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Last year’s FNB ConeXis range, the bank’s first branded smartphones, weren’t very good. Being overpriced and under-specced compared to the competition, it was tough to recommend these over the likes of Huawei, Xiaomi and (now) Nokia.
Now, the bank has revealed the next generation of devices (due for 2 October release), in the form of the ConeXis X2 and A2. And the more expensive model certainly seems like a good step above last year’s effort.
The X2 delivers a 5-inch 720p display, Snapdragon 435 chip, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, NFC for FNB Pay and other payment services and a 2800mAh battery. But the device also packs a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, a dual-camera system (13MP+2MP) and a 5MP selfie camera. In other words, it seems like a white-labelled ZTE Blade V8 Mini.
The phone requires a R1500 deposit into your savings account (and R199 a month), also seeing its packaging turn into a Google Cardboard box for VR. Otherwise, you’re getting 25 minutes of off-network calls and 100MB of data each month.
The ConeXis X2 seems like a great upgrade, but expect more of the same from the A2
Meanwhile, the ConeXis A2 offers a 4.5-inch display (480×854), very low-end Spreadtrum SC7731C chip, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage and a 2000mAh battery (no word on the processor here either). Other noteworthy specs include a 5MP main camera, 2MP selfie shooter and FM radio support.
Deposit R500 into your savings account and pay R69 a month and you’ll get the phone along with 15 minutes of off-network calls and 50MB of data each month. Oh yeah, the cheaper phone’s packaging can also be turned into a money box.
Of course, both phones are SIM-locked to FNB’s network and also feature one year warranties.