Guiding consumers since 2009

FNB connect app review

By Staff Writer

What does it do?

The FNB Connect application is a mobile phone application which allows you to make calls and send SMSes for free. Yes, that’s right, free! The app also allows for integration with your Facebook and Mxit contacts so you can talk to all your contacts in the same place.

Price: Free

Pros:

- Call and SMS for free, even internationally, if both people are using the FNB connect app.

- Once you’ve integrated all your contacts from different platforms , it’s easy to keep track of conversations all in one place.

- Even if the person you are calling or SMSing is not making use of the app, you pay a flat fee of 25c per minute for call charges- that’s a far cry from the exorbitant charges some mobile network operators charge.

- The Facebook chat function works flawlessly, once you’ve logged in. The only downside is that it doesn’t seem to show up automatically once you have logged out of the application. Meaning, even though your Facebook profile is still integrated when you've logged out and logged back in, chat contacts do not show up. This is solved by logging out of Facebook on the ‘community’ section and logging back in.

- You can call FNB for free from the directory in the App

- You can use location based services to find your nearest branch and ATM machine

- You can do balance enquiries and listen to voice quality tests from the App

- It imports your contacts automatically from your phone but you can also add contacts from the App

- You can use a voice calculator to see how much the call will cost per destination

- Prepaid and no contracts

Cons:

- In order to take advantage of 100% free calls and SMSes, your friends all have to have the app on their phone. There is an 'invite friends' option to make it easy to tell others about it, though.

- The interface can be a bit tricky and confusing to navigate at first, especially when it comes to  trying to find things like contacts integration.

- On the version of the app I tested (Android) the app would stay on in the background if you don’t select “log off and exit” from the menu button.  Due to Androids already poor battery life, this can be frustrating for users who do not turn their 3G off as the app could add to the battery being drained quickly. 

This is obviously not an error on FNB’s side and the app was developed with push functionality so users do not have to be logged in all the time to receive a call. When a call comes in to your FNB Connect number, the call is pushed to the app which has the intelligence to activate or “wake up”.

- When clicking ‘Facebook’ on the services tab, there is what seems to be an option to update your Facebook status as it asks ‘What’s On Your Mind’, but there is no option to ‘submit’ the status.

 - Facebook chat history doesn’t save the name of the person with whom you were conversing. This can get confusing if you chat to a lot of people.

Overall:

It’s a great app, and with all the benefits that come from opening account from the palm of your hand, it’s certainly worth it.  Yes, there are a few minor issues, but these will undoubtedly been seen to in the next upgrade of the app.
Facebook and MXit chat plus free calls and SMSes to your friends and family, all from one place, what more do you want?

Rating: 8/10

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