Sony’s sub-R3 000 dual-SIM Xperia C is South Africa’s most important smartphone

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Yesterday Sony announced its latest flagship, the Xperia Z Ultra – 6.4-inches of in your face Android awesomeness. Along with that went Sony’s new Smartwatch 2 and the SBH52 Bluetooth audio device, both of which will be available a month after the Ultra’s September arrival.

And finally, there was the Xperia C. Far away from the Z, alphabetically, this is Sony’s mainstream phone for developing markets. Powered by a Mediatek chip, rather than a Snapdragon solution as used in the Z devices, this 5-inch phone is out to prove that just because you have a cheap phone in an emerging market doesn’t mean it has to be, well, crap.

Andrew Fraser, channel marketing manager at Sony Mobile South Africa, says that rather than giving people a hamstrung device with an extremely low price, Sony wants to give users a device that is just as usable as its flagship products – something that doubles up as a computing device. And, indeed, many users rely on their smartphone as the sole means of accessing the internet.

Just as important as its ability to bring a full Android experience to users is its dual-SIM capabilities. The reasons a user would want to have two SIM cards in a phone are obvious: better reception in different areas, across different networks; better rates for voice and data across networks; or simply the convenience of having two phone numbers without as many phones.

As such, the big networks won’t carry the device on contract, but that won’t matter: when it launches in September it’ll be available for less than R3 000. Cheap enough to be competitive against most other entry-level devices, while offering a whole lot more.

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Christo van Gemert

Christo van Gemert

Eleven years ago Christo started writing about technology for one of South Africa's (then) leading computer magazines. His first review? A Samsung LCD monitor. Hey, it was hot news, back then. Nowadays he gets more excited about photography, cars, game consoles, and faster internet connections. He's sort of an Apple fan, but will take any opportunity to remind you about his Windows-powered home theatre PC and desire to own a vanilla Android tablet.   Currently uses: Apple 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display, Apple iPhone 5, Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000, Audiofly AF78 Earphones, Xbox 360, Nikon D50.