Finally, the Shanda Bambook S1 phone officially announced in Beijing today. Probably you are not familiar with Shanda, it is a famous tech company who published and operated lots of games in China, also the maker of the famous Bambook e-reader. Many rumors previously speculated this could be a Xiaomi-killer since this device will be cheaper than Xiaomi but remain as powerful as Xiaomi. So is this really happening? Let’s check it out after the break.
As expected, Bambook S1 packs a 4.3-inch qHD display, 1 GHz ST-Ericsson U8500 dual-core processor, Mali-400 GPU, 1GB of RAM, 8GB/16GB of storage, 0.3 megapixel front-facing camera, 5.0 megapixel rear camera, and a 1,900 mAH battery. The handset is running Android 2.3 at the moment, but it will be upgraded to Android 4.0 in the near future. It is interesting to see the phone has built-in Wi-Fi hotspot (or what Verizon calls the 3G Mobile Hotspot). Moreover, the phone will come with ten games preinstalled, including the casual games Fishing Joy and Fruit Ninja; also offer users with several free e-books from Shanda Literature like the Steve Jobs Biography.
The CEO of Shanda emphasized that the Bambook S1 uses an ARM Cortex A9 dual-core architecture, making it considerably more powerful than the A8-based Xiaomi handset. He also showed a slide said the A8-based handsets like Xiaomi M1 are made for primary school student to use, where its Bambook phone is set for high school student.
During the event, Shanda has signed agreements with two China-based subsidiaries to procure three millions units of the handset. Pre-orders for the Bambook S1 will open on June 28. Shanda Bambook phone will be distributed through a local smartphone retailer D.Phone and some online retailers like Amazon China and 360buy (Jingdong). The 8 GB version of the handset will be selling at 1,299 RMB ($210), while the 16 GB version to be priced at 1,499 ($242). Noticeably, Xiaomi M1 only has 4GB and it is for 1,999 yuan ($317) but it has 32GB of expansion via micro-SD card.
Everything looks positive on this Bambook phone. It is no wonder that Shanda is also aiming at the younger audiences like what every other Chinese smartphone makers are doing right now. Options for budget phones now have: Baidu’s cloud phone, Xiaomi M1, Haier Zing, Alibaba’s Aliyun phone and Bambook phone.
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