Tag Archives: vodacom

So I Upgraded to a Huawei P8 Smartphone in the End Hardware 10 MAR 2016

A week or so ago I accidentally knocked my old (but awesome) Huawei Ascend P6 off my work desk here at home, with it landing neatly on its back on the screed floor. On closer inspection though, I noticed a razor thin, hairline crack across the front of the screen – the vaunted Gorilla Glass had at last given in!

At this point, I wondered to myself whether or not I was yet due a Vodacom smartphone upgrade – a quick check on their nifty My Vodacom app revealed that both Chantelle and I have been due an upgrade since August last year!

And so began the hunt for a new Vodacom contract-supported smartphone, made particularly tricky because I a) don’t particularly want to pay a premium price and b) want a reasonably good phone that is better than all these ‘lite’ mid-range phones!

huawei p8 titanium grey smartphone

As luck would have it, Chantelle spotted that Vodacom had discounted the Huawei P8 on their Smart S contract to R299 a month, more or less in my intended budget but more importantly, despite being a six months or so old model, a damn good premium phone at a very good price.

The upgrade process was of course a tedious and drawn out affair, but the end result was Chantelle and I walking out of Somerset Mall’s Vodacom branch, clutching a Mystic Champagne model for her, and a Titanium Grey model for me.

As expected, the all metal build quality is once again phenomenal, the phone is light (weighing a ridiculous 144g!), thin (6.4mm), and a beauty to behold. It comes with a 5.2″ FHD screen, boasting a 1080p (1920 x 1080), 424ppi and 16M colors display. Driven by a Hisilicon Kirin 930, 8-core 64bit, 2.0GHz CPU with 3 GB of RAM and a (slightly disappointing) 16 GB ROM, the Huawei P8 is thus far pretty snappy and runs most apps and games without any noticeable lag.

All the usual suspects in terms of connectivity are available (including LTE support), and the normal array of sensors such as Gyroscope sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity sensor, Compass, Accelerometer and GPS are all accounted for.

Sound and video quality is great, and the photo taking abilities ring in with a nice 13 Mega Pixel main camera, dual color temperature flash (great for low light photos), and a 8 mega pixel front camera for selfies. (Which the kids always love and appreciate!)

The built-in battery comes in at 2680mAh, and so far battery life seems pretty adequate – essentially at the same level as what I’m used to in any other smartphone these days. The Huawei P8 runs Android 5.0 Lollipop, and uses the pretty pleasant Emotion UI 3.1 skin overlay.

Oh, and for a change, I now have a phone that supports NFC. (Not that anyone actually uses that mind you!)

huawei p8 smartphones

So yes, in case you can’t tell, I’m more than just a little pleased with my new phone!

Related Link: GSMArena | Huawei

How to Check Your Free Minutes if you are a Vodacom Contract Subscriber CodeUnit 04 DEC 2012

If you are a contract subscriber on the Vodacom network, then checking to see how many free minutes you have is particularly easy thanks to the 111 USSD service Vodacom has in place.

To use, dial *111#. From the resulting menu, select 1 for balances. From the next menu, select 1 again, thereby choosing the “Free Minute Balance” menu option.

Simple as that really.

(From what I understand, this service is completely free of charge. How nice of them.)

When is Vodacom Off-Peak Time in Operation? CodeUnit 31 AUG 2011

Because off-peak varies from provider to provider, I thought it a good idea to jot down just when exactly Vodacom’s off-peak minutes are in operation, seeing as my contract shows that I have somehow managed to rack up a fair bit of these over the last couple of months.

A quick shout out to Vodacom customer care netted me the following information regarding off-peak operation:

  • Weekdays, in other words Monday to Friday, off-peak applies from 20:00 in the evening until 07:00 in the morning.
  • Weekends are completely covered by off-peak, meaning that it starts at 20:00 on Friday evening and stretches until 07:00 on Monday morning.
  • Finally, public holidays are also covered completely by off-peak, meaning that the discounted rate kicks on at 20:00 of the day before the public holiday and ends at 07:00 on the day following the public holiday.

And now we all know, which of course is pretty nifty! :)

When is Vodacom Off-Peak Time in Operation? General Nonsense 23 AUG 2011

Because off-peak varies from provider to provider, I thought it a good idea to jot down just when exactly Vodacom’s off-peak minutes are in operation, seeing as my contract shows that I have somehow managed to rack up a fair bit of these over the last couple of months.

A quick shout out to Vodacom customer care netted me the following information regarding off-peak operation:

  • Weekdays, in other words Monday to Friday, off-peak applies from 20:00 in the evening until 07:00 in the morning.
  • Weekends are completely covered by off-peak, meaning that it starts at 20:00 on Friday evening and stretches until 07:00 on Monday morning.
  • Finally, public holidays are also covered completely by off-peak, meaning that the discounted rate kicks on at 20:00 of the day before the public holiday and ends at 07:00 on the day following the public holiday.

And now we all know, which of course is pretty nifty! :)

My Introduction to Android: Galaxy Ace S5830 My Life 15 JUN 2011

What, who, how?! I didn’t believe the SMS I received the other day from Vodacom, alerting me to the fact that I could now upgrade. “That’s impossible,” I exclaimed, “there is no way that I’ve had my delightful Samsung Star for two years already!”

But a quick check in my records revealed the truth – it had been two years already and I was indeed due for an upgrade, nice, and after seeing an advert on TV for the new Samsung Galaxy Ace on a Vodacom contract, I sprung into action and did some Internet research – all of which led to a very quick realization that this was indeed the phone I wanted, my first ever Android “smartphone”, and most importantly, probably the shortest ever phone search in the history of me owning a mobile phone! :)

Anyway, I placed a quick phone call to the Vodacom shop in the mall (Somerset Mall in case you were wondering) just to make sure they had some Galaxies in stock (they had 5) and half an hour later, I found myself seated in the Vodacom Shop waiting for assistant Wendy to fill in all the necessary forms before I handed over my upgrade administration fee and left the store, now a proud owner of a shiny black Samsung (I’m such a fanboy) Android midrange smartphone.

And boy am I pleased with my upgrade (as is Chantelle who is quite jealous and now full of respite that she didn’t do the necessary homework before going for her current Windows Mobile device).

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How to Check your Airtime Balance on Vodacom CodeUnit 30 MAY 2011

If you are on the Vodacom mobile phone network then it is a pretty simple task to check your remaining airtime if you are a prepaid (or even a contract) customer via their nifty little balance enquiry feature.

For Vodacom prepaid subscribers, a quick dial to *100# (and similarly for contract subscribers, a dial of *111#), will give you an update on your remaining free minutes or SMS bundle. (Follow the resulting menu options if applicable.)

Note that this service is completely free of charge. How nice of them.

And now you know. Nifty :)

How to Send a Please Call Me on Vodacom CodeUnit 26 APR 2011

A callback, or rather Please Call Me as it has come to be universally known in South Africa, is a rather nifty concept that allows you to send a free SMS to any other Vodacom customer asking them to call you back, usually because you don’t have any money on your phone – or are to cheap to use any of your own precious airtime!

Vodacom allows each customer ten Please Call Me SMS messages per day, and to send is actually pretty simple.

All you have to do is dial *140*cellphone number# (where ‘cellphone number’ is the friend’s phone you want to contact) and a Please Call Me SMS will automatically be delivered to the relevant person at no cost to you.

Nifty.

How to send a Vodacom Please Call Me Tips, Tricks and Tutorials 24 JAN 2010

This is actually more of a reminder to me than anything else, because no matter how many times I try, I simply can’t remember how to send one of these damn things from my phone when it matters (not that I ever do of course – but they do come in handy when you are testing SMS response systems for example!)

Way back in 2000 Vodacom launched this money-making scheme… urm service, which essentially allows a vodacom client to send a free SMS to another person asking them to phone back (like in the instance when you have no money but you really want to talk to your stripper girlfriend.)

Vodacom pushes the request to the person (they do about 20 million a day) and attaches advertising to the Please Call Me request, which in other words has the potential to bring in a huge chunk of advertising revenue per month for the buggers – just saying.

Anyway, back to the ‘how to’ at hand, because I’m getting a little off the track here. In order to send a Please Call Me to another person, you simply need to dial *140*phonenumber# where phonenumber is the number of the person that you wish to make contact with. (And don’t forget the control character # at the end.)

And that’s that. Pretty simple after all. You’d think someone like me would remember that, now wouldn’t you? O.o

(Oh, and as an added feature, if you dial *140# from your phone and follow the relevant menu options, you can actually set a name that is to be added after each Please Call Me request – meaning now at least the recipient knows who is trying to get him to spend some money by asking him to give a call back in the first place!)

Related Link: http://www.vodacom.co.za/services/callme_how.jsp