Nokia 3.1 starts selling in Kenya

Less than a month since being announced, the Nokia 3.1 has today officially started selling in the country.

The device, which is the second cheapest smartphone from HMD Global (after the Nokia 1 which launched earlier in the year), is going for Kshs 16,000 in stores across the country. That’s Kshs 1,000 more than its predecessor’s starting price when it went on sale in 2017.

The Nokia 3.1, as the name suggests, is the successor to last year’s Nokia 3, a device that despite rocking stock Android has often come under criticism from some of our readers for its lacklustre performance. Maybe the Nokia 3.1 will fix that? In the press release announcing the Nokia 3.1’s availability in the local market, HMD Global says that the performance is 50% better than on last year’s model.

The polycarbonate back of the first generation Nokia 3 stays but with an aluminium frame keeping the peace between it and the Gorilla Glass front. The display sees a slight bump to 5.2 inches as well a stretch to match 2018 standards: an 18:9 panel. The camera gets an upgrade to 13-megapixels and not much else. Like every other smartphone priced under Kshs 20,000 in the Kenyan market at the moment, users will have to make do with the ageing microUSB port.

Like the Nokia 5.1 it shared a launch platform with last month and most of the other HMD Global devices unveiled this year, the Nokia 3.1 is also an Android One device

The rest of the specs are as follows:

  • Display: 5.2-inch HD+
  • Camera: 13MP back; 8MP front
  • Processor: MediaTek 6755 clocked at 1.5GHz
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Internal storage: 16GB
  • Operating System: Android 8.0, Oreo (upgradeable to 8.1)
  • Battery: 2,990mAh
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The Nokia 3.1 on sale in the Kenyan market should have NFC (Near Field Communication) support which ideally means being able to use Lipa na M-Pesa 1Tap.

There’s a 3GB RAM/32GB internal storage variant but that is not what you can get from the shops at the moment and there’s no word on whether it will be available.

Notably missing from the Nokia 3.1’s feature set are the likes of a fingerprint sensor and face unlock which the device’s primary rivals have. In exchange, though, buyers can expect to get security updates from Google in good time as well as taste Android P when it comes out later in the year.

The device is available in two colours: Blue/Copper and Black/Chrome. Buyers of the device will be missing out on the gorgeous White/Iron colour option.

Have something that you believe I need to have a look at? Hit me up: echenze [at]