Digicel launches DL800 aka ZTE Kis 3 Max Second after Digicel DL900 on Christmas 2014

Hello Digicel fans!

Still vexed that you missed out on Saturday’s sale on the 6th of December where you had a chance to get a DL750 for JA$3450 (JA$4312.50 when Tax is Included) as detailed in my article Digicel launches DL900 aka Alcatel Pop C7 as Digicel DL750 on Sale for Christmas 2014?

Well fret not, as Digicel may have that sale yet again to clear off any extra DL750’s they may have. But in the meantime, feast your eyes on the second of the two (2) new Rising Stars from the Orient in Digicel’s portfolio; the DL800 as revealed on Digicel’s Twitter Feed as shown below.

But if you think it’s surprising that Digicel had launched a second companion to the DL900, wait until you find out who they’ve tapped as their OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) for the DL800.

Digicel looks to the ZTE Kis 3 Max for the DL800 smartphone

The DL800 was quietly launched on December 3rd 2014, a day after the DL900 had been equally quiet about introducing the DL900 to Digicel Customers. Note I said “quietly”; unlike the DL750, there was no YouTube video on their Digicel YouTube channel and No Press Release.

I know…. I scoured the Internet like a Frying Pot that got burned after I left my Pepper Steak on the fire too long. There’s not even a post on their Digicel Website except for a reference to a DL800 on Digicel Trinidad and Tobago Page, this is basically the closest thing to a Cone of Silence that Digicel has placed on the DL900 and now the DL800. Apparently, they want no-one having ANY fore-knowledge of the phone.

Good thing I can read IMEI codes, as that’s how I cracked the code, ma cherie.

I went to Digicel’s Stores in New Kingston Store owned by Fimi Wireless, Half-Way-Tree and Tropical Plaza on Monday December 8th 2014. After requesting to see the DL800, swiftly inspected the DL800, noted its appearance and specs and wrote off the IMEI Codes for the phone. Then when I came home I cross-checked it against an IMEI database and presto, it told me the secret.

Digicel’s DL800 is really the ZTE Kis 3 Max, the first time that I’m aware that Digicel is using a ZTE as their OEM for the DL Series of smartphones. The specs are very interesting too, as ZTE, a Chinese Telecom Equiptment Provider, is less known for their line of smartphones, which consists of four (4) main series of smartphones

  • Grand
  • Nubia
  • Blade
  • Kis

Well, after the IFA 2014 Trade show in Berlin, Germany on Tuesday September 9th 2014, they’ve become more well established, using the Trade Show to debut three (3) new additions to the Blade and Kis Series:

  • ZTE Blade Vec 4G
  • ZTE Blade Vec 3G
  • ZTE Kis 3 Max

Digicel must have had a representative at the trade show, as when I went to Digicel’s Tropical Plaza Store on Monday December 8th 2014 to inspect the DL800 for myself, I was able to talk to a ZTE Representative at the Store who gave me the 411 on Digicel and ZTE.

Apparently ZTE has signed a deal with Digicel to supply them with two of those recently launched smartphones, namely:

  • ZTE Blade Vec 3G
  • ZTE Kis 3 Max

When I was at Digicel’s Tropical Plaza Store, the ZTE Representative told me that the ZTE Kis 3 Max and ZTE Blade Vec 3G were not in stock, but they’d be available on Thursday December 11th 2014 when Digicel will have enough stock to distribute to all of their Stores.

The ZTE Kis 3 Max aka the DL800, will sell for JA$11,563 inclusive of tax on Prepaid with a special discounted offer of JA$9250 for persons with Corporate ID at the Digicel New Kingston Store owned by Fimi Wireless.

So now you know the back-story behind the Shroud of Secrecy that surrounds the DL800, exactly what are you getting for JA$11,563 inclusive of tax on Prepaid? Trust me, it’s solid albeit expect some hiccups in its performance!

Digicel DL800 specs is the Dark Knight that needs a Bigger Carburetor

Now that I’ve unmasked the DL800 as the ZTE Kis 3 Max and set up the ZTE Blade Vec 3G for the future launch, I’ll just delve into what I got from the hands-on with the DL800 at the Digicel New Kingston Store owned by Fimi Wireless.

Geezam - Digicel launches DL800 aka ZTE Kis 3 Max Second after Digicel DL900 on Christmas 2014 - 10-12-2014 LHDEER

The model I reviewed was pearly white with a 4.5” TFT capacitive touchscreen. Resolution isn’t all that great at 480 x 854 pixels and a 218 ppi pixel density capable of displaying some 12M colours that you’ll probably never see.

The DL800 comes in two colours options:

  • Black
  • White

Too bad its specs aren’t as plain. What you will see and appreciate is the solid finish, which is minimalistic and brick-ish in shape.

Geezam - Digicel launches DL800 aka ZTE Kis 3 Max Second after Digicel DL900 on Christmas 2014 - 10-12-2014 LHDEER

Coated with a plastic that’s treated to feel like metal, its edges have a faux metallic-looking trim where the Power and Volume Rocker buttons reside on the Right and the USB Charging and Data Port resides at the left. The top edge is rounded and has a 3.5mm Jack for your headphones and the bottom of the smartphones is also rounded in a similar manner.

The top faceplate has a pair of holes, one apparently for the Camera with what appears to be a secondary pinhole Camera and a mesh grille hole for the earpiece. The bottom faceplate below the 4.5” screen is festooned with three (3) buttons that are also minimalistic and touch-sensitive in nature.

The DL800 has dimensions of 132 x 66 x 9.1 mm (5.20 x 2.60 x 0.36 in) and is a surprisingly light little brother to the DL900, weighing in at 135 g (4.76 oz). Running Google Android v4.4.2 (KitKat), it’s powered by a 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7 Dual-Core Processor with support from a Mediatek MT6572 Chipset with a Mali-400 GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) that takes the Graphics load off the Dual-Core Processor.

Strangely, the DL800 is only sporting 512 MB of RAM yet has 4 GB of Internal Memory that’s expandable to 32 GB. Even stranger is the fact that the DL800 launched after the DL900 yet has Google Android v4.4.2 (KitKat) while the DL900 runs on Google Android v4.2 (Jellybean).

Think of this as a SUV with a very large Engine and Gas Tank but a small Carburetor; it’ll go fast, but when playing graphics intensive games or running multiple Apps, it’ll show signs of lag. Please note that’s a prediction; most likely Google Android v4.4.2 (KitKat) has built in software optimization to make it use GPU without heavily taxing the 512 MB of RAM as much as I imagine.

This smartphone is, however, ready for the selfie league, sporting a 2 Megapixel Front-Facing Camera. The Rear-Facing Camera is a 5 Megapixel deal that’s capable of taking 1080p images at 2592×1944 pixels, doing its own focusing with night time picture taking made possible by its LED Flash.

Features such as Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection and panorama all come in handy when you shoot video, which is recorded in 720p at 30fps. I suspect it’s not much video, as with only 32GB, between Music and Apps, Pictures and Videos will help to eat up all that Storage Real Estate.

ZTE Kis 3 Max is a Tri-Band 3G Capable smartphone for the Year of the Sheep

The ZTE Kis 3 Max aka the DL800 supports 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 1900 MHz GSM (Global Systems Mobile) Networks with support for Digicel’s 3G HSDPA Network with frequencies of 900 MHz and 2100 MHz. Voice calls will be crisp and clear as this phone sports Active Noise Cancellation support built into the microphone.

If you care not for any of Digicel’s “4G” Data Plans, then you can surf some waves using the built in Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, or if you are brave enough to implement a “4G” Data Plan lend your friend some Internet Waves by turning your phone in a Wi-Fi Hotspot. Support for Wi-Fi Direct means that this phone can act as a Music Hub for Wi-Fi connected speakers.

SMS with support for threaded view to make reading those long texts complements the MMS (Multi Messaging Service) that you’ll probably never use because it’s too expensive. Push email, albeit you’ll probably get Facebook, Kik Messenger or WhatsApp from the Google Play Store.

If you’re not familiar with Wi-Fi Direct, the DL800 supports the older version Bluetooth v3.0. It’s also got the regular bells and whistles of an Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity Sensor, GPS and Magnetometer for your trusty compass. It’s got a built in MP4/H.264 player for videos and MP3/WAV/eAAC+ player for your MP3’s.

Finally if you’re brave enough to get one of Digicel’s 4G Data Plans, then the Java-capable HTML Browser will make you surf online like a pro. FM Radio for me is a nice touch; doubtful that Digicel allows streaming. When you’re not rocking to tunes on your DL800 the built in Document viewer, Photo viewer/editor and Voice memo Recorder features makes the ZTE Kis 3 Max a phone that great for both work and play.

You might not like the performance of the DL800, based on the specs in my review. Then again it’s your money. If  you’re in Kingston with JA$11,563 burning a hole in your pocket, why not saunter on over to a Digicel’s Store in New Kingston Store owned by Fimi Wireless, Half-Way-Tree or Tropical Plaza and take the  DL800 aka the ZTE Kis 3 Max for a spin? This little Brother to the DL900 is sure to start 2015, the Year of the Sheep, on a good footing!

Here’s the link:

Digicel’s Twitter Feed

Digicel YouTube channel

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.