The Cheapest Smartphones for Facebook in South Africa

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Check out our guide to which phones are the cheapest that can install Facebook and Facebook Lite.

Facebook Lite login screen.

On the list of cheap smartphones below are some that are suitable for installing the full Facebook app, but some will only allow Facebook Lite. We break down the phones according to their ability to install the different Facebook apps accordingly.

The cheapest phones to install the full Facebook app

Currently, the Facebook app is only available to download for smart phones that have the version of Android 11 OS or higher. You may have Android 11 if you bought a new smartphone that was released from late 2020 or early 2021.

Quest Raptor

CameraMain camera 8MP
RAM and StorageRAM Size 2GB
Storage Size 16GB
Internet Speed4G
Screen displayLCD 5.5-inch screen
OS versionAndroid 11
PriceR899 from PEPCell, on the Telkom network
Quest Raptor specs and price.
Quest Raptor 32GB

Available from PEP Stores, the Quest Mobile Raptor smartphone can install the full Facebook app on its 16GB shared onboard storage and run it well on its 2GB RAM.

Nokia G10 (2021)

CameraMain camera 13MP
RAM and StorageRAM Size 3GB
Storage Size 32GB
Internet Speed4G
Screen displayLCD (720×1600) 6.5-inch screen
OS versionAndroid 11
PriceOn special for R2,298 from Waltons, on the Telkom network
Nokia G10 specs and price.
Nokia G10
Nokia G10 is the cheapest Nokia to buy for Facebook.

The cheapest Nokia smartphone for Facebook are the Nokia G10. The next cheapest Nokia is the 2.3, which is usually priced around R3,200, but we found it on sale for R2,300 on takealot, making both the 2.3 and G10 affordable on a cash sale or layby basis.

The Nokia G10 and Nokia 2.3 smartphones meet our Facebook specs well, but we recommend that you go with the Nokia 2.3 if you get the opportunity to find one priced at R2,300. This is because the screen is much better than that found on the G10.

The Nokia 2.3 is one of the best Nokia smartphones to run Facebook on.
The Nokia 2.3 is one of the best Nokia smartphones to run Facebook on. Screenshot source:

Huawei Y5p (2020)

CameraMain camera 8MP
RAM and StorageRAM Size 2GB
Storage Size 32GB
Internet Speed4G
Screen displayLCD (1440×720) 5.5-inch screen
OS versionAndroid 10 (Upgradeable to Android 11)
PriceOn sale for R1,999 from Loot
Huawei Y5p specs and price.
Huawei Y5p
The Huawei Y5p

The Huawei Y5p comes installed with Android 10, but it can be upgraded to Android 11.

You can download Facebook for Huawei on the Huawei App Gallery. Install the Huawei App Gallery and search for Facebook to install it.

Minimum specs to install Facebook

The world’s most popular social media platform saw 2.3 billion monthly users in 2022. It also saw more than 5 billion downloads of their Android app.

If you plan on using Facebook on your new android phone, these are some of the minimum specs your smartphone should have for a good experience using the app:

  • Android 11 OS

The Facebook app currently requires you have the Android 11 operating system to make a new installation from Google Play store.

  • 2GB RAM

For a smoother experience your phone should have at least 2GB of RAM. RAM helps with scrolling through your feed, watching videos, posting content on your timeline, amongst other activities. It is also essential where you will be switching from one app to the Facebook app. Switching between apps is one of the reasons Facebook will crash.

  • 4G/LTE internet speeds

Nothing is as annoying as waiting for the app to finish posting your videos or making comments before continuing to scroll through your Facebook feed. With a fast LTE internet connection it becomes easier to comment “LOL” or a smiley face and then continue scrolling than to watch and wait for the comment to be posted.

If you’re not sure which version of Facebook is available for you to install log into the Google Play store and then search for Facebook. If your phone meets the minimum specifications for the full Facebook app you will be allowed to download it.

The cheapest phones to install Facebook Lite

If your phone’s Operating System is a version of the Android Go edition you should access Facebook using the Lite application. This is because Facebook will crash or slow down your entry-level smartphone. Download it from the Google Play store or directly from Facebook’s website.

There are many advantages to installing Lite rather than the full Facebook application. But, it is much more suitable for users who use a cheap entry-level smartphone because of its size and how it reduces the use of mobile data compared to the fully-fledged Facebook app.

The Facebook Lite app saves space on your phone because of small size
The Facebook Lite app will save you space on your phone because of its small installation size. Screenshot source: Google Play store.

Smartphones that access Facebook on the Lite app

  • Use less mobile data. If you’re looking to conserve some precious data you can browse for much longer using less data on the Lite because of how it downloads content on your feed.
  • Can access Facebook Messenger on the Lite app. This means you won’t have to install it separately.

So, the best cheap phones to install Facebook Lite include:

  • Hisense U605
  • Itel AC33
  • Nokia C1
  • Mobicel Oreo
  • Xiaomi Redmi A1
  • Tecno Pop 5 LTE

What can you do on Facebook Lite?

The tabs we could access on Facebook Lite were:

  • The Feed tab, where we could watch videos, check out pictures and statuses posted by Friends
  • The Friends tab, where we could add or remove friends
  • The Messages tab, where we could send and read our messages
  • A separate Notifications tab, which was useful to see all our recent notifications
  • The Groups and Pages tab, which we enjoyed because we could manage our pages or read posts on the pages we follow
You can manage your Facebook page on the Lite app.
You can manage your Facebook page on the Lite app. Screenshot source: Facebook Lite.

How to access Free Facebook

Free Facebook on Vodacom

Register for Facebook Flex on Vodacom to browse Facebook for free on the Vodacom network. You can make and read posts but they will only appear as text. You won’t be able to view or post photos or videos, or statuses.

How to register for Vodacom Facebook Flex

  • On Facebook go to Vodacom Mobile Center
  • In the Mobile Center tab, tap on Settings gear. It’s located at the top right of the screen
  • In the Settings tab, tap on Opt Into Basic Mode and then accept all terms and conditions
Using Free Facebook on Vodacom.
Using Free Facebook on Vodacom. Screenshot source: Vodacom.

Reasons why you may have problems with free Facebook on Vodacom

Free Facebook is still available in January 2023 on Vodacom, but you may have problems accessing:

  • You still have data or airtime balance.

Vodacom has updated its terms and conditions to where now if you have airtime balance or mobile data available to purchase Facebook bundles you will not be able to access free Facebook on their network. Make sure you have used up all your available balances and then check again.

  • Opt into free Facebook with your Vodacom number

Register your Vodacom phone number on Facebook to access free Facebook on the Vodacom network.

  • You’ve used up your free allocation of Facebook mobile data

Vodacom’s Facebook Flex allows up to 20MB of free Facebook data.

  • You haven’t recharged with data in the past 30 days

Vodacom requires that you periodically buy and use mobile data in order for you to qualify for free Facebook data.

Moemedi Segoje

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