Budget Smartphones In Kenya In the Kshs. 10,000-20,000 Price Range

huawei honor

Looking for a smartphone with high performance specifications at friendly price? Stick around. There is a growing demand for budget phones and different vendors working hard to tap into this gap. A budget smartphone is anything ranging between Kshs. 10,000-20,000 offers a good user experience and spots neat specifications (memory,camera and display). Here are the best choices out there.

1. Huawei Honor 3C

Price: Kshs. 20,999

The Honor is an affordable smartphone with  some neat specifications.The 5.0 inch device has a  1.3GHz MediaTek quad-core processor supported by 2GB of RAM 8GB internal storage.  Running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean , the honor is a dual-SIM with a  2300mAh battery. It also has a 5 megapixel front facing camera and a primary 8 megapixel likely to appeal to the buyer. Part of the 3C’s appeal is in the screen with its 720p IPS LCD display making it friendly for use in both bright and dull lit environments. At this pricing point, the  Huawei Honor C outshines its compatriots with only the Lumia 535 coming close.

2. Lumia 535

Price: Kshs. 13,799

When the Lumia 535 launched, Techweez called it the Standard in affordable smartphones. The Lumia 535 spots a 5 inch HD screen, latest Windows Phone software and Lumia firmware, 5MP front facing camera and 5MP rear facing camera (with flash).  The phone runs windows 8.1 on a quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 chipset with 1 GB of RAM and has an 8GB internal memory. It sports a the 1905 mAH removable battery  capable of running through a day and has dual SIM capabilities.  The device offers a premium experience as it is  pretty fast, has Gorilla Glass 3 protection along with Nokia Clear Black display technology.  This is a smartphone I would buy.

Lumia 535 review

3. Tecno Phantom Z Mini 2

Price: Kshs. 20,000

It is a smaller and sleeker than the Phantom Z runs Android 4.4.2 on a 2.0GHz octa-core processor with 2GB of RAM.  This 5 inch device sports a super AMOLED display with 720 x 1280 pixels resolution. It has a 13 megapixel Camera and an 8 megapixel front camera with autofocus.  For a device with such specifications, it sports a 2420 mAh Li-ion Battery which is a little on the lower side.  It also lacks a microSD slot despite its 16GB internal memory.  Still makes for a good device especially for those looking to game heavily and take selfies with the 8MP camera. 

Tecno Phantom Z Mini

4. Blackberry Z3

Price: Kshs. 18,000

The Blackberry Z3 code named Jakarta is  a stylish  5 inch device running the latest Blackberry 10.3.1 OS on a 1.2GHz  dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset with 1.5GB ram and 8GB internal storage. It has a 2500  mAh battery and sports some neat tricks such as the Blackberry Hub and the remarkable Blackberry Keyboard.  There are few Blackberry users in the Kenyan market but the Z3 pricing point and neat specs might change that.  If you want a premium device everyone will recognize, this is the IT device. However, be sure to contend with issues such as lack of basic applications and lags with the new OS.  Still its gets the job done.

Blackberry Z3

5. Xperia M2 Dual

Price: Kshs. 19,500

The Sony Xperia M2 is 4G, 4.8-inch device running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS on a 1.2 GHz Quad-core Cortex CPU on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset with 1GB RAM and 8GB of internal storage.  It has a 8-megapixel camera. It sports a 2300mAh battery.  The device is a good mid-range device with an impressive  battery life , neat design of the UI and handset. However the camera disappoints with serious lags but still makes for a good device.

Xperia M2

6. HTC Desire 616

Price: Kshs. 18,500

This 5 inch dual-sim device keeps up with the HTC tradition of aesthetically appealing phones. It runs on Android OS, v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) on a powerful Mediatek Octa Core 1.4 GHz processor with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage . An 8 megapixel camera and a 2 secondary with LED and Auto-focus complement the device. The phone received backlash and was said to be sluggish, with apps sometimes failing to respond after a noticeable pause. While this is most likely a software issue, potentially fixed by an update. Despite such shortcomings, the phone proved to get work done with minimal gimmicks and features such as Blinkfeed that personalized feeds from topical blogs and social networks. The phone has a 2000 mAh capable of getting work done during such periods.   It is a good phone for  professionals seeking to get the job done without necessarily indulging into the intricates of the smartphone. 

htc desire 616

7 . Huawei Ascend G615

Price: Kshs. 15,799

The Huawei Ascend G6 is a slim, 4G device created to offer a high definition display and audio. The G6 has a 4.5-inch, 960×540 resolution IPS display giving it more saturated colors with a 245 ppi pixel density.  It also spots Dolby digital plus that provides  a vibrant listening experience for music. The device was seen as a cheaper version of the P7.The devices runs Android OS, v4.3 (Jelly Bean) on a  1.2 GHz Quad-core with  1 GB RAM and 4GB internal memory.  It has a 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash and a 1.2 megapixel front camera. a 2,150mAh lithium battery supports the device. The device is thus suitable for watching videos and reading webpages and some mild gaming.

Huawei G6

8. Infinix Hot Note X551

Price: Kshs.9,999

The Infinix Hot Note is a 5.5 inch device, dual mini sim device. It runs on android 4.4.2 kitkat with a 1 GB ram, 1.4GHz octa-core processor and 16GB internal memory.  One defining factor of the Infinix hot note is its 4,000 mAh battery capable of lasting close to a day.  It has an 8 Megapixel  camera with LED flash and an okay 2 megapixel front camera.  It comes in a variety of color with Black, white and brown with a plastic cover. The affordable pricing provides compelling evidence especially for a first phone with its for a large display, a good battery its a deal!


9. Samsung Galaxy Core 2

Price: Kshs. 12,999

The Galaxy Core has a stunning 4.3 inches TFT capacitive device. It runs the Android OS, v4.4.2 (KitKat) on a 1.2 GHz Dual Core Cortex Snapdragon chipset on 1 GB ram and 4GB storage.  It sports a 5 MP camera and a mediocre VGA camera. The device has 1800mAh battery.   The phone is a dual sim device. Despite the  weak specifications the device offers it still hits the mark due to its pricing point which is within the budget devices.

samsung galaxy core 2


10. Samsung Galaxy J1

Samsung Galaxy J1 is here for two reasons, the specs sheet versus good pricing and that it’s the most affordable 4G device there is in the Kenyan market. Recently hit the market globally, this device is well crafted and for a lower mid ranger this device is worth it’s name. It has a 4.3 inch TFT display with 480 x 800 pixels (217ppi) and for that it has quite a good display. A 1.2GHz Quad core processor and 768MB RAM powers the internals and has 4GB internal storage on board, supported by microSD slot that will do upto 128GB.

It comes running Android 4.4.4 Kitkat out of the box. The rear camera is 5MP autofocus with a LED flash and a front 2MP camera. It has network chips that will support LTE Cat 4 with speeds of upto 150Mbps down, 50Mbs uploads on LTE 1800 and 2300 bands. This is especially ideal for the Kenyan market that is just rolling out 4G LTE with it’s budget pricing. The battery is an 1850 mAh, removable. Price is Kshs 14,000 and there is a 3G version that sells at Kshs 12,000.

Samsung Galaxy J1

10. There are some flagship devices of 2012-2014 whose prices have gone down to the same price ranges or slightly higher. These include the Huawei P6 retailing for Kshs. 22,000, The Blackberry Z10 for 20,000, Samsung Galaxy S3 and the HTC One X both for 23,000.