In a world heaving under all manner of smartphones to quench the never-ending crave for cutting-edge technologies, the introduction of two African-made gadgets is expected to determine how the continent gauges its own.
Mi-Fone, a mobile phone company launched six years ago, recently introduced two brands hoping that the low-cost and smartphone experience gadget will attract consumers.
The mi-A531 (SAWA XL) and mi-A451 (FAB 4.5) were released last month and were retailing at a much lower price compared to what multinational giants are offering.
The SAWA XL is a heavier and larger version of the Tecno Phantom, dominated by a 5.3-inch IPS Touch Display screen in an ivory-white case.
The consumer is led through the archaic Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), considering that the world is already gearing for the Android 4.4 KitKat, Jelly Bean's successor.
Mi-Fone may have wanted to slash manufacturing costs considering the target market, hence the low-grade operating system.
Perhaps the manufacturer has assumed that the lower-cadre buyers may be unable to distinguish the type of OS they will be using.
The phone is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor and is capable of transmitting on both 3G and 2G networks. It has 8MP rear and 2MP front cameras.
If you are looking for a fast phone, you can give it a miss.
The SAWA XL packs a lofty 512MB worth of RAM and 4GB ROM.
It has internal memory of 4GB which means you have to immediately shop for a memory card once you get it.
The good thing, though, is its 2200 mAH lithium battery, which can take 10 hours of heavy usage.
Everyone loves a long-lasting battery and this should make up for some of its weaknesses.
But make sure you have well-muscled arms because at 210g, it officially becomes the heaviest smartphone to be ever reviewed here.
On the other hand, carrying it every day in your hand will save you trips to the gym instructor.
The "high-range" FAB 4.5 has more "superior" specs than its sibling.
At least with Android 4.2 OS illuminated under its 4.5" QHD IPS Touch Display, one can say Mi-Fone made an attempt to bulldoze its way into the shark-infested market controlled by big-league manufacturers.
The FAB 4.5 is powerful compared to SAWA XL (Quad Core Processor 1.2 GHz), which has a higher resolution of 960x 540p (SAWA has 540 x 960p) and at 170g, weighs much lower.
There is camera downgrade of 5MP while the front one has been enhanced to 5MP. Also, the battery usage is lower than that of SAWA XL. Call it growth of one step at a time, with the hope that one day it will get (up) there.
In an earlier interview, Ugandan-born
However, the fact that the firm has introduced smartphones and tablets says otherwise.
If tweaked with more features, the progression could be rapid.
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