MTN has started to roll out its new Smart S 3G phone across all of its African markets, including South Africa.
The device was originally unveiled in November 2018 as the product of a partnership between MTN, Unisoc, KaiOS, and China Mobile.
This new phone runs the KaiOS operating system, which is a lightweight Linux-based OS also used by the Nokia 8110 “Matrix phone”.
It does not have as many features as a standard Android smartphone, but it is significantly cheaper and still supports popular apps such as WhatsApp and YouTube.
MTN said its Smart S 3G would be priced at around $22, making it one of the cheapest “smart” 3G phones available on the market.
Thanks to MTN, we got our hands on one phone before it becomes available locally.
The MTN Smart S 3G supports 3G connectivity and despite its traditional feature phone design, it also includes a number of useful applications and hardware features.
The device comes with various apps installed, including Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps, and Google Assistant.
Users can also download WhatsApp from the KaiStore.
Apart from its impressive software support, the MTN Smart S 3G includes a web browser, front and rear camera, FM radio, and up to 5 days of battery life.
The phone also supports dual-SIM and a microSD card with up to 32GB of storage.
GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi support are included.
South African market
MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter told MyBroadband that the device would be available at a “very attractive price” when it launches in South Africa in the coming weeks.
He added that the phone would be bundled with special promotions, which will make its value proposition even more appealing.
The MTN Smart S 3G aims to fill a gap in the local market by offering those with 2G feature phones the opportunity to migrate to the operator’s 3G network at an extremely low price.
MTN aims to sell 10 million of these devices over the next three years across all of its markets, bringing many new subscribers to MTN in the process.
The target market for this device are users who cannot afford a smartphone or those who want a cheap secondary phone with great battery life and smart functionality.