Four months since they were unveiled, Huawei’s 2018 flagship smartphones, the Huawei P20 and the Huawei P20 Pro, can finally be bought in the country.
The Chinese device maker has partnered with Kenya’s biggest mobile network operator, Safaricom, to sell the devices through its retail shops across the country.
Last year, Huawei partnered with Jumia for the release of the Mate 10 before returning to Safaricom’s fold at the start of the year for the Mate 10 Pro. The company has also partnered with online marketplaces like Jumia and Kilimall for the launch and initial sales campaigns of its budget devices.
Of course, it goes without saying that devices sold through Safaricom are single-SIM devices. I am told that dual-SIM variants of the P20 and the P20 Pro will also be available in the open market soon.
Huawei has in the last few months concentrated its efforts on the budget segment of the market by releasing devices like P Smart, P20 Lite (the other member of the P20 family) and Y-series devices like the Y7 Prime 2018 and the Y5 Prime 2018. The latter, Huawei says, has sold over 10,000 units since its introduction into the local market, over a month ago, beating Huawei’s own internal sales targets.
It is not hard to see why Huawei is prioritizing the budget smartphone market over the high-end one served by the P lineup. Its Nova mid-range lineup accounted for over half of 95 million smartphone units the company shipped between January and June 2018. The P series, owing to its slightly steep pricing, only managed 9 million units. [Details in last week’s edition of the Android Kenya weekly newsletter]
Both the P20 and the P20 Pro have been hailed by reviewers across the board as being some of the best photography experiences that one can get on a smartphone today. Even more outstanding is the superior P20 Pro’s tri-lens configuration which sees Huawei add an 8-megapixel telephoto lens to the traditional RGB and monochrome lens dual-setup that we have become used to since the days of the Huawei P9 over 2 years ago.
While telephoto lenses are not necessarily a new thing, they’re just new to Huawei’s flagship smartphone lineup, Huawei’s implementation is interesting as it supports 3x optical zoom, a departure from the usual 2x.
The 40-megapixel RGB lens evokes memories of the Nokia 808 PureView’s 41-megapixel camera that was way ahead of its time and a similar lens on the Windows Phone-powered Nokia Lumia 1020 while the 20-megapixel black and white sensor is expected to give images the sharp contrast and detail they need to stand out.
The device also features the same AI smarts as the ones found on the Mate 10 from last year since they share a similar processor as detailed here.
If you are interested in picking up the Huawei P20 then be ready to part with Kshs 75,000. If you’re eyeing the Huawei P20 Pro, make sure you have Kshs 90,000 lying around somewhere. You might also want to make sure you have downloaded VLC while at it since you won’t get it on the Play Store after spending all that money. Or you can part with a third of that amount in exchange for lesser features while staying within the confines of the P20 family when you get the P20 Lite which has been selling in the country for the last 3 months.