26 February 2013

East Africa: Single SIM Tecno N3s Now At Ksh. 6,000 At Safaricom

A single SIM variation of the Tecno N3, the Tecno N3S is now retailing in Safaricom shops. The device started retailing last week at a cost of KSh. 6,000. The Tecno N3 was launched at the end of November as a dual SIM handset retailing at KSh. 8,000 in the open market (http://in.cio.co.ke/WfGEYY ). The device is an entry level smartphone targeted at new users and priced competitively compared to other handsets in the same range.

The two variations of the device do not appear to have much difference other than the ability to handle one or two SIM cards. The specifications listed on the packaging appear similar to those on the packaging of the N3.

This include Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread and an external memory card with 8GB capacity. Though the packaging lists internal storage of 512 Megabytes (Mb) and RAM of 512 Mb, our experience with previous models of the device shows that it only carries internal storage of 175 Mb. The 175 Mb has been a limiting factor in that it limits how many applications you can have on the phone. Though most Android phones support installation on external memory, a number still save their data in internal storage.

At only 26 apps installed, we have had to keep deleting Facebook and Twitter application data to clear memory warnings. Application functionality is reduced, including application notifications' until you have more than 20 Mb free. Though most users are unlikely to have as many apps, there still exists a likelihood of them filling storage by not having an idea on how to manage internal and external storage.

Other features include a 1 Gigahertz processor which we found adequate and a 3 megapixel camera (no flash) which is also acceptable, at the cost of the device. Other features provided by Android 2.3 include ability to share your mobile Internet with the phone acting either as a wireless access point or as a modem.

Battery life on the dual SIM N3 has been favourably good, and was able to last through an office day with heavy online usage in morning and evening traffic and moderate usage through the day, though it does not last into much through the early evening without a recharge. Average battery life should be 8 to 10 hours. Light usage should however take you through a day with more than 10 hours of battery life.

Smartphones running Android have a wide selection of applications numbering over 500,000. Apps can run in the background, provide notifications and can interact with each other and share information to each other such as sharing Internet pages through email, SMS, Facebook, Twitter or other services.

With the features on the Tecno N3S, it makes it to the list of the most affordable smartphones and also offers quite substantial value for money.

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