ROKit today officially made its phones available for sale in the U.S. The range of inexpensive devices, first announced in 2018 and later revealed at CES in January, are what ROKit calls “people first.” The company sells all five of them for less than $300 in order to appeal to those who may have limited resources and lack access to basic health and entertainment services.
The phones are available unlocked online to consumers through ROKit’s website and Walmart.com. They will reach Walmart retail stores later this year. What’s most important is that the price of the phone includes a full year of ROKit’s core services.
ROKit launches anew
ROK is now in its third iteration as a brand. The company originally debuted as a music-focused MVNO. It later pivoted to an entertainment brand before closing up shop for a while. Enter entrepreneurs John Paul DeJoria (known for founding Patron) and Jonathan Kendrick, and ROK has found new life under ROK Brands.
ROKit’s phones are decidedly not about the hardware. The company is all about its service offerings.
ROK Health is the basic service plan that comes with the phone. It offers 24/7 access to a doctor via MeMD for the entire family, and up to 75 percent savings on prescriptions via Pharmacy Savings. There are bundled into the cost of the phone, as is a year of unlimited Wi-Fi calling. The remaining services are available at low monthly rates.
ROK Life adds roadside assistance, ID theft protection, accidental death insurance ($100,000), burial and cremation service, and family legal service for $15 per month. ROK Drive offers roadside assistance for help with flats or jumps and ROK Media includes video and music services. Pricing on these last two was not shared.
ROK’s Kendrick says the brand “prioritizes making a difference in the world over merely selling a product.” That’s why these services are available and cover the entire family, not just the owner of the phone.
Return of 3D
The five phones include the ROKit One, a standard bar phone, and the ROKit F-One, a flip phone. Both of these includes cameras and basic apps shat as WhatsApp and Facebook for $35 and $40, respectively.
The ROKit IO Light is a $90 Android phone with a 5-inch screen, 8GB of storage, 1GB of memory, 3G with dual SIM support, a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera. It is limited to 3G networks.
The ROKit IO 3D and IO Pro 3D are more feature-rich devices with 3D screens for $200 and $300, respectively. Both support microSD cards and include fingerprint readers. They run Android 8.1 Oreo and can access LTE networks, such as those run by AT&T and T-Mobile. Oh yeah, actual phone service is up to the owner to sort out on their own.
The IO 3D has a 5.45-inch HD+ screen with glasses-free 3D in an 18:9 aspect ratio. It includes a quad-core processor with 16GB of storage and 2GB of memory. An 8MP camera adorns the rear while a 2MP camera graces the front. It has a 2,500mAh battery.
The IO Pro 3D steps up to a 5.99-inch screen, octa-core processor, 64GB of storage, 4GB of memory, and a dual 13MP/2MP rear camera configuration with an 8MP front camera. It has a 3,850mAh battery.
The two 3D-capable phones will have access to 3D content through the ROK Media bundle. ROK says it is making its own content, but did not name any major titles or movie studios.
Most phone makers gave up on 3D screens almost a decade ago, with the recent exception of the Red Hydrogen One. It’s hard to assess whether or not this will be a viable feature on the ROKit devices.
You can buy these phones today. You’ll have to set up an account with the company to gain access to the additional services. Some require separate app downloads from the Google Play Store.
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