FastMobile: new mobile brand on SA block

FastMobile TrendZ1

We’ve seen numerous South African smartphone brands over the years, so we’re not entirely surprised to see a new contender emerge. Yep, FastMobile has popped up this month, thanks to their TrendZ1.

The device features a budget-minded octacore processor (MT6753), 2GB of RAM, a 5.5-inch 720p display and a large 3500mAh battery. Throw in a 13MP main camera and a 13MP front-facing snapper and you’ve got what seems like a good deal for R2999.

The TrendZ1 is available on Takealot, but FastMobile spokesperson Ivor van Rensburg told Gearburn that, aside from their online store, they plan to list on Loot and Shop and Ship Online.

When asked whether FastMobile was in talks with networks for offerings, the spokesperson said that prepaid was a key strategy for them.

As for the origin of the handset? We’ve seen SA brands opted to either white-label the design or assemble the phone locally. So which camp does FastMobile’s device fall into?

“Intensive research was done to find a reputable manufacturer who could supply an affordable high spec device with specific features. Besides the standard features that available in most high-end smartphones, we required a superior cameras (at least 13MP front and back), a fingerprint scanner and 4G/LTE. The FastMobile TrendZ1 is a white labelled design and is manufactured in China,” van Rensburg explained.

Who is FastMobile targeting?

Coming in at R3000, the TrendZ1 is within the same price bracket as Xiaomi‘s phones, such as the 16GB Redmi Note 3 (review). To be fair, the TrendZ1 offers a better selfie camera, while the Note 3 offers a more powerful chip, a full HD screen and a bigger battery. Both devices feature fingerprint scanners and dual-SIM/microSD slots otherwise.

Nevertheless, van Rensburg insists that the TrendZ1 will duke it out with high-end smartphones.

“If one has to compare the FastMobile TrendZ1 to other known brands today, it is true value for money. Other devices in this high-end range retail between R6000  – R14 000.”

We’ve seen a smattering of local brands over the years though, but van Rensburg explained how the company differs from other SA players.

“FastMobile is focusing on a very specific market segment and will only be available through online platforms. This allows FastMobile to reduce costs and manage stock more efficiently.”

The FastMobile TrendZ1 offers some solid specs for the price, but it will be facing stiff competition locally

Aftermarket service is important for any brand wanting to crack the market, with the firm offering a 12-month exchange warranty. What about those fancy free screen repairs offered by the likes of Huawei and Samsung?

“FastMobile has repair centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein and will do all out of warranty repairs at a nominal rate that includes parts at cost price plus a basic service fee,” the spokesperson added.

The TrendZ1 launches with Android 5.1, but there “are no immediate plans” to update to Nougat or the upcoming Android O.



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