Astro unveils the Astro Virtual 2. Lies about it being the world thinnest phone

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Astro CEO Munyaradzi Gwatidzo announcing the Astro Virtual 2

Astro CEO Munyaradzi Gwatidzo announcing the Astro Virtual 2

Local mobile devices and software company, Astro has unveiled their new flagship smartphone, the Astro Virtual 2, at an event held in Harare tonight. The Astro Virtual 2 succeeds the Astro Virtual (1) and it’s the first mobile device they have announced this year.

Speaking at the launch, Astro CEO Munyaradzi Gwatidzo said the Astro Virtual Phone is the thinnest and lightest smartphone in the world. The Astro Virtual 2 is 6.5mm thin and weighs 120 grams. That it’s the world’s thinnest phone is ofcourse not true. A quick Google search is all you really need. There’s a Chinese phone brand called Gionee which, at 5.5mm thickness, is already is the thinnest in the world. There’s the Vivo X3 too whose thickness is just 5.75mm. So, no.

Forget brands not available locally; Huawei Ascend P6 is 6.2mm which makes it thinner than the Astro’s V2. The Huawei Ascend P6 also weighs 120 grams.

The worlds thinnest smartphone?

The worlds thinnest smartphone?

I managed to ask Gwatidzo if he knows about the Huawei Ascend P6 and he said he does not believe that the Huawei Ascend P6 is really 6.2mm thin. His argument is Huawei as well as other claimed thinnest devices on measure the metal strip and leave out the covers around the device – giving them a false thinness. Weak. That aside, why Astro feels the need to lie about this is beyond us.

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Gwatidzo also says Astro spent 6 months developing the Astro Virtual 2 (or simply V2) which is also kitted with trim covers, an 18MP rear camera and a 5″ FHD Corning Gorilla Glass protected touchscreen.

Astro Virtual 2 Specs

Dimensions6.5mm, 120 grams
Display5" FHD, Corning Gorilla Glass touchscreen
Memory 16 GB, 1 GB RAM
Data ????
Camera 18 MP, LED flash, Secondary: 5 MP,
O.SAndroid OS, v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean), planned upgrade to v4.4 (KitKat)
ProcessorQuad-core 2.5 GHz,
BrowsingHTML5
Battery????
FeaturesAstro Mobi Store, GoEnterprise App

Astro is asking people to part with $499 just to get their hands on the Astro Virtual 2. Incidentally that’s just $1 less than the going price of the Huawei Ascend P6, which we already feel is kinda pricey. So yes, the price is a bit on the up side but we will have better judgement after a full review.

The Astro Virtual 2 comes with the Astro Mobi Store pre-installed and a new enterprise app called the Work Space app or GOenterprise. Astro says they have made good progress with the Astro Mobi store which now has all payment options available and a sizable chunk of local content already available on the store.



41 Comments

  1. Danie says:

    I think we need more specs, getting a second hand Galaxy S2 will be better than buying a droid from such liars

    1. Beaven says:

      Especialy on the battery part, i really wanna know how much was compromised.
      and more info in the screen technology used

  2. Anonymous says:

    hmm.? The image in this report shows a plastic Bic ruler (not scientific) it may not be the most trustworthy instrument to correctly measure the thickness. A properly calibrated instrument is needed to prove thickness. One can’t read off 6.2 mm accurately on such a ruler as used here. so headline is a bit harsh on Astro. i suggest going to UZ metrology department or SIRDC metrology department for a proper measurement please Mr Editor.

    1. [email protected] says:

      Had to Lol on that!

      Seriously?

      Its all marketing speech and local companies get away with extremes to lying.

      Generally happens everywhere just done cleverly.

    2. Not us using the ruler… Just a photo of their presentation.

  3. ic0n1c says:

    The pricing on this device is a bummer! And it ain’t slick compared to my best local device the Gtel 717… But all the same good show from Gwatidzo hopefully those guys are lining up better products for the rest of the year.

  4. E. Musanhu says:

    How about specifications for Samsung Galaxy S5 going for $788 vs Asto Virtual 2 to $499.

  5. yolo says:

    This new comment thingy sucks ass, it promots trolling

    1. How? allowing anonymous?

  6. munashe says:

    i just want to say a job well done to astro.given that they are zimbabwean and african they are raising our flag very high.let be supportive your headline is rather harsh.and for the record the gionee phone your talking about is not even yet available in the market.so guy your job is to promote local tech companies not diss them

  7. tafadzwa says:

    i think these guys are working for gtel,cause all gtel phones are gionee phones,i happen to visit the site now when checking the phone you where talking about and to my surprise all the gtel models are exactly the same as gionee.unobva watoshaya kuti zvirikumbofambasei

  8. customer says:

    wel done Astro but why lie that this is the worlds thinnest phone. Anywhere u a doing very wel guys but u need to improve on customer care. l am one of your clients and l am struggling to get my refund of over deducted monies. Murikungoramba muchitora mari yangu kubank when my account is paid up. Itai zvinhu zviri straight varume if u a to survive

  9. Anonymous says:

    my apologies Mr Editor on the measurements issue. quick one Mr Editor. what do you think of the Zimbo Tech scene in terms of its foundation . Are we building from the top down or from the ground up as they did in America.? Silicon valley Is so named as it was built on the physics of the semiconductor. are these tech companies here in Zimbabwe having in house research teams of physicists chemists etc who understand the fundamentals of the materials and the science itself. how do they choose the right battery or the materials fof their screens for their phones if they do not invest in the right type of research set up. We have a lot of lithium in Zimbabwe. are they making plans to at least make batteries in masvingo? I assume for economic reasons these zim phone brands are assembled in China but what are the prospects of at least making the batteries here and cornering the replacement battery market for phones by manufacturing generic smart phone batteries here and lobbying govt to offer tax breaks for the battery manufacturers.

    1. These guys have said they are exploring making the batteries locally in partnership with SIRDC http://goo.gl/T5Jnsd
      But it didn’t seem like t hey had actually started anything when we spoke to them. Seem more an idea they had exchanged and were considering.

    2. Yussuf Ouedrago says:

      I attended the launch event, this writer was focussing much on the negative side. The guys said they are at an advanced stage of setting up a manufacturing and assembly plant in the country. Locally available materials will also be used to manufacture other components and accessories. Lets give them a chance to prove their mettle before we burden them with too much criticism.

      1. Clinton says:

        Do you know how many years they’ve been saying this for? Google G-mobile & Swav.

      2. Anonymous says:

        I thought it was a fair & balanced article. It’s good to find a place online where you can catchup on what’s happening on the local tech scene

      3. Anonymous says:

        http://www.gsmarena.com/gionee_elife_s5_5-6109.php but facts must be set straight. You don’t need to falsify facts . Here is a thinner phone on this phone. I think its pricey too, I hope u agree with this writer too.

  10. kilotango says:

    well, technically apple said the same thing about iphone 5.. and they lied too. but a bic ruler??? seriously? a vernier caliper costs like $15…and would’ve made a greater impression.

    1. itai says:

      @kilatango r u doubting the accuracy of a bic ruler?

  11. Drogo says:

    I snorted with laughter when I finished reading the article….Zimbo are NOT easy to trick or deceive

  12. Anonymous says:

    For all i know these phone are made in China so what’s this local thing someone is shouting about.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Here is a 5.5mm slimmer phone I just discovered on GSM Arena http://www.gsmarena.com/gionee_elife_s5_5-6109.php

  14. Samuel Masuka says:

    A presentation……. using a ruler?! seriously Astro?

  15. Tatenda chekure says:

    Wel the phone z assembled n china bt the brand z zimbabwean so good job guys.smone say they ae targeting g tel….yes,in business thats how its done even apple and samsung target each other

  16. Tatenda chekure says:

    for a zimbabwean company thats vry good creating such an ultra slim smart phone

  17. Tatenda chekure says:

    but its good…

    1. Tatenda chekure says:

      yes for the zim market

  18. Gara says:

    inga makati 95 bucks pa zbc ko 499 yauya nekupi

  19. James Taruvinga says:

    Great job Munyaradzi and team Astro… Rome wasn’t build in one day and neither was Apple

  20. Beaven says:

    ok so i went and checked it it, this phone is jst bad.. what i find totaly funny though is this.
    Astro claims they spent 6months developing the V2 but we’ve seen this product before, well twice in fact.
    http://www.gsmarena.com/karbonn_titanium_octane_plus-6219.php
    and
    http://www.gsmarena.com/blu_life_8-6405.php
    It should be noted im am referring to the design and not the Dimensions of either device.
    Seems the only development Astro undertook was reducing the baterry (from 2000mAh as in the others to 1800mAh)

  21. mjtinashe says:

    guys try out the v2,i ts awesome m tlng u its in my palm ryt nw n it works lyk hell

  22. CHINA says:

    iNew V3 vs Astro V2

  23. eddy says:

    i have virtual 2 +, a very efficient smartphone…..eish nyc

  24. BRIGHTON "mister Bi" MLAMBO says:

    local fones are gr8 bt they cease providing backup support of accessories eg batteries once they cease manufacturing a model.Vese vane maOLD gtel models eg the famous TROJAN model are having a hard time finding replacement batteries.Astro & Gtel provide all season accessories.
    AMEN

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