by Alexei Rivera | September 21, 2011 1:20 am
If you’ve been keeping tabs with twitter’s trending topics, you might have noticed a certain buzz regarding a certain #smartnetphone. That’s because Smart has recently launched a product called the Netphone 701. It is the first of a line of devices and software that the telco is launching that offers some amazing value added services to its users. Basically, it offers instant messaging, e-mail, Facebook access as well as other online feeds for free through Smart’s proprietary APN settings. Yes, it offers BlackBerry-like functionalities plus social network access completely free. The first to come out of the gate with this service is the aforementioned Netphone 701. A device that sounds like a decent Android phone too!
The Smart Netphone 701
So the Smart Netphone 701 (OEM ZTE Blade) is an Android phone running Froyo with some added Smart Netphone apps. Its specs can be pretty unusual and some parts can be considered to be pretty high when it comes to phones that sell for under PHP 10k. (SRP is PHP 9,900) It has a larger-than-usual 3.5” screen and running at a pretty amazing 800×480 resolution – which is mostly reserved for high-end droids. The rest of the specs are on par with most budget devices though – with the 600Mhz processor and 3.2MP camera (no flash). What sets it apart is Smart’s value added services that would be pushed through what is called the SmartNet. With it, and a minimum maintaining balance of just one peso, you can access a lot of services, completely for free. You can message your friends who are on the Netphone, check and update your Facebook and Twitter feeds, and even get updated with your prepaid load or bill statements all available on demand with the SmartNet apps. Finally, you can opt to join the global directory – which lets you find users and get to “add them” in a sort of social network kind of way.
With this service, Smart is interestingly giving users some amazing features for virtually no money. (As long as you keep that one peso loaded.) Imagine if you and your friends all owned Netphones – you would be able to message each other without even spending money or needing to hop on the internet. A move like this should effectively negate the need to text each other and thus would prevent loading a lot more often. Smart is hoping that the service introduces users to the experience and get a lot more Filipinos to get online on SmartNet. In the long term, Smart might start to monetize the service with ads, product placements, and other methods – but for now its all completely free.
The Netphone 701 right now is available for PHP 9,900 which includes a prepaid SIM card to get started on the Netphone experience – or you can also get it through a few of Smart’s postpaid plans. For more information, check out their website here. Remember, for under PHP 10k, you’re getting a pretty decent budget Android with a 3.5” 800×480 screen. That in itself might make the device entirely worth it.
For a quick preview of the device, check out our video below.
For more pictures of the launch event, check out the gallery below.
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Source URL: http://www.thetechnoclast.com/2011/09/21/smart-launches-the-netphone-701offers-instant-messaging-value-services-free/
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