The cheapest place to buy a smartphone online in South Africa

South Africa’s major mobile operators are often the first to get the latest officially-launched smartphones from manufacturers.

They also offer contract packages with data and airtime which provide customers the option of paying the smartphone off over two or three years while also being able to use the network.

Operators tend to align the prepaid price tags of their smartphones with the recommended retail prices of the manufacturers.

There are, however, specialist online cellphone stores in South Africa, which often offer smartphones at lower prices.

Examples of these include Cellucity, Connected Devices, Hicell, Hi Online, and Technomobi.

Many consumers may have purchased devices from one of these stores through ecommerce giant Takealot, which fulfils orders on some of their devices.

Consumers also have the option to purchase smartphones and other accessories directly from these stores.

We compared the prices of a number of popular budget, mid-range, and flagship smartphones available from these five online stores to see which was the cheapest.

Comparing prices

In order to be considered in our comparison, a particular smartphone model had to be available from at least two of the stores.

Our comparison found that for Huawei and Samsung devices, Connected Devices offered the cheapest pricing.

One clear example of this was how it undercuts other stores with a price tag of R11,999 on the P40 5G Dual SIM.

This is R5,000 less than the retail price and R2,800 cheaper than the second most-affordable price on offer at the time from Technomobi.

It should be noted that although Connected Devices holds stock of certain locally-supported models, all of the prices used in this comparison are from its imported stock.

These smartphones are specially ordered for the customer and may, therefore, take longer to deliver than stock which is held locally.

Customers who purchase these devices may also encounter issues or delays when attempting to redeem their warranties.

Range

Connected Devices offers a wide variety of smartphones which aren’t commonly sold in South Africa, such as OnePlus and Google’s Pixel smartphones.

However, it does not offer more affordable, locally-favoured devices such as Hisense and Vivo models.

When it comes to the range of smartphones available which are officially supported in South Africa, Technomobi and Cellucity came out on top, followed by Hi Online and Connected Devices.

Hicell’s offering was fairly limited.

The table below shows a comparison of the prices of various smartphones from the five online smartphone stores.

It should be noted that these prices do not take into account any delivery or shipping fees applicable to the orders.

All devices are for single-SIM versions unless indicated otherwise.

Online smartphone store comparison
Item Cellucity Connected Devices Hicell Hi Online Technomobi
Apple
iPhone 6s R7,999 R5,299
iPhone 11 Pro 64GB R25,799 R24,799 R23,999
iPhone 11 Pro 256GB R29,699 R25,999 R27,799
iPhone 11 Pro Max 64GB R28,399 R29,599 R26,399
Hisense
Hisense Infinity H40 Lite R3,999 R4,599 R3,499 R4,299
Hisense Infinity H40 Single SIM R6,499 R6,999 R6,999 R6,299
Hisense Infinity H40 Rock R5,199 R4,799 R4,999 R5,499
Huawei
Huawei Y7 2019 32GB  R3,799 (Dual SIM) R3,299 (Dual SIM) R3,499 (Dual SIM) R2,799
Huawei Y6p 64GB  R3,149 R3,299 R3,149
Huawei P40 Lite 5G 128GB  R8,999 R7,499 (Dual SIM) R8,699 R8,999
Huawei P40 Lite 128GB  R6,999 R5,499 (Dual SIM) R6,499 R5,999
Huawei P40 5G 128GB R14,999 R11,999 (Dual SIM) R15,299 R17,499 R14,799
Huawei P40 Pro 5G 256GB R18,999 R17,999 (Dual SIM) R19,299 R18,799
LG
LG V50 ThinQ 5G 128GB R12,699 R12,799
LG V60 ThinQ 5G 128GB R19,399 R19,999 R19,499
LG Velvet ThinQ 5G 128GB R11,799 R11,799 R11,999
Nokia
Nokia 2.3 32GB  R2,599 R2,499 R2,599
Nokia C2 16GB  R1,599 R1,599 R1,599
Nokia 5.1 Plus 32GB  R3,599 (Dual SIM) R1,999
Samsung
Galaxy A31 128GB  R6,199 R6,299 R6,999 R5,899
Galaxy A51 128GB  R7,949 R6,999 (Dual SIM) R7,799 R7,999 (Dual SIM) R7,999
Galaxy A71 128GB R9,899 R9,499 (Dual SIM) R9,999 R10,999 (Dual SIM) R9,999
Galaxy Note 10 256GB  R17,999 (Dual SIM) R16,999 (Dual SIM) R18,699 R19,999 R18,999
Galaxy S20 128GB  R20,799 (Dual SIM) R17,899 (Dual SIM) R21,299 (Dual SIM) R18,999 R20,599 (Dual SIM)
Galaxy S20+ 128GB  R19,599 (Dual SIM) R18,899 (Dual SIM) R23,699 (Dual SIM) R20,999 R22,999 (Dual SIM)
Vivo
Vivo Y11 32GB  R3,399 R3,499 R3,299
Vivo Y12 64GB  R3,899 R3,499 R3,899 R2,799
Vivo Y91C 32GB R2,449 R2,199 R2,499 (Dual SIM) R2,799
Xiaomi 
Xiaomi Redmi 8A 32GB  R2,899 (Dual SIM) R2,399 (Dual SIM)
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9s 128GB  R4,899 (Dual SIM) R4,699 (Dual SIM)

Now read: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs iPhone 11 Pro – Flagship showdown

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The cheapest place to buy a smartphone online in South Africa