At a time when smartphone prices seem to be hitting the roofs and burning big holes in consumers pockets, it is unimaginable to think of a phone that costs just under $10 (roughly S$13). However, there is a device that lets you make and receive calls and some more for the price of a decent lunch.
Now, if you went to the market looking for the cheapest phone, you might be able to find one for just around $20. It could be a new feature phone from some unheard of Chinese brand or a second-hand smartphone from 2015. But the device in question isn't either of these.
It's not a phone
Forgive me for calling the device a phone in the first place, because it is not. But, when you talk about phone calls, the first thing that comes to mind is a phone and not a smartwatch, which is exactly what the device in question is. And while smartwatches are capable of making and receiving calls, they're simply not as cheap as $9. Think of the cheapest Apple Watch, the Series 3 GPS which starts at $199, or even some cheap Chinese knock-offs, even they cost anywhere between $49 to $99.
Unlike the Apple Watch or some fancy smartwatch from other brands, this wearable device doesn't rely on Bluetooth connectivity or e-SIM cards that are dependent on your handset. This one can take an actual physical SIM card and allow you to make calls. And it's not just one device out there, but a whole bunch of smartwatches that are able to do this.
The cheapest of them all
Perhaps the cheapest one of these is the LEEHUR V8, which retails for about $8.99 at Gearbest and is available in a bunch of colours including black, white, red and blue. And although there are also a bunch of other similar smartwatches available at Amazon, BestBuy and some other sites, the LEEHUR V8 is dirt cheap and is the most highly-rated ones out there, with an average 4.5-star rating out of 5.
The LEEHUR V8 may not look as premium as the Apple Watch or the Samsung Galaxy Gear but for the price it's demands, it's certainly punches above it's weight. The smartwatch is a fine example of how far we have evolved in technology. Just a couple of decades back something similar to this would have cost thousands of dollars to own, but now full-fledged touchscreen smartwatch that's capable of phone calls and a lot more can be had for less than the price of a decent afternoon meal.
A mini-computer on your wrist
The LEEHUR V8 is just like a mini-computer that can be worn on your wrist and it comes with a camera too, unlike the Apple Watch. The watch also has the ability to browse the internet and is packed with several other features.
In terms of the specifications, the LEEHUR V8 has a 1.22-inch circular touchscreen display with a 240 x 240-pixel resolution, and packs a MediaTek MTK6261D processor designed for smart wearables that are coupled with 64MB of RAM and it also has 128GB of inbuilt storage to spare.
The wearable smartwatch comes with Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity and has a front-facing 1.3MP camera and a 380 mAh battery that's encased in a stainless steel body. However, since it is $8.99 device there ought to be some compromises here and there and the biggest one seems to the fact that the Watch's network connectivity happens over GPRS/2G, so don't expect the web browsing to be a smooth affair.
Also, the battery isn't too big considering the phone's features. Another major disappointment is that the smartwatch isn't water-resistant, so don't ever think of taking it underwater. And if you are someone who uses an iPhone, you'll be better off buying an Apple Watch because the LEEHUR V8 won't work with your phone as there's no app for it in the App store.