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A new year is upon us and CES 2018 is underway, I thought we should have a wishlist of what we want to see from some of the top smartphone brands in Kenya this year. 2017 was a great year, we saw Nokia make a huge comeback, Motorola tried as well but went MIA after the launch of the Moto Z, we saw OPPO make a play with the F5 that proved to be a great device, Infinix and TECNO introduced a new lineup of entry-level smartphones dubbed Smart and Spark respectively and ended the year with flagships that, honestly, didn’t offer a lot of new things but were good to have all the same.

As we go into 2018, we would love to share with our friends over at TECNO, Infinix and OPPO what we would like to see on their smartphones this year, starting with TECNO.

Dear TECNO,

You guys make good phones, that’s no lie. You’re always first to jump on trends, reference dual cameras on the Phantom 6 and even USB-C but last year was a weird year for TECNO. First, we didn’t get a Boom series smartphone, why? The Camon CX was also amazing even though it lagged behind as a camera phone but the biggest disappointment was the Phantom 8, so here’s what we’d like to see you improve on:

  • Give us a Boom Smartphone – People loved the Boom series due to their music-centric nature, so please don’t kill it. Then, instead of including headphones, why not ship the Boom J9 (possibly) with a high-quality DAC (A Digital-to-Analog Converter is a device that converts digital audio information into an analog audio signal that can be sent to a headphone amp) and high-quality earphones like JBL for instance. Also, it would be great if the new Boom smartphone could get dual front-facing speakers, because, well, it’s a music phone.
  • Camon Series need to do better as camera phones – The Camon series of smartphones have always been known for their camera-prowess but TECNO, you playing. We need to see manual controls on the camera app, dual front and back camera (yes, we are asking for four cameras) and better image processing, the hardware is good, just work on the software.
  • The Next Phantom – First of all, if you are going to charge around $400 for a phone, you better make it worth it. That diamond fire design on the Phantom 8 was a joke, we want an aluminium unibody design or glass – if you must make shiny stuff. Secondly, we want to see more creativity, remember the Phantom 6’s design? You guys killed it, slimmest dual camera phone at that time, a design we hadn’t seen before but then what happened? Because the design of the Phantom 8 was too iPhonesque. Third, that 18:9 aspect ratio better be coming as well as ditching MediaTek for Snapdragon, that’d be great. Lastly, how about making HiOS more attractive and pleasing to use? I loved the software on the TECNO L9+, if only you would do the same with all your phones.

Dear Infinix,

Infinix Zero 5 Pro

Infinix is known for offering great value for your money and we hope this continues to be so. However, there are a few things we need to iron out:

  • Smaller Phones, please – Not everyone has giant hands. Infinix made a great phone last year, the Zero 5, but the phone was too big and too heavy. if you must make a 6-inch smartphone, then give it an 18:9 aspect ratio and we will love it. Smaller phones look sleeker, have better handling and will be a welcome change. We get it, you offer huge batteries with your phones but I am sure you can make it work without necessarily making the phone so big.
  • Don’t flood us with phones – Infinix smartphones come in three categories; the Hot series, the Note series and the Zero series. It’s simple, with no confusion. In 2017, you introduced a new series, the Smart series, I don’t even know how many people remember it but the point here is, don’t flood the market with smartphones we can hardly remember.
  • New features – Infinix was kinda slow in adopting new features such as dual cameras and USB-C, we’d like to see that change this year. How about going all the way and giving us 18:9 displays, water resistance (this is a long shot) and even, possibly, a play with AI.

Dear OPPO,

OPPO F5

OPPO smartphones are great but they don’t come without a few shortfalls and that is what we want to address and hopefully, OPPO will be listening.

  • Your price is way too high, you need to cut it – The biggest hurdle to owning an OPPO smartphone is the price. Yes, the phones do come with good features, great cameras but those prices will just turn you away. In 2018, it would be great if we saw more phones costing less than Ksh.30,000
  • It’s Time to Switch to USB-C – I honestly fail to understand why there isn’t even one OPPO smartphone with USB-C. I hope that this won’t be the case in 2018, we hope to see USB-C and VOOC charging across all your smartphones.
  • R- Series Flagship smartphones – OPPO, we can afford your R-series of flagship phones (regardless of the above price complain), so please, please, can we have them make it to Kenya in 2018? That is all. For those who don’t know, the R-series is the best of what OPPO has to offer with Snapdragon processors, VOOC fast charging, dual cameras, AMOLED displays with 18:9 aspect ratio and more.
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