The Safaricom Open Day is back. Or, has been back since it’s been on for a while now. Since November 26th, Kenyans have been able to purchase devices at slightly discounted rates from Safaricom retail shops and specially set up pop up stores as well as online on Masoko, Safaricom’s e-commerce platform.
Other than online where the deals have been live since the 26th, across the country, most people have only had a chance to take advantage of the discounted prices since the 29th. For some places, like those in Taita-Taveta county, the Open Day deals won’t be live physically until December 6th, 2 days before it ends.
Here are some of the deals that we think are worth having a look at if you are considering buying something going into the festive season. Some are comforting if you missed out on the madness that was the hyped Black Friday season this year.
Not to be confused with the Alcatel 1X, the world’s first Android Go smartphone, the Alcatel 1 has only been in the market for a few months. In fact, the last time that Safaricom had a Bonga sale was its first outing in Kenya and it’s been around ever since then.
Like the pioneering 1X, the Alcatel 1 is an Android Go smartphone, running on the Go edition of Android 8.1, Oreo. While there is no word (or any hope at all, to be honest) that it will be making the jump to Android 9 Pie like HMD Global’s Android Go devices, at the Kshs 6,000 one can get it for during the Safaricom Open Day, I think that’s not a bad deal, anyway. It’s, as far as I am concerned, the most affordable smartphone with an 18:9 display. Heck, you even get 4G in there.
Specifications: 5-inch FullView (18:9) FWVGA+ (960 x 480 pixels) display, 5MP rear camera (interpolates images to 8MP), 2MP front-facing camera (interpolates images to 5MP), 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, Quad-core MediaTek MT6739 processor and a 2,000mAh battery.
Free 100MB data
To be honest, the Kshs 6,500 that Safaricom is asking for the Nokia 1, the most affordable Nokia smartphone in the market at the moment, is not much of a deal considering that it’s coming on the back of a more juicy price cut in the just-concluded Black Friday season. But yeah, it’s there and I’d give it a consideration based on the after-sales support that Safaricom is able to offer that those faceless merchants on Jumia aren’t able to provide.
Free 100MB data
Moto G Plus
Unless I am missing something, this should be the fifth-generation Moto G. Normally, it doesn’t come cheap with prices topping the Kshs 26,000 mark for the high-spec model and Kshs 10,000 cheaper for the common variant. Its Kshs 8,000 price at the Safaricom Open Day means that it’s price has been cut by a whopping 50%.
Hmmm, where is the catch? Maybe the bit where this device has been around for like forever? I mean, it’s over a year since Safaricom started selling it. This price point is usually the domain of the C series and I am crossing my fingers that someone actually made a typo and the device in question should be the C Plus.
Free 500MB data
Huawei Y3 2018
This happens to be Huawei’s first ever Android Go smartphone and we are getting to see it in Kenya for the first time. In fact, we are only getting to have it in our market over half a year since the South Africans got first dibs on it. Well, better late than never.
The joke here is that last year’s Y3 is also going for the same Kshs 8,000 as this year’s model. LOL.
Free 100MB data
Nokia 7 Plus
This is one of my favourite smartphones this year. Sure, I haven’t used as many smartphones as I would’ve wanted but of the tens that I’ve laid my hands on this year either for perspective or review purposes here, the Nokia 7 Plus still stands out for me.
It’s well-priced, has an impeccable design and, well, it’s the true embodiment of the Android One spirit: it was part of the Android Pie beta programme, it was one of the very first smartphones to receive the official Pie update and it stays on the forefront of new features like Digital Wellbeing. Honestly, what more could you ask? And if someone offers to slash of Kshs 2,000 off an already good device, what’s not to like?
Free 4GB data
Infinix Hot S3
To be honest, my exact feelings about the Infinix Hot S3, when I interacted with it for my review, were that it’s a nice overpriced device that didn’t offer much in terms of value for money and which was (and rightfully so) cannibalized by other Infinix devices – the super-impressive Infinix Note 5 and the sensible Infinix Hot 6 Pro. That impression had everything to do with its ambitious and misplaced Kshs 19,000 pricing.
For what it’s worth, the Hot S3 is a better device than the Hot 6 Pro but I can’t find it in me why I would ordinarily pay more for it while the Hot 6 Pro can serve me just well. The cut in price to Kshs 15,600 during the Safaricom Open Day at least makes sense to me even though I am not entirely convinced.
No free data – free cover and screen protector (don’t these come in the box, though?)
Tecno Camon X Pro
I took the Tecno Camon X Pro with me to Rome early in the year and loved every bit of my time out there with it. It held up just fine when I needed its battery to hold itself together when Maps was burning through all resources to ensure I never got lost in the Eternal City and its cameras made sure I still retained enough visual memories of the Tiber river to ensure my grandchildren don’t accuse me of telling stories based off far-fetched lies.
While the price drop to Kshs 20,000 is appreciable, with the Camon 11 Pro just Kshs 4,000 away, why not use the Kshs 5,000 you intend to save with this deal to get that one instead?
Free 1GB data
Huawei P20 and P20 Pro
Safaricom started selling the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro in early August for Kshs 75,000 and 90,000 respectively. That’s a lot of money. A lot of money. So much so that the Kshs 67,000 and Kshs 72,000 that Safaricom has now priced them during this Open Day makes a lot of sense to anyone interested in getting one of the best possible mobile photography experiences out there. Then there’s the bit where either of the two devices comes with 8GB free data from Safaricom.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is hands down the best smartphone I have used this year. The design is up there with the best, its battery life is bearable, the performance will blow you away and it still has one of the best cameras on a smartphone whose name is not Pixel-something. I could go on and on but what’s the point?
It’s the best smartphone you can buy in Kenya (at least on an official basis) at the moment, go argue elsewhere. The price drop to Kshs 90,000, where it had dropped to during Black Friday on Masoko, is not bad considering Samsung wanted us to part with Kshs 105,000 when it launched.
Free 4GB data
Safaricom Giga Box
Like the Infinix Hot S3 above, I’ve never been silent when it comes to my thoughts on the pricing of Safaricom’s digital media box. At Kshs 10,000, it comes across as overpriced and potentially locks out many that truly need it instead of those of us who have rare (maybe privileged?) needs like streaming video in 4K and never needing mobile data bundles to watch YouTube on our television sets.
The Kshs 8,000 that Safaricom is asking for during this Open Day may not be as much as the discount during the World Cup but it’s still Kshs 2,000 less and that can make all the difference out there. I mean, that can get you a terrestrial TV antenna and you remain with some change. Safaricom is throwing in 5GB free data in the mix as well.