“If you were to buy a mobile phone today, what factors (and or specifications) will inform your decision?” This is the question I posed on my Facebook page on June 27, 2020; in pursuit of views on what is influencing decisions on the choice of handsets for my Facebook friends.
Even though the responses evaded the cost of the handset, which is a key driving factor, most of my online friends seem to target the best in the market [at the lowest cost].
Before analyzing cost, let us sample some of the responses by my Facebook friends. What stood out is that they are united in their desire for a smartphone that has a large storage capacity, a fast processor, a day-long battery life and a large screen. In fact, Bornventure Bucci Gamba posted: “battery runtime of at least 4000 mAh going up, 64GB ROM that is expandable and a minimum of 4GB RAM.”
If you are an ardent techie, you would think that Gamba was describing the Huawei Y6p that has just hit retail shelves in Kenya. The handset packs a 5000 mAh non-removable battery, a 13MP triple camera, 64GB storage and 6.3” screen.
Save for the RAM, which is 3GB, Huawei Y6p which retails at Kshs 14,999, seems tailored to Gamba’s specs.
For other online friends like Owuoche Adhiambo, the screen size is a key factor. Owuoche says: “screen size. Old age is catching up, the font has to be big.” She shares views with Geoffrey Akungu who says his target a 4G smartphone armed with “a 5000 mAh battery, the screen size of at least 6.2” and storage of 32GB.” The Y6p meets this and offers double the storage capacity.
In nearly all responses, camera and battery were key. In Michelle Anakeya’s words, it has to have a “great camera.” Michael Mugendi said “battery longevity” is important, as Nicholas Kagali said he’s usually keen on a “long-lasting battery.” This perhaps underscores the increasing demand among Kenyans for a smartphone that can withstand moderate to heavy usage without the battery running out.
The budget handset which could fit the title “an entry smartphone.”
What is more about the Y6p? “The one unique feature about Huawei Y6p is that it can also function as a power bank to charge other devices and even act as backup storage for other devices,” says Brenda Khaimia, Communications and Marketing Manager, Huawei Mobile Kenya.
According to Mary Kangai, her mobile phone is a bank [for mobile money and internet banking], a camera, and store for all memorable moments, most of which are captured using the handset, a gadget for browsing the internet and a workstation. “Several years ago, a mobile phone was for calling and texting. Today, I do 90 per cent of my work-related tasks and over 95% of all my transactions on the mobile phone thanks to mobile and internet banking,” she observes.
Christine Wanja, an online journalist adds: “I edit short
clips for posting on our company’s social media platforms using my mobile phone. I do a lot of my work tasks on my mobile phone, as long as I have bundles (mobile data).”
During my survey, it seemed that my online friends were not concerned about the Google play store that is not pre-installed in four of the last Huawei handsets (Y7p, Nova 7i, Y6p and Y8p) launched in Kenya this year. “These handsets come pre-installed with the ‘Phone Clone’ feature which helps customers to transfer some of the apps from their old phones. Alternatively, the apps can be downloaded from the Huawei AppGallery,” explains Khaimia.
Back to my question, what do you consider when buying a mobile phone?