10 budget 4G smartphones you can buy during the July 2017 Safaricom Open Day

The 2017 Safaricom Open Day is here with us. Several devices are on sale for a few thousand shillings less than they usually go for.

With its LTE network already available in all major towns across the country and 4G+ already a thing, Safaricom’s focus has shifted over the months to heavily marketing the resultant fast internet available through its mobile network.

Here are a couple of smartphones available at a discount between now and Sunday that you can buy to take advantage of the Safaricom 4G network in the ongoing Safaricom Open Day:

1. Safaricom Neon Turbo 7

The Neon Turbo 7 happens to be the cheapest 4G smartphone running Android that you can buy at Safaricom’s retail outlets and second cheapest 4G-capable smartphone in Kenya (damn you, Samsung Z2).

It offers users what other entry-level Android smartphones don’t, 4G, reminding me of the Huawei-made Kabambe 3G (U3100) that Safaricom was selling back in 2010 for Kshs 4,000 to promote uptake of its then nascent 3G services and internet data bundles.

Specs: 5-inch FWVGA display (read: not so good, you can see individual pixels on the display), 1GB RAM, 8GB storage expandable up to 32GB using a microSD card, a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, an unnamed quad-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz and a 2,000mAh battery.

Price: Kshs 6,500

2. Lenovo A2016

Popularly known as Lenovo B, the Lenovo A2016 was announced in October 2016 and is Lenovo’s most affordable 4G smartphone available in the Kenyan market.

It is pretty much close to the Neon. In fact, the only reason to get it over Safaricom’s self-branded device is the availability of the selfie camera, however grainy it is.

Specs: a 4.5-inch FWVGA display (also grainy to the core), a quad-core MediaTek MT6735 clocked at 1GHz, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage (expandable up to 32GB), Android Marshmallow, 5 and 2-megapixel cameras at the back and on the front respectively, a 2,000mAh battery unit, a G-sensor and Bluetooth 4.0.

Price: Kshs 7,000

3. Tecno N8S

This is basically the Tecno N8 that was launched last year but tuned to Safaricom’s single-SIM tastes hence the addition of the S to its model name. It also happens to be the cheapest Tecno 4G smartphone in the market if I am not mistaken.

It packs the same specifications as the Lenovo B above save for the 5-inch display which is a 720p (HD) panel and the variation of the MediaTek processor under the hood (MT6580).

Price: Kshs 8,000

4. Samsung Galaxy J1 mini Prime

Samsung’s Galaxy J1 was one of the first budget smartphones with 4G to launch in the Kenyan market. As such, it went on to outsell every other competing device in the market back then. With the J1 out of the picture, it is the likes of the J1 mini Prime (aargh who comes up with these names?) that have been left to carry the Samsung torch and fight off the competition from Chinese brands.

Its specifications are quite embarrassing, to say the least, since for that price, however low, one can always expect something better. Something more enticing. But hey, at least it has LTE, no?

Specs: 4-inch 480×800-pixel display (at least it has a higher pixel count hence less grainy than the above devices), 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, 5MP camera (VGA on the front), a Spreadtrum processor clocked at 1.2GHz, Android Marshmallow and a measly 1,500mAh battery.

Price: Kshs 8,000

5. Lenovo A2020

This is what is being called the Lenovo Vibe C in other markets.

Specs: 5-inch WVGA display, Snapdragon 210, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, Android 5.1 Lollipop (imagine!), 5MP camera (2MP for selfies) and a 2,300mAh battery.

Price: Kshs 9,000

6. Huawei Y5II

 

This is a good deal even though one will have to make do with the buggy EMUI 3.1 software that lies on top of the very dated Android Lollipop (I know since it is the phone I bought for someone on the first day of this Open Day). The display is quite nice, the phone itself feels great in the hand more so with that textured back. What’s more, you get a free clear case included in the box and a t-shirt from Huawei.

Specs: A 5-inch HD LCD display, a quad-core MediaTek MT6580, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, an 8MP camera at the back, 2MP camera on the front, a G-sensor, an L-sensor and a 2,200mAh battery.

Price: Kshs 11,000

7. Tecno N9S

This is the N8S’ big brother and it shows. While the screen size and resolution remain the same, the main camera has been bumped up to 8-megapixels, the onboard storage doubled to 16GB, the processor upgraded to a MediaTek MT6737 and the battery size bumped up to 2,500mAh. All for an increase in price of Kshs 4,000. Is it worth it?

Price: Kshs 12,000

8. Wiko U Feel

Wiko’s last year smartphone is still a pretty good deal for the Wiko fans. There’s a crispy full HD display, some 3GB of RAM (the most by any phone on this list), a MediaTek chip (MT6735), a 13-megapixel camera at the back and an 8-megapixel one on the front, Android 6.0 and a 2,500mAh battery (just like the N9S above). Oh, if you are looking for an affordable 4G smartphone with a fingerprint sensor then this is your go-to device.

Price: Kshs 13,000

9. Lenovo Vibe P1M

This is a pretty old device, having been announced 22 months ago.

Specs: a 5-inch HD display, a MediaTek MT6735P processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, 8MP camera (5MP front), 4,000mAh battery, Android Lollipop, a G-sensor, Bluetooth 4.1 LE and USB OTG.

Price: Kshs 14,000

10. Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016, of course)

Specs: a 5-inch HD Super AMOLED display, 1.5GB RAM, 8GB onboard storage, an 8MP main camera, a 5MP selfie camera, Android 6.0 and a 2,600mAh battery.

Price: Kshs 14,000

 

Emmanuel Chenze

Let's just say I know my stuff. I have 7 years experience handling, tinkering with and then writing extensively about Android stuff. Sometimes it is exciting, sometimes it is not; things can get stale with nothing new to show but I live for each one of those moments. Have something Android-related that you believe I need to have a look at? Hit me up: echenze@androidkenya.com

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