Local MVNO company, XOX Mobile has announced that it will be launching a series of 4G and 5G phones into the market starting from the second quarter of 2020. What made these upcoming devices slightly different from other smartphones is the fact that they are also equipped with satellite communication capabilities.
According to XOX, it will be collaborating with a local company, Advance Tech Communication (ATC) in order to make this happen. In case you are wondering, yes, this is the same ATC that launched the Xplore X7 back in 2018 which was touted as the first Android satellite phone in the world.
We didn’t hear much from ATC after the company launched the Indiegogo campaign for Xplore X7’s in November 2018, so the joint announcement with XOX did catch us by surprise. Furthermore, both companies have also revealed that the first model they going to release into the market is called Xplore X5, even though no actual release timeline has been mentioned in their announcement.
Said to come with an IP67-certified rugged chassis, the Xplore X5 is equipped with a 4.7-inch Full HD IPS display that is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass. While ATC didn’t specify the exact Qualcomm Snapdragon chip that it has equipped into Xplore X5, the company did say that the chip has eight Cortex-A53 CPU cores which narrow the list down to Snapdragon 439, Snapdragon 450, Snapdragon 626, and Snapdragon 630.
Pre-installed with Android 10, Xplore X5 also comes with 4GB of RAM, 64GB internal storage and support for up to 128GB microSD card. The phone also features a 12MP f/1.79 PDAF rear camera, 16MP f/2.0 front camera, and 4900mAh battery with support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology.
Just like the previous Xplore X7, the phone will also feature a dedicated SOS button that allows users to send a distress message to a dedicated monitoring centre. In addition to 18 LTE bands, the Xplore X5 also able to support Iridium satellite network as well as digital mobile radio and marine radio.
Steve Tan, the Executive Director of XOX has stated in the announcement that XOX is planning to integrate XOX prepaid plans and messaging platform with ATC satellite-based emergency services. Ultimately, they are hoping to deliver affordable satellite smartphones for Malaysia and also Southeast Asia.
As interesting as this joint announcement by XOX and ATC might be, we are quite sceptical on their capabilities to roll out these phones into the market though. This is mainly based on the fact that the Xplore X7’s Indiegogo campaign ended up as a failure since it didn’t attract any backers at all.
Nevertheless, we still would like to wish them all the best and will closely monitor their progress in order to see if their bet on hybrid devices would pay off in our market or otherwise.
(Additional images: XOX Mobile.)