TECNO launches KaiOS powered T901


Africa-focused mobile phone brand TECNO has announced the launch of the T901, its latest 3G smart feature phone and the first TECNO device running on KaiOS mobile operating system.

According to a statement issued by the company, the T901 is equipped with a hybrid dual-SIM slot which can support two SIM cards, 512MB +256MB memory and a 2.4-inch QVGA display with 240x320 pixels resolution. It also features a 1900mAh battery which enables 25 days of standby time and up to 19 hours of non-stop calling.

The new device comes embedded with both a front and a rear camera with built-in flash light, and supports 3G and 4G/LTE, Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC.

KaiOS-enabled phones come with WhatsApp, the Google Assistant, Facebook, YouTube, and Google Maps, as well as a store for apps called the KaiStore.

TECNO said the new device will be available in three colour options: gold, black and blue, but did not confirm exactly which markets the device will be made available in.

Orange backing

According to an ITWeb report, in November 2018 MTN announced a partnership with KaiOS, China Mobile and chipmaker Unisoc to bring affordable 3G smart feature phones to its African markets, including South Africa.

In February 2019 KaiOS expounded on its ambition to expand its OS for smart feature phones to more users in Africa.

At the time French telecommunications firm Orange, in collaboration with KaiOS Technologies and mobile baseband chipset supplier UNISOC, launched Sanza smart feature phones to the Africa and the Middle East markets.

The offering was unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona and the devices, with voice recognition, are priced at US$20 (depending on the country) and available to Orange customers in Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Jordan, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Sierra Leone and Tunisia.

Orange said the phone will be available to Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire and Mali from April 2019, with other countries to follow in the year.

T901 smart features

Stephen Ha, Managing Director of TECNO Mobile, said, "With the arrival of T901 powered by KaiOS, users gain access to apps such as WhatsApp, YouTube, Google Maps, and others on an affordable TECNO smart feature phone for the first time. The phone also supports GPS, Wi-Fi, and 3G, with significant network speed growth and better anti-signal interference performance as well as faster signal reception in call mode than those in 2G. T901 also comes equipped with the Google Assistant, allowing users to operate the device with their voice."

Sebastien Codeville, chief executive officer of KaiOS Technologies, said, "Launching with TECNO is a significant milestone for both our companies. The digital divide in Africa remains large, and we're thrilled to be working side-by-side with TECNO to eliminate it."