(UPDATED: We updated the company’s name to S Nexian.)
Indonesian handset manufacturer S Nexian launched six new devices yesterday: three feature phones, two low-end smartphones, and the one I think is most interesting – an 8-inch Android tablet called S Nexian 8Mini. The tablet focuses on bringing nice hardware, strong specifications, and an affordable price to local gadget lovers. The only sacrifice is a very limited camera.
The S Nexian 8Mini comes with a dual-core 1.5GHz processor and 1GB RAM. The device is pre-installed with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) with 8GB of storage that’s expandable to 32GB. The screen’s resolution is similar to the iPad Mini’s 1,024 x 768. Its dual-camera only shoots at 2MP in the back and VGA in the front.
S Nexian representatives took quite some time to talk about the tablet’s hardware. It’s built as thin as Google’s Nexus 7 – around 10mm. The tablet also uses the same metal material that iPad uses on its back. And I have to admit, people can fall in love with the tablet’s clean design.
The 8Mini also has an interesting internet offer, through a partnership with Indonesian telco Indosat. The tablet will be able to access wi-fi points installed by Indosat which are now at more than 5,000 locations throughout the country and more of them are still to come. Every purchase of an 8Mini will also come with a free OTG cable which enables people to insert USBs, including modem devices.
How much is it? IDR 1.5 million (US$155), which is around 50 percent less than a Nexus 7 in Indonesia. That’s quite affordable and I couldn’t find any other weak points besides its cameras for that price point. And I echo S Nexian director Izak Jenie’s remarks that the tablets can be appealing for parents looking for a secondary tablet device that can be given to their children.
S Nexian has also tied an exclusive cooperation with online shop Lazada Indonesia which grants the Rocket Internet company exclusive sales of the S Nexian 8Mini. Not even S Nexian’s gadget retail stores, Selular Shop, will sell the tablets offline. But I imagine people can still purchase those tablets online through Selular.
You can check more information about the tablet here.
S Nexian is gunning for the top spot
S Nexian also rebranded itself during the press conference. They will no longer use the previous bright green colors, instead it is now choosing grey (pictured right). Izak explained that thanks to Apple the color is now being perceived as a luxury and they are using it as they seek to compete with the top handset makers in the world.
S Nexian CEO Harijadi Prawirotomo hopes that they can claim the number one spot in Indonesia by 2015. One of the game changers might come early this year between Q2 to Q3 when S Nexian launches an affordable quad-core device. Harijadi believes that to appeal to the middle and low budget buyers in the country they will need to push their products’ price points to under IDR 2 million ($207). He did not disclose any more details about the upcoming quad-core device, and did not confirm if it will be priced under the aforementioned $207 point.
They also plan to be more aggressive by launching around four new products every month. This year S Nexian hopes to sell 750,000 smartphones and 250,000 tablets.
Affordable Android phones with specifications and price points attractive enough for middle-class consumers in Indonesia are starting to emerge. Last month we looked at another affordable Android handset from local handset manufacturer and telco, the Smartfren Andromax-u.
Android handsets for the lower-end market also keep on improving with better specifications. And just like what’s happening in China, budget phones will be the ones that dominate the market, not expensive ones like the Samsung Galaxy SIII.