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Best smartphones for under R1,000

Here are some of the best smartphones available in South Africa for less than R1,000.

They’re not the fanciest, but are many are unexpectedly powerful. Most of the brands are not as popular as brands like Samsung or Huawei, but don’t be put off by that. Smartphones can be pricey. A top of the line Samsung S20 can set you back a good R30,000 or the cost of a second-hand vehicle. But you can get a decent phone for much less, especially if you’re paying with cash instead of buying on credit.

They wont be the fastest, or most modern phones around, but they have all the necessary features you would need, and can run apps like Instagram or Whatsapp with ease. The brands are not as well known; you wont see Samsung or Apple on this list but, if you need a cheap, no-frills smartphone, there are more options than you might imagine.

These are some of the top smartphones in South Africa currently available for less than R1,000.

Mobicel Astro

Mobicel launched the Astro in South Africa in 2018. Its just about the cheapest smartphone you can buy at the moment. It has 512MB of RAM and a 4-inch touchscreen. It runs Android, using the smaller, less data-intensive GO apps, has a 2MP rear camera and a 1.3Ghz processor. It also has an excellent battery life. It doesn’t quite compare with flagship mobile phones, but its not really meant to its a simpler, cheaper and yet fully functional phone. Or you could buy the Mobicel Vega which is also under R1000.

Hisense U962

The Hisense U962, one of South Africa’s most in-demand smartphones, has 1GB RAM and 8GB of storage. It also has a 1.3 GHz processor and a 4-inch display. The battery is small, but has no need to be any bigger. It has an 8MP rear camera. If you’re willing to spend an extra R100, there’s also a version with a 5-inch screen.

Vodacom Kicka 6

Vodacoms budget Kicka smartphones actually pack quite a punch. The latest version, Kicka 6, has 8GB of storage, 1GB of RAM and a 5.4-inch touchscreen, which is great value for money considering that you can get it for under R800. It also has a great battery life, can reach 4G speeds and has 5MP front and rear cameras. It runs Androids GO apps. Another good option is the Vodacom Smart Kicka 3 which you can get for just R499.

Microsoft Lumia 640 LTE

Its not for everyone its a Microsoft phone, so you wont have access to Googles Play Store, or the Apple App Store. It has a more limited selection of apps. Its got an 8MP rear camera, 5.56-inch screen, a quad core 1.2Ghz processor as well as 8GB of internal storage and 1GB of RAM. It also has LTE connectivity. Its best to consider its limitations before purchasing, but its a good phone.

Hisense E6

What does the fancier version of the U962 offer for an extra R300? A better battery life, a 5.5 inch screen and LTE capability. The rear and front cameras are 8MP. Also, you can unlock it using facial recognition, like the more modern smartphones. It runs Android 8, with the GO apps.

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