At 10:00 today (Wednesday, 18 June 2014) Afrihost is set to launch a promotion on an Android smartphone and 12GB of mobile data.
For R1,999 once-off, existing Afrihost customers will be able to buy the Zest T1 smartphone and 1GB of mobile per month for 12 months.
Afrihost values the bundle at R3,687: R2,499 for the device and R1,188 for the mobile data.
The question is: can you build a similar bundle from what’s already available in South Africa for less?
To investigate how well Afrihost’s deal compares to what is available in the market, we first have to compare its 1GB data offerings to what is available from other operators.
In its marketing material, Afrihost values the data portion of the deal at R1,188, which is what 1GB of data per month would cost at Afrihost when its promotions end.
This is shown in the table below:
|1GB Data plans||Monthly price||Total over 12 months||OOB Rate|
|Afrihost 500MB + 500MB||R58||R696||R0.10/MB|
|Cell C 1GB contract/top-up (12 of 24 months)||R69||R828||R0.99/MB|
|Vodacom 1GB contract/top-up (24 months)||R69||R828||R1/MB|
|Telkom Mobile 1.5GB on-net contract (month-to-month)||R69||R828||R0.30/MB|
|Cell C 12GB SIM (1GB every 30 days)||N/A||R899||R0.99/MB|
|Vodacom 1GB contract/top-up (12 months)||R79||R948||R1/MB|
|MTN 1GB contract (24 months)||R79||R948||R0.29/MB|
|Vodacom 1GB per month (pay once)||N/A||R999||R2/MB|
|MTN 1GB top-up (24 months)||R89||R1,068||R0.29/MB|
|Afrihost 1GB (excl. bonus 1GB)||R99||R1,188||R0.10/MB|
|Telkom Mobile 1GB on-net prepaid||R119||R1,428||R1/MB|
|Telkom Mobile 1GB all-net contract (month-to-month)||R225||R2,700||R0.30/MB|
While Afrihost currently offers 1GB of mobile data for much cheaper than it values the data on the Zest T1 deal, keep in mind that Afrihost has announced that its promotions end in July.
Those who sign up before the end of June will enjoy double the data they pay for until the end of December, but after that the promotion is currently set to fall away.
This means that the cheapest possible price you could get from Afrihost on the 12GB of data (based on the information we have right now) is R942 over 12 months (R58×6 + R99×6).
However, to see if we could build our own smartphone deal with 1GB of data per month for a year for cheaper, let’s subtract the cost of the cheapest data package from the R1,999 Afrihost is charging.
Cell C’s 12-month data contract for R69/month is the cheapest (Vodacom offers a similar price, but over 24 months), coming to R828 over the year. Telkom Mobile also offers a competitive deal for R69/month on a month-to-month contract that provides 1.5GB of data, but it is an “on-network only” deal.
Subtracting the R828 for data from Afrihost’s R1,999 promotional price leaves R1,171 with which to buy a smartphone just to equal the Zest T1 deal.
To see what kind of phone we can buy for that price, we looked at the phones on sale from the Orange store, along with a few available from Vodacom and Kalahari.
These are summarised in the table below with some of the key specifications of the devices. So the table will fit, some specifications, such as battery and camera sizes, are not shown.
|Gobii 4″ IIP (dual SIM) ‡||R810||1.3GHz dual MT6572||4.0″ WVGA||4GB||1GB||Android 4.2.2|
|Afrihost Zest T1 (effective price)||R811||1.3GHz quad MT6582||4.5″ qHD||8GB||1GB||Android 4.4.2|
|Vodacom Smart 4 Mini||R899||1.3GHz dual MT6572||4.0″ WVGA||4GB||512MB||Android 4.2.2|
|Acer Liquid Z4 Duo||R1,405||1.3GHz dual MT6572||4.0″ WVGA||4GB||512MB||Android 4.2|
|Gobii 4.5″ IVP (dual SIM) ‡||R1,510||1.2GHz quad MT6582||4.5″ FWVGA||8GB||1GB||Android 4.2.2|
|Nokia X (dual SIM)||R1,590||1GHz dual MSM8225||4.0″ WVGA||4GB||512MB||AOSP-Nokia|
|Motorola Moto E||R1,825||1.2GHz dual MSM8210||4.3″ qHD||4GB||1GB||Android 4.4.2|
|Wiko Iggy||R1,935||1.3GHz dual A7||4.5″ FWVGA||4GB||512MB||Android 4.2|
|HTC Desire 310||R1,965||1.3GHz quad MT6582M||4.5″ FWVGA||4GB||1GB||Android 4.2|
|Nokia Lumia 520 †||R1,999||1GHz dual MSM8227||4″ WVGA||8GB||512MB||WP 8|
|Nokia XL Dual SIM||R2,105||1GHz dual MSM8225||5.0″ WVGA||4GB||768MB||AOSP-Nokia|
|Acer Liquid E2 Duo||R2,168||1.2GHz quad MT6589||4.5″ qHD||4GB||1GB||Android 4.2|
|BlackBerry Curve 9320*||R2,380||800MHz single||2.4″ qVGA||512MB||512MB||BB 7.1|
|Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM||R2,385||1.2GHz quad MSM8226||4.5″ FWVGA||8GB||512MB||WP 8.1|
|Nokia Lumia 635 4G||R2,385||1.2GHz quad MSM8926||4.5″ FWVGA||8GB||512MB||WP 8.1|
|Acer Liquid Z5 Duo||R2,457||1.3GHz dual MT6572||5.0″ FWVGA||4GB||512MB||Android 4.2|
|ZTE Grand S Flex 4G||R2,495||1.2GHz dual MSM8930||5.0″ 720p||16GB||1GB||Android 4.1|
|Samsung Galaxy S3 mini||R2,495||1.0GHz dual NTU8420||4.0″ WVGA||8GB||1GB||Android 4.1|
|Zest T1||R2,499||1.3GHz quad MT6582||4.5″ qHD||8GB||1GB||Android 4.4.2|
|Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2||R2,525||1.0GHz dual NTU8420||4″ WVGA||4GB||1GB||Android 4.1|
|Acer Liquid E3 Duo||R2,665||1.2GHz quad MT6589||4.7″ 720p||4GB||1GB||Android 4.2|
|Geeksphone Revolution||R2,805||1.6GHz dual Atom Z2560||4.7″ qHD||4GB||1GB||Android / Boot2Gecko|
|BlackBerry Torch 9810||R2,805||1.2GHz MSM8655||3.2″ VGA||8GB||768MB||BB 7|
|Motorola Moto G 4G||R2,891||1.2GHz quad MSM8926||4.5″ 720p||8GB||1GB||Android 4.4|
|* Cheaper prices listed on operator websites (e.g. Cell C, Vodacom)|
|† At Vodacom online shop|
|‡ Gobii devices include 200MB Cell C data per month for 12 months, which normally costs R189. This once-off cost has been subtracted from the prices in the table.|
As the table suggests, it does not appear possible to get the equivalent of the Zest T1 for under R1,171.
The closest competitor, in terms of hardware, appears to be the Gobii IVP from Kalahari, but its processor is clocked slightly lower and it is not running the latest version of Android.
Devices running Android 4.4 “KitKat” below R3,000 appear to be limited to the Motorola Moto E, and Motorola Moto G.
From the above comparison, Afrihost’s Zest T1 deal at R1,999 for the device and 12GB of data is well worth it.
For an idea of what to expect from the Afrihost Zest T1, be sure to check out our review.