By Robin-Leigh Chetty 29 January 2015


Budget smartphones have gotten as much attention as their flagship counterparts from manufacturers of late, with the untapped potential of markets in the African and Asian continents proving a luring prospect. To that end, MTN has thrown their hat in the ring, with the budget friendly Steppa (review) smartphone debuting late 2013 for R500. A year later, the second iteration Steppa 2 landed on the review desk, carrying with it some significant updates and upgrades, along with a R1 000 price tag. As a result, the Steppa 2 is a completely different beast to its low end forbear and goes up against a greater number of competitors.

Minor enhancements

From a design perspective, MTN have made some enhancements, chief among which is sturdier frame and 4" WVGA (480x800) display which is a marked improvement over the original Steppa's granier version. Along with a new screen comes an Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) OS in the background (upgradable to 4.4 KitKat). Handling the processing portion for the Steppa 2 is a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 chipset, clocked at a modest 1.2 GHz. This paired with 512 MB of RAM, a 1500 mAh battery and 5 MP rear camera, all of which are industry standard for entry-level fare. The phone proved a little slow while multitasking, but takes care of the basics.

Something missing

When weighed up against similarly priced competition, the Steppa 2 is slightly lacking, and has a heavy plastic feel in hand. It’s more expensive than Vodafone's Smart 4 mini and on par with Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo, both of which feature more of a premium quality experience than the Steppa 2. Although an improvement in the specs department over its predecessor, the Steppa 2 does not present the same value for money prospect that the first Steppa does. All in all, the the upgrade has yielded a better specced phone, but not necessarily a better experience.

Sturdy frame; Faster performance compared to previous iteration
Does not have same value for money feel as predecessor

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