Cassper’s red red red Nyo-phone
AG#Hashtag R3 499 like holding a baby Ferrari in your hand – it’s flashy, blingy, arrogant and a bit iconic (if that’s your sort of thing). It is certainly a stand-out LTE device in a market of greige and pale pastels. Out of the box, though, it is rather heavy, and a bit fat. The edges are nice and smooth and metallic, which kind of makes up for the bulk a bit.
Once the 1.5 gigahertz True Octa-core processor gets going, it is a whirring little thing, all vibrating touch responses and chirpy update chimes. The 5.5inch touch screen is the right kind of sensitive too and the Android operating system is nice, particularly in a Samsung world that can be too pricey for some. It’s a bit like the Redmi Note 2, which, if you’re in the market for DIAL UP something affordable right now, I would recommend you try. Aside from the colour, though, it is a pretty standard device for this market of budget smartphones.
But surely it had been Cassper-fied? Aside from the hand-signed note that accompanies my phone, I can see no trace of the rapper anywhere on the device until, there in the corner, I spot the Cassper Nyovest icon. Aha, I think, time for musical delights! So imagine my disappointment when I find out that Cassper’s only noticeable addition to the phone is in fact his personal gig guide equipped with a bunch of 30-second music samples. Not even a few full songs off the album?
Small things like that, and the fact that there were no earphones included in my package (in a device endorsed by a musician?), leave a bit of a sour taste in the mouth. It was probably just an oversight, though, as MTN is marketing the phone with “limited edition” earphones for subscribers. The entry-level smartphone market is incredibly competitive, so if AG Mobile Africa wants to compete, it will need to do more to set it apart from the rest of the excellent and equally well-priced devices on the shelf.
The AG#Hashtag is available to the public on May 10, exclusively through MTN
Cassper Nyovest and AG Mobile have released a smartphone