The best smartphones currently on the market in Kenya

7 of the best smartphones in 2019 currently on the market

The number of smartphones currently on the market is hard to imagine considering barely a decade ago people did not have as many choices. All most people knew was the famed Nokia 3310 or Alcatel (a brand that has been edged off the market by smartphones) or Siemens. With so many options on the market as we speak, how do you pick the perfect smartphone for yourself or as a present?

Since the introduction of smartphones, even computers are considered of low importance. Who needs a laptop when you can send the same email via your phone or even better, make a video call and talk to your next employee face-to-face while they are halfway across the globe? The perfect phone should match your interests; is it mostly for gaming, work, or social media? How much space do you need? Do you take a lot of photos and videos? These are some of the questions you should answer before settling on a particular smartphone brand.

Before we look at the best smartphones currently on the market, here are some important considerations you should look at before making a purchase.

The Operating System

Your smartphone's operating system is the engine that makes it possible for the device to handle all the tasks you wish to complete to its full potential. Most smartphones on the market run on the Android operating system while iPhones use iOS. There are several versions of the Android operating system considering the Google team is always upgrading this software. Each version offers a different experience, but it is advisable to opt for the latest.

An outdated version of an operating system might mean your phone will have problems opening specific programs app on your phone. As such, always choose a smartphone with the latest version of the operating system you like (iOS or Android).

Size and display

A lot of people were fascinated by the iPad when it hit the stores only to realize later that it is not the best device to use as a mobile phone. Picking calls on a phone that covers your entire face might be comfortable for some people, but others regard it humorous. More so, a smartphone with a small display might give you problems when typing text messages or entering information on a particular website.

There are two forms of display in most smartphones, namely LCD and AMOLED. The latter has more saturated colors and better contrast while the former is brighter. Getting a smartphone with the capacity to render images in Full-HD or QHD resolution is also a factor worthy of considering.


The processor is the part of your smartphone that works to ensure everything is running smoothly or as it should. At the moment, Mediatek and Qualcomm processors are the best bargain. Your smartphone's processor should have a track record of good performances to prevent your device from 'hanging,' especially when you need it most. However, for a processor to function correctly, your smartphone needs to have high Random Access Memory (RAM)

RAM and internal storage space

Some smartphone vendors know that people are now smarter when it comes to checking the RAM and a device's internal storage. They know that clients will go for a device with a higher RAM and bigger internal storage, so some take advantage and use stickers with misleading information regarding the same. As such, before purchasing a smartphone, switch it on and look at its settings to find out its real internal storage space size as well as its RAM.

Also, before choosing a phone with a lot of storage space, such as 128 or 64 GB, be sure of the exact amount you will use. There is no need to buy a smartphone with a lot of storage space at a high price when you can opt for one that has the space you need at an affordable price. However, if you love downloading apps, movies, or music (audio and video), a smartphone with abundant storage space is your ideal choice.

Integrated functions and software

The very essence of new mobile devices being called smartphones is due to their ability to perform almost every task a computer can with some doing it even more efficiently than computers. Do you need a phone that you can unlock using your fingerprint? Or perhaps you need one with a UV sensor or one that can measure your steps when taking your morning run? There are even smartphones that can help you monitor your heart rate when exercising or connect to other smart devices in your house.

Do not merely look at a smartphone and decide to purchase the same based on its hardware features. Explore the software as well as the hidden features to ensure it fulfills your idea of the smartphone you desire. Some phones even come with pre-installed applications that cannot be found on other devices; if you need such features, take your time and look for a smartphone that offers the same and is affordable.

With the information above at your fingertips, you are now ready to choose a device among the best smartphones below.

The best smartphones currently on the market in Kenya

When it involves the choice to get a smartphone, different users have different needs. the fundamentals, like call clarity, great connectivity, and a longer-lasting battery, remain constant across all users. However, those that have a much bigger budget are going to be comfortable handing over more for a high-end brand, better screen solution, high-quality camera, bigger space for storing, and a bigger screen

Kenya’s smartphone market is crammed with high-end smartphones, midranges, and budget phones. thanks to the democratization of this market, the simplest smartphones aren’t necessarily expensive ones. Budget phones have impressive specs with minimal trade-offs. Also, the definition of the simplest smartphone depends on the user’s expectations and therefore the amount they’re willing to take a position during a unit.

The iPhone 12 Max

The iPhone 12 Max is the best phone on Apple’s line-up yet. It has the latest Apple A14 Bionic, which makes the phone faster and power efficient. While the 6GB RAM is quite average on a smartphone, the phone works perfectly.

The iPhone 12 Max is the best camera phone for photographers and vloggers. It has the same camera set-up as the iPhone 11 (12MP + 12MP + 12 MP) but with TOP 3D LiDAR for better image detection. The selfies are also decent and colour-muted, unlike Samsung’s S20 Ultra. The iPhone 12 Max price ranges from Ksh 160,000 to Ksh 203,000 depending on the internal storage.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is the best phone on Samsung’s S-series. The camera set-up, which has a massive 108MP primary shooter, is the best phone camera yet.

Compared to the iPhone’s 12, the S20 cameras record better videos, even in darker spaces. Away from the camera, Samsung included a 5,000mAh battery in the S20 Ultra. The battery allows you to use the phone at 120Hz without killing the battery in a day.

However, if you manage to drain it, you can charge it through the improved Wireless PowerSharing (with another compatible phone) or charge it wirelessly. The phone is available for Ksh 109,000.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, commonly known as the Fan Edition, is a budget version of the expensive S20. While it has some trade-offs such as a plastic back, the specs make it a perfect Android midrange phone. For example, the camera, which is 12 MP, records impressive photos and videos.

Although Samsung markets the phone as midrange phone, its super AMOLED display with 407 PPI makes it the best value for money. Also, the processor makes it one of the fastest phones under Ksh 80,000. Unfortunately, the phone does not have an audio jack, and you will not charge it wirelessly. The Samsung Galaxy S20 goes for Ksh. 63,500.

The iPhone SE 2020

The iPhone SE 2020 is the best mid-range phone based on software support, camera set-up, and the processor. While the phone has big bezels and a dated iPhone 8 body, the A13 bionic make the SE a powerful phone than the iPhone X line-up.

The phone is a perfect buy if you are migrating from Android but do not want to spend over Ksh 100,000. Also, the SE is more likely to get iOS updates for the next five years. The phone is, therefore, a long-term investment. The iPhone SE price in Kenya ranges from Ksh 49,000 to Ksh 56,000 depending on the phone’s internal storage.

OnePlus Nord

OnePlus Nord is the Android’s version of the iPhone SE 2020. Like its Apple’s competitor, the phone has impressive specs but on an old body. The Snapdragon 765 G, for example, makes the Nord one of the most powerful Android phones under Ksh 80,000

The Android 10 device also has an impressive 6.44-inch display, better than the iPhone SE 2020. The Fluid AMOLED capacitive display also makes the phone ideal for niche usage such as gaming and watching videos. The phone has a Li-Po 4115 mAh battery. However, due to high screen refresh rate, it may be impossible to get a full day charge. Fortunately, Nord supports 30W fast charging. The Nord goes for Ksh 45,000 to 50,000.

Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite

The Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite is the first 5G phone under Ksh 40,000. Although it is a midrange, it is one of the best phones for all types of users. The gigantic 4160 mAh battery, for example, powers the phone for a whole day, regardless of what you are doing with the Mi 10 Lite.

The quad-camera set-up captures some of the best pictures on an Android phone. The main 48MP shooter rivals a professional camera in taking decent photos, even in dark places. While the 16MP camera may take saturated selfie photos, they are great.

The phone goes for Ksh 37,000. However, most retailers have it at Ksh 38,000.

Oppo A93

The Oppo A93 is the latest addition to the Oppo’s A- series. Thanks to its bleeding-edge specs and unmatched pricing, the phone is one of the top-rated budget phones in Kenya. For example, the 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage makes the A93 the fastest phone under Ksh 35,000.

Besides, the A93 has a powerful Mediatek Helio P95, which is an impressive processor. Therefore, the Android 10 device is a perfect buy for professionals, photography enthusiasts, and students. It is available on all Oppo affiliated stores for Ksh 30,500.

Infinix Note 8

The Infinix Note 8 is a camera-centred phone. With a camera set-up of 64MP+ 2MP + 2MP + 2MP, it is the best android phone under Ksh 25,000. In addition to an impressive camera set-up, the phone has a gigantic battery that can last a day without charge.

The 6.95 inches display is impressive to look. The IPS LCD is the Infinix’s attempt to bring flagship specs on a midrange phone. While the Note 8’s screen is not the brightest on this price range, you can do most of the tasks outside without struggles. The Note 8 goes for Ksh 21,800.

Nokia 5.3

The Nokia 5.3 is an improved version of the 5.2 which came earlier this year. Unlike the previous version, the 5.3 has a bigger battery and a more powerful processor. The key improvements make it the best-selling smartphone in the Android One niche and one of the best phones by Nokia. The camera set-up is also improved. You can take decent photos with Nokia 5.3, even in darker places. Unfortunately, the phone heats up when recording videos. Except for heating, the back and front cameras are perfect for all types of shooters. The Nokia 5.3 is available for 21,000.

Tecno Camon 16s

The Tecno 16s is the best phone you can buy under Ksh 20,000. The Android 10 device comes with an improved Media Helio P22 processor.

Also, the 4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage make the Camon 16s an ideal phone for students and professionals. The camera set-up, which has four cameras, takes decent photos. While the camera may struggle taking pictures in darker places, it records up to 4K videos at 30fps. Also, the front camera has two lenses (48MP + 8MP) which take decent photos.

The Tecno Camon goes for Ksh 17,000 Online. The ten best smartphones highlighted above are worth trying. Apart from having varying price tags, they are more likely to get up to three years of software updates. Therefore, they all ideal for buyers looking for a phone to use in the long-term. With Samsung dominating the mid-range and high-end smartphone market in Kenya, choosing between different Samsung devices isn’t easy.
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