The Zest T1 Afrihost Unboxing, Review and Overview
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The Zest T1 Afrihost Unboxing, Review and Overview

So you’ve watched the trailer, you’ve heard about the dual SIM feature and you know that Afrihost rocks.
This is what you’ve been waiting for – and it’s finally here!

Let me introduce the Zest Mobile T1 phone. A little powerhouse of a device offering a simple yet powerful feature, dual SIM capability.

It’s been great reviewing this phone and putting it through its paces. Without a doubt in my mind, this phone is set to rock the local market and possibly even make some noises in the African market as a whole.


So you’ve seen the basic functionality, what’s in the box and how the T1 performs. Let’s take a closer look at what this guy is packing.

The packaging is great. Simple and sturdy with enough info on the box. 
You get the phone itself, wall charger, USB cable and the earphones.
Let’s have a look at the specs of the phone:

• Quad Core CPU clocked at 1.3GHz
• 8MP rear facing camera
• MicroSD slot (supporting up to 32GB of additional storage)
• WiFI
• 4.5 LCD screen
• Android KitKat 4.4.2
• Dual SIM

Wow! What a device, these specs are more than suited for a daily driver type smartphone. Check your mails, schedule a few meetings, play some Angry Birds in the boring meeting, make phone calls and surf the net.

Sure, there are more powerful phones out there but the T1 isn’t here to break benchmark scores. It’s here to offer great functionality at a great price along with a dual SIM feature. Pop in your voice SIM, get a Mobile data bundle from Afrihost on the other SIM and you’re connected. Boom, good to go and connected to the web.

Being connected today is more important than ever and thanks to the T1, it’ll be doing just that for many, many people.

The whole aura of this device screams incredible value for money. Who would turn down a few Gigs from the best ISP in the country while simultaneously being able to make use of your other SIM for voice/ SMS functionality? I’d use this phone as a daily without a second thought. During the review perioud I've been using it non stop for two days, and it's been awesome.

Looking under the hood, Android 4.4.2 performs really well on this device. With KitKat being launched and specifically optimised not to use a lot of resources it fits the bill perfectly. 1GB of RAM not enough? It’s plenty.
I too thought it would be a bit sluggish, especially around multitasking – but honestly, I was amazed once I’d installed a few apps and started using this phone. It’s smooth, seamless and just works really well.

Coming from iOS may be a bit of a learning curve, but I say it’s time you did. You don’t know what you’re missing with Android! It even has some iOS8 features there already, how’s that for cutting edge? Some may even call it hipster, it’s just that new!

Looking at the device build, it’s got a really nice feel to it. The back is a plastic/ rubber feel, which is good in my books. I personally don’t like devices that slide around on the surface. Yes iPhone, I’m looking at you!
The form factor is perfect, in the middle of a smaller device and the ever-popular 5” displays. You can use it with one hand perfectly, although some of the ladies with smaller hands may need to shimmy a bit to reach all the buttons.

The bezels are a good fit and make using the T1 in portrait or landscape a pleasure, as your fingers aren’t touching the screen. The buttons are nicely concealed on the sides, with the power and volume rocker buttons being integrated nicely into the side of the phone.

The hard buttons (if you can call it that) are on the bottom of the phone, being touch sensitive. Your option, home and back keys are there.
The T1 is also quite light, weighing in at a 146 grams, including the battery - which, I might add is excellent. Playing games, making Skype calls, downloading apps and books - it'll outlast any busy work day, maybe even two!

With all this technology packed into phones we often forget about it’s main feature – the phone feature.
Trying a few calls across a few networks I didn’t have any problems in terms of dead spots or not being able to hear my mates on the other end of the phone. The clarity is really good.

Remember that awesome “OK Google” feature I mentioned in the video earlier? Here are some of my top commands. More available here.

• Set a reminder
• Set an alarm
• What does my day look like tomorrow
• When’s my next meeting
• Open Gmail (or any other app installed on your phone)
• Take a picture
• Call someone
• Listen to [your favourite band name here]
• Navigate to [your destination]
• Call [a business, resteraunt]
• What’s the weather in Cape Town [the best city]

Wrapping up, I think a lot of people will under-estimate this phone by simply looking at the specs on paper.
Pick it up, play around with it and get cracking with those tasks! It won’t let you down. KitKat does a phenomenal job on the T1. I mention in the video that the device can in fact rival up to the Nexus – just for the local market.

Looking at the history of the Nexus line, it’s there to show off vanilla Android at a great price point. While some phones have a $600 price tag, the Nexus 5 (being the latest) undercuts its competitors by a long margin.
While the price point hasn’t been confirmed for the T1 just yet, I’m almost certain that it’ll be doing the same. Android really shines on the T1. This, in combination with the dual SIM feature, will surely rock South Africa!

47 Cool Comments Leave a comment
Lwakhe Sangweni said

I have seen how the Zest looks like, and had the privilege of playing around it. Great phone! Samsung move over. I’m definitely getting one for myself!

Vusi said

Please advise on how I can order the phone.

Fred Johnson said

Great- now how the hell do I get one?? Zest T1.

Jeff said

You guys can order the phone via the site :)

Sandy said

Just ordered my Zest yesterday ........super excited, can’t wait for delivery!!!

Jeff said

Enjoy Sandy, this really is a superb device!

Rholdah said

I’ve ordered mine on the 18th at 10:01am! But I see no progress in clientzone to my order? The payment has deducted from my account too, but not verified.. Thought I would have the phone before the weekend at least!

Jeff said

Hi Rholdah. It depends on the payment method you used, debit orders usually take some time to clear from the banks. More updates on the delivery of the order will be done via the ClientZone :)

Rholdah said

Hi Jeff, I opted to pay by credit card because I didn’t want to wait with the debit order option. I have already received an invoice for it via email and I see a PDF version in “my billing” in client Zone. But if I check the status of the device, then it just shows that my order has been placed, nothing else

Stuart said

Please advise how I can purchase Zest T1 urgently

Shabs said

Hi Rholdah/Jeff
I also ordered around 10:20 on the launch date. Still waiting, I called and they delivering on Tuesday only. One would think in a major centre 4 business days (plus the weekend) is way to long, but the courier people don’t think so. Afrihost should use an efficient courier company.

Edwin said

I ordered one now for my mother but really contemplating on getting myself one as well. I would just like to test it out first before I make my decision and the debit order is taking so long now to confirm payment. I see there is about only 400 units left, what happens when they run out?

Tshepo said

I’m getting mine today, last night was a farewell party for my HTC Desire Z and was not prepared to upgrade my mobile contract for over 4 years, still think the price of phones is ridiculous until I received an email from AfriHost, now can u imagine what AfriHost can do to the market segment ‘when’ you tap into the voice call’s segment? Watching this spaced while having a slush and pop corns!!!

Muzi Maphanga said

Got it, got it…. thanx to Afrihost. it is really a superb gadget, it works miracles. I like the touch response.

Jeff said

@Rholdah: Tracking is available via the ClientZone, I’m sure you’ll get your phone shortly :)

@Stuart: You can purchase the phone via our site, here

@Shabs: Our team is running through the orders, you can expect delivery shortly.

@Edwin: When we run out the phone will be sold at a standard rate :)

Llewellyn said

Is there someone who is prepared to help us set up the Zest? There is no manual & the device baffles even most techno-savvy people I know. Or is there an outlet nearby where we have to go for set up?

stu shapiro said

happy with my two phones, thank you.

where do i find tech support. I connected it to my pc and a drive doesnt show up. how do iload music onto the device.

stu shapiro

Yello said

Got my Zest t1 on Friday I still cannot connect since then The support for this product is very poor and Afrihost is not coming back with a solution I’m sending my back

Manfred said

In which HSPA+ bands (900 and/or 2100) does the phone connect to the internet? Specs have been rather vague. Afrihosts data offer, bundled with the phone, runs on the MTN network, which offers 3G connectivity mainly at 2100Mhz in the metropolitan areas and 900Mhz in some rural areas.

Vicky said

My phone don’t swtich on at all .

Christo said

The instructions Afrihost sent out were wrong (perhaps it works with their Sim), I recieved a MTN sim. You need to access the MTN APN, then change it’s APN Internet too Afrihost.  From here you should be able to connect, or go too Data Connection and choose MTN-SA.  I’m not sure if that’s the right way to do it, but this got me connected.. No I wonder if my 1 free gig kicks in this month, or starts July.

Christo said

I was able to get 3g and 3G h+ (HSDPA) enabled on the supplied MTN-SA sim.  Just enable ‘3g mode’ on the MTN or supplied sim.

Jeff said

HI Stu. Have you set the device to USB storage? This generally works similar as an SD card.

@Yello: Sorry to hear that, have you chatted to our Social Media team?

@Manfred: The phone uses standard spectrum for SA.

stu shapiro said

Thanks for the reply jeff,

Where do you set the device to usb storage?
I have checked the usb option in the developer settings. Windows found the device but no drive loaded.

Ellwyn said

Received my 2x phones yesterday - order was placed at 10:05 on the 18th. Had a call the next day from the couriers confirming delivery for yeterday and they were on time. Thanks to AFROHOST and their team!!

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