Cassper Nyovest secures a hit with the AG Mobile Hashtag
What you need to know:
Screen is made with Corning® Gorilla® 3 Glass
16GB internal storage but space to add a memory card
5MP Selfie Camera
What I think you should know:
When the AG Mobile flagship – the AG Mobile Ghost came out – it was over boxed and somewhat cheaply garnished in a gold finish. It was underwhelming and disappointing. My review of the AG Mobile Ghost was less than complimentary. I arrived back from London a few weeks ago to be greeted by an understated black box on my desk and a short note from South African hip hop star Cassper Nyovest introducing his new smartphone offering: the AG Mobile Hashtag.
I opened the box with trepidation. The one stand out disaster of the AG Mobile Ghost was the speaker functions (I thought they were broken when I first tried out the phone), would the local musician suffer my wrath for partnering with a crappy sounding smartphone that disappointed?
The short answer? No.
Fresh out the box I was rather in love with the striking red colour of the AG Mobile Hashtag. I even commented on my initial thoughts in a gadget haul video I did for my YouTube channel (shameless plug: if you still haven’t subscribed know that I sob silently into my pillow every night because of you). The phone has a far more similar design to Samsung offerings as opposed to the cheap iPhone knock off AG Mobile went for before. On switching the phone on it is clear that the AG team has sufficiently upped their game. The display is sharper and the phone doesn’t lag. In fact I was surprised by its speedy response throughout our time together.
The Android skin is left alone other than a few pre-loaded apps. Most I welcomed (Facebook, Instagram & What’s App) while two I greeted with a “huh?” (that would be BBM and WeChat… do people still use those apps?). I thought the clever Hashtag background was a nice touch. To ensure the Cassper Nyovest link really ran true, the phone also comes preloaded with Cassper’s own personal app. I’m still not sure why the app is relevant. It links you to Nyovest’s social channels, supplies you with some pictures and a few tidbits of his music but, for the most part, adds nothing of value. Even if you’re a huge fan of Nyovest you’ve likely seen all the content the app is touting and should probably delete it to save up some more space for his music (which you will need to buy because it isn’t pre-loaded on the phone).
The phone operated at a decent speed. I got through a day with the battery (but did need to ration my phone use towards the end of the day). There was a lot of marketing talk about fast charging but I found the phone took a long time to reach full charge. So make sure you have some time at your desk to keep it plugged in to the USB cable.
The camera is okay, a bit sluggish but it delivers a decent shot. Selfies are okay. They’re not going to blow your mind but you’ll be happy enough to post them on Snapchat.
I think the Cassper Nyovest link was a marketing ploy to try garner interest following the flop of the Ghost. I don’t think AG Mobile needed it. The phone is funky and fun. It’s really nice to use, fits beautifully in hand and I think, at the price point of R3699, it is a really decent buy.
The Chinese will beat you though
AG Mobile is a local company, but it is pretty obvious that these devices are being made in China. Unfortunately, the Chinese manufacturers (Huawei and Xiaomi) are still coming in at the same price with a far more quality product. I think the AG Mobile Hashtag would have killed them had the brand offering the 24 hour support and lifetime warranty to the smartphone deal (much like what came with the Ghost). However, all we really have is the Cassper pull. It’s a funky phone and if you’re looking for a mid range smartphone that will make you stand out – this is it. Though I’m not sure if that is enough to go toe to toe with the Chinese knock outs.
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