Hisense U970 smartphone makes sense - review

2014-02-03 11:25
The Hisense U970 smartphone is good value for money. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

The Hisense U970 smartphone is good value for money. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Hisense is a name more associated with appliances than smartphones, but their U970 smartphone is a surprisingly competent package - and a competitive price.

The Hisense smartphone may not have the coolest name ever, but the device certainly takes aim at some of the bigger brands with a strong "Bring it on" challenge.

It's got a large 12.7cm display and even a 1.2Ghz quad core processor mated to 1GB of RAM.

Unlike some of the top branded smartphones, the U970 also has dual SIM slots - yep - you can play the network cheap rates for calls, or low-cost data deals.

On test, the U970 was fitted with an MTN SIM card for calls and text messages and a Cell C SIM for data. The phone has a built-in tool to manage the SIMs, though it takes new users some time to get used to t.

This one feature is perhaps the reason that you won't find the Hisense device in the catalogue of your major network operator.

User experience

Yet the device offers value, and even though it only has 4GB of memory onboard, you can upgrade your memory with a built-in micro-SD card slot up to 32GB.

The back cover is removable so that you can insert those SIM cards and SD card, but it also means that the battery can be changed.

Despite being on the lower power end among the big players, the Hisense delivers a more-than-capable user experience running Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean).

Despite the processor and RAM being on the lower end of the scale compared to top-end smartphones, the device will handle chat programs and browsing with ease and even demanding apps like Death Moto 2, Beach Buggy Blitz and Minion Rush ran without any slowdowns.

However, you do get what you pay for and there are some compromises on the Hisense smartphone.

The main camera is a capable 8 megapixel that does well enough for those taken-at-a-pub-upload-to-Facebook shots, but there is some noticeable graining when taking pictures in low-light conditions.

Video quality is decent and matches some far more expensive smartphones on the market, and definitely beats budget cameras.

Makes sense

However, pictures taken while shooting video is disappointing as well as the VGA secondary camera. Selfies have become a cultural phenomenon and users who demand a high quality secondary camera will be disappointed.

So it may not compete with the Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC One, or the Sony Xperia Z1. However the Hisense smartphone makes sense as a capable efficient device that answers the call for lower priced phones.

The Hisense U970 comes in at a recommended retail price of R2 999 and is available from kalahari.net.

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Here is a News24 video on the Hisense U970 smartphone.
- News24
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