Econet, the largest mobile operator in Zimbabwe, has started selling Android smartphones at its new concept shops in Harare. So far only the Huawei U8220 mobile phone is available. We visited the Livingstone Avenue Econet shop last week and had a feel of the phone.
The Google Android powered U8220 spots a 3.2 megapixel camera, a TFT capacitive screen, GPS navigation, EDGE, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, a 320×480 resolution display and 3.5 hours of battery talk time. A modest smartphone we’d say. And at US $280, comes at a modest price too. The phone was first released in August last year. If you’ve wanted to get yourself and Android phone, you’d want to consider getting this gadget here. The U8220 is based on version v1.5 of Google Android.
Obviously we haven’t used it yet so we can’t really any more than this. If you have bought the phone, we’d love to know your experience in the comments below.
Android is a Google operating system for mobile devices based on Linux. The operating system competes with Apple’s iOS, Microsoft’s Windows Phone, Nokia’s Maemo and the Symbian Foundation’s Symbian Platform. Google released the first version of Android in October 2008 and it quickly gained massive adoption globally, but especially in the US. The operating system has been open sourced and this has probably contributed to its quick and wide adoption by mobile handset manufacturers. Google itself has made its own Android smartphone called the Nexus One.
Interestingly, just this week Google announced the launch of Google App Inventor, a what-you-see-is-what-you-get tool that lets people without any software programming knowledge, develop applications for the Android platform. It will be interesting to see if any Zim users and ‘developers’ are up for it.
Here are a few shots of the Econet shop and the U8220 we took: