Soon (in fact, it will be in less than five minutes time), all eligible individuals across Malaysia will be able to pre-register through Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission’s (MCMC) website for the new Youth Communication Package which will enable them to enjoy RM 200 discounts on selected devices. Just few days ago, the commission has published a list which contained the first batch of devices that have been approved to be featured under the new package.

Featuring a total of 23 devices made by various manufacturers and run on various operating systems, we then divided those devices according to their worthiness based on their age and technical abilities to help you decide which listed smartphones that are actually worth your time and hard-earned money.

Click on the Read More below to check out our brief analysis of the Youth Communication Package devices as listed by MCMC.

First, let’s take a quick look at the technical specification of all 23 devices in MCMC’s list: 

Click on the image above to enlarge it in a new window.

Ninetology Black Pearl II i9400

While the Ninetology might be quite new in the market, the company’s Black Pearl II i9400 is pretty much the best devices in MCMC’s Youth Communication Package devices based on its technical specifications alone. Runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandiwch, just take a look at what it offers: 4-inch IPS display with a display resolution of 480 x 800 and a dual-core 1GHz processor – for only around RM 500 which will cost even less through the package.

That being said, we can’t vouch for its actual performance since we yet to have any official encounter with this particular device so far.

ZTE Acqua V880E

On the paper, the ZTE Acqua V880E should be able to serve its user without any problem with the help of its 1GHz processor and 512MB worth of RAM. One of the few things that user might feel rather the device is lacking would its 3-megapixels camera which is rather tiny by today’s standard but nevertheless, still better than many of the devices listed by MCMC for the package.

Nokia Lumia 610

At first, I expected to see Nokia Lumia 510 in the list since the device has a price tag of around RM 500 to RM 600 which I believe made it as a perfect candidate to be shortlisted by MCMC. However, its slightly older brother – the Lumia 610 – was chosen instead.

While its 800MHz CPU is not as fast as other devices that we have mentioned earlier, the clock speed shouldn’t affect user’s experience on the device since the user’s experience among Windows Phone 7 devices out is generally similar to each other there with the exception of the 256MB RAM which might restrict the Lumia 610 from running certain apps.

MISS

We don’t mean to be harsh but seriously, MCMC…you should know better.

HTC Wildfire, Nokia 2730 and Nokia 7230.

There is just one reason to give these devices a miss: they are all fully OBSOLETE devices. Move along, nothing to see here.

Nokia C2-03, Asha 305 and 308

I believe the announcement by both Prime Minister and MCMC that the Youth Communication Package involves 3G-enabled devices which something that all three devices are not because they only come with the support for EDGE connectivity. Should I elaborate further? I don’t think so.

Yes Buzz

Yes Buzz is essentially a feature phone that runs on Yes 4G network. Sure, it has a nice QWERTY keyboard for you to type your messages and emails, you can surf Internet on the phone through its built-in browser or Opera and install Java apps on it but the Yes Buzz is still a feature phone which can only help you so much. Consider it only and only if you want to take advantage of Yes 4G network.

ODDITIES

All Alcatel OneTouch smartphones in the list

When the last time you heard Alcatel’s name being mentioned to you? For me, it was quite some time ago which is why I felt amused when I saw three Alcatel smartphones were shortlisted by MCMC. Don’t get me wrong though – these devices are not bad in their own right – but here is another reason why their inclusion amused me further: they are not even listed in Alcatel OneTouch’s official website for Malaysia.

However, they were launched in Philippines recently though which bring me to the next device…

ZTE V790

According to our research, the ZTE V790 is not yet officially available in Malaysia but of course, it was released in several markets recently including Philippines. Just like the Alcatel devices that we mentioned earlier, it made us feel that the person or the team at MCMC that are in charge of this list somehow are quite fond of Philippines’ smartphone market (correct us if we are wrong, dear MCMC).

Where’s BlackBerry?

I’m surprised that MCMC somehow overlooked BlackBerry devices since there are actually affordable BlackBerry devices out there such as Curve 9220 and Curve 9320 that were released into the market earlier this year in May 2012. I would say having entry-level BlackBerry devices in the list is much better than having obsolete Nokia S40 devices.


Meanwhile, what happened to the rest of the devices that I’ve yet to mention? Well, they belong to a group that I would like to call the “in-between” as these devices are definitely better that those devices in my “misses” category but you can’t expect it to perform as good as those devices in the “hits” category either. I will elaborate more on them in the second part of this analysis very soon.

Step-by-step instruction on how to obtain the RM 200 discount under the Youth Communication Package.

On another hand, MCMC has also stated that the list of approved devices might change from time to time and devices telco’s side as time goes by. Take U Mobile as example, who has included devices that were not in MCMC’s list such as Motorola X311 and HTC Wildfire S. So, do check with your favourite telco thoroughly before making any decision even though you might not have much variety to choose from.