The Cheapest Phones with WhatsApp in South Africa

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WhatsApp helps South Africans connect by voice calls, messages, and video calls. If you’re looking to get a loved one a basic smartphone that is capable of using WhatsApp, have a look at this list.

WhatsApp is a popular chat service in South Africa.

We generally want to use WhatsApp to do the following:

  • Make and receive WhatsApp voice calls
  • Make and receive WhatsApp video calls
  • Create and receive messages that contain videos and images

Means, therefore, if you’re going to buy a cheap phone to use WhatsApp on it should at least have the following specs as a minimum:

Good specs for a WhatsApp phone

The phone specifications we certainly must have in a phone we want to use for WhatsApp must include:

  • A front-facing camera for making video calls
  • A good-quality screen so you can make clear video calls
  • A 4G (LTE) connection is the best, but you can settle for a 3G connection
  • A good amount of storage space so that you can save images and videos
  • Your Android version must be newer than 4.1, which came out 10 years ago

WhatsApp will reduce the size of the images and videos when you send them, so also consider getting a cheap smartphone like this.

Hurricane H51 (2021)

CameraMain camera 5MP
Selfie camera 2MP
RAM and StorageRAM Size 1GB
Storage Size 8GB
Internet Speed3G
Screen displayLCD (128×160) 5-inch screen
OS versionAndroid 11 Go
Battery2000 mAh
PriceR299 from PEPCell, on the Cell C network
Hurricane H51 specs, features, and price.
The Hurricane H51 basic smartphone.
The Hurricane H51 basic smartphone. Screenshot source: hurricanemobile.com

Hurricane Mobile’s range of cell phones includes feature phones and basic smartphones. Promoted by PEPCell, the Hurricane H51 can install WhatsApp on its Android 11 Go operating system.

Its 5-inch LCD screen is bigger than the Hurricane Iris Plus’s 4-inch screen but smaller than the bigger Hurricane H61’s 6-inch screen.

We recommend the Hurricane H51 as we think it is a happy medium, will work well with the processing power in it, and its cameras are sufficient for making WhatsApp video calls. Hurricane Mobile also says its mobile phones carry a one-year warranty. WhatsApp data bundles are also fairly inexpensive, so you can save on WhatsApp data costs as well.

Hisense U605

CameraMain camera 5MP
Selfie camera 2MP
RAM and StorageRAM Size 1GB
Storage Size 8GB
Internet Speed3G
Screen displayLCD (854×480) 4-inch screen
OS versionAndroid 10 Go
Battery1500 mAh
PriceR599 from PEPCell, locked to Vodacom
Hisense U605 specs, features, and price.
The Hisense U605 basic smartphone. Image source: hisense.co.za

This Hisense U605 is very cheap, and very old, but it comes with a 2-year warranty, so might be worth considering. Treat it as a basic communication tool, don’t ask too much from it and you won’t be disappointed.

This Hisense basic smartphone, which is also a staple at PEPCell, will install the latest version of WhatsApp and run it fine on its Android 10 Go operating system.

Mobicel Neo Plus LTE

CameraMain camera 5MP
Selfie camera 5MP
RAM and StorageRAM Size 1GB
Storage Size 8GB
Internet Speed4G
Screen displayLCD 5-inch screen
OS versionAndroid Go
Battery2000 mAh
PriceR749 from Ackermans, locked on Vodacom
Mobicel Neo Plus LTE specs, features, and price.

Mobicel phones are known for their budget-friendly pricing, so it’s no surprise when they make this list of the cheapest phones with WhatsApp. With LTE internet your video calls won’t lag because of the internet speed of your phone.

The Mobicel Neo LTE Dual SIM, locked on the Vodacom network.

Itel V51 16GB Dual Sim

CameraMain camera 5MP
Selfie camera 2MP
RAM and StorageRAM Size 1GB
Storage Size 8GB
Internet Speed4G
Screen displayLCD 5-inch screen
OS versionAndroid 10 Go
Battery2050 mAh
PriceR749 from Foschini via hi-online
Itel V51 8GB Dual SIM specs, features, and price.

The Itel V51 8GB is the not the cheapest on this list, but it is worth considering.

Another Itel phone actually qualifies to be on this list is the Itel V41 LTE Dual-SIM, but it is quite possibly the absolute minimum you should go for when you think about getting a phone to use WhatsApp on. And this is because of the screen and the cameras.

The Itel V41 has a 2MP main camera and a 0.3MP selfie camera. These are the cameras that were used in the 2000s when camera phones first came out. So, avoid it if possible.

FAQ

Is my phone too old to install WhatsApp?

As long as the version of Android is not older than Android 5, WhatsApp will support it. This is because for 2022 the current lowest supported version is Android 4.1

Which phones will WhatsApp not work on?

Currently, in 2022 you can load WhatsApp on any Android phone or tablet as long as its Operating System is not older than version Android 4.1, which came out in 2012.

How does WhatsApp work on a Dual-SIM phone?

When you register for WhatsApp you use your cellphone number. But, from there on you only need access to an internet connection to access WhatsApp. Therefore, if you registered WhatsApp on SIM1 you can use SIM2’s internet connection to access WhatsApp on SIM1.

Moemedi Segoje

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