We’ve seen Apple and Samsung rule the roost for a while now, but emerging market brands have taken over the world. South Africa is no different, with Huawei taking the top throne and Xiaomi making in-roads as well.
But did you know there are more emerging brands that are actually available or will be available in South Africa? We pick a few you should keep an eye on.
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One of the more popular brands at the moment, OnePlus popularised the idea of a more affordable flagship smartphone.
Currently available as a Takealot exclusive, the OnePlus 3 is a beast of note, packing a Snapdragon 820 chip, full HD 5.5-inch AMOLED screen, 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. It’s a pity that there’s no microSD slot (there are dual SIMs though), but 64GB is a fair compromise. Other than that, you’ve got a 16MP f/2.0 main camera, 8MP selfie shooter, 3000mAh fixed battery and front-facing fingerprint scanner.
The only major downside is that the R9999 price (initially R10 999) isn’t as great a deal as the US$400+ US price tag (or 28 000 rupee Indian price) elsewhere.
The LeEco Le 2 ditched the headphone jack before Apple did, offering a USB Type-C to 3.5mm adapter in the box instead. LeEco claims that digital audio via USB Type-C is much better, but I doubt that for now.
In any event, for R3899, you’re getting a upper-mid range Snapdragon 652 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of fixed storage (bah), 5.5-inch full HD LCD screen, 3000mAh battery and dual SIMs. In the camera department, you can expect a 16MP f/2.0 main shooter (4K capable) and an 8MP selfie camera.
At R3300 for the M3 Note and R7999 for the Pro 6 from Meizu SA’s website, it’s clear that these handsets are aiming to undercut some of the established players in the market. But what are you getting for the price?
Who says you have to splash out the big bucks on a smartphone? Certainly not these brands
The M3 Note packs the same decidedly mid-range P10 chip as the predecessor, as well as 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage and a full HD 5.5-inch screen. Other specs include a large 4100mAh battery, mid-range 13MP f/2.2 main camera and 5MP selfie snapper.
Meanwhile, the Pro 6 ups the ante with a beefy Helio X25 decacore processor, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of (non-expandable) storage. The battery capacity sees a big drop to 2560mAh, but a full HD 3D Touch-capable AMOLED display makes an appearance instead. Other specs include a 21MP f/2.2 main camera and a 5MP selfie shooter.
Who knew that the plucky brand behind the record-breaking K 10 000 device and the unique U6 had a South African presence? Well, I didn’t, until a fellow writer linked to Oukitel South Africa‘s Facebook page.
In any event, Oukitel‘s local offering is currently restricted to one phone via Takealot, in the form of the K6000 Pro smartphone. It’s not as long-lasting as the K10 000 and its (surprise) 10 000mAh battery, but the device’s 6000mAh pack means it can last for three or four days. Seriously.
Aside from the ridiculously large battery, the K6000 Pro packs a budget MTK6753 octacore chipset (eight A53 cores at 1.3Ghz), 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, hybrid SIM slots and rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. In terms of photography, you’ve got a 13MP main shooter and a 5MP selfie camera. Not bad for R3200.
We’re cheating a little bit with the ZTE Axon brand, as the two Axon devices aren’t quite out of the gate in South Africa.
In any event, the Axon 7 Mini was scheduled for a December launch at R6999 (from the likes of Edcon and TFG), while the flagship Axon 7 was mooted for January.
Both phones feature high-quality audio playback, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and hybrid SIM slots. The Axon 7 packs a Snapdragon 820 chip, 4GB of RAM, 2560×1440 AMOLED screen and 20MP f/1.8 main camera. The Axon 7 Mini differs by toting a Snapdragon 617 chip, full HD AMOLED screen and a 16MP f/1.9 main shooter.
Fingers crossed that we see these handsets soon…