Smart Netphone #SmartNetPhone
UPDATED 10/02/2011 – After the quick ingress last Saturday at some pharmaceutical company office in Makati, I dropped by at SM Megamall to have my usual dose of pampering way before Typhoon Quiel strikes. In addition, I was bidding time to get the latest updates from the boys if the plan to watch a movie at Rockwell and to finally visit Opus as a group would push through or not. I was actually excited about this because my days of carefree partying have long been overdue. As such, since the things I went to SM Megamall for can actually be done in less than 2 hours, I had all the time in the world to do something else and that also includes visiting the SM Megatrade Sale event of which I also had some observations via Twitter.
Anyway, given I was there, I felt interested to drop by Smart’s Jump Center at Cyberzone to finally check out the highly-promoted Smart Net Phone. Upon entering the place, I was greeted by nobody since it felt like even their own staff were too busy checking and playing with the latest gadgets inside the showroom. Bad for customer service, but in a way, it only speaks of how nice our modern-day technology has become these days.
However, with the exception of that Smart Netphone module with the 3D images in front which also attracted my attention by the way, it was quite interesting that out of the 6 demo units of the said phone that were prominently displayed on the raised platform, nobody was actually busy tinkering the said devices and not even one of their employees wanted to check it out for themselves. Well, a few did inspect it for a bit, but on a ratio of at most 2:4 at any given time with a span of 2 minutes or less. If the Smart Netphone units on display was a website, they would have a very bad traffic stats for that particular moment. This makes me think not ensuring that the said devices had the best connectivity inside their very own Jump Center was quite disappointing, really.
And so, trying my best to check it out and play with it for the first time without any biases whatsoever, I must say, the Smart Netphone isn’t really that nice to begin with. Maybe it’s because of the fact that the said demo units cannot connect to the Internet given the provided connectivity settings, which may have stunted my interest and amazement of the gadget similar to other people. On the other hand, although it felt light to the touch and the screen was kinda clear, my dear fingers were just too big for it as of presstime. Sure, it only takes some practice to be at ease with it. But if I were to recall my first moments with the Motorola Razr or the Siemens S35, what I felt about finally getting to touch the Smart Netphone is hardly love at first sight. But then again, I’ve never been gaga with the iPhone, so that must also mean something, right?
But the thing is, the market of this Smart Netphone isn’t really the usual suspects of techie people from the Philippines. Priced slightly below P10,000, any self-respecting techie would rather have a high-end Blackberry, iPhone 5, one of ‘em Samsung Tablets, Sony Ericsson Xperia, or the Kindle Fire.
However, while racking my brains of what could probably be the best reward for myself this Christmas, what caught my attention is one of the POP materials atop one of the modules which state that the Smart Netphone is “the best Android phone in its class.” Once again, priced slightly less than P10,000 I have no qualms in agreeing with that statement. I don’t consider myself to be that well-informed about the latest updates with regards to technology but although I personally believe the HTC Chacha is so much better (which is also offered by Smart by the way,) knowing us Filipinos, the big price differences between the 2 is already enough to make you think that the target of the Smart Netphone isn’t really as similar to that Taiwanese Tech Giant.
And so, coming from the eyes of a consumer who has enough knowledge of all things tech and wonderful, I would say the Smart Netphone would be a steal if and only if you only have a P10,000 budget for a phone. Moreover, this is assuming that as a Smart-branded device, the services provided for these gadgets would be so much better than, say, the Blackberry services the local market has been getting from all the local telcos combined.
The Smart Netphone isn’t a smart choice for a smartphone if you want to have the hottest device in town. But knowing that technologies change in a matter of months especially with respect to the iPhone, maybe choosing this one may not be such a bad idea after all. Yes, Smart has recently announced the entry of the Samsung brand and technology to its line of Smart-branded netphones, but I think the disparity between the versions (if there are substantially any) would not really matter at all given the price range. Now, should the new one Smart Netphones be more expensive than the last, I’ll be simply taking back my support to the statement that it is the “best Android phone of its class.”
Let’s just hope the durability of this product is not as bad as the first Smart phone that the same company released when I was still in college. As you know, Smart has the penchant for releasing innovations and dropping it altogether like a tick of a timebomb. Addict Mobile, uMobile, Smart TV, anyone?
P.S. Just a little disclaimer, I have worked for IPS (a Japanese telco which has ties with local telcos), have friends in all local telcos, and even my sister was the Head of Contracts Management of Globe Telecom. I was also invited to the launching of the Smart Netphone at Republiq last September 10, but only God knows why the organizers claim I was just jumping into conclusions and have yet to receive an actual apology from the event organizer particularly the sister(?) of my classmate from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. In addition, although I appreciate the effort of a particular person, for that person to say things were “just a matter of miscommunication” is somewhat insulting for my part especially since I have come to know from other bloggers that yes, what I believe was true, is actually the real thing.
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