Unnecto targets frugal shoppers with budget smartphones

Ultra-high-end handsets are sexy but phone maker Unnecto sees opportunity at the entry level.

The Unnecto Quattro is a low-end Android that boasts 2 SIM slots. Brian Bennett/CNET

NEW ORLEANS--Much of the talk this week at CTIA has centered around the best and brightest mobile handsets poised to hit the market. These include the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC Evo 4G LTE . Many people though still haven't moved from their basic feature phones to smarter devices.

Handset maker Unnecto believes there's an opportunity to be had here. The company specializes in low-cost unlocked phones that also sport dual-SIM card slots. The majority of Unnecto's devices currently sit just one step above traditional no-frills handsets, running a specially tweaked version of the Symbian operating system.

With a large booth presence at CTIA this year, however, Unnecto also showcased a new budget Android device called the Unnecto Quattro. Now to be honest, Android fans will immediately scoff at this phone's low-end specs. Running what likely is a single-core 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, the Gingerbread OS, and a low-res 4-inch (800x480-pixel) LCD screen. Still Unnecto expects the unlocked product to be significantly discounted and actually be within the price range of ordinary smartphone shoppers.


Unnecto had other interesting devices on show too. These include the Unnecto Pro, which looks like a BlackBerry twin, or at least close relative. The company displayed a similar device which was the spitting image of a BlackBerry Curve or perhaps an old Windows Mobile gadget.

To be sure, these are odd devices with less-than-inspiring components. Their real appeal though is their unlocked status plus dual-SIM card slots, and of course the promise of rock-bottom prices. Frequent travelers looking for a cheap secondary phone, or even people who subscribe to multiple prepaid wireless services, might want to give Unnecto a look. Since there's no word on pricing yet, I personally want to see just how affordable these handsets will be before passing judgment.

 

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