Techzim

Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates


Zimstocks app on a mission to encourage safe investment in listed companies

Just a handful of mobile apps have succeed, let alone last a few months with sustained growth. Infact,  for some reason, most local mobile apps disappear from the scene within weeks from launch. But this is not the case with Zimstocks. So far, the Zimstocks app has survived early death and come march, the app […]


Titan Smartphone review: Just a really strong entry level smartphone

A few weeks ago we had a brief post on our “initial thoughts” of the Titan smartphone which Econet is retailing for $366. We have since got a hold of the rugged smartphone and we still think the phone is ugly and we have more insight on it that will make it more and more […]


ZISPA website down. Thankfully there are alternatives to check for domains

If you’re reading this, chances are you are part of the curious and entrepreneurially ambitious lot that every now and again checks for available local domain names on the ZISPA website. And if you did so over the past couple of days, you we probably frustrated to find the site was down. It’s not just […]


The Gobii eReader is a device with no folderal

People and device makers these days are all possessed by an obsession with “smart” devices and the desire to stay connected. We have smart-watches, smart TVs, smart cars, smart brassieres, and even smart fridges that send spam through their unwitting owner’s networks. In a world where the trend is towards smartness it is rather odd […]


Now we’re chatting: Econet introduces WhatsApp bundles!

Apart from the free dumb phone, there’s one other thing that Econet did these past several months that really impressed me; the Facebook Bundles. But you and I know Facebook is only but half of our social life on the internet. WhatsApp fills the other half. Ok, there’s Twitter, Google Hangouts, WeChat, Pinterest and the […]


iPad Air review: Air light, thin and power

Recently I have had a chance to go hands on with first, the iPhone 5S and most recently iPad Air which represent my first real experience with Apple products. The iPhone 5 made me like and appreciate iOS but the iPad Air made me fall in love with Apple. Before this “exposure”, I never imagined […]


Flappy Bird is being pulled down by owner in under 7 hours (update)

Flappy Bird, the number one android and iOS game is being pulled down in a matter of hours by the owner. Dong Nguyen announced on twitter that he will be pulling down the difficult game because he “cannot take this anymore”. I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy […]


About the EcoSchool app and Mazwi… Mazwi founder sends us a response

Last week, at the launch of Ecoschool tablet and platform, one of the things we said was remarkable was the similarity of the EcoSchool concept to the Mazwi startup that we have covered here a number of times. Initially, our guess that maybe they had partnered the startup in some way. Turned out they didn’t. […]


What mobile banking USSD functionality exactly do banks want from Econet?

So after publishing a number of articles on the situation between the banks and Econet, about neutral access to the Econet GSM network, we’ve received a number of questions about  what exactly the banks are being denied and what they want from Econet. So far we’ve talked of limited USSD functionality. Thought we could dedicate […]


App preview: Emergency 24/7 app pragmatic on emergency response

Just six days ago, Techzim announced that Road Angels had released a Road Assist android app which, judging from reader feedback, seems to be a hit. Nevertheless, a company called Boulder Corporate Communications is working on a rival app called Emergency 24/7. The Emergency 24/7 app is one of the three ideas pitched at last […]


The Ecocash Droid app and m-banking security

I have followed with interest the discussion on the ingenious Ecocash Droid app and how it was swiftly disabled by Econet. I was quite frankly amazed by some of the vitriol that was spewed at Econet by some disgruntled commenters. Though I applaud Gedion for taking initiative and coming up with a way to ease […]


Here’s what EcoSchool is about

Earlier today, we made a post about EcoSchool before the launch. It’s now just after the launch and we have more about the product and service. Here’s the summary: The Concept  First, the EcoSchool website is here: www.ecoschool.co.zw The EcoSchool concept is about making educational material available to students at a lower cost and much […]


Here’s the EcoSchool tablet… You’ll think of Mazwi, biNu, Worldreader (pictures)

We’ve just arrived at the EcoSchool event in Harare, and fortunately got a chance to check out the EcoSchool tablet before the event. Ok, so the first thing that came to mind when we laid our eyes on the EcoSchool’s tablet is this: Mazwi. Not that they cloned it. No, you can’t clone an unlaunched […]


Road Angels Assist app now live on Google Play

A week ago we announced that a local emergency road rescue services company, Road Angels is working on an Android road assist application. Today we can reveal that the application is now live on Google Play and you can download it here. It will be a couple of weeks before the app is available for […]


Econet Services to launch EcoSchool in 2 days time

That Econet has been working on a new Econet Services product called EcoSchool has been public knowledge for at least a couple of months now. The group’s founder and chairman Strive Masiyiwa made the announcement back in November last year. However, when EcoSchool would actually launch hasn’t been so clear. Well, until now. We have […]


EcoCash Droid app by local developer replaces EcoCash USSD codes

A local developer, Gedion Moyo, has developed an android application that will enable users to transact through EcoCash without going through the regular tedious USSD menus. The EcoCash Droid app does all EcoCash transactions (cash-outs, cash transfers, balance inquiry, pay merchants, pay billers airtime purchase and airtime transfer) by running the USSD menus in the […]


The Titan smartphone at Econet: Our quick specs and thoughts

Econet is selling an interesting rugged-tough smartphone called the Titan R5 retailing for US $366. Our immediate reaction was thinking about last year’s Motorola launch of a rugged smartphone here in Zimbabwe which, unlike Econet in marketing at least, was clearly targeted at enterprise customers. In their ad this week, Econet is not deliberate about any specific kind […]


iPhone 5S review: Still a beauty even with minimum spend of $800 locally

When Apple released the iPhone 5S and the iPhone SC there was little they could improve from the already acclaimed iPhone 5 but Apple had something up its sleeve and made a strong case for an upgrade. Locally, pricing is always a contentious issues and often dissuades even the unflinching loyalists from upgrading. The lowest […]


Sweet MiFi

If I were to make a list of things that I absolutely hate: capped internet connections and paying for my internet on a per megabyte basis would not only make the list but top it as well. I know that there are a lot of people out there who share my malcontent with this sort […]


Road Angels working on a road emergency services and rescue app

One of the leading, (maybe most visible) 24 hour emergency roadside rescue services company, Road Angels is developing an Android based road emergency services and rescue app. Sources at the company say the app development process is at the 90% complete and the app is expected to hit the market within weeks. We managed to […]


Does anyone in Zimbabwe use BBM at all?

There was quite some expectation when BlackBerry launched their BBM mobile chat service on IOS and Android platforms last year. We remember we were as excited as any regular Zimbabwean who’s had their South African relatives speak highly about BlackBerry and its services. And we rushed to install it too and added a number of friends, […]


Telecel Play: Operator kinda, sort of, launches an online store (update)

So as early as December last year, we got a tip letting us know Telecel had launched an online store called Telecel Play. Brilliant we, finally some local portal to buy locally relevant digital content and who knows, maybe even some physical goods. Brilliant, so lets look at the store. Nothing. Despite advising subscribers via […]


ZOL relaunches local mirror for largest Linux distros: Debian, Ubuntu & CentOS

As we step into a new year, I can’t help but look back on the current year and wonder that there has been a lot of talk in the broadband/internet side of things locally but not a great amount actually done about it. Now I know that sounds very negative, ISP’s have innovated quite a […]


Here are some emerging market relevant gadgets at CES 2014

The CES has always been too advanced to interest most African markets on a “lets do business now level”. The technology presented at CES 2014 is largely for early adopters and too expensive for emerging markets to even contemplate. However, the technology eventually reaches our humble markets and over the years, the technology has been […]


CES 2014 day one round up

The Consumer Electronics Show 2014 (CES 2014) kicked off in Las Vegas, Navada today (technically yesterday with pre-event announcements from different consumer brands). For those not in the loop, the CES is an annual gathering of the top global consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers. Techzim will be giving you a round-up of each days proceedings, […]


Startup Profile: Deaftronics’ Tendekayi Katsiga

“For me it’s all about team work really. When this solar charger was being developed, there was a lot of input from the hearing impaired. There was a team a behind. I was at the technical side but the research came from the team. It also has to do with a lot of support from […]


Econet Voice Mail: Will it ever catch on?

For mysterious reasons there are some technologies which, although they are popular everywhere else, have simply failed to be popular here in Zimbabwe. On the list are technologies like BlackBerry Messenger, MMS, and voicemail. Whilst we can blame the regulators for the BlackBerry Messenger woes, I think our operators are to blame for the failure […]


Some fun with USSD codes *123*4*5*6#

USSD – short for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data – commands have been there since the first cellphone. They are the codes we have been using to top up airtime, buy bundles, check your credit balance, or even mobile money transactions (if you use EcoCash or TeleCash that is) The main issue however with a lot […]


Huawei Ascend P6 review: Brilliant, but pricey at $500

China’s leading smartphone maker Huawei, released its flagship Huawei Ascend P6 in June 2013 hyping it with phrases like “elegance with edge”, “impossibly slim”, “impossible beautiful” among other high sounding words. Econet has brought the Huawei Ascend P6 to Zimbabwe and it definitely lives up to the hype with its crafty design, ultra-slim shape and […]


Astro Funbook Review: Does it justify the $399 price tag?

We finally got our hands on an Astro device and we were fortunate enough to be given one of their most expensive devices to review. This is exciting because we are able to review what they have as their “best foot forward” and ultimately draw a conclusion on what their brand stands for device wise. […]