While smartphone prices have already been on the decline, making it affordable to more and more people, there is still a great majority of Filipinos whose mobiles are not internet-capable. This is true despite the Philippines being recognized not only as the texting capital of the world but also the world’s online social networking champ. Almost everyone I’ve asked has a Facebook account. A friend of mine even has a yaya (nanny) who’s got a Facebook account.
Recognizing these patterns, Smart designed its own brand of an internet-ready phone and tailor-fitted its features and apps to the Pinoy’s lifestyle and preferences. At a media launch recently, I was introduced to the Netphone, Smart’s offering for those who are budget-conscious but love to get on the internet and engage on social media.
By September 10, the public will be formally introduced to Smart’s very own brand of internet-capable phones via Netphone 701 (which I hear is a ZTE model). It is only the first model to come out, with other higher-end models being planned in the coming months.
Netphone 701 is an Android-powered phone, running on Froyo (ver. 2.2). This was my first time to play around with an Android handset but I noted that the initial apps loaded on it were pretty good. An FM radio, a Bible app, and even my favorite Docs To Go app was loaded in it. It’s got 2 cameras. The back camera is 3.2MP while the front cam is a VGA one. It was pretty light, something I’d always appreciate in a phone. Colors were quite vivid. This handset also allows you to turn your phone into a hotspot and it supports Flash 10.1. It has a 3.5″ touchscreen and runs on a 600MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.