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Cheap smartphones new rage

Florian Seiche, chief executive of HMD Global at the launch of Nokia X20.
Florian Seiche, chief executive of HMD Global at the launch of Nokia X20.

Budget and entry-level smartphones are seeing high demand from Thai users wanting to upgrade their phones to smart devices that support the Pao Tang mobile app to receive financial assistance from the government, according to mobile vendors.

Ravi Kunwar, general manager for Pan-Asia of HMD Global, a Finnish manufacturer of Nokia phones, said the company rolled out smartphones costing less than 3,000 baht last year and found buyers liked the product’s quality and software.

Last month the brand launched Nokia 1.4 — which can support the Pao Tang app — for 2,690 baht. The smartphone is designed to tap into the family market so that each member can use it to have virtual meetings and study remotely.

One advantage of the device is the Pao Tang app can be used on it, as well as other banking apps for money transfers, online top-ups, and virtual payments, he said.

Recently the brand unveiled Nokia Mobile Care Delivery Service to provide channels for device repair via a free shipping EMS service as well as a pick-up service to collect devices from users’ homes, workplaces or other convenient locations.

On April 8, HMD Global also launched two mobile phone models under its entry-level C-Series in the global market — C10 and C20 — which highlight durability.

In addition, the company rolled out G20 and G10, which focus on innovative features and long battery life, as well as the X20 and X10, which highlight quality and user experience.

“This is more momentous than a regular product launch. The past 12 months have no doubt been challenging, yet it has also given us a moment to pause, think, and prepare for the next big step in our startup journey,” Florian Seiche, chief executive of HMD Global, said during the launch of the handsets.

“Our approach to technology and business is human-first and that is reflected in this new smartphone range.”

According to Mr Seiche, Nokia smartphones come with security and software updates.

“We make durable phones that are meant to last at least three years, which is longer than the normal replacement cycle,” he said.

Somsak Pejthaveeporndej, chief executive of VST ECS Thailand, which distributes Lava and Infinix smartphones, said 4G-enabled smartphones costing 2,000-3,000 baht are gaining popularity upcountry as users look to switch to devices that support the Pao Tang app.