Chinese smartphone maker Huawei reported back in February that it had 14% market share in the Kenyan smartphone market. This year, Huawei is hoping to increase its market share to 50%, a rather lofty ambition. To drive the sales momentum across the country, the company has brought to the market a wide range of budget smartphones to help it get there.
These are some of the best so far (June 2017):
1. Huawei P9 Lite
The Huawei P9 Lite has been selling in the country since September last year when it became available.
Having spent 6 weeks with the device last year, I can attest to its sleek design, fast fingerprint sensor, good camera and surprisingly decent battery life (since the Huawei P9, from which it draws its inspiration, doesn’t do that well in that sector).
Over a year since it was announced, the Huawei P9 Lite with its 5.2-inch full HD display, Kirin 650 processor, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, 3,000mAh battery, 13-megapixel camera at the back and 8-megapixel selfie shooter on the front, remains a good buy.
Price: Kshs 24,000-27,000
2. Huawei GR5 2017
The Huawei GR5 2017 hit the Kenyan market this February so it has been around for a while, something reflected in the drop in its price which started at a high of Kshs 35,000.
Since devices from Huawei’s Honor sub-brand don’t traditionally hit the Kenyan market, at least officially, the GR5 2017 is essentially the Honor 6X going by another name.
Its most unique feature are the dual cameras at the back, the first on a non-premium Huawei smartphone and one of the few in the local market. Only the Tecno Phantom 6/6s has a high profile pair of dual cameras on a mid-range device in the Kenyan market at the moment.
Price: Kshs 30,000
3. Huawei GR3 2017
This is the newest device on this list having been made available in the Kenyan market just last month.
Like the Huawei GR5 2017, the Huawei GR3 2017 is simply another name for yet another Honor device, this time round the Honor 8 Lite. It can be found in overseas markets as the Huawei Nova Lite as well.
As the name suggests, it is a smaller sibling of the GR5 2017 and a successor of last year’s GR3, something reflected in its spec sheet.
The Huawei GR3 2017 packs a 5.2-inch full HD display, a Kirin 655 processor and a 3,000mAh battery unit. Check out all the specifications here. Its standout feature, however, is in the software. The GR3 2017 is one of the first budget devices from the Chinese company to ship with one of the more recent versions of its EMUI overlay, version 5.0 which is based on Android 7.0 Nougat.
Price: Kshs 24,000
4. Huawei GR5 mini
It wasn’t until late last year that the Huawei GR5 mini started selling in Kenya. A low-profile device by all means that does not command the sort of attention its sibling, the first generation Huawei GR5, did, it is well-suited for anyone looking for something good but not so keen on breaking the bank while at it.
It has a 5.2-inch full HD display, a Kirin 650 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, 13 and 8-megapixel cameras on the back and front respectively, a 3,000mAh battery and Android Marshmallow.
Price: Kshs 21,000
5. Huawei Nova Plus
At IFA 2016, Huawei unveiled a new smartphone series, Nova.
The Huawei Nova Plus is one of the early devices in the new smartphone series.
Its full metallic body and slim profile are not only attractive (it’s even won global awards for the design) but fully complement its impressive specs list which includes a 3D fingerprint scanner at the back, a 5.5-inch full HD display, a Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, a beefy 3,340mAh battery, USB Type-C, an 8-megapixel selfie camera and a 13-megapixel main shooter.
Despite having been launched way back in September at IFA, the device only became available in the local market a few months ago and it is still a rare sight. Your best chance of buying it is if you visited Huawei’s own brand stores as it isn’t available at most retail outlets unlike the other devices on this list. If you can find it and can afford its not-so-cheap price then don’t hesitate, buy it. It is the best Huawei mid-range smartphone in the Kenyan market at the moment. Never mind that it is still on the dated EMUI 4.1 and Android 6.0.
Price: Kshs 33,000-35,000
Note: While I have taken great care to make sure the information provided in this article is as accurate as possible, kindly use it alongside any other information you may have as some aspects, like pricing information, are dynamic and may vary based on vendor and timing.