When it comes to a budget smartphone brand that has successfully managed to strike the perfect balance between affordability and quality, one name comes to mind; Mobicel.
Early this month, a star-studded group of local content creators were given a front row seat into the proudly South African phone maker’s exemplary evolution; as it takes on the big guys with the introduction of one the best budget phones to ever come out of the country, the groundbreaking 48MP AI camera-powered VX20 smartphone.
Held at Insta Nation in Rosebank, Johannesburg, the launch was attended by some of South Africa’s most celebrated content creators, and celebrities, with fitness guru Sbanhle Mpisane and the former ‘Scandal’ actor Lethuli Dlamini leading the day’s proceedings. Award winning kwaito singer Zola 7 (real name Bonginkosi Dlamini), Mobicel’s newest ambassador took audiences down memory as he performed – with admirable energy and zest – a series of well known hits from the past.
The device garnered a lot of praise on the day, with many particularly gushing over the 48MP camera. “The VX20 is yet another gamechanger from Mobicel. It makes world-class technology affordable for all South Africans and has the potential to empower up-and-coming content creators with the tools to establish careers in the social media space,” Zola 7 said.
Mobicel’s exemplary evolution on full blast
Given the country’s socio economic reality, it didn’t come as a surprise that upon launching the brand in 2007, Mobicel was instantly able to make an impression among digital savvy consumers looking for either entry level or mid range smartphones – with flagship specification – at a fraction of the price.
“When we came into the market 16 years ago, it was at a time when smartphones were very expensive and out of reach for the average South African. Only if you had the budget, you could afford it. However, the difference about us is that we introduced phones with high specs and quality at a very competitive price,” Mobicel brand manager, Aysha Tshose said.
As for Mobicel’s exemplary evolution, which essentially signifies how a small, fledgling South African smartphone maker went from the humblest of beginnings to establishing a national footprint, Tshose says the secret lies in their ability to listen to their customers needs. “Wenever we plan on launching a new device, we would go out, with our CEO (Ridhwan Khan) who’s very hands on, and ask ordinary people in the streets ‘what do they want in a device? What do they use their phones for?’ Whatever research we get from the ground, we take that and develop the next device. And this time the market said we want bigger space, nice camera, stylish design. So that’s exactly what we did with the VX20; giving the people what they want.”
Mobicel VX20, top 3 features content creators would love
We’ve tested the all-new Mobicel VX20; here are 3 things we are sure content creators would love.
▪️Innovation meets sleek modern design
The VX20 LTE combines innovative technology with a sleek, modern design. Among the first things users will notice is the emphasis on design and appearance. Likewise, the phone it’s appealingly wrapped with a vibrant, glass-like casing to the back of the VX20’s 6.52-inch screen. It has matrix-like rear camera design with triple camera setup, which slightly protrudes out and echoes the design of Xiaomi Redmi 10 & Note 11.
The polychromatic casing blends light and color into a posh, vivid hue, bringing elements of sophistication to the outward aesthetic.
Released along with its more expensive sibling, the R9 Pro, the VX20 is the first to boast company’s all new 48MP AI camera, which intelligently optimides objects or scenery, allowing for spectacular picture and video quality. Once created, this content can be uploaded seamlessly to social media platforms through the device’s LTE capability, with the original quality of the visuals still maintained.
▪️High-capacity long-lasting battery
To optimise functionality, Mobicel has significantly upgraded the battery at 4500mAh, along with fast charging capabilities, meaning the phone can last for a full day on a single full charge and more. It’s the same battery performance found in some of South Africa’s top selling budget phones like Samsung A52 / A53 and interestingly the more expensive Galaxy S21 FE, which we all previously tested.
A more affordale alternative for gaming enthusiasts, it comes with lightning-fast processor and ultra-responsive touchscreen. Users can enjoy a smooth graphics on the spacious 6.517 inch display.
Offering 64GB of storage, the phone also comes with a dual-SIM – with Android 12 available out of the box.
Availability & pricing
Mobicel VX20 is available to buy online at Mobicel and selected retailers country-wide at a recommended price of R2 299.