Feature phones, are slowly getting edged out of the market as users demand smarter features.

This is likely why Vodacom has launched a new “smart feature” phone in the Vibe 4G, that boasts – as the name suggests – 4G connectivity.

Along with support for faster, better network connectivity the Vibe 4G supports WhatsApp and Facebook Lite out of the box.

The handset sports a 2.8inch colour display and as you might expect from a feature phone, physical buttons.

Vodacom says the battery will go for 22 hours though we suspect this will depend on your usage.

This is of course not Vodacom’s first foray into “smart feature” phones as it launched the Vibe 3G handset last year. Of course this is a notable upgrade.

“In the past six years, smartphone penetration has doubled from 30% to 60% customers migrate from 2G devices to 3G and 4G smartphones. To further drive this transition and help bridge the digital divide, we have now introduced South Africa’s first 4G feature phone for just R299 having launched the country’s first smart feature phone with a traditional keypad during the course of last year” says Terminals managing executive at Vodacom, Davide Tacchino.

Aside from 4G support, the Vibe 4G supports WiFi calling which allows users to use a WiFi router as a base station to make calls.

The Vibe 4G also sports a 2MP camera at the rear.

The Vibe 4G is incredibly affordable at just R299 but there is a caveat. The smart feature phone is locked to the Vodacom network and as such you will need a Vodacom SIM in order to use it.

Vodacom has said that customers who buy the Vibe 4G will get 150MB of data per month for 12 months.

The Vibe 4G is available through Vodacom and Takealot right now.