You may not have heard of Mintt before (unless you watch Channel 9’s The Block), but I suspect you soon will. It has a range of smartphones sold online only from $179 to $399 that have excellent specifications for the price.
Now it would have been easy to call Mintt another online, cheap phone flogger, but as we did due diligence we were increasingly impressed with the sincerity of the Australian partners and the lengths they went to satisfy some tough questions. After all, GadgetGuy enjoys an 87+% credibility rating, and we are not about to sacrifice that for any vendor.
So, we set about ascertaining the companies bona fides and
whether its smartphones have Australian certification. You may recall that all
our reviews heavily support the ‘genuine certified phone movement’ from genuine
What is Mintt Australia?
Mintt Australia (website here) is part of the Mintt Global/NWTL Group. The company has Australia registration and pays GST and taxes here.
Since 1989 the Gui family (NWTL Group) has built an impressive empire in PNG and more recently a retail and online mobile phone and technology company servicing regions that many larger tech companies overlook, including the South Pacific and South-East Asia.
aims to provide technology that is up to date, great quality and affordable,
especially to those who may live in extremely remote locations. Its tagline is ‘Enjoy
the Good Life’ and ‘Affordable smartphones and lifestyle devices’.
Mintt’s GM Damian Ames said,
“Mintt smartphones offer all the sleek styling, quality and features Australians have told us they want, at a price they can afford. There is no compromise. We believe Australians should not have to be locked into expensive contracts to purchase the latest phone or choose to buy refurbished older model phones with old specs and limited warranty when they can own a phone with the latest features, full warranty, for less. Mintt is all about delivering the latest technology and value.”
BTW – Don’t confuse Mintt with Mint Mobile in the US that
get shocking reviews for customer service.
Our mate Trevor Long from EFTM interviewed Jim Gui, CEO on a Current Affair
We agree with Trev – the specifications are impressive for the price point.
Are Mintt phones certified for Australia?
All Mintt smartphones have RCM (C-tick) certification. They are fully compliant with all Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) requirements for use in Australia.
In a statement, an ACMA spokesman said the regulator “does
not certify mobile phone handsets or other devices for the Australian market”.
“Regulations imposed by the ACMA require suppliers of mobile phone handsets to ensure products comply with all applicable Australian standards, label the handset with the Regulatory Compliance Mark and to register on the national supplier database.”
“The national supplier database currently lists Mintt Australia Pty Ltd as a registered supplier. Testing of products can be undertaken overseas if the testing is performed by a laboratory accredited under the Internal Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation for the relevant Australian standard.”
“The ACMA also investigates reports of non-compliant devices being sold in Australia. Convictions for supplying non-compliant products in Australian include penalties of up to $25,000 for individual and $315,000 for companies. Reports of non-compliant devices being sold in Australia can be made at the ACMA website.”
GadgetGuy has seen RCM test reports as well as SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) radiofrequency energy absorption tests (here). The phones support all Australian LTE bands 1, 3, 7, 8, and 28.
All products currently available in Australia are also on
the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council database.
We do not know if the phones have gone through
Australian Telco testing. But that is not unusual unless the phones are to sold
by a Telco.
The 12-month warranty fully complies with Australian Consumer Law and at present is a swap-warranty via Australia Post (great). As it is an online company its support uses the well-known ZenDesk Help Desk and there is an Australian phone number.
While Mintt will not publicly disclose
the manufacturing factories, GadgetGuy can confirm that they are quality
OEM/ODM assemblers that make phones for some well-known brands.
MINTT develops a feature shopping list, and applicable quality standards for each model and the OEMs builds to that. On the whole Mintt sticks closely to ‘reference designs’ to enable maximum compatibility. It claims an impressive .05% failure rate (over the past two years) which is well below what some brand names achieve.
All Mintt smartphones have licenced pure
Google Android, meaning they receive security updates, OS patches and access to
all Google Apps and Play Store.
All get at least two years security updates,
and the X3 and Y3 get Android 10 – pretty good for $265/399 phones.
Susan McRae sums up
Mintt Australia is independently
privately funded in partnership with MINTT Global. We are not some fly-by-night
opportunist. Yes, it is a very ambitious endeavour, but we have got it right elsewhere,
and now it is our turn to disrupt the mass-market in Australia.
GadgetGuy’s take – Mintt seems to be a fair dinkum effort
I don’t think Susan, and Murdo McRae knew
what they were in for before putting the family jewels on the line.
They have had to invent an Australian online
smartphone retailer for scratch and made a few mistakes along the way.
The website is pretty clunky, and it is a
little inconsistent, the warranty was not ACL compliant (it is now), and not ready
for the bagging they are getting from vested interests that think they own that
market. There has been more than a little coordinated mud-throwing in the hope some
For our part, we put this company through
the hoops, and we are satisfied – subject to formal reviews over the coming
weeks – that Mintt is an impressive entrant into the mass-market.
As the Whirlpool forum so elegantly put it, “You can’t really go wrong for a cheap phone. It only must last a year, so if you get a decent phone, it is well worth it. Maybe we should give an Aussie upstart a chance before we judge so harshly. Think, they are up against the giants of the telco world who never like competition.”