They say good smartphones are getting cheap, and cheap smartphones are getting good. This holds true for most of the price segments, save for the very basic AndroidGo devices. You no longer have to part with a butt-load of money to enjoy a decent smartphone experience. After all, most of the selling points for phones that cost close to Ksh 100,000 turn out to be gimmicks.
That said, these are smartphones between 10k and 20k ksh that offer you a smooth Android experience with the least compromises in build quality or software experience.
Huawei Honor 7 S
We haven’t been big on Huawei devices lately. These guys used to be the kings of Android back then when we were just beginning to realize what Android is. Remember the Ideos devices? The Honor 7S is in a weird little spot. It’s not underpowered or underspec’d but it’s not going to blow anyone’s socks off. Luckily, its got a pricetag to match.
- Type: LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
- Size: 5.45 inches, 76.7 cm2 (~73.8% screen-to-body ratio)
- Resolution: 720 x 1440 pixels, 18:9 ratio (~295 ppi density)
- OS: Android 8.1 (Oreo)
- Internal: 16 GB, 2 GB RAM
- Primary: 13 MP, Secondary: 5 MP
From the device’s looks and the spec-sheet, it is clear what it is meant to be competing with. If you just want a functional device but don’t want to purchase a Tecno or Infinix…for obvious reasons, this could be what you need. At a price of Ksh 10,699, it is not going to break any banks.
Now, this is a more 2018-looking device. An 18:9 aspect ratio, the latest build of Android are some of the things going for the Tecno Camon X. The Camon X comes wrapped in a polycarbonate unibody design, with a 6-inch Full HD display. The fewer bezels were the key feature on the Camon CM and they are a distinct feature even on the X.
- Model: Tecno CA7 (Camon X)
- Colors: Champagne Gold
- SIM: Dual SIM (Micro-SIM)
- OS: HiOS v3.3 based on Android™ 8.1 Oreo
- Network: GSM, WCDMA, GPRS, EDGE, HSPA, Rapid 4G LTE
- Display: 6″ HD+ 1440 x 720px 18:9 Full Display
- CPU: MediaTek Helio P23, Octa-core 2.0GHz CPU, Mali-T720 GPU
- Memory: 16GB ROM, 3GB RAM, microSD, up to 128 GB (dedicated slot)
- Camera: 16 MP rear camera with Ring flash, 20 MP front Camera with dual LED flash
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot, Bluetooth v4.1, OTG
- Sensors: Face ID, Fingerprint scanner, Built-in Cooling system, Bluetooth 4.2
- Battery: 3750 mAh battery with fast charge
The Camon X is available in most retailers in the country for about Ksh. 17,700. Online stores like Jumia and Avechi do have this in store at a similar price.
In my opinion, one of the most compelling offerings in this price segment. It’s not that new, true, but for the average user who doesn’t really care for the very latest version of Android, this is a solid device.
- Display Size & Type: 5.5″ IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen
- Processor: Octa-core (4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.0 GHz Cortex-A53)
- OS: Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow)
- Memory: 64GB ROM + 4GB RAM
- SIM: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
- Battery: Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery
This is an impressive spec-sheet, even in 2018 standards. The MediaTek MT6755 Helio P10 still handles daily tasks like a champ. Everything but the most demanding of games will run smoothly. At a price of Ksh. 17,800, it is hard to find a more compelling offer.
Colors: Blush Gold/Bordeaux Red/Sandstone Black/Sapphire Blue
SIM: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM)
OS: Android One™ 8.1.0 Oreo (64-bit)
Network: GSM, WCDMA, GPRS, EDGE, HSPA, 4G LTE
Dimensions: 158 x 75 x 7.4 mm
Display: 6.0″ FHD+ 1080 x 2160px 18:9 Infinity Display @480dpi
CPU: MediaTek Helio P23 (MT6763) Octa-Core 2.0 GHz, 64bit, ARM Cortex-A53 Mali-G71 MP2 700MHz Processor
Memory: 32/64GB ROM, 3/4GB RAM, dedicated microSD slot, upgradeable to 128 GB
Camera: 12MP (4032 x 3024) AF Dual LED rear flash, 16MP (4608 x 3456) FF Front Camera with Dual LED Flash
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot, Bluetooth v4.1, OTG, WiFi Direct.
Sensors: Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Orientation, Ambient Light, Proximity, Compass, Fingerprint
Battery: Non-Removable Li-ion 4500 mAh battery