By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito
Gtel, a locally based mobile phone company has recently unveiled their greatest contender ever to the Zimbabwe market ,stirring up the battle of smartphones against traditional international giants.
Today Samsung and iPhone brands have been leading the market internationally and their presence on the local scene have surely helped them affirm their global positions yet in an unprecedented manner, Gtel`s brand new A717 explorer is a way too cool phone to consider.
The latest offing from the Zimbabwe`s based dual sim mobile phone company introduced last week comes 10 months after its predecessor the Gtel A707 Infinity. This is set to leave tongues wagging as it fiercely matches up against renowned international brands.
While Speaking to the Gtel`s head of marketing Mr Robert Gonye, he said “this is the phone every Zimbabwean will envy to have, it has outstanding features plus the next generation of Sound which is Dts sound system, only available on their Gtel A717.”
Of great interest, is how the Gtel A717 completely beats the other giant smartphones in what I term the fundamental aspect of:
Battery Life of most Smartphones has been the greatest disappointment ever to come on the market with giant names like Samsung, HTC and Nokia falling out completely in manufacturing a phone that last close or equal to 12 hrs talk time plus browsing session.
Today this has been a major focus as most customers have been disappointed by failure to adhere to the most basic element as almost every smartphone on the market quickly drains out battery lasting not more 3 hrs. It defeats the purpose of having a feature filled smartphone while using it online will quickly render it useless as the battery sharply drains out
Ofcourse this has been one of the success secret by Apple as most of its trademark iPhones have also proved to have a very long battery life adding so much fun to the user experience both online and talk time.The A717 clocks 6hrs of straight online usage powered by 1800mAh battery.
Design and build
The A717 Explorer comes in at 137.4×68.4×7.9mm; it is an ultra-slim smartphone. It is neither wide nor tall but its sleek curve design accentuates it. The Explorer is very light weight, weighing just 125 grammes and is one of the lightest smartphones on the mobile market. The A717 Explorer works with a 4.7” SHARP IPS, HD display, (1280×720) and a pixel density of 312 PPI.
The A717, which is currently competing with the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Sony Xperia Z, is the lightest of them all, weighing just 125 grammes.
The main con of the A717 Explorer is that trends are moving towards bigger screens and yet the A717 Explorer has a 4.7-inch display, just 3 inches short for it to have become a phablet.
With the current irresistible promos from all mobile operators in Zimbabwe , The A717 Explorer is a dual-sim smartphone, giving the user an option to combine two different service providers and enjoy the benefits of each at the same time.
The Gtel A717 Explorer runs on the world`s most popular platform, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, which currently gives you seven home screens to fill with widgets and apps. Furthermore, the A717 is Gtel’s second smartphone that comes built with an impressive 3D User Interface that allows for enhanced user capabilities.
For example, instead of scrolling on the home screen to view a certain page, you can simply press the 3D icon to pick the page that you want to visit or revisit.
Storage and Processor
Inside the Explorer you have 16GB storage and a removable microSD card slot that allows for MicroSD-XC cards of up to 64GB for storage expansion. The devices processor is a 1.2 GHz Quad-Core Cortex A9 for maximum efficiency.
The device’s camera interface takes the abilities delivered rather inspiringly and brings them to a new level. Although the A717 packs an 8.0 Megapixel camera, the great thing about the camera is that it is High Definition (HD) As strange as it may sound, to our eyes, all of the shots captured by the Explorer are crystal clear because the camera is High Definition, anti-scratch and anti-dirt.
It also has a 2.0mp secondary video-call camera, full flash for web browsing, extremely rich video and audio codec support, and, lastly, the file manager comes pre-installed in the device.
Price and Warrant
Another additional advantage of the A717 is that it comes with a 12+3 months warranty and full back-up at Gtel, the current promotion has tagged it at $395
The Gtel brand has fought a tough battle for it to be acceptable amongst the Zimbabwe population on the backdrop of poor local quality products and the proliferation of fake or imitations.
Gtel has stood the taste of time, what I really commend about their new product is the hardware more than its software.
Today every fake phone in the market or rather imitation can also run on Android operating system since it’s an open source operating system , which can be downloaded or easily upgraded causing serious confusion amongst most users today.
To help every phone seeker, its much wiser to trust the manufacturing brand than the popular Android based platform. There is absolutely nothing wrong about Android as an operating system, in fact it is made by the world`s most powerful search engine, Google, that makes it a tried and tested software while unfortunately it has been abused by most fake mobile phone manufactures.
As a giveaway tip, there is no official phone called Android on themarket. Android is not a phone but an operating system. The only Mobile phone by Google is not called Android but Nexus, all these proliferation are imitations
Another handy guide, when looking to buy any phone you may not really be sure about, do not buy unbranded branded phones, “Noklas” wich are ambushing Nokia are a time bomb and any other phone which hides behind another product name is as dangerous as its subtle intention.
No matter how the brand may look, my advice is any phone which clearly states its brand name has to be taken seriously on the market. It simply means they are willing to push a product they are proud to be identified with and can provide support should any problem arise.
Gtel has to be commended for the great strides they have made on the local market and this time they have brought a product I can safely recommend, a futuristic local contender set to be a game changer , the official launch of the phone is yet to be set with hype already building up.