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March 25th, 2015 by

3 28 30 1 1 - Zest T1 – Africa’s First Smartphone Still A Major Success By Hayley Axford

Africa’s first smartphone, the Zest T1 was launched in South Africa on 18 June 2014 and still remains one of the cheapest smartphones available in the country. It can be described in three words: power, beauty and affordability. On its first day of going on sale, the Zest T1 sold just over 3000 units. Since then, the device has been a major success due to the incredible value proposition that it offers. David Lindeque, CEO and founder of Zest Mobile, says that the phone is affordable for many South Africans as it is unparalleled in terms of pricing versus specifications.

When Lindeque founded Zest Mobile, he travelled across the globe to find the necessary suppliers to produce the components needed for the locally designed smartphone. The phones are contract manufactured abroad, as many parts that are required for the manufacturing of a smartphone, such as the processor, camera and storage cannot be sourced or produced locally. Lindeque confirmed that “everything from the aesthetics to the specifications are developed locally”.

According to Lindeque, the Zest T1 device differs from other local smartphones in that “it is vastly more powerful yet with extremely competitive pricing”. The device comes with 1 GB free mobile data per month for one year, which is “an unmatched value proposition”.

Operating System and Processor

The Zest T1 runs on the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system, Android 4.4.2 KitKat, which comes with OTA updates. This is unusual for a budget smartphone, but it makes Zest Mobile the only phone manufacturer that offers Android KitKat. The device uses a powerful Quad Core Cortex A7Processor which is based on ARM architecture. Together with 1GB RAM, this means that the phone will operate faster and have a much longer battery life.

Dual SIM Capacity

The Zest device offers dual SIM capacity, which means you can use one SIM card for Mobile Data and still keep your current phone number for calls or text messages.


The Zest T1 comes with a large 4.5” qHD Multi-Touch LCD which used IPS glass, which will offer you superb viewing pleasure so that images will always be bigger and more vivid.

Specifications –

Warranty: 1 year standard warranty

Operating System: Android KitKat 4.4.2 (with OTA updates)


  • Quad-Core 1.3 GHz
  • 1GB RAM


  • 8GB storage
  • MicroSD Card Slot (up to 32GB)


  • 21.6Mbps 3G HSPA+
  • Dual Standard Size SIM Slots
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • GPS
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n
  • FM Radio


  • 4.5” qHD Multi-Touch LCD Screen
  • 245ppi Screen Density

Touch Panel Glass: IPS

SIM: Dual Sim

Rotation Vector Sensor: Yes


  • 8 Megapixel Rear Camera
  • VGA Front Camera

Video: [email protected] 30FPS

Battery Life:

  • 1600mAh Battery
  • 200 Hours Standby
  • 7 Hours Talk Time

Dimensions: 136.5mm x 69mm x 9.5mm

Weight: 165g

Colours: Matte Black and Pearlescent White finishes


Included in the Zest T1 package:

  • USB Cable
  • Zest T1 Smartphone
  • Headset
  • Starter Guide
  • Charger

Additional accessories can be purchased from Zest Mobile product list. A noteworthy product on this list is the Zest Power Bank mobile charger, which allows you to charge your phone on the go. It has 5000mAh capacity, LED capacity notification lights, as well as a built-in LED torch. This will prove extremely helpful in this era of loadshedding, when you don’t have electricity to plug in your mobile charger. The Zest Power Bank can be used for a wide range of devices, from many different manufacturers. Body material: Silver Brushed Aluminium. Input: DC 5V/1A. Output: USB 5V/1A.

Zest Mobile also has great combo deals for R1999.00 if you order online from the company. The value combos in Black and White come with a Zest flip phone cover, the Zest Power Bank mobile charger as well as a Zest SIM Converter Kit.

As the company vision statement reads:

Zest is not simply a corporation bent on profits. Zest is you. Zest is us. Zest is African.