The Safaricom Open Day is back.
The Open Day, which is usually marked by drops in prices of the various devices and accessories that Safaricom sells in its retail stores, has been running over the last few days and is set to continue till December 8th.
As such, we have gone through the over 40 smartphones and 20 mobile accessories that are on offer and picked a few that may pique your interest. A common theme across all of them is that the discounts are slight so don’t expect any of the huge savings that have been on offer during the Black Friday sales season.
If you are in the market for a basic smartphone that is just good enough to keep the conversation going on WhatsApp (just don’t attempt to restore your gigabytes of photos and videos from your previous phones) and, if you get it as a safety net for when you go wilding this December, hail a cab, then these will mostly cut it.
They are also a good fit for anyone who is just getting started in the smartphone world.
The Wiko Sunny 3 mini and the itel A14s are notable standouts for anyone whose budget is capped at just Kshs 3,000. For those with more to spend, the Wiko Jerry 3, which is going for Kshs 5,499 and the itel A23s which costs just a Kshs 1,000 more than the A14s (Kshs 2,499), should be good picks.
While Safaricom will be glad to have you ease its balance sheet of the liability that is your Bonga points by giving away 1,000 of them in exchange for one of its best-selling Neon smartphones, the Neon Storm, that doesn’t exactly sound like a good idea since that device is locked to its network (and they’re gracious enough to let you know about this beforehand) and has specifications identical to the A14s whose price is what you also need to settle on top of the Bonga points.
While it is understandable why one would get a 3G-only smartphone – tight budgets and all – it is actually our considered advise that if you can, add a few notes and get a smartphone with 4G. That way, if you manage to last long with it, you’ll have fewer regrets as you use it.
Safaricom does have a number of 4G devices to offer at dirt cheap prices but the most outstanding in the under Kshs 10,000 segment are from Chinese device maker Huawei.
The Huawei Y5 Lite (Kshs 6,999), which is over a year in the local market now, and the Huawei Y5 2019 (Kshs 9,999) launched in Kenya back in May are the best deals. Not by much but for what they offer in their feature set, they stand above the alternatives – yes, including the discounted Nokia 1 Plus.
This is my favourite device segment because herein you find good reasons to never spend more than you should on a smartphone. Yes, Kshs 100,000 smartphones are nice – and you should definitely sample them if your pockets allow – but do you really need to break your bank just to communicate and make a statement?
The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019, my favourite budget smartphone this year, has always topped my recommendations. At the Kshs 22,499 that Safaricom has discounted it to, it’s a no-brainer if it is within your budget. In fact, I’d only advise against getting the Y9 Prime 2019 if you are able to get a good discount on the Samsung Galaxy A50, which, sadly, Safaricom does not appear to be selling.
Spending Kshs 16,999 on the updated version of the other favourite budget smartphone of mine this year, the Samsung Galaxy A20s, is also not a bad idea as you will be getting a lot more phone for the money than you ordinarily would.
If you prefer your Android experience pure and up to date (don’t we all?) then the Nokia 7.2 at Kshs 26,999 is really a no-brainer.
The problem with accessories is that most retailers won’t back them up with warranty and allow you to return them once you open the packaging they come in and use. Given that they are mostly very affordable, this has gone on unchecked for a long while. Don’t get me started on having to deal with the many fakes that have flooded the market.
So, if you can find a credible seller like Safaricom with offers on accessories, you should go all in.
From the tens of accessories on offer, my interest is on the Advance USB OTG (on-the-go) drive.
You see, I am just from spending a few weeks reviewing most of Tecno and Infinix’s latest smartphones. The one thing they all have in common – from the ones that go for under Kshs 10,000 to those that are a few coins shy of hitting the Kshs 20,000 mark – ? They all support USB OTG. It’s one of the best things about budget smartphone brands like Infinix and Tecno. The only problem, though, is that USB OTG drives tend to be a bit pricey by ordinary drive’s standards. For Kshs 950 and Kshs 1,200 for the 8GB and 16GB variants respectively, go get ’em!
You can check out the rest of the deals here. Especially if you are interested in spending Kshs 50,000 or grabbing a tablet.
These deals are also available online on Masoko.
As is always the case with devices on sale at Safaricom outlets, unless otherwise stated, these are single-SIM devices.