Earlier this week Hisense South Africa introduced two new handsets, Elegance and Faith, at affordable price points. The event took place up in the air, a Sky Dining experience part of Higher Ground. Definitely a first for a phone launch! The 5.5″ Elegance and the 5″ Faith, both have 4G capabilities and come in at R3999 and R2999 respectively.


More effort has gone into the design of these handsets than previous Hisense smartphones. The company says the devices have a sandblasted aluminium finish, making it lightweight and strong. Both handsets are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.4GHz Octa-core processor with the 5.5″ Elegance having 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage, while the 5″ Faith has 2GB of RAM and 16GB storage. Both are expandable up to 128GB via microSD, and similar to Huawei, the micro SD slot also doubles up for another SIM card. So the handsets are dual SIM. The larger handset has a 3,000mAh battery while the smaller one has 2,500mAh, and they feature an “Ultra power” saving mode, kicking in when the battery reaches 15% and will run minimally.

The 5.5″ handset has a full HD screen (400ppi) while the 5″ has an HD screen (294ppi), but both offer the same 13-megapixel main camera and a 5-megapixel selfie-cam. They feature various shooting modes, including a 0.1 millisecond shutter speed, light trail and water effects (as seen on Huawei), beauty mode, night and HDR modes too.

The 5″ handset is lightweight and fits nicely in the hand. The back has matte like finish and it’s not slippery, which is a plus. The handset won’t easily slip and fall. The gold colour isn’t in-your-face gold, it’s matte, and soft. I’m not a fan of gold handsets but this one isn’t too bad; it’s not blingy. I like that it has a fingerprint sensor at the back, same position as LG’s button. It’s a natural resting position for your finger so easy to unlock. In the times I’ve used the fingerprint sensor to unlock the handset, there were a few times I had to try again, and it didn’t register the first time. That said, when it works, it’s quick; Hisense says it unlocks in 0.5 seconds. The handset runs Android Marshmallow and comes with a bunch of preloaded apps, like social networks, Google suite and some other handy tools. Not a fan of the last screen on the extreme left part of Hisense’s own UI, I’ve disabled all the apps except one. It won’t allow me to remove all. I haven’t yet looked into it properly on how to remove it completely. Camera is decent and lets you take Pano pics, regular and video. Various sizes include 5, 8, 10, 13MP in different ratios of 4:3 and 16:9.


The handsets being dual-SIM naturally won’t be carried by the major mobile networks. They are currently available at Game, Dion Wired, Foschini and Edcon stores. R3999 for the 5.5″ Elegance; and R2999 for the 5″ Faith.