Blackview: More than just value for money smartphonesBy Staff Writer 1 September 2016 | Categories: sponsored content
There has never been a better time to buy a smartphone, particularly if you're a local consumer seeking a device that offers great value for money. While flagship devices from Apple and Samsung still cost a pretty penny, savvy consumers can get their hands on a solid performing mid-range device for very little outlay.
The company's slogan is a "smartphone for everyone", and as such it prides itself on offering devices that deliver a rich Android experience without denting one's budget. To that end, Blackview specialises in the entry-level to mid-range bracket, and in particular serves as a worthwhile option for consumers aiming to make the upgrade from feature phone to smartphone.
"Our objective is not to sell the cheapest device on the market. It's about offering the best value for money to customers who don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for a smartphone," says product manager for Blackview South Africa, Ryno Jacobs. He adds that another of Blackview’s aims is to entice consumers who own a mobile device, but are still not in the smartphone market, which the company estimates to be as many as a third of the country's working population.
"We want to help these consumers make the move from a feature phone to a smart one, particularly those that are interacting with an Android phone for the first time," notes Jacobs.
With brands such as Huawei, Xiaomi and Hisense disproving traditional views regarding the quality of Chinese products, it has provided Blackview with a great deal of optimism, especially as price is becoming less of a barrier to entry for many South Africans. As such, Blackview has been able to extend their reach across South Africa, with more consumers turning to online resources first, before heading to a store to purchase a device.
"We've been able to ship phones countrywide. Cities and towns like Upington, Jan Kempdorp and Vryburg - markets that previously could not be reached - we are now able to access thanks to competitively priced devices," explains Jacobs. "One may have described them as niché markets, but that's no longer the case."
Blackview is not only a local smartphone provider since it also supplies devices across the Southern African region, and more recently has expanded into the northern parts of the continent. "We get many calls asking to join Blackview, and we've signed up resellers in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Côte d’Ivoire and Botswana," enthuses Jacobs.
Sizing up the competition
As far as other low-cost or value for money smartphone distributors go, Blackview believes its offerings have several advantages over the competition. One such aspect lies in the Android operating system and the latest iterations of its mobile OS. The company goes to great lengths to ensure that the latest version of the OS rolls out to specification-compatible Blackview devices within six months of Google releasing it.
"If you look at other third-party Android devices being sold in a similar price range, these often support only Android KitKat, but the vast majority of Blackview phones feature Android Marshmallow, like the R7 and BV6000," notes Jacobs.
Another area where Blackview outdoes its rivals is in the SIM card department. To that end, all Blackview smartphones feature a dual SIM orientation, something that is not always freely available on newer devices entering the country. This is one feature that Blackview is hoping to capitalise on, and high on the list of requirements from would-be buyers. "Dual SIMs is a feature that many consumers are looking for, especially if they have a SIM for work and a personal one. Having a phone that can support two SIM cards makes a lot more sense than having to carry around two devices the whole time," says Jacobs.
Surprisingly, another question that Jacobs and his team have to deal with quite frequently, is Blackview's ICASA (Independent Communication Authority of South Africa) certification. "All our devices are both ICASA and NRCS certified, which is important as we have a number of customers who are looking to Blackview phones to use in the enterprise space," explains Jacobs.
Getting a device
For those cost-savvy users wanting to get their hands on a Blackview device, venturing online remains the most efficient means. In that regard, Blackview has its own online store, along with being listed as a brand on takealot.com.
Moving beyond the point of sale, Blackview offers a full one year warranty on all devices. This covers all manufacturing faults with devices 12 months after the initial purchase, and should a device experience any physical damage, it can be sent to Blackview for accessing and repair. This can take between three to five days, according to Jacobs, with an inspection and assessment process required first.
While Blackview is an upcoming supplier on the local scene, the quality of its value for money smartphones certainly surprised many, and its status has no doubt risen over the past few months. With devices like the highly specced R7, rugged BV6000, solid A8 Max and competitively priced BV2000s on the horizon, Blackview could prove a winner on the local Android scene.
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