A smartphone assembly plant was on Monday, October 30 officially launched in Kenya, bringing the country closer to selling its first locally assembled smartphones.
The plant is located in Athi River, Machakos County and will see the affordable smartphones manufactured at East Africa Device Assembly Kenya Limited (EADAK), which is the fruit of a joint venture between local mobile network operators and international device manufacturers. It follows the government’s promise to establish a local smartphone assembly capable of producing up to 3 million devices annually.
During the launch event attended by President William Ruto, two devices were announced; the 4G-enabled Neon 5-inch “Smarta” and 6.5-inch “Ultra”, which retail for Ksh7,499 and Ksh8,999, respectively.
“Those 3 million devices will be 30 per cent cheaper than if we had imported them complete as units,” President Ruto announced.
The devices are expected to target over 60 per cent of phone users who are stuck with ‘Mulika Mwizi’ feature phones owing to the high cost of procuring a smartphone.
Money254.co.ke takes a look at the specifications of the two devices:
It boasts a 5-inch screen, suitable for users who prefer a smaller device that fits into their pocket. The entry-level, pocket-friendly smartphone is tailored to users seeking basic smartphone functionality and is an affordable option for those looking to access essential smartphone applications such as WhatsApp, social media apps such as Facebook and X (formerly Twitter).
The Neon Smarta comes with 32GB of internal storage which provides enough space for storing apps, photos, short videos, music and other files. This is coupled with 2GB of RAM which enables smooth running of lightweight applications.
The device also features a dual-camera setup with a 5-megapixel primary camera and a 2-megapixel secondary camera for good photography and video recording, though it may not deliver the best resolution.
It is powered by a 3000mAh battery, providing a reasonable amount of time for usage on a single charge, though this may depend on usage patterns.
Neon Smarta is a single SIM smartphone tied to Safaricom’s network, with the telco provider offering a 1-year warranty for the phone which covers manufacturing defects and ensures users seek support and repairs before the expiry of the one-year period.
The 6.5-inch smartphone is seen as a more advanced option than the Neon Smarta, offering a larger display, improved camera capabilities, and a slightly larger battery, allowing users to get the best out of a smartphone while on a budget.
Like the Smarta, the Neon Ultra comes with 32GB internal storage and 2GB of RAM for easier multitasking and smooth operation of apps.
The 6.5-inch display, however, offers a more spacious and immersive viewing experience, making it suitable for tasks like watching videos, browsing, and gaming.
The Ultra has a triple-camera setup, with an 8-megapixel primary camera and a 5-megapixel, 2-megapixel secondary camera combination offering better photo quality and potentially more advanced camera features.
The smartphone is also powered by a 3750mAh battery, allowing users extended time in terms of usage on a single charge compared to the Smarta, especially with the larger display.
Like the Smarta, the Ultra is a single-SIM smartphone tied to Safaricom’s network. Safaricom is offering a 1-year warranty for the phone which covers manufacturing defects and ensures users seek support and repairs before the expiry of the one-year period.
The devices will be available countrywide at Faiba shops and dealer stores as well as Safaricom shops and the Masoko online platform. In terms of accessories, each device will come with a screen protector, charger, and earphones upon purchase.