Most Magpi users enter data by first installing the Magpi app on their phones.  This requires at a minimum a phone that has sufficient memory to run apps, and usually that means a phone costing US $50 or more (although we have now seen users running the Magpi Symbian app on cheaper Nokia phones costing around $20!)*.

You can also enter data by sending plain SMS messages from any phone (that is, without using the app) if you have a paid Magpi subscription.  There are two possible methods for SMS data collection: structure or interactive. Learn more about Magpi SMS data collection.


Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using the app versus structured SMS versus interactive SMS:

Note: “Enforced” means, for example, that for a multiple choice question, the user must choose one of the multiple choice options, and cannot enter anything else. 

Learn more about SMS data collection with Magpi:

Introduction to SMS Data Collection with Magpi

Video: Collecting data by SMS with Magpi

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We recommend using a phone with a minimum of 1GB of RAM memory. Note that longer and more complex forms require better hardware and more memory. The only way to be certain that your form will work on the mobile devices you are considering is to test it out (before you go to the field).