In the last year or so, Cell C has completely revamped their image for the better, and entered the Mobile Broadband sphere with a bang when they offered Data packages with data equating to as low as R42 per GB. This earned them some great publicity due to their competative pricing.
Once again, Cell C has created a storm with the entry of the Red Bull Mobile (RBM) branded packages at amazing prices.
Red Bull Mobile offers 2 packages being the RBM100 and RBM 200 packages. Each package offers a choice of two phones.
The RBM 100 offers customers the choice between a Nokia 5230 or a RBM C (A rebranded Huawei IDEOS) which runs Android 2.2 Froyo.
The RBM 100 offers the following on the contract:
- 100 Anytime Minustes
- 50 Standard SMS’s
- 250MB Data
The price for the phone and the above is R149 per month for 24 months.
The RBM 200 offers customers the choice between a RBM HD (A rebranded Huawei IDEOS X5) which runs Android 2.2 Froyo or the Motorola MB525 (Known overseas as the Motorola Defy), a rugged, water-resistant Android Phone.
The RBM 200 offers the following on the contract:
- 200 Anytime Minutes
- 100 Standard SMS’s
- 500MB Data
The price for the phone and the above is R249 per month for 24 months.
At the moment, there is nothing available at any other network that can come close to this pricing, even if taking a low-end phone.
I was lucky enough to obtain an RBM HD for Review from Cell C and I will share my thoughts on the phone below.
My initial impression when I first got my paws on the RBM HD was that the phone looked and felt solid and would not fail to impress if left on the table at work, varsity or school.
The phone has enough pesas to turn heads and looks good. The single sheet of glass across the top of the phone surrounded by a chrome coloured contour make the phone stand out as modern and sophisticated.
The top of the phone features 4 soft-touch buttons, being “Back”, “Menu”, “Home” and “Search”. There is a plate of glass the spans the entire top area of the phone giving it a sleek look and feel. Additionally, a chrome colour surrounds the glass plate and smooths off into the plastic on the sides, making the RBM HD look even more attractive.
The left side of the phone features the volume rocker button.
The right side of the phone has no buttons or plugs.
The top of the phone has a 3.5mm plug and the power button.
The bottom of the phone is where the microUSB charger port is.
The back of the RBM HD is covered in a soft-touch plastic making it nice to hold and easy to grip. There is also a chrome coloured Red Bull Mobile logo with a bull design on the back cover which is quite attractive and has a trendy feel to it.
The back of the phone also houses the camera, LED and speakerphone. Strangely, the camera protrudes from the body of the phone … which I feel might make it easier to scratch.
The RBM HD Features a 3.8″ LCD, which is a decent size and easy to operate. The screen has crisp clean colours and shows off colours in images extremely well.
The viewing angle is also decent with the angles being quite wide in all directions.
The screen has a nice soft-feel to it which is good as your fingers do not want to stick to parts of the screen. Something I find irritating on some other touchscreens.
User Interface & Included Software
The user interface is the standard Android 2.2 interface, i.e. a vanilla interface. Something I like, because this means upgradeability of the interface on the phone is made easier.
There are a couple of Apps included as standard, which are:
-Apps – Which directs to a list of available Redbull Mobile Apps you can download
-Coach – Which uses GPS to assist your running or cycling training sessions.
-Portal – Which directs you to the Redbull Mobile website portal where you can get the latest news, Redbull videos, Redbull TV, etc. I used the Redbull TV on high quality, and it seemed to work well, although there were some points where I tried and it said the video could not be played … and this could be due to the available internet signal I had. When it did play, the quality was very good and it hardly lagged. It seemed to use about an average of 1 – 2mb per minute of data on high quality.
-RBMA Radio – Which allows you to play the Redbull Music Academy live straming radio.
-Redbull Flugtag – Which is a simple, but fun game which seems to be based on the Redbull event where people create their own funky aircraft.
There are also a few more apps in the RBM Apps application which I did not download but are available.
The Android app drawer has a 3D look to it which I like, and probably the best feature of all is the smoothness of the app drawer. It does not lag at all when swiping the apps up or down.
The phone also comes included with the Swype keyboard, which works really well when using the actual swype functionality, but not as well when trying to type normally. Luckily, the RBM HD also comes with the Huawei keyboard, which gives you the option of a 12 button phone keypad, something I prefer to use on touchscreen phones with the dictionary enabled.
The camera quality of the built-in 5MP camera is really good, and the video quality is great.
The video records a 720p HD which increases the viewing experience when watching recorded videos.
The camera comes with an LED flash, which is very high intensity, and sometimes seems to wash out the subject at night. Other than that though, the camera and flash do a superb job of snapping shots and the auto-focus works very well.
I was a bit disappointed with the speakerphone which is relatively quiet, and the quality of sound out the speakerphone was not up to scratch.
When speaking to someone over the speakerphone, the phone would crackle or distort on the higher pitched tones of voice. Also, in my car, I had to hold the loudspeaker up to my ear to hear it properly … defeating the purpose of the loudspeaker.
The softness of the speaker was also noticeable when watching the Red Bull TV, as some of the voices were fairly soft, although this could also have been due to a lower audio level on the broadcast.
Also, I struggled to hear the phone ringing or SMS’s coming through as the speakerphone was just to soft. Even in a car environment with open windows … it was barely audible. The vibrate feature wasn’t much help either as it was there, but a bit faint.
The battery life on the RBM HD is extremely good, with the battery lasting for over 2 days without a recharge. I haven’t yet come across an Android phone that has lasted this long.
There really aren’t any complaints with the battery, just compliments and I wish more phones had the battery life of the RBM HD.
I ran Linpack and got a very decent 27.75 MFLOPS, which explains why the RBM HD has a very smooth feel to it. The RBM HD packs a bit of a punch in the performance range.
I also ran Neocore to determine the graphics processing performance and got a respectable 44.2FPS, meaning that you won’t have any issues running the games you want on the RBM HD.
I loved almost everything about the RBM HD but I felt the one thing I didn’t like was something quite important, being the speakerphone, and I feel that this was definately overlooked by the designers. Other than that though, I was impressed with the phone itself, especially with the performance and the display.
For the price you are paying on the RBM 200 contract, together with everything included and the option to take the RBM HD, you are looking at a great deal, and you definitely won’t regret your decision to take the contract.