Cubot J3 and J3 Pro join the growing list of Android Go smartphones in Kenya

Cubot J3

Following the launch of HMD Global’s Nokia 1 in the country a while back, we have seen several Android Go-powered smartphones grace the local market over the recent past and today, we’ve come across another one from yet another Chinese OEM, Cubot.

Christened Cubot J3, this becomes the first from the company to offer the lightweight Google software in Kenya and as you’d expect from such a device, it’s low on hardware specs and features, which is exactly what Android Go phones are meant to be like.

Cubot J3 specifications

Dimensions141.40 x 66.3 x 8.8 mm
Display5.0-inch 18:9 TN FW-VGA+ (960x480)
ProcessorMediaTek MT6580 quad-core
Storage16GB, expandable up to 64GB
CameraBack: 8MP, AF, 0.3A flashlight
Front: 5MP, FF
SoftwareAndroid 8.1 Oreo (Go Edition)
Battery2000mAh, removable
ConnectivityWi-Fi 2.4G, 802.11 b/g/n, MicroUSB, Bluetooth 4.0
Network2G, 3G
ColorBlack, Gray, Blue
ExtrasNotification light (blue), Dual nano-SIM, dedicated microSD card slot, GPS/A-GPS, Light, Distance, and
G-sensors, FaceID

A quick look at the specs of the Cubot J3 tells you that this is an entry-level handset. But as noted, this is the target market for Android Go, however, given the modest price tag of the phone, there’s for sure little to complain about. While there’s nothing to write home about the specs, what has caught my attention is the inclusion of Face ID. Of course, this won’t be anywhere near the Face ID technology found on the iPhone X, but it’s quite surprising to see a device in this category getting this feature. Also, it’s worth noting that since we haven’t seen this Face ID in action on the Cubot J3, we can’t really say much about it.

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Cubot J3 Android Go

The fact that the Cubot J3 also rocks the trending 18:9 design is a big deal, especially since its closest competitors like Nokia 1, Huawei Y3 2018 and itel A32 rock the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio. Speaking of competition, you’ll be surprised to learn that the Cubot J3 has a price tag of just Sh 5, 999, effectively making it the cheapest offering in the country with respect to Android Go handsets, Sh 500 cheaper than the itel A32, which has so far been the most affordable option in the Go lineup.

At the moment, the Cubot J3 is available for pre-orders on Avechi Kenya with availability set to kick off on June 15th.

Update: It seems the Cubot J3 won’t be alone in joining the Android Go bandwagon here in Kenya, rather, it will be accompanied by a Pro version that boasts slightly superior features, as seen below.

Cubot J3 Pro - Blue

Cubot J3 Pro specifications

Dimensions150.3 x 72.0 x 8.8 mm
Display5.5-inch 18:9 FW-VGA+ (960x480)
ProcessorMediaTek MT6739, 1.5GHz Quad Core
Storage16GB, expandable up to 128GB
CameraMain: 13MP + 2MP, AF, 4P lens, 0.5A flashlight
Front: 5MP, FF
SoftwareAndroid 8.1 Oreo (Go Edition)
Battery2800mAh, removable
ConnectivityWi-Fi 2.4G, 802.11 b/g/n, MicroUSB, Bluetooth 4.0
Network2G, 3G, 4G LTE
ColorBlack, Gray, Blue
ExtrasNotification Light (blue, red, green), Dual nano-SIM, dedicated microSD card slot, Fingerprint (rear-mounted), GPS/A-GPS, Light, Distance, and

Unlike the standard J3 that will go on sale in a few days’ time, the Cubot J3 Pro will be available beginning June 30th via the same platform, Avechi Kenya. Due to the slightly bumped up specs sheet, you also get to part with an extra amount over the standard model, but at Sh 7,999, the J3 Pro should still be a good buy, at least when compared to the competition.

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