Chinese smartphone maker OPPO set to enter the Kenyan market


If you are a keen reader of Techweez then you have obviously come across some of our coverage featuring some very sleek and desirable OPPO smartphones. If you’ve just started following us recently then worry not because you’ll actually get to meet those devices face-to-face soon. OPPO, the Chinese smartphone maker that has made inroads in Europe and is widely popular in its Asian home turf is set to enter the Kenyan market soon.

April 10th happens to be the date that Samsung will be bringing its flagship devices, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, to the Kenyan market. It is also the date Apple Watch preorders go live. Not just that, it also happens to be the date OPPO has set to make a big entry to the Kenyan market with at least three smartphone models catering for the upper, middle (somehow) and lower segments of the market.

OPPO plans to introduce into the Kenyan market its N3, R5 and Neo 3 smartphones. All these are devices which were announced back in 2014 between August and October (at a special event in Singapore) and have been in the global market ever since. The R5 is famed for its thin design profile (so thin that adding a 3.5 mm headphone jack wasn’t even considered) while the N3 is what OPPO is hoping will attract the high end smartphone buyer in the country. The Neo 3 is a low end smartphone through and through and the target market here is the segment that Microsoft has been going after with devices like Lumia 430, 435 and the like or what Google has been targeting with its Android One program in Asian countries.

See below table for details of how the three compare:

Size and weight 161.2 x 77 x 9.9 mm, 192g 148.9 x 74.5 x 4.9 mm, 155g 132 x 65.8 x 9.2 mm, 128g
Display 5.5 inch Full HD IPS LCD – 403 ppi –  protected by Gorilla Glass 3 5.2 inch Full HD AMOLED – 423 ppi –  protected by Gorilla Glass 3 4.5 inch IPS LCD –  480 x 854 pixels (218 ppi)
Memory 2 GB RAM, 32 GB internal storage (expandable upto 128 GB via microSD) 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal storage (no microSD slot) 1 GB RAM, 4 GB internal storage (expandable upto 32 GB via microSD)
Camera 16 MP main, 16 MP selfie (with LED) 13 MP main, 5 MP selfie 5 MP main, 2 MP selfie
Processor Quad-core Snapdragon 801 clocked at 2.3 GHz + Adreno 330 GPU Octa-core Snapdragon 615 clocked at 2.1 GHz + Adreno 405 GPU Mediatek MT6572 chip clocked at 1.2 GHz
OS Android 4.4. KitKat with Color OS layered on top Android 4.4. KitKat with Color OS layered on top Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with Color OS layered on top
Battery 3000 mAh Li-Po 2000 mAh Li-Po 1900 mAh Li-Ion
Network 3G, LTE 3G, LTE 3G
Other Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, No FM Radio, microUSB 2.0, Fast battery charging: 75% in 30 minutes Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, No FM Radio, microUSB 2.0, Fast battery charging: 75% in 30 minutes, No 3.5 mm audio jack Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot, Bluetooth 2.1, microUSB 2.0
Dual-SIM (nano & micro) Singe-SIM (micro) Dual-SIM (micro & mini)
Colour options White Silver, Gold White, Black
Cost (Ksh) 59,990 47,990 13,990

OPPO has made a name for itself globally by producing high quality and standard-setting smartphones design-wise. The Find 5 wowed us with its excellent design, the Find 7 shipped with fast charging tech before it became a standard for flagship devices and was the first mainstream flagship device to pack a Quad HD display. Plus that ability to stitch photos taken to produce a 50 MP shot (a feature the N3 maintains). The old OPPO N1 is still memorable for its rotating camera (the N3 also builds on this) and being the first smartphone to run custom Android firmware CyanogenMOD. Even with such an impressive profile, we were just left to drool and do nothing more. The devices were not available in the Kenyan market. That changes on the 10th of April. Will OPPO be able to make it in the highly competitive smartphone market in Kenya?

OPPO’s official entry into the mobile space in Kenya follows the launch of other foreign brands wanting a share of the pie like Mi-Fone (do they still exist?), Xtouch, Wiko, Infinix and Obi who have given traditionally dominant brands like Microsoft Nokia, Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG, Apple, Huawei, Alcatel OneTouch and Tecno a run for their money.