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Red Bull is the master of branding and has conquered virtually every market of cool. However with its recent foire into the mobile world, it is still uncertain as to whether their risky venture will pay off.
Gearburn takes a look at RedBull mobile’s flagship phone, The RedBull HD, in an attempt to uncover what it is that make this undertaking different.
RedBull Mobile is essentially picking up where Virgin Mobile left off and is the new mobile virtual network operator in partnership with Cell C. Running off the Cell C backbone means RedBull is able to reduce overheads and pass those savings onto customers. Furthermore, partnering up with renowned Chinese telecoms brand, Huawei, has meant it is able to construct competitive deals in all regards.
The Redbull HD (otherwise known as the Huawei U8800) is offered on the RBM 200 package and entitles you to 200 talk minutes, 100 sms and a 500 meg data bundle. A value for money deal based exclusively on the contract alone.
Look and Feel:
The phone has a solid feel to it weighing approximately 130 grams and feels good in the palm. I was actually taken back by the surprisingly good build quality and was expecting shortcuts being a Chinese brand. I was sorely mistaken and actually changed my previous misconceptions about Chinese build quality.
It’s finished in an almost matte black and rubberized finish making it smooth to the touch. The back of the phone is brandished with a stylish RedBull logo and is slightly overbearing but also gives it an aesthetically funky look.
The phone has a 3.8 Inch TFT-LCD Touch Screen, with 480X800px resolution and provides a high quality image. There are 4 capacitive buttons at the bottom of the screen: Back, Menu, home and Search. The sharp and responsive touch screen coupled with the 800MHZ Scorpion CPU with 512mb RAM allows for seamless user interaction through your typical android user interface.
The Operating System is Android 2.2.1 (Froyo) with an upgrade to 2.3 (gingerbread) available soon. It’s the typical Android UI that is intuitive and familiar, and was good choice by RedBull. RedBull did decide to make a few minor tweaks by having a vertical scrolling menu screen to try and personalize the experience.
There is a 5MP Camera with flash located on the back of the phone. It supports Video filming at 720px HD with the image capture process happening instantaneously and makes the camera a great addition in hardware.
In the Audio department, a 3.5mm Audio Jack is located on the top of the phone. Just below it on the back is a reasonable Loudspeaker and the phone also supports Dolby Mobile Sound Enhancement.
The phone is capable of 802.11 B G and N wi-fi connection as well as 2G and 3G network access, Bluetooth, and GPS. In my personal experience, I have noted some connectivity issues when connecting to Wi-Fi and this should be noted.
There is a MicroUSB 2.0 Port located on the base of the phone that is used for either connecting to PC or for charging the device.
The Battery life is however something left desired. With most smart phones, the day to day running of a full suite of apps is a serious drain and requires frequent charging. My routine was almost every night.
Its stated at Standby time of the Li-Po (Lithium-ion polymer) battery is up to 300H hours (3G) and 4 Hours of Talk Time which is to be brutally honest, a bit of a stretch.
Now comes to the exciting part of the phone that makes it truly unique. The Native Redbull Mobile Apps gives you access to exclusive content and privileged apps.
The Redbull Music Academy Radio gives you access to some of the top musical artists. You can view bios and listen to live-performances, fireside chats and interviews, and mixes of the artists along with an extensive tracklisting.
Hotspot viewer is an augmented reality app that allows you view upcoming RedBull events and shops and even the top clubs and restaurants where RedBull is served.
RedBull x-fighter is a gyro based motocross game where you do stunts and is worth a giggle.
Coach is an exercising training app that tracks your workout routine.
Being a Red Bull MOBILE customer will be all about perks, RedBull MOBILE customers will get exclusive first rights to tickets for various Red Bull events
To Sum Up:
A good reputation can either make or break a brand and can be the swaying factor when deciding what phone option to choose. Once that brand loyalty is instilled within consumers, a fan base becomes a lucrative asset. A certain fruit labeled company springs to mind. It allows consumers to make a valid assumption as to the expected quality they are to experience. However this is not an overnight process and this loyalty needs to be earned.
The RedBull HD is a very powerful first step and a great sign of things to come.