I saw it coming – Tecno T1

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Tecno T1

One year ago, I predicted an Android smartphone from the makers of the Tecno T9 which I reviewed here on Mobility blog. Though my projection was that such a phone may likely come after the T9, I was wrong! It came after the T8, a powerful 3.5-inch screen size, with java and WiFi. Please do check a comprehensive review I did at allphonereview.com.

The Android T1 was launched on the 27th of April 2012 in Lagos, SouthWest Nigeria. The launch was hazy, in my opinion, because the phone was not presented physically. There were also no pictures of the device from the secretive manufacturer.

Even worse was that the Nigerian that did the unveiling, one Mr Chidi Okonkwo, the deputy general manager of Tecno Nigeria, talked of the phone processor being like that of a desktop computer. What?? He also claimed that the phone could perform computer-like operations?? From his statements, it was either he didn’t know much of the phone specs or he was deliberately playing with information. No price was also given at that event.

I did a lot of web searching. Coupled with my forensic assumptions, permit me to put forward a preview of the Tecno T1 Android mobile.


The T1 hardware architecture is based on part the T8. The T8 has a beautiful 3.5-inch screen, and so does the T1, sporting home, menu, back and search touch “buttons.”

The T1 has a front facing camera in addition to the rear 3MP camera. It runs Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread. More good news! This droid has dual active SIM. Tecno have mastered dual SIM technology, even before the likes of Samsung et al jumped on. And guess what, one of the SIM slots is CDMA. Crazy guys. I can put my money on the screen being a true capacitive touchscreen.

On other specs, I suspect a 600MHZ to 800MHZ processor overclocked to knock off the Huawei Gaga and Samsung Galaxy Pocket. 3G, GPS, accelerometer etc would be standard on this phone and it should be heavily skewed toward social networking.

Tecno claims that Android Gingerbread OS gives you access to half a million Android applications, but didn’t say if those are all free.

Now for the market competition, it seems Tecno may be the winner. My reasons are not far fetched. Both Huwawei’s Gaga and Samsung Galaxy Pocket are sporting a 2.8-inch screen size, and they have been around with their issues. Both are also bundled to a network, especially Etisalat. Both are sold for under 20,000 Naira.

T1 is likely to be bundled with a free unique gift, in line with Tecno’s tradition, and with a bigger screen size. I suspect that even Mr. mobility may take a second look. Don’t forget another Tecno tradition – a 13-month warranty and two bundled 1400 mAh batteries. My projected landing price: 25000 Naira.

If you are game, do leave your own projections, analysis, speculations and deductions on the expected Tecno T1 Android smartphone.


  1. A great synoptic review, Paul. The Techno Android phone looks compelling for entry level users. However, it would be great to have a comparative review of the 3 budget phones mentioned in the article; Gaga, Pocket & Techno Android. Even then, I daresay that I might give the fight to the Samsung Galaxy Pocket!

  2. I think the price would be just right with the projected price. But apart from the 3.5 inch screen, one other important thing is making sure the screen technology is capacitive rather than resistive.

    I can’t guarantee there is going to be 2 batteries out of the box. You don’t normally see 2 batteries on their more expensive phones these days.

  3. Phone launch without the phone being present….ah….well let see when it finally get here, the looks, bigger screen and Android 2.3 is fantastic but I sense a problem if it is not GSM+GSM nigerians have lost confidence in CDMA.

  4. Chinko product no they last. The first Techno product a blackberry look alike does not last six months. I can use any chineese product but not phone especially Techno

  5. Chinko product no they last

    @Olukunle, i know people who have benn using a Tecno product for long- with no problems.

    I think that generalization is hasty and mostly inaccurate.

    By the way, Tecno is NOT ‘Chinco’. Tecno is a known brand. .’Chincos’ are brandless Chinese products..

  6. Love people that still remember there GNS 2xx and use it in their daily conversation

    “I think that generalization is hasty and mostly inaccurate.”

    The only question I have for @Eye is that do you use Chinco Phone especially Techno or what have you?

    It is only the people that wears bad shoe that knows where it pinch. There is no doubt about it everybody knows that China products especially the ones shipped to Nigeria are either fake or substandard. This is not limited to phone it cut across all their products.

    I am not out to be a spoiler to Techno products but I only air my personal opinion and experience about Chinko products. Run opinion poll about Chinko phone and you will hear people experience I rather buy original Nokia phone with limited functionality than buy a PDA of China make with a lot of functionality that will not last and give me value for my money.

  7. I find the manner of launch very curious especially with no unit at the event.

  8. i wouldnt trust the tecno with the capacitive touchscreen. I will give it to Samsung galaxy pocket. The 3gb internal memory is a big plus!

  9. @Olukunle:

    Run opinion poll about Chinko phone and you will hear people experience I rather buy original Nokia phone with limited functionality tha buy a PDA of China make with a lot of functionality that will not last and give me value for my money.

    I’ve used 4 Tecno phones now since 2007 and I’m still with the 4th phone. I used the very first one from February 2007 till November 2010. Between November 2010 and October 2011, I used and lost 2 other Tecno phones. The last one that I bought that same October of 2011 is still serving me well.

    I have not used any other Chinese phone branded or not apart from Tecno and I can say their phones are quite durable. The great motivation has always been the multi-SIM support and I use these phones basically for calls and SMS and very occasionally for internet.

    And yes I do use the touch light, radio tuner and audio player fairly regularly. I’m also more comfortable using its Mass Storage feature now than that of my Smartphone when what needs to be copied is relatively small.

    My point finally is that Tecno is not entirely bad when it comes to durability.

  10. I’m holding my wife’s Samsung Galaxy Pocket in my hands right now and it’s not locked nor branded to any network. Please correct that from your write up. I won’t totally agree with the person that said it may not sell because it is CDMA/ GSM. The cheapest dual (CDMA+GSM) android device being sold right now by Visafone costs 50k (the other, a Motorola costs 75k), if this sells around 25k as suggested by this author, it will be a good buy for those on a budget & uses a CDMA in addition to their GSM and of course seeking to own a smartphone.

  11. The first Techno product a blackberry look alike does not last six months

    To vaporize your bias even further, i have a neighbor that used this particular one (looks like Nokia E71) for OVER three years. He changed it only when the writings on the keypad were getting illegible.

  12. Thank you so much @Harry for sharing experience, you are on point, In 4 years you have use 4 Tecno phones. That turnover is on the high side compared to my own Sony Ericsson P990i for the past 4years the phone is even getting better I used it gave it to my wife she used it until she got tired and change her phone I collected again and all the functionality are still in place and I am still on it.
    I don’t know why you change the Techno maybe for upgarde, spoilage or what have you.
    I still have my own reservation against Chinko product generally. May be I am prejudice

  13. @Olakjnle, it is not maybe. You are prejudiced, and it shines through!

    Harry said he lost two of the phones. It is a reason why he has used that many.

    Harry said,

    etween November 2010 and October 2011, I used and lost 2 other Tecno phones

  14. @olakunla please educate yourself here by reading the posts of the T9 review on this blog.It was so educative,especially knowing the difference between chinco rogue manufacturers and ‘come clean brands’ like Tecno, ZTE etc
    @Afewgoodmen thanks.please note its Tecno and not Techno.
    @Harry please correct me if I am wrong.all Tecno Phones since the era of 13months warranty comes with 2 batteries. Their most expensive phone till date is the T8,initial price was between 17 to 20k got mine for 17k3h here at kaduna.It came with 2 batteries too.
    Here are more features I found out today of the T1:
    3.5inch capacitive touchscreen HVGA,320*480(?)
    HSDPA/HSUPA.W+G (some body help me does the W+G means wifi and 3g or what?
    proximity, G and light sensors
    3.0 rear camera with flash
    Bluetooth 3.0(I will rather not believe Tecno on this)
    Dual sim,dual active/standby
    PC camera support,internal memory of 2G DDR+4G NAND
    External memory of T-flash of up to 16G
    Video format;mp4, AVI and RMVB wap 2.0.BL-5N 1400mAh battery
    Talk time up to 6hrs, standby time up to 220hrs
    Now if ask my opinion, there is no way a phone running gingerbread 2.3, 3.5inch capacitive touchscreen dual sim will not beat one with a single sim with a smaller display.
    When its time perhaps MN would obliged us the triune reviews of Gaga,pocket and T1
    @Mr mobility thanks for the corrections you did on this contribution,It was immediately noted.What a quick big mentoring for me.shukran!

  15. @Everybody thank you so much for your education. As for me oooooo I can not waste my money on chinko or china made phone I even hate the sound effects. When they ring you knownit is chinko. It is like the Chinese don’t have the sense of sound apart from the ringing you cannot compare the finesse of the sound effect of nokia, blackberry with any chinko grade good night

  16. @Olukunle:

    … I even hate the sound effects. When they ring you knownit is chinko. It is like the Chinese don’t have the sense of sound apart from the ringing you cannot compare the finesse of the sound effect of nokia, blackberry with any chinko grade good night

    Oh yeah, you are right about the sound thing but you can always change things around. If sound is the only thing that you can use to identify a Chinese phone, then that wouldn’t be an issue for me because I never ever use their default alert/ringing sounds.

    It is obvious you can’t be bothered with customizing the ringing/alert sounds on your device so you can always stay away from Chinese brands.

  17. @Harry Echemco, let @Olakunle BE o!

    Give a dog a bad name in order to hang it.
    A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still . – Dale Carnegie

  18. @Supersuser,
    Thanks for pointing out the WCDMA thing. Many confuse WCDMA for CDMA.

    Nice review. The 3.5inch screen and the known durability of Tecno phones are strong points in the favour of the T1. But why launching a phone in nigeria when the phone was not even present at its own launch? Foul play? I love conspiracy theories and may just advance one here if I am permitted. All in all, this phone promises to break some monopoly (notably that of Samsung).

    I will surely buy one for my boy when it finally hits the stores.

  19. Now that CPU speed is a little bit of a letdown but then, this is their very first Android device and they just have to start somewhere. What will matter most is the real world performance and if the device is very responsive, then the processor speed numbers won’t matter so much.

  20. yeah, you right @Harry, I think Tecno is been careful investment wise.Though the cost is excellent, one source said its 21k in Lagos and 24k in Kaduna.

  21. i dnt tink tecno s bad at al 2 me i prefer t 2 any kind of samsung fone cus d1 am usin nw s a regret @ ibk wen do u stat enjoyin tecno.

  22. The T1 is an excellent phone. I held it in my hand today.I was embarrased my the hyper responsiveness of her capacitive touch screen. It came with 8Gb of external storage.2G Ram. Boy the price point is crazy 20k-first hand Info.Hardware wise you cant beat Tecno

  23. @jujukemist:

    Again good price point. I believe you mean 2GB of internal storage.

  24. i have used tecno t9 for three years now without any fault,tecno phone is durable,affordable

  25. yeah @harry, my error 2GB RAM.I may be right,mot sure yet. Tecno wrote something like this- 4+2GB RAM,so I deduced the internal storage to be 4GB and RAM to be 2GB. I believe a Full review would clear these gray areas

  26. @jujukemist:

    yeah @ harry , my error 2 GB RAM .I may be right,mot sure yet. Tecno wrote something like this- 4+ 2GB RAM, so I deduced the internal storage to be 4 GB and RAM to be 2GB. I believe a Full review would clear these gray areas

    I saw the advert and now I realized it wasn’t your error but rather Tecno or their representatives being deliberately ambiguous.
    I think what you saw was 4 +2G RAM, and the 2G of RAM is 2Gb rather than 2GB. 2Gb is equal to 256MB that is closer to the 200.7MB that is visible to the user.

    Again, the 4G would mean 4Gb instead of 4GB and that is effectively 512MB of storage, but what is visible to the user is around 170MB. It also ships with 8GB of memory card.

    I helped a friend buy one last weekend and also helped with tightening things up to avoid unnecessary data leakage and some installations. The device looks good and the quality of the body is good. The screen is capacitive and very responsive too, almost like HTC devices and with capacitive Home, Menu, Back and Search buttons. It also has dedicated camera and volume buttons and of course with power button too. It notched a score of 2191 in AnTuTu Benchmark version 2.3. Impressive score by the way.

    The only thing that messed up all the good work Tecno did with this device is the meagre 200MB of RAM. You can only go wrong with only 200MB on any Android device running from anything from version 2.0. I’m not saying lower versions are immune to this problem, but talking from my experience. The T1 simply cannot multitask, or at least not to my taste. Presently, I have the following apps that are always running in the background and are never shot down:
    * Youlu Address Book
    *JBak Taskman (the hub of my multitasking activities)
    * ZDBox
    * Notification Toggle (Helps with multitasking and quicker settings)
    * URSafe CPU Monitor
    * Android Optimizer
    * Screen Shot It
    * Network Monitor Mini (Bandwidth speed indicator)
    * aNdClip (clipboard manager)
    * WhatsApp
    * TouchPal Keyboard
    * K9-Mail
    * Quick Settings (Quick access to system settings) and services I really do not need that start on their own at boot or when I use the associated apps

    Plus most of the Google and Android services and there never was the case of services shutting down in the background, with occasional cases of apps shutting down in the background but only for apps I put in the background with the back key button.

    The T1 cannot handle anything close to this. In fact I put only 7 of the apps on the list on the Tecno T1, they are:
    * aNdClip
    * Quick Settings
    * Notification Toggle
    * ZDBox
    * JBak Taskman
    * TouchPal Keyboard
    * Screen Shot It
    and I wanted to try OfficeSuite on the device, and TouchPal keyboard refused to work with my preferred leather skin. It actually started working initially until I minimized the keyboard to make a selection of paragraph formatting option and the keyboard refused to load. I used JBak Taskman to…

  27. It is often claimed that Android does not nred third party memory managers. It is claimed that it is smart enough to handle memory assiduously.

    What I would then do in a low memory situation is to instal a memory profiler (say http://bit.ly/KvYnAZ) – that can enumerate for me the memory consumption of all my running apps. I can then carefully look fot equivslents that arem to handle memory more prudently.

    Also, I would look for apps that perform multiple functions, therefore avoiding areas of functional overlap (like using aNdClip, along with JBak TaskMan that already provides done level of clipboard management function in Android)

  28. @Eye.Bee.Kay:

    Also, I would look for apps that perform multiple functions,therefore avoiding areas of functional overlap (like using aNdClip, along with JBak TaskMan that already provides done level of clipboard management function in Android)

    That claim might be entirely wrong considering that I seldom have memory issues on my device. The idea is that you will hardly get out of memory errors on Android because the system analyzes when you are running low on memory and terminate apps that you have not used for a while and of course it can guess wrong which apps are more important to you at any point in time and that is where those groups of apps labelled services come in. Apart from the app you are using at any point in time, every other app started by you or any other process will be killed before touching services and finally apps on your status bar.

    I do that also but some apps do prove very difficult to replace and then there just has to be overlap. You mentioned aNdClip and JBak TaskMan but I think you mean JBak Keyboard because JBak TaskMan does not offer clipboard management. Though JBak keyboard is good and offer some clipboard management, it would still not match aNdClip and also doesn’t offer swipe input which is very important to me, so it cannot possibly replace both aNdClip and TouchPal keyboard in its present state.

    JBak TaskMan is another app that would be very difficult to replace because it is very light and fast with good measure of features.

  29. mean to say that claim might not be entirely wrong considering that. ….

  30. Harry you are all correct I bought T1 about 10 days ago.that low memory ram is tecnos albatross.apart from that the phone is winner,very solid built. the Os behaves reponsibly. A review is inevitable

  31. techno phones is the best right now in town,i can’t waste money on nokia wahala.

  32. You mentioned aNdClip and JBak TaskMan butI think you mean JBakKeyboard because JBak TaskMan does not offer clipboard management

    My error!

    I see your point.

  33. l want to know the HSPA -processor speed of the T1 phone and whether it has the feature of unlimited call records like the other android phones.

  34. This had been addressed elsewhere on this site. The CPU speed is about 650MHz and yes it has all the features you mentioned: HAPLESS HSPA and unlimited SMS storage and call records but has only 200MB of RAM, is greatest ills.

  35. To ppl running their mouth and saying shit, I’ve used T9,T8,T6 coupled with most of the HD series all great mobiles. Longer lasting battries, TECNO has done great job by aligning with android. All tecno phones are awesome and durable too.

  36. Ken,

    To ppl running their mouth and saying shit,

    Hiya! This sounds like your first comment on this blog and you’re using this sort of language. If you read the through the comments on this blog, you will notice that we prefer more civil language, if you don’t mind 😉


  37. can anyone direct me to a place I can obtain the CDMA/GSM Tecno dual
    SIMs phone in Lagos?

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