According to research, cheap smartphones in Kenya are causing a revolution in communication in the country. Nowadays it is a rare person who does not have a smartphone. Some of these phones go for as low as $100 making them affordable to most people.
By 2019, feature phones will only account for 27% of Africa’s mobile handset market, as the market for smartphones–fueled by handsets priced under $100 per unit–continues to grow. This is according to qz.com
The growth of Mpesa has also helped in this phenomenon and its no surprise that Forbes claims that it accounts for 43% of the GDP.
With new companies such as Wiko, Tecno, HTC etc coming into the market, larger companies are having a more difficult time trying to capture this growing market segment. Just ask Blackberry in Kenya what their current sales are compared to 5 years ago.
The problem for consumers is no longer an issue of whether they can afford a smart phone but which of the choices they have is the best smartphone in Kenya for their purposes. This is what we have found as the top cheap smartphones in Kenya at Phoneplace based on the sales and enquirers that we get.
What to Look for in Cheap Smartphones in Kenya
Of course price is the most important thing to you. That is why we tried to look for phones that are less than $100. For most Kenyans this is affordable, not necessarily cheap but we can husstle and save to buy a modern phone.
You are not going to get phones that are heavy on specs. In fact chances are that if you get one that can take great pictures, its battery life is poor. So be prepared to make adjustments to your expectations. You won’t find a phone with all the features you wish to have.
Brand means nothing when looking for a cheap phone. Actually, it should be the least of your concerns. What should really worry you is what you shall do if the phone has a problem. Are their enough phone repairers who can fix your phone at a low price. The cost of replacement parts should also concern you. You don’t want to have to buy a ksh.10000 screen for a phone you bought at ksh.7000.
Let’s see if we can help you find the cheap smartphones in Kenya.
The Tecno Y2 is probably one of the best budget smartphones in Kenya. Going at less than $60, the phone is great for those who are on a budget and need to use applications such as whatsup without buying the extravagant models.
- It is pretty low cost
- Has a sleek design
- Running on the obsolete Android 4.4 KitKat
- You are not going to get exceptional performance
This is for those on a tight budget who don’t really need the extra performance. You can read more about its specifications here.
Huawei Ascend Y221
Huawei came into the Kenyan market with a bang thanks to their modem offering through Safaricom. Little did we know that they also offered great phones. One of the phones that we get a lot of inquiries for is the Huawei Ascend. With the Huawei Ascend Y221, the company was able to offer a cheap phone with just enough power to keep the market engaged.
- Low Price Point
- 4G support
- You are not going to take great pictures with it, let alone selfies
- It can be slow…Ok really slow at times
The phone may be great for an entry level smartphone. However, I doubt if you are going to keep it for too long. You can read more about the Y221 at our shop.
Infinix Hot 2
Infinix came along and its now a darling with many young people. I don’t know if its because of its sleek design or just good marketing. Even searching our Facebook Page, you shall see that its one of the most sought after smartphones in Nairobi. Maybe its their futuristic name, who knows? The Hot 2 is a favorite to many.
- 5 Colours to choose from and they all just look great
- Better performance than others in its class
- Be wary and ensure you get the 2GB Ram not the 1GB ram which is rather slow
- You really must use Google services
For this price point, the Hot 2 is a great buy. Probably the best in its class. Especially since they allowed this phone to have a removable battery. The phone simply works. Learn more about the Hot 2 and buy it! We consider this to be one of the best cheap smartphones in Kenya today.
Did someone say Lenovo? I thought they make TV’s only? That is how surprised we were when we were approached to review it. But surprise surprise its actually a great phone.
- Did someone just add Dolby Speakers on a budget phone?
- It is compact for those who hate carrying those loud big phones
- Battery life can surely be improved
- Now where do you go fix it in Kenya when things go wrong?
If you want to look different and seriously love your music, this is the phone for you. Still have an issue with repairs unless you guys know of a Lenovo repairman. You can learn more about it here.
Samsung Galaxy J1 Ace 3g
It’s hard to do phone reviews in Kenya without mentioning Samsung, isn’t it? This phone has the attention of quite a lot of ladies. Maybe its the brand name or just the design. Because it does look good and you are sure going to get a garage mechanic to fix it when issues arise.
- I’ll say again that it does have a sleek design.
- Low price point for a Samsung
- Please charge your battery every evening
- Only 512 GB Ram while phones in its price point are 1GB and above
It’s not a bad choice given the fact that you are going to have someone to fix it often. It’s also a good idea to learn how to reboot your phone since the ram is surely going to crash with all those apps that come with Samsung phones. You can get more of its specs here.
HTC Desire 320
Do you have the Desire 320? Yes, we get a call for this phone every day. HTC Desire has surely impressed many Kenyans to say the least. However, after buying it the stories do change a bit. I wouldn’t blame them, the phone looks good, but its also a cheap phone so expecting wonders too far is pushing the imagination to far.
- It is low priced and looks good
- Has an SD slot for those who wish to increase performance
- Biggest complaint is that sometimes it lags
- The touch screen shall not make you very happy
You can read more about it here. Leave a comment if you wish, we’ll be sure to add it i the article if it adds value.
Microsoft Lumia 532
If there’s something I’d like you to get out of this article is that not all Android phones are fantastic. In fact, the Microsoft Lumia 532 is just superb. I can’t say enough of this phone. For those who work a lot on windows platforms, the built in accessibility to word, excel and other windows programs is a God send.
And no it is not slow. It performs just perfectly even in heavy use.
- 1/6th the price of an iPhone6 but performs just as well
- Media streaming for those that love Netflix and online video games
- It’s not an android phone…I really don’t know if that’s a negative
- Remember to charge your phone often
All in all this is a great phone for its price point. Unfortunately you won’t find it advertised often. Probably a secret for those that use it. Find out more about its specs here.
There you have it. What we think are the top 7 cheap smartphones in Kenya. Of course you are allowed to comment and criticize. It may have been obvious to you that its not possible for us to use all these phones. So our basis is that our clients say before and after buying our phones. You can get more phones to choose from at our phone shop. If you have any queries, please feel free to call us and we shall advise you on the best choice based on your needs.