cardboard ecosystem, with loads of apps and experiences for you to try. It is quite light at 260g, and the experience is unlike anything you’ve ever seen or felt before. From skiing in the Alps, to being at a rock concert, no matter which direction you turn your head, it’s immersive like you’re there in person.
The Smart platinum 7 bundled with the Smart VR is available on prepaid for R7 999, or from R399pm over 24 months. Vodacom has thrown in some extras like an Office 365 subscription, free screen insurance, 5GB of data once-off, and a 2-month subscription to music streaming service Deezer.
Smart ultra 7
The ultra 7 is also 5.5-inches like the platinum 7 but has an HD screen with a 1080 x 1920 resolution. It could pass for a previous generation Samsung high-end device with its patterned and removable matte back cover. It is available in silver and black. It’s slim in design and comfortable to hold as it doesn’t slip easily.
Under the hood you can find a 1.8GHz MediaTek Octa-core processor with 2GB of RAM, 16GB on-board memory expandable up to 32GB via SD card.
It also features a large 2 960mAh battery with turbo charging, supports LTE, and will ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
The 13MP main camera has various modes, including manual for you to tinker around and get the perfect shot. It lets you play with ISO, shutter, white balance and focus. You can also shoot in Pano, HDR, night mode and timer. Videos are shot in full HD, HD or VGA. The front-facing 5MP selfie camera is great; the first time you use it you will see a hand gesture on screen to trigger the camera to take photos. It works smoothly and pictures are profile picture worthy. Both cameras have flash.
The handset is also great for watching HD videos due to its size, and high resolution audio. It has powerful 2.4W speakers, so you can take the party wherever you go.
Inside the box: USB cable, plug, earphones and user manual.
The Smart ultra 7 is available on prepaid at R3 199 or from R249 per month over 24 months. Vodacom has bundled with the following extras – Office 365; free screen insurance; 5GB once-off data; and a 2-month subscription to Deezer.
Smart prime 7
The prime 7 is an excellent value for money handset with 4G capabilities. It has a 5-inch screen and is slim at 7.9mm. It’s also narrow and fits nicely in the hand, allowing you to use it with one hand. If you’re looking for a stylish handset, we recommend the prime 7 in white, with a matte finish. The camera at the back is finished in gold, giving it a touch of bling.
It has a quad-core processor with 8GB of storage that you can expand with a micro SD card; will ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow; and an excellent 2 540mAh battery capacity. Inside the box you can find some rather stylish looking earphones, along with a USB cable and plug.
A great selection of apps is preloaded onto the handset like Deezer, Dropbox, Games, Twitter and YouTube, so you can set it up and start tweeting immediately.
The main camera is 8MP with manual controls and a level guide, so you can take the perfect shot every time; HDR; pano; multi-exposure shots; interval capture; scene mode and 9 built-in filters. The 5MP selfie-cam has the same playful filters so you can up your selfie game.
The Smart Prime 7 handset is available on prepaid for R1 799 or on contract from R129 per month over 24 months. Vodacom has thrown in some freebies like Office 365; free screen insurance; 2GB of data once-off; and a 2-month subscription to Deezer.
Smart mini 7
The Smart mini 7 is an entry-level dinky handset with a 4-inch screen, aimed at those who are on a budget. Don’t be fooled by its size though, it will ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow; a quad-core processor and 4GB of on-board storage, expandable by micro SD. Expect to find Google’s full suite of apps and Vodacom’s exclusive apps that will let you chat to your friends with any of these handsets. It features a 2MP main camera and 0.3MP front camera; and a 1 500mAh battery. Inside the box is a wired charger (not a USB one), headset; and start guide.
The Smart mini 7 is available on prepaid for R699. Vodacom has thrown in some freebies like R300 airtime; funeral cover with R5000; a week free of Gameloft; 30 minutes free access to Video Play; and access to free educational content.
Smart kicka 2
The Smart kicka 2 is an entry-level phone that runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop and has GPS features, so you can geo-tag yourself on your favourite social networks.
The Smart kicka 2 is available at R499 and includes R300 free airtime; a week free on Gameloft; 30 minutes free access to Video Play; and access to free educational content.
Smart Tab 2 3G
The Smart Tab 2 3G is a low-cost tablet that allows users to make voice calls as it has a SIM card slot. It will run on Android 5.1 Lollipop, with multimedia features such as video streaming and video calling with the front camera, 8GB of internal memory that is expandable via micro SD card slot and access to apps like Facebook, Whatsapp (on your tablet), the Google suite, Vodacom exclusive apps and other social networks.
The Smart Tab 2 3G is available at a cost of R999. Vodacom has thrown in some extras like R500 airtime; a week free on Gameloft; 30 minutes free access to Video Play; and access to free educational content.
Coming soon: Smart turbo 7
The Smart turbo 7 will be available in August, after all the other devices launch later this month. The information we have at this stage is that it’s 5-inch handset that will ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow; it has a quad-core processor with 8GB of storage, expandable by micro SD; and 4G capabilities. It’s 9.5mm thin, slightly heavier that the rest; has a 5MP main camera and 2MP front; with a 2 000mAh battery capacity. Inside the box you will receive the phone; charger; data cable; headset and start guide. Pricing will be available at a later stage.
Get a Vodacom device
Most Vodacom-branded handsets will be available mid-July and come with a three-year warranty. The Smart turbo 7 will be available in August.