Look at this list I came up with of 4G smartphones that were recently on offer during Safaricom’s open day. Half of the devices on that list cost less than Kshs 10,000 and are every bit entry-level devices. The kind of devices one buys when they are on a tight budget or as a first time smartphone. They may not have all the features that we are used to trumpeting online but with at least 1GB RAM and 8GB onboard storage and, at times, some half-decent battery life, they are able to provide their users with just enough power to be able to access the hundreds of thousands of applications at their disposal.
In the case of Chinese device maker Infinix, that has been the forte of its low-end Hot series for the last 3 or so years.
Going forward, though, that won’t be the case.
This is because the company will as from next week (July 17th) start selling new devices under the Infinix Smart banner that are part of its new entry-level Smart series.
Here’s what I know about the first generation of Infinix’s Smart smartphone (sigh):
- A superior audio experience at the entry-level with Dirac’s audio optimization (for those not in the know, Dirac is an audio tech company that has solutions for sound on mobile devices) – this is not something so new, though, since earlier Infinix devices like the Hot 4 have also had it.
- Better battery life – we’ll have to wait and see this but Infinix says that the Smart’s 3,060mAh battery unit will last longer thanks to its big capacity as well as the included “intelligent power saving” tech which freezes any unused apps in order to save on resources (isn’t that what Android’s Doze feature also does?).
- Two speakers on the front (top and bottom).
- Just as was the case with the Hot series, devices in the Smart series will come in several colours.
Specifications are as follows:
- Display: 5-inch HD
- Processor: an unnamed MediaTek chipset
- Camera: an 8-megapixel camera at the back; 2-megapixel on the front
- Memory: 1GB RAM, 16GB onboard storage
- Operating system: Android 7.0, Nougat
- Battery: 3,060mAh
- Network: there is no mention of 4G which means that the Infinix Smart is a 3G phone through and through.
The Infinix Smart will go for Kshs 7,899 meaning that it will be in direct competition with devices like the Samsung Galaxy J1 mini Prime, the Tecno N8 and the Tecno W5 Lite, to name but a few.
So what becomes of the Hot series now that it is being edged out by the Smart series?
Simple, it is moving up the food chain. Infinix Hot devices will now cost more than Kshs 10,000 while the Smart devices are the ones that will cost less than Kshs 10,000.
That in effect means that Infinix now has at least 5 device series. The S series whose existence was re-affirmed by the launch of the Infinix S2 Pro early this year, the Note series whose flag is being flown at the moment by the Note 4, the Zero series which is at the top of the food chain, the new Smart series and the Hot series.
UPDATE (Monday, 17th July, 2017)
The Infinix Smart (X5010) is now available on Jumia Kenya for Kshs 7,999*.
*Affiliate link. Read the Android Kenya editorial policy on affiliate links here.