Enricko Lukman
Enricko Lukman
8:35 pm on Feb 1, 2013

smartfren andromax u 1

Indonesian handset manufacturer and telco Smartfren released an Android handset yesterday called the Andromax-u. Leading up to launch day, it claimed the handset has had 2,000 pre-orders already. Why the strong early reception? It looks to deliver decent specs for an affordable price.

We dropped into the launch event yesterday and saw that the Andromax-u is a 4.5-inch screen phone that comes equipped with a dual core 1.2GHz processor, 768MB of RAM, and 4GB of internal storage (expandable up to 32GB). It runs on Android 4.0 which can be upgraded to Jelly Bean (4.1) in the near future too. I think the feature that Indonesian users will be most intrigued with is its impressive camera, capable of shooting at 8 megapixels, with a 2-megapixel camera on the front for video chats.

The handset is quite affordable at only IDR 1.6 million ($165). Compared with other handsets like the LG Optimus L7 (priced at IDR 2.4 million ($248)), the Andromax-u gives generally better specs for a cheaper price tag. Indonesian gadget news site TeknoUp 1 scored the handset 9.6 out of a possible 10.

The catch?

smartfren andromax u launch

From the left: Niels Uffie (Smartfren division head of BlackBerry and smartphone product), Djoko
Tata Ibrahim (deputy CEO of commercial), and Roberto Saputra (head of brand and marketing

But how can a phone with nice specifications be so cheap? Smartfren earns a lot of its revenue from data packages. Though the phone supports dual SIM cards (for GSM and CDMA cards), users can only use Smartfren’s data package when they want to use their 3G internet connection, and their GSM cards are only good for 2G/GPRS mobile web speeds. So the strategy of making its handsets affordable so they can earn more from data plans makes a lot of sense.

I don’t think that’s a big deal breaker though, because Smartfren’s CDMA internet connection is quite reliable with 3G speeds of up to 3.1 Mbps. And the company offers 1GB of bonus monthly data for a year for a minimum top-up of IDR 50,000 ($5). Plus, you can still use your GSM number. It should be noted that Smartfren’s CDMA number comes loaded inside the handset, and it cannot be changed for other CDMA cards. So all in all, there’s no contract for the low price, but it is rather tied down.

The phone comes in three colors – black, white, and blue. It is going to be widely available in Indonesia starting on February 9th at Kota Kasablanka. The previous Andromax series, the ‘i’ which was launched late last year, has sold more than 100,000 units so far. For more information about the phone, you can check the Smartfren website.

As we’ve seen in China, budget smartphones will be the key to Android success, not pricey devices like Samsung’s Galaxy SIII.

  1. Disclosure: TeknoUp is an East Ventures portfolio company, and East Ventures is also an investor of Tech in Asia. Read our ethics page for more information.

  • http://the-open.asia Ace

    ini hp merk apa yach…?
    maksudnya buatan perusahaan apa..
    setau gw smartfren gak punya pabrik…

    could you tell me what (name) company or factory that buil this phone…?
    hisense or zte or else…?????

  • Enricko Lukman

    Hi Ace,

    That’s an interesting question mate. After browsing the web for a bit, I found that the one’s manufacturing Smartfren’s phones is indeed Hisense.

    But the Smartfren handsets sold here comes with Smarfren’s brand, not Hisense’s

  • bijikodok

    andromax u is manufactured by innos,
    hisense is the manufacturer of andromax i and 3.5″ andromax

  • Enricko Lukman

    Thanks for the clarification mr kodok :)

  • potter

    ApAannn,,,,,,klo mau benerin dulu jaringannya,,,ktanya anti lelet,,,kenyataannya sama siput aja lebih cepet siput,,,jangan mau ketipu dah,,,,,
    Lemotnya najis-najis,,,

  • rotitawar
  • aikaroqib

    google play store punya gua ngadat…..agen di banyuwangi ga ada yang bisa ngebetulin….harus dibawa ke jakarta…padahal cuma benerin softwarenya aja..pokemana smartfren itu, hp kok disuruh tour..

  • Eva

    If I buy an Andromax i in Indonesia (because just now I live here), it will work in Spain (when I go back at home) ???
    Thank You

  • Enricko Lukman

    Hi Eva,

    Just like any other handsets, it may or may not work abroad. You need to reach out to the folks directly for that one.

    But one thing I have to agree with @aikaroqib is to take good look at the product’s sustainability issue. Some Andromax-u phones are great, but a few are not. Mine lasted for a full three weeks until I had to get it fixed at the service center.

    How bad was the error on my phone? It was so bad that even the service center had to change my phone to a new one. The phone shuts down outright and was not able to be started again.

    So word of caution: the phone’s great! But you could find yourself to be few of the unlucky ones who get a dysfunctional phone. Use it for a full one month first before bringing it back to Spain (if it works over there).

    A few of my friends are using the same phone, and they are all super happy about it.

  • diana alvo

    Ak pake smartfren i biasa” aja tuh ga lemot ga apa,,,lancar lg

  • usman ali

    since the first launch of the smartfren i.the absolutely 4.0 inch android phone.
    and untill now i use it there’s, soo much enjoyable i’ve got.
    thank’s so much….

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