Cassper’s red red red Nyo-phone

CityPress - - The Good Guide - Gar­reth.van­niek­erk@city­

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

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