How SA smartphones are becoming cheaper and better

Hisense Faith 1
Hisense Faith 1

Johannesburg - The launch of Hisense’s new Infinity devices to the South African market highlights how smartphones are becoming cheaper and more feature rich in the country.

Hisense on Tuesday launched the Infinity Faith 1 and the Infinity Elegance 1 to the local market with high-end features, at competitive prices of R2 999 and R3 999 respectively.

READ: Hisense launches R2 999 smartphone in SA

The unveiling of the devices sees Hisense competing directly with Chinese rivals Huawei and Xiaomi. 

For starters, the Hisense Elegance 1 device is almost a repackaged version of the Huawei Mate 7 launched in September 2014. 

Not only does the handset feature similar specifications, it looks identical to the Mate 7. At the time of its launch, the Mate 7 was seen as one of the most premium devices when it was launched. 

READ: Huawei Mate 7 takes aim at rivals - review

The Elegance 1 - with the 0.5 inch smaller display than the Mate 7 – has similar similar features to the Mate 7 in that it includes 3GB of RAM, an ccta-core processor, 13 megapixel rear camera, 5 megapixel facing camera and a fingerprint scanner in the same positioning. 

The downfalls of the Elegance 1; however, is that the device has a 3 000 mAh battery – 1100 mAh smaller than the Mate 7’s. 

READ: Xiaomi launches R2 999 phablet in SA

When comparing features and pricing of the Faith 1 to the slightly larger Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 - which was launched to South Africans in February this year - the devices are marginally different. 

Both feature the same processor, cameras, similar batteries, and pricing at the time of launch. However, the price of the Redmi Note 2 has since decreased slightly, and with new technology in today’s devices, the Faith 1 features higher specs. 

When compared to today’s devices the Faith 1 and Elegance 1 compete directly in a segment of smartphones from numerous other manufacturers such as LG and Sony, which have been launching cheaper devices with more features of late. 

This in turn has altered the entry-level smartphone into a device that can compare with what was seen as a high-end smartphone two years ago.

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