The South Africa's second largest mobile operator, the MTN, has recently launched an own-brand Android smart phone with the facility of dual SIM and a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU.
The new mobile phone, which is now branded as a Steppa, is sold completely unlocked for the pre-pay customers through the local supermarkets and the MTN stores for around R499, which makes it one of the first true smart phones available now, only for less than $50.
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The Steppa smart phone is a white-label Qualcomm reference design, which features an impressive 3.5-inch screen with 512MB of RAM, an FM radio function and a 1,300mAh battery to power up the phone which is specced to last for up to 627 minutes of talk time. The phone also features Google Play integration, HSDPA facility, Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity feature, and A-GPS.
The downside to the new smart phone is that it has got only a single-core 1GHz CPU and it ships with the Gingerbread version of Android, which is way too old. The MTN representatives have told the customers who are hoping for an update to the Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean or to the KitKat that the firmware is not going to be upgraded.