Safaricom’s Neon Kicka 5 with upgrades over predecessor now available

Safaricom has quietly introduced the successor to 2018’s Neon Kicka 4, the Neon Kicka 5.

The device still targets the same user base that its predecessor, which has since been discontinued, did.

The Neon Kicka 5 is listed on Safaricom’s online store, Masoko, and available in the company’s physical retail shops, for the same price that the Nokia Kicka 4 was priced at at launch almost 2 years ago: Kshs 3,500.

The Safaricom Neon Kicka 5 comes with a 4.95-inch display, an increase from the 4-inch that graced its successor. Onboard storage has been doubled to 8GB, addressing one of the most pressing issues with the Kicka 4: its limited storage space. The memory, though, stays the same, which is why there’s, obviously, the Go version of Android 9 Pie running on the device.

As can be seen from the image above, the Safaricom Neon Kicka 5’s biggest visual upgrade is the overall design which has been altered to accommodate the bigger frame necessitated by the slightly bigger display. It also has a slightly boxy look.

Processing power is provided by the same quad-core MediaTek processor found on the Neon Kicka 5’s predecessor. What that means is, besides the wiggle room the chipset has to balance speed and performance, it also dictates that the device is locked to 3G networks only, just like its predecessor. Specifically, Safaricom’s 3G network since such devices tend to be network-locked i.e. they cannot be used on another network.

That also means that the Neon Kicka 5 is not that Kshs 20 per day 4G smartphone that we are expecting from Safaricom any time now.

While the battery has received a bump up to 1,800mAh, the same is not the case in the camera department which remains, for the lack of a better word, basic (a 2-megapixel camera at the back and a 0.3-megapixel shooter on the front).

As of early this year, Safaricom had sold nearly 1 million units of its Neon range of budget smartphones. The Neon Kicka 5, and those that come after it, are expected to carry on the legacy of their predecessors as far as bringing more and more Kenyans to the smartphone world – and, more importantly, online – is concerned.

“Despite the high percentage in mobile telephone penetration in Kenya, there remains a large population in this country that still uses 2G phones; tough economic environment being the main reason they cannot afford smartphones,” Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa revealed as the company announced its financial results 2 months ago, further highlighting the gap the Neon Kicka 5, despite its limited chops, is plugging in the country.

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