SOLO Mobile is a new Nigerian brand pushing a range of media-centric smartphones. The SOLO S450 is the flagship of their line up, and I spent some time with one today.
First up, it is a very beautiful device. It feels solid and fit nicely in my hand. The front is glossy, while the rear feels like a nice matte finish. The hardware is really top notch. The design screams “xperia,” and with good reason too, but that will come in my main review. The S450 is powered by a 1.3GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. It is also a dual SIM device and packs a 1,800 mAh battery. The rear camera is 5 megapixels with LED flash.
The display is 4.5 inches and very sharp and bright. I didn’t have the opportunity to check it out in direct sunlight yet, but you can expect that experience in my full review. There is 16GB of internal memory and a removable memory slot. But anyone can slap Android on hardware. It takes more to deliver content on it. And it is from this point that SOLO seeks to make a stand.
Enter SOLO Music and SOLO View
What SOLO has done here is build their own services – in this case music and video – on top of stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. And what they have done is impressive. Partnering with Iroko and other local brands, as well as Sony, Warner, and Universal, SOLO Music gives you unlimited access to 20 million songs for free, while SOLO View provides you a huge library of movies to pick from.
Even better is the fact that SOLO lets you download any of those files to your device for a period of two weeks. Being DRM-protected, you will not be able to transfer them off your device, but the fact that you do not have to worry about an internet connection each time you want to see a particular movie or listen to a song is a good move.
Without tampering with the Android OS, SOLO has used customised widgets to give access to their music and video content. Think of all that value bundled into very sterling hardware, and all for less than N30,000. I look forward with excitement to reviewing the SOLO S450.