Spending a lot of money on a smartphone can be very painful for a lot of us, especially if some malicious human being walks away with your prized possession, never to be seen again. That is why many opt for budget devices that still offer the basic services (call, text, internet and camera) without spending too much money on it. Losing a budget smartphone is definitely less painful. On top of that, it lowers the barrier of entry for a lot of people when it comes to owning a smartphone and accessing the internet. That is why many manufacturers are eyeing the budget smartphone market in Africa, creating a lot of competition.
In Kenya there are many players trying to take a piece of this very lucrative market. One company in particular is X-Tigi. In a space as crowded as the budget smartphone market in this country, a manufacturer has to step it up in order to be seen. I never really paid too much attention to X-Tigi (other than the insanely rugged power bank phone) but they definitely got my attention with the X-Tigi Vision 6.
So what is so special about this budget smartphone?
Spec-wise, the hardware on the X-Tigi Vision 6 is pretty standard with a few eyebrow-raising moments. It comes in an all plastic build (no surprises there) but it feels comfortable to hold and oddly light. The other thing you should know is that this is a big device with a 6-inch HD screen, so good for those with big hands, or those who just like having a big phone.
Internally, it has 16GB on-board storage, 2GB RAM, a quad-core processor and a 4,100 mAh removable battery. Storage is expandable as there is a microSD card slot at the back together with support for dual micro SIM cards. It has a 13 MP primary rear camera with autofocus and a LED flash light for those low light situations as well as 5 MP front facing shooter. It comes in one colour, Sand Gold.
Talking about the software, it comes with Android lollipop 5.1, their own custom overlay, Strawberry blond on top and they put emphasis on a lot of gestures you can use to launch a number of actions, if you are into that sort of thing that is.
But let us now talk about the thing that brought you here. What’s the deal with the VR kit?
Well inside the box, you get a VR Kit/ ‘Google Cardboard-like’ thing that has special lenses that turn your phone into a VR experience. The VR kit is simple in itself. It is made of some sturdy PVC material shaped like a headset and some straps are included to ensure that it stays on your head.
All you have to do is launch the VR application on the phone, and place the phone in front of the lenses in the space provided, secure that in and you are good to go. You may need to do a bit of calibration once in a while if the controls do not seem to be responsive. You can find that option in the settings.
Well, how is it?
I tried it for a while and I was impressed by the kind of quality you get. It is clearer than I expected and you can do a number of things on it like experience 360-degree video and some gameplay.
The X-Tigi Vision 6 is special by further lowering the barrier for entry for people to experience VR. Many people still have not and may not be able to afford the VR experiences made available by the Samsung Gear VR or the Alcatel Idol 4S with its bundled headset. A cheaper and reachable option has been made available by the X-Tigi Vision 6 for a retail price of Kshs 10,999 and can be found exclusively on Jumia.