Last spring, Aspera launched the Jazz 2, a $99 4G Android 9 Go handset that we said "might be all you need if you're not interested in frills or high performance".
The followup is the $149 Gem. Again, it's a 4G dual-SIM handset, but with improved hardware specifications allowing the use of the full version of Android 9 Pie.
"We had our new Jazz 2 smartphone targeting the $99 entry-level 4G price point but could also see a gap at the $149 price point for a model that came with full Android 9 Pie and better specifications, so that's where the new Gem came in," said Aspera Mobile MD Allan Robertson.
The main change to permit the use of Android 9 is a doubling of memory to 2GB, but the Gem also sports a larger (5.45in, 1440x720-pixel) screen and higher resolution cameras (8MP and 5MP rather than the Jazz 2's 5MP and 2MP), as well as a fingerprint sensor and face recognition.
"I think most people would agree they are an excellent set of features for just $149," said Robertson.
"As usual with Aspera phones we strived to offer the best value for money at the price point in terms of display size and resolution, memory, camera and processor."
The usual apps are preinstalled, including Google Maps, YouTube and Google Assistant.
Robertson added "The kind of person who will buy a Gem wants more than our entry level Jazz 2 but does not want to break the bank spending big money for a top end mobile. For $149 you get a big package that's suitable for phone users young and old who also like to browse the web, use email and popular content and social media apps like YouTube and Facebook."
The Aspera Gem is available at Big W, Retravision, Leading Edge and BNE Express.