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The OPPO A57 is launching this month in Kenya, here is what to anticipate.

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The OPPO A57 was launched in China in November 2016 before making its way to India in February this year. The company already made headlines with its selfie-centric FIs and FI Plus which featured a 16-megapixel selfie camera and it looks like the company wants to continue with the same trend with the launch of the A57.

So what should Kenyan consumers expect? First, the OPPO A57 is clad in a metal unibody design and its home button also doubles as a fingerprint sensor. Available in two color options of gold and rose gold, the phone features a sleek back finish with curved edges.

The OPPO A57 Review,camera,specs.

The Oppo A57 is powered by 1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor and it comes with 3GB of RAM. The phone packs 32GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 256GB via a micro SD card. As far as the cameras are concerned, the Oppo A57 packs a 13-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 16-megapixel front shooter for selfies.
The Oppo A57 runs Android 6.0 and is powered by a 2900mAh non removable battery. It measures 149.10 x 72.90 x 7.65 (height x width x thickness) and weigh 147.00 grams.The Oppo A57 features a non-removable 2900mAh battery which easily lasted us a full day on a single charge. Our HD video loop test gave us a runtime of 12 hours and 7 minutes, which is very good. There’s no fast charging, so the battery does a take a fair while to fully charge.

The Oppo A57 is a dual SIM (GSM and GSM) smartphone that accepts Nano-SIM and Nano-SIM. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, USB OTG, FM, 3G and 4G (with support for Band 40 used by some LTE networks in India). Sensors on the phone include Compass Magnetometer, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor and Gyroscope.

 

 

Samsung woos Galaxy S8 buyers with accessories

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Following the global release of the new Galaxy S8, Samsung Electronics East Africa has opened up pre-orders of the device ahead of its arrival in Kenya forecasted for May.

Pre-orders in Kenya for the device open on April 10, and the first 2,000 customers will get the Level Box Slim, a portable Bluetooth speaker that was launched at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier in the year. The portable speaker is light- weight at just 236 grams and has a powerful 8-watt audio. With a microphone, noise reduction and echo cancellation features, the speaker can be used to take calls. The portable speaker also has an *IPx7 water resistance rating and can additionally be used as a power bank when you plug in your device via USB cable.

Globally, the phone will go on sale on April 21 in select markets.

Making the announcement, Jung Hyun Park, the Vice President and Managing Director Samsung Electronics East Africa said the Galaxy S8 will be available starting on May 5th in Kenya, and will be offered in a rich colour palette including Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, and Maple Gold.

“We continue to evolve our smartphone portfolio to provide our customers with devices that enhance their lives and open the possibilities to new experiences. The Galaxy S8 is our testament to regaining your trust by redefining what’s possible in safety and marks a new milestone in Samsung’s smartphone legacy,” added Mr. Park.

Samsung Galaxy S8 gets launched tonight, here’s what to expect.

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The Samsung Galaxy S8 has been the star for the rumor mill for a while now. Here’s a roundup of all the leaks we have come across so far. Most of these things will be verified tonight as the phone gets officially launched.

Design

Bixby

The phone will retain the glass back and front of its predecessor. The changes will come in the bezels, they will be the thinnest of any Samsung phone ever made. The screen will still be curved but the borders will be even smaller than previous edge displays as you can see in the picture above. The body will be waterproof as before as well as dust resistant. There will be no physical buttons below the screen this time round, on screen keys will be used instead and the fingerprint sensor will migrate to the back, next to the camera.

Display

aa-galaxy-S8-leak-456

gsmarena_002

Galaxy S8 will come in two curved display sizes, a 5.8 inch will be the standard and a 6.2 inch will be on the S8+ version. Super AMOLED technology will make a return but the resolution will be slightly different to accommodate the new 18.5:9 screen aspect ratio.

Processor

Just like Samsung did with the Galaxy S7, there will be two versions of processors used. The international model will have their latest in-house chip, Exynos 8895, the US model will have the latest Qualcomm chip, Snapdragon 835. RAM is being said to be set at 4GB, but there are reports that there will be a special edition that will have 6GB RAM.

Software

Samsung Experience UI
Samsung Experience UI

Android 7.0 Nougat will run under the new Samsung Experience UI, it will be premiering on the S8. Speaking of premier things, a new reworked version of the “Over the horizon” signature ringtone will debut on the Galaxy S8 as well. Bixby assistant will be the star of the software sector. It is a revamped digital assistant that will have its own dedicated physical button on the left side of the phone.

Camera

Galaxy S7’s camera makes a return here, 12MP, with ultra-fast Dual Pixel auto focus and optical image stabilization (OIS). We are only assuming that it’s the same camera based on the resolution but Samsung might utilize a different sensor since the Galaxy S8 is said come a 1000fps slo-mo recording, a feature that the S7 didn’t have. The selfie camera will graduate from 5MP to 8MP, it will be a very welcome upgrade.

Battery

The Samsung Galaxy S8 will have a 3000mAH battery just like the S7 did, but the S8+ will have a 3500mAh, 100mAh smaller than what the S7 Edge offered.

Price

AKG premium earphone will be offered in the box
AKG premium earphone will be offered in the box
Samsung Dex Station will be sold separately
Samsung Dex Station will be sold separately

The Samsung Galaxy S8 will cost 830 Euros according to leaks and the S8+ will be priced at 930 Euros.  They will also have AKG Premium earphones in the box made by Harman, the high end audio company that Samsung acquired recently. However, the  Dex station will be sold separately, it promises to turn your phone into a desktop experience using any external monitor with a HDMI port. We only need to wait a couple of hours and see how many of these leaks pan out.

 

TECNO launches the Camon CX across various markets in Africa

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TECNO Mobile, has launched the much anticipated Camon CX  across 41 markets in Africa, Middle East and Latin America, including in Kenya and Nigeria.

Introduced in 2015, the Camon series has sold over 5 million handsets globally giving the firm over 25 per cent of market share in Sub-Saharan African countries since 2014.

Sales in the African market reached 25 million devices in 2015, including 9 million smart phones. Globally, it sold 60 million devices last year while the sale of smart phones manufactured by the company increased by 40 per cent.

Nigeria, Tanzania, Egypt, Kenya and Cameroon are among the firm top markets in Africa.

TECNO Camon CX uses a smart image sensor composed of 16 mega pixel sensors in the front camera, coupled with unique ‘4 in 1’ technology.

Each pixel sensor detects light, captures individual images and converts the information into signals before forming the final image, resulting in selfies that are 30 per cent brighter, capturing special moments perfectly.

The phone’s dual-front flash feature allows Camon CX users to take amazing quality selfies in dark environments where previous artificial light would blur and distort images.

It also has a customised ring flash, light speed charge and a 5.5 inch FHD (Full High Definition) screen, all allowing for ease of use on the go as well as the best quality images.

Below are the phone’s key specs

SPEC Camon CX
Basic
Size Design Size 152.8*75.8*5.6mm (visual)
Thickest Size 152.8*75.8*7.65mm
Weight 155g
Color Champagne gold/Sky gray/Elegant Blue/Rose Gold
CPU MT6750T 8 corte
GPU ARM Mali-T860 MP2 650MHz
processor type 8x Cortex-A53, up to 1.5GHz
Frequency Range 1.5GHz
Camera
Sensor IMX298
Back Cmaera 16M AF
Aperture f/2.0
Optic angle 77degree
Lens type CMOS
Flash type Four Flash/Circle Flashlight
Front camera 16.0M FF
Optic angle 78.4degree
Screen
Size 5.5inch
Material TFT
PPI 404
Image resolution FHD
Network
SIM card Dual SIM(micro+nano)+ T Card(support to 128GB)
Main Cellular GSM/WCDMA/FDD
Data service GPRS/EDGE/WCDMA/LTE
Frequency band GSM:850\900\1800\1900
WCDMA:900\2100
FDD:Band 3\7\20\28A\40
GPS support
Blue tooth support BT 4.0
WIFI support
Battery Battery Storage 3200mAh polymer lithium battery
Music format mp3
Video format mp4
Picture format jpg png bmp gif
Video format 3gp mp4
Video player 3gp
Memory
Storage 2GB
EMMC 16GB
Sensor
Gravity sensor support
Distancce sensor support
Electronic compass support
Gyroscope software support
Mic support
PIN
Earphone Jack 3.5mm headphone jack
Charge jack support Micro 5pin USB
OTG function support
Accessory
Charging plug 5V2A
USB link support

Qualcomm 205 mobile platform brings 4G connectivity to entry-level feature phones

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Qualcomm has introduced the Qualcomm® 205 Mobile Platform, designed to bring 4G LTE connectivity and 4G services to entry-level feature phones.

The Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platformwill allow feature phones to access Wi-Fi like their smartphone counterparts.

“Qualcomm Technologies is committed to the migration of users and networks from 2G, 2.5G, and 3G to 4G,” said Kedar Kondap, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Feature phones are a lifeline in many emerging countries and the Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform allows us to bring 4G connectivity and services to the masses with devices at price points never seen before.”

The Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform is designed for emerging regions, such as those in India, Latin America, and Southeast Asia to help operators in this regions take advantage of robust LTE network rollouts to support consumers use advanced LTE data services such as Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi).

Africa was not mentioned but it has a huge population of users who will benefit from this technology.

The Qualcomm 205 SoC features include LTE Cat 4 modem with up to 150 Mbps download, 50 Mbps upload; support for 4G, 3G and 2G networks; support for 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, ANT+, FM radio.

The Qualcomm 205 SoC also features Dual Core CPU at 1.1 GHz; Qualcomm® Adreno™ GPU;3 megapixel rear camera, 0.3MP selfie camera, VGA display at 480p 60 frames per-second; HD Video streaming and support for Linux based OS; Support for dual SIMs.

The Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform is available today with devices expected to reach consumers in Q2 2017.

LG puts the focus on phone screen to bezel ratio, with the new G6; the latest flagship phone.

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With the smartphone market becoming more and more competitive, designers are always seeking for new ways to enhance their screen display.

The big players today are no longer relying exclusively on Qualcom to supply them with mobile chipsets. Rather, they are manufacturing their own chipsets in-house. These chips are adapted to a specific device and customized for both flagship and feature phones to suit the needs of consumers. With the use of sensors, you can now see your notifications without unlocking your phone.

Over the years, there has been quite a transformation in the phone industry. Technology has provided a bevy of options for consumers to choose from. It has eliminated the need to use a computer or any other device to perform any function. Whether you want a large or small, curvy or straight phone, the market provides all kinds of phones at your convenience.

LG is at the frontline of creating products that are not only aesthetically beautiful, but that also provide durability and speed. This is evidenced by the new LG G6, which has an impressive processor that has increased the performance of the phone.

With the G6, LG have moved a step further and upgraded their typical modular design to glass and metal. This is a departure from the use of plastic that characterized the company’s previous flagship devices.

Moreover, the company emphasized the minimality of bezels in this new phone. The phone screen to bezel ratio is greater than 90 per cent. The quest to make all screen phones has allowed users to enjoy more of the smartphone experience and almost feel like they are living in the moment they are watching from their smartphone screen. One of the best insights in the 21st century mobile phone design was getting rid of physical keyboards altogether. Given the industry’s fixation on smaller phones and tiny screens, ending up with an all screen phone was a good idea.

Although the new G6 has great features, it did not abandon all the features of previous LG phones. The rear design of the phone, dual camera system and centre –mounted fingerprint sensor make a return in the G6.

“The new LG G6 was designed with new features that are a departure from previous designs. We are constantly looking for different ways to improve our devices. We are glad to provide great battery life, wireless charging and a USBC port to our consumers, “said LG Electronics Marketing Manager Moses Marji.

Smartphones have created a large market for the advertising industry as users are constantly on their phones.  Advertisers can stay connected with their customers 24/7. The mobile technology experience has become extremely visual with apps like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram providing platforms for advertisers to engage with their audience. It is now the norm to always see a two second ad before you open a You-tube video.

In a few years, mobile technology will become more capable with an array of features; thanks to computing advancements, cloud computing and network infrastructure.  Tools which were exclusively used by tech professionals will become commercialized into the mainstream market. Futuristic features like virtual reality will no longer be for video games and comics, but for the mass market.

 

 

Moto Z Keyboard Mod could be a reality very soon 

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From the Moto Z unboxing article we just posted the other day, we mentioned Moto Mods, they are unique hardware units that you magnetically attach to your Moto device to add extra functionality. The Moto Mod we tested was the JBL Sound Boost. It left us with a very positive experience due to its easy integration and amazing sound.

Motorola vowed that they will push the technology to developers out there to come up with innovative mods. It seems that their strategy has been working. A company by the name Livermorium has started a campaign at Indiegogo to gather funds to manufacture a Physical Keyboard Mod .

For those not familiar with Indiegogo, it’s a crowd funding website where startups publish their idea and people contribute money to make the idea a reality.

The company requires a total of $100,000 (KES 10,000,000) to actualize the Keyboard Mod. So far, a total of $34,623 has been contributed and there is still a month to go before the campaign is closed. If you fancy such a mod, you should consider chipping in. The retail price of the keyboard is set at 120 once it is produced. However, contributing $60 towards the goal secures you a free black mod once they start shipping. $80 gets you a choice of gold, black or white color mod. $200 gets you a limited edition mod in which ever color you desire, $500 guarantees you a laser engraved edition and lastly $600 will ship you 10 mods for selling.

We hope that this momentum goes on and we see more manufacturers get on board with the mods technology. It is a breakthrough feature that once you start using, you will wish all phones had it as we will illustrate on the Moto Z review we are working on. Remember, one doesn’t have to possess the Moto Z to take advantage of mods; they also work on the cheaper Moto Z play as well as the big battery Moto Z Force edition.

Enjoy durable LG smartphones without sacrificing aesthetics or performance

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New innovations in smartphones are now making it possible for phones to combine durability with performance and elegant, striking exteriors.

Although smartphone durability is rarely among the top concerns that consumers give when looking for in a new phone, in not so many years to come, a phone’s durability is going to be increasingly important to consumers.

Again, as smartphones continue to evolve, it’s getting harder and harder for manufacturers to create compelling new features and functions that drive existing users to upgrade their phones. Sure, there are important increases in display sizes and resolutions, improvements in camera quality and modest increases in performance. But most of these have been underway for quite a while now. This, making smartphone durability the next battleground.

Experts estimate that nearly half of all active smartphones are currently broken, meaning that cracked screens or waterlogged phones are extremely common.

In as much as we lack hard statistics on reasons for phone replacements in Kenya, a good percentage of smartphone replacement purchases are based on broken phones-either from dropping on the ground, dropping in liquid or any number of other accidental spills bound to happen to devices most of us carry with us all the time and everywhere we go. It is for this reason that having a durable device is bound to be attractive to consumers.

As unsightly as phone cracks and scratches may be, most amount to little more than cosmetic damage and don’t interfere with phone functionality. Water damage on the other hand is another story entirely. Not only do smartphones represent a significant investment, but they carry sensitive data that may not be backed up. These are just a few of the reasons why it is so frustrating to lose a smartphone.

Worry about that no more, LG’s trendsetting V20 that has features to effectively prevent breaking shows that the phone is intended for extended use with features that effectively resist breaking, even by accident. Through this model, LG has been successful in keeping a phone sleek, lightweight and still durable.

This innovative phone was constructed using premium materials that can commonly be found on aircraft, sail boats and mountain bikes. It passed drop tests conducted by an independent lab that conforms to US military standards, the results of which show that the phone can survive repeated drops landing in a variety of positions.

Another test by Android Authority was able to crack the screen only after dropping it on screen from about eight feet in the air.
“Once in a while our smartphones slip through our fingers and fall, when that happens, your phone had better be LG V20. This trendsetting phone’s chassis uses the military grade material made for aircraft. Drop tests have shown that LG V20 is tough and unbreakable, it is designed to handle fairly standard drop heights,” said Moses Marji, General Manager Marketing LG Electronics.

Apart from being unbreakable, the phone has a wide-angle lens making it capable of capturing wonderful selfies. Additionally, it has an HD audio recorder that picks only prominent voices and cancels background noise. The recorder uses sophisticated microphones which empower users to create studio quality recordings.

 

 

Samsung Galaxy S8 to come with 1000fps slow-motion video. 

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Samsung Galaxy S8 rumors are coming in from left and right. Most of the times the leaks are repetitive. However, every once in a while you get a really juicy piece of intel.  According to the latest leak, the S8 will come with a 12 MP camera. Now before you frown that Samsung has retained the same resolution that was in the previous S7, this new iteration comes with a whopping 1,000 fps slow motion video. Now recently Sony Xperia XZ Premium made headlines with its record breaking 960fps but it seems that glory will be short-lived.
Sony achieved that by using its new sensor the Sony IMX 400. Samsung had traditionally used Sony sensors and even mixed them with Samsung ones depending on regions. This time round, reports say that S8 will not employ the Sony sensors. We are assuming that the in house ISOCELL Samsung cameras will be utilized.
Other amazing tech on the camera will be a new Iris sensor. It will utilize a 3.7 MP scanner along side a 8MP selfie camera. We recently had an encounter with such a scanner on the very affordable Fero Iris and it was quite a positive experience.  This, however, won’t be the first time that the company is working with Iris scanners. The ill- fated Galaxy Note 7 was the first phone in the world to have it. Samsung will only have to build on that knowledge.

Moto Z: Unboxing & First Impressions of the World’s Slimmest Phone.

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Motorola was acquired by Lenovo, the world’s leading laptop manufacturer with plans to replicate the same success into the mobile world.

Lenovo has launched the Moto Z, the world’s slimmest phone which comes with ground breaking modular design and premiumspecs and innovative features.

TechMoran got a review unit and let’s see if Lenovo is winning or yet to.

Key Specs

Screen: 5.5 inch QHD AMOLED

Processor:  Snapdragon 820, 4GB RAM

Storage: 32 GB internal with Expandable storage

OS: Android 6.0 installed but Android 7.0 update is available

Rear Camera: 13MP rear with OIS and dual tone, dual LED flash coupled with Laser autofocus.

Front Camera: 5MP with LED flash

Battery: 2600 mAh with turbo charging.

 box box back 

In the box

  • Moto Z
  • Turbo Charger
  • Bumper case
  • Style Shell mod

in the box acces

Note : Neither earphones nor USB Type C were packaged in the box. Sometimes reviews units have some components missing. There is a chance that these items will be available in the final retail box.

Design

side 1 side 2

Moto Z has the most breathtaking design of all time. The metallic frame with rounded edges blend seamlessly with the 2.5D glass covering the front. The back has glass at the top and bottom antenna lines, with metal in between. The metal had subtle lines on it which would lead one into thinking that it is solar powered. But the most pleasing aspect of the device is how slim it is, at 5.2mm,the Moto Z is the thinnest phone from a global manufacturer. It is simply breath-taking. On top of that, the golden color model that I have reflects light with its rear panel making the phone shine like a piece of jewelry.

display back

The only negative is in the easily oiled-up nature of the back panel and the unconventional front panel; there is a finger print scanner below the screen which weirdly doesn’t double as a home button. The phone uses on-screen keys instead. Most of the time I found myself pressing the fingerprint sensor expecting to be taken to the home screen. Also, I have some reservations with the sensors that are located next to the fingerprint, they are unsightly. I only wish that Motorola would have covered them. Fortunately, they are invisible on the black model. The good news is that the finger print is very fast and can save up to 5 fingers.

What I found surprising was the location of the speaker. The earpiece doubles as the main speaker of the phone. Perhaps this was a move made to keep the phone so slim. Nonetheless, the speaker is loud enough to hear even in a noisy room so you won’t miss any calls.

 

Display

amoled

The display of the Moto Z is stunning; the AMOLED brings out rich colors. The saturation, however, is toned down. Unlike other AMOLED screens, the colors have a natural look even at “vivid setting”. Samsung screens have their colors popping out more. To some, the conservative and natural color representation might be a plus, others would have wanted more punch considering that this is an AMOLED display. Despite where you stand with color representation, you will greatly appreciate the sharpness of the screen. At QHD resolution, the Moto Z has over 400 pixels per inch. This means that even the smallest details will be very sharp with no pixilation whatsoever.  All in all, the screen has richer colors than what you would find on an LCD screen and on top of that, the 2.5D glass on it is very smooth to the touch which adds to an overall premium feeling.

Performance and software

Screenshot_20170317-004659

As you would expect from a high end phone like this one, the performance is to notch. The snapdragon 820 with 4gb RAM is the same configuration found in the Samsung Galaxy S7. The phone simply flies through the Android 6.0. Moto Z has stock software, which only helps the phone run leaner and faster. Only one app is not stock, the Moto app. This app holds all the magic that makes the phone unique from other stock software phones. The Moto app holds the options for activating and setting up the Moto Voice which can be used to control the phone hands free. This voice feature has been a signature of Motorola phones since the days it was owned by Google. The app also holds settings for Moto Display which senses when you are close and automatically turns on the display. The sensors below the screen are meant to make this feature flawless. Finally, the app has the Moto Actions, they let you do things like flip to mute, shrink the screen to one handed mode using one swipe and much more.

Screenshot_20170317-004535

During the review period, I got a notification for an update to Android 7.0. The update brings along native split screen multitasking among other features. I will install the update and tell you how it runs on this device.

 

Camera

cam

The 13 MP rear camera has dual-LED flash, which are also dual tone meaning that they preserve the natural color of the subject. It also has optical image stabilization for steady video recording and a hidden laser focus. The front facing camera is 5MP with an LED flash for low light shots. Initially impressions of the camera are positive with the phone taking decent pictures during bright and low light. Most impressive is how the flash doesn’t blow out the scenes. A more detailed photography dissection will be on the full review so make sure to look out for that.

In case you want more control with the snaps, there is a powerful manual mode dubbed “professional mode”. It has sliders to help you adjust exposure, ISO,  white balance and more, the mode comes in handy under low light. I have managed to squeeze out more light into the images using this mode.

Battery

The battery is only 2600 mAh. Lenovo says that it can last for a whole day but we will have to put it to the test to prove that. On a positive note, the battery maintains its percentage while in standby very well. I once left it at 97% before going to bed at night; it was that same percentage when I woke up about 7 hours later. In addition, the charging is really fast. This phone takes less than an hour and a half to fill up from zero to 100%. It is so amazing at first you will think that percentage meter is playing tricks on you.

Moto Mods

jhh

This is the phones claim to fame feature. It is Motorola’s shot at the modular phone concept called Project Ara, that they had kick started right before that division was taken by Google. LG G5 had tried to do a modular design but the Motorola’s approach is miles better. With LG you had to remove the phone’s bottom section, which would turn off the device , before interchanging the modules. On the Moto Z, all you have to do is snap the module in the magnetic back cover of the phone and the integration happens automatically, thanks to an array of pins located on the bottom rear.

All sorts of modules, called Moto Mods, have been made. Inside the box you get a free style shell mod whose purpose is to protect the pins as well as add a little personality to the device.

bass boost top

bass boost

atta

My favorite was the JBL Sound Boost mod. It is like a portable stereo speaker, but much smaller and connects via magnets instead of tedious Bluetooth pairing. It was really loud and had punchy bass. Even at the highest volume, it did not distort.

More manufacturers are producing mods for Motorola, we can only hope that this trend keeps up and we get a thriving ecosystem of this promising and genius technology.

 

Huawei P10 Lite goes straight to pre-order without being launched first.

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Huawei thought, “launches are so boring, let’s be different and skip them all together” at least that’s what I think was going on in their minds. The Huawei P10 Lite just got on pre-order on an Italian online retailer called Monclick. The site exposes the phone in its full glory revealing all its specifications.

Sure, the P10 Lite has been in the rumor mill for a while just like the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 is as well as the LG G6 did, but it’s always good to see the specs verified by a creditable source. This time round the rumors were correct. The Huawei P10 Lite came with a 5.2” Full HD display, powered by Kirin 655,4GB RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. Calling the shots is Android 7.0, running under the EMUi 5.1 skin of Huawei phones.  The cameras include a 12MP sensor with an f2. 0 sensor and 8MP front facing selfie shooter.  This whole package is wrapped in a glass black and front body with a metallic frame sandwiched in between.  A finger print scanner keeps the back camera company on the glass rear. A 3000mAh battery is onboard too, and is quickly filled by fast charge technology. As you can see, this being the “lite” version, a lot of the bells and whistles of its bigger brother the ,Huawei P10, are missing. For instance, neither the dual camera technology nor the Leica fine tuning is available in this package, but that’s the whole purpose of the “lite” category, offering the same DNA as the flagship but at a fraction of the price.

The Italian site even has the price stated, the phone will retail at €350. The package is reasonably priced in line with the Huawei product culture. A quick Google translation from the Italian phrase “Prenotabile: Disponibile dal giorno 11/04/2017” reveals that the phone will be available in stores on April 11th,this year.

One Plus 3T Colette launched, a very limited edition fashion oriented phone.

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The One Plus has a been a very interesting company, it is among the youngest in the mobile manufacturing field but also among the fastest rising. What makes the company special is the flagship-rivaling hardware it produces and sells at very affordable prices. It has been making headlines for all sorts of things from weird marketing stunts to new products iterations. This time round, the company has made a partnership with a French fashion house, called Colette, to produce the One Plus 3T Colette Edition.

abouttop

Colette is a brand that has been in the fashion industry since 1997, it prides itself as an experience which offers “a never ending assortment of fashion, high-tech, arts, streetwear, beauty and waters.” The company decided to team up with One Plus to release the device as a celebration to their 20th anniversary.

The One Plus 3T Colette Edition is, for the most part, very similar to the previous 3T, available in Kenya through Avechi stores, but there are some minor differences. The Colette Edition comes with the Colette logo on a black paint job, a whopping 128 GB internal storage with no expansion slot, and a higher price tag of €479 (KES 52,877 according to current exchange rates ). Only 250 units will be produced, all of which will be available in the Colette Paris store on 21st March at 11 AM.

The remaining specs are very high end and similar to the usual 3T. They include 5.5 Full HD AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 821 coupled with a whopping 6GB RAM. Photography is done with a 16MP rear camera with optical image stabilization (OIS) and a 16 MP front facing camera. The system is under the command of Android 6.0 and powered by a 3400 mAh which supports the legendary Dash Charge feature that fills the battery to 60% in only 30 minutes. A finger print sensor is on-board as well and located under the screen.

If this phone follows the sales tradition of the other products from One Plus, there is chance that the stock will end before the store closes that day.

 

Lenovo Sets Stage for New Mobility with Smart, Connected Devices & Services

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Lenovo introduced a new device portfolio at Mobile World Congress 2017 that spans nearly all mobile form factors for the ultimate in choice with: the detachable Miix 320, blending affordability with connectivity on-the-go – two convertibles, mobile powerhouses Yoga 720 and 520 – four tablets, the versatile Tab 4 family built for everyone in the family – and Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus, smartphones that pair premium features with affordable prices.

Lenovo also announced an enhancement to Lenovo Connect with support for reprogrammable e-SIMs, which on select Windows LTE enabled devices, will allow customers to take advantage of their local Telco contract for data when at home and the best local wireless pricing when they are roaming, without having to swap out their SIM.

Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus: Captivating Design, Unlimited Performance.

Moto G heritage is one of premium features without a premium price tag, and the all-new Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus remain true to this legacy, delivering what people want most without a premium price tag.

The newest members of the Moto G family bring together an unexpected combination of beauty and power. Both devices feature precision crafted metal design – a first for Moto G – and powerful octa-core processors that enable exceptional performance. Long lasting, all-day batteries mean less plugging in and more getting done, fingerprint readers keep user information safe and secure and advanced camera capabilities allow for the capture of stunning photos with faster focus. Unexpected is now extraordinary.

Lenovo Tab 4 Series Tablets for Kids and the Family

The Lenovo Tab 4 tablet family builds on the foundation of its mainstream tablets by making them even better: delivering four beautifully designed, powerfully built devices crafted for every member of the family. High on the multimedia experience, the Lenovo Tab 4 8 and Lenovo Tab 4 10 models have dual speakers and Dolby Atmos®. The Lenovo Tab 4 family also introduces an all-new premium line for media buffs: the Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus and Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus, sporting a standout dual-glass design with full HD displays, powerful processors and up to 12 hours of battery life.

We take the tablet concept ever further with optional packs that transform the Lenovo Tab 4 series into dedicated kid’s tablets or productivity tablets.

The Kid’s Pack comes with a shock-resistant bumper, a blue-light filter and a pair of colorful, scratch resistant 3M stickers, augmented by an optimized kid’s experience from the Lenovo Kid’s Account, which features up-to-date and curated kid’s content, a browser with whitelisted websites and scheduling tools for parents. The tablets can also transform into a 2-in-1 Android workhorse with the addition of the optional Productivity Pack with Bluetooth keyboard, which complements the experience of the Lenovo Tab 4’s productivity interface.

This interface incorporates a taskbar for quick switching between apps, multi-window support, support for common keyboard shortcuts, and optimization for mouse and keyboard operations.

Miix 320 Detachable with Lightning-Fast LTE Option*

The Miix 320 combines the productivity of Windows 10 with full keyboard in a lightweight, affordable detachable. Use it as a laptop with its up to FHD 10.1-inch display for work or detach and use it as a portable tablet on the go weighing only 550g. 1 With up to 10 hours of battery life, you can catch up on a full season of Game of Thrones® without a charge. 2 Connect nearly anywhere with its optional LTE.* The mobile multitasking generation will find its balance of size and weight particularly useful with its detachable screen to watch videos, its stable docking keyboard and full PC performance when needed to create content.

Keeping Connected Anywhere with Lenovo Connect e-SIM

Lenovo Connect e-SIM enhancement makes it easy to connect anywhere in the world – no more swapping out SIM cards. Lenovo Connect gives users a seamless connection and local wireless pricing even when they are abroad by taking advantage of local Telco contract for data. Users can even share the same plan across devices when those devices are enabled with Lenovo Connect.

Yoga Convertibles Balance Design, Performance and Mobility

There are times when mobile users want the full power and productivity of a PC in a thin and light machine. As these multitaskers constantly flip between work and play, we built the Yoga 720 and 520 for them, available in 13, 14 and 15-inch models. The 15-inch Yoga 720 is the most powerful convertible in its class3 and comes with up to the latest 7th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processors, NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 discrete graphics, blazing-fast Thunderbolt™ 3 and up to nine hours of battery life.2 For those looking for a wafer thin device, we designed the 13-inch Yoga 720 that’s 17 percent thinner than before at just 14.3mm.4 All the convertibles give users the most freedom and flexibility to use

Nintendo Switch, a hybrid handheld & in-house gaming console

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Nintendo has had quite a merry go round history when it comes to the gaming industry. The Nintendo Wii was its claim to fame; it outsold the Sony Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360 by a huge margin. This could be credited to the fact that the company caters for the casual player which is a market that covers a wider audience than that of hardcore gamers that Playstation and Sony targets. Nintendo’s luck ended when it launched the successor to the Wii, the Nintendo Wii U. It performed poorly in the market and was no match to the great PS4 and Xbox One. The company went back to the drawing board and came up with a new solution, the Nintendo Switch.

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The switch is a very unique console; it is a handheld gaming device that can instantly be transformed into an in-house console. The system includes the actual switch console with comes with a 6.2 inch screen. To turn the system into an in-house console, you simply dock the Switch console into a docking station which instantly displays the game on the TV. The dock is connected to the TV via HDMI.

Switch-gamepad

The console has J –Con controllers that can either be attached on either side of the Switch display (making it look like a PS Vita) to play on the go or can be snapped to a grip device that would create a traditional looking gaming controller. This latter mode is perfect when playing on the TV.  The button arrangement is similar to that of the Xbox console.

The Nintendo Switch has a battery that can be used 2.5 -6.5 hours depending on the game being played while the J con’s batter can last up to 20 hours. Speaking of games, the system uses small cartridges that can be slotted into the device. Moreover, users can simply buy games online via the eShop. To keep kids from putting the cartridges in their mouth, a bitter coating was put on them which is quite a neat touch. Another neat move is the act that Fifa, from EA sports, is making a comeback to the Nintendo platform.

Nintendo-Switch-bundle

In the box you find the Switch console, the J-con controllers, the grip device, the dock, a HDMI cable and a power adapter, no games are included. The Nintendo Switch will retail for $299 or KES 29,999, while the games cost around KES 1,500 ($15). That makes it cost the same as the standard PS4 and Xbox or even a bit higher now that discounts on those two are available everywhere. Despite this fact, the Switch keeps getting sold out, so much so that it has become the company’s fastest selling console from Nintendo. It will be interesting to see if it breaks the sales records made by the Wii.

 

Tecno Camon CX and CX Air Leaked Specs and Exclusive Images

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Just the other day, Tecno sent out invites for the launch of its new phones, the Tecno Camon CX and the Tecno Camon CX Air, the X moniker represents 10 in roman numbers. This will be a successor to the selfie oriented Tecno Camon C9. The name Air can be seen as a hint to a super slim phone. Apple has used that name to refer to their thin iPads and even Macbooks.

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Tecno choose Kenya for the Global Launch, this emphasizes the notion that the country is truly the Tech Hub of Africa,  no other country has seen the unveiling of these two phones. Fortunately, the rumor mill has already gathered some of the expected specifications. The Camon CX and CX Air are said to be 5.6mm thin effectively making them among the slimmest phones in the world and living up to the ‘Air’ name. Other leaks say that the actual waistline is 7.75 mm with the 5.6mm being the visual slim size. There are two sets of specs being rumored, they include,

leaked

  • Display: 5.5 inch Full HD Display
  • Processor: Mediatek MT6750T Octa Core
  • RAM : 2GB
  • Camera: 16.0MP Rear Camera with Ring-Flash (Quad-Flash) on The Rear Camera, 0MP Front Facing with Dual-Flash
  • OS: Android 7.0 Nougat , HiOS 2.0
  • Battery: 3200mAh Li-Polymer
  • Storage: 32 GB Internal storage, Expandable Memory up to 128 GB

 

Other features

  • Full Metal Body
  • 75 mm Thin (5.6mm Visual Slim Size)
  • Water Drop Screen
  • 5D Glass screen
  • Light Speed Charge
  • Dual SIM Card, Three Slot
  • Super Screenshot
  • Fingerprint
  • 4G Connectivity

The second set of rumoured specs includes higher end internals, among them is a total of four cameras.

Camon-C10

  • Display : 5.5 inches Full HD Display
  • Processor : 2 Ghz MTK Helio P10 Octa-core 64-bit
  • OS : Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Ram : 3 GB
  • Storage : 32 GB
  • Rear Camera : Dual ( 16.0 MP )
  • Front : Dual ( 8.0 MP )
  • Battery : 4,000 mAh

There is a possibility that the second set represents the specifications of the CX and the initial bunch portrays the CX Air. Well, the best part is that we won’t have to wait long to see the actual phones, Tecno will unveil them at March 23rd, only a couple of days from today.

 

BlackBerry Aurora is not a Blackberry phone, let me explain 

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BlackBerry has been in the rumor mill for a while now. Yesterday, it finally got launched but to the surprise of many, the company behind it goes by the name BB Merah Putih. It is of Indonesian origin and has the license to make phones bearing the Blackberry brand name but only for that country. As we had started earlier in the Blackberry Keyone unveiling, TCL also has the license to distribute berries for most parts of the world.
Indonesia is a unique country since Blackberry had a huge demand in that country.  Even before the TCL deal, Blackberry phones still continued to be sold in that region.
Back to the Aurora, it comes 5.5 inch 720p, Snapdragon 425 coupled with 4Gb RAM which are enough to push the Android 7.0  and DTEK software preloaded in the phone. The camera section is endowed with 13MP rear sensor and a 8MP front facing one. Keeping the lights on is a 3,000 mAH battery. Surprisingly, it is the first Blackberry to feature dual SIM capability.
At the moment, the phone is available for pre-order in Indonesia at a low price of $260 (KES 26,000). We can only hope that these iterations won’t dilute the values that once defined BlackBerry

HDR Screens: All you need to know about this new tech trend

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You might have realized from the announcements made at MWC 2017 that flagship phones are coming with the so-called “HDR Screens” or “High Dynamic Range screens”. This technology has seen some applications in TVs, computers monitors, and even gaming consoles such as the new PS4 Pro and Xbox One S. Not until recently that the trend went to mobile devices pioneering on the ill-fated Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

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Firstly, HDR on cameras should not be confused with the one on screens. Cameras produce HDR photos by taking many pictures with different exposure levels then combining them into one snap that has better rendering. On screens, the tech is much more advanced.

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What makes HDR screen better is a combination of factors which include much larger color representation. Non-HDR screens can output 16 million colors but HDR goes all the way up to a whopping 1 billion color-output. Moreover, it gives images that have richer contrast and darker blacks than traditional variants; the brightness is also much higher than the standard screens.  The result is images that are close to what a human eye sees in the natural world. For instance, with HDR, you can tell something that is “really dark” from another thing that is “just dark”, standard screens or SDR simply shows a general shade of black. Dynamic HDR improves on the Static HDR even further.

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HDR is not tied to resolution, that’s why LG G6 has it on a 2K (1440p) display and the Sony Xperia XZ Premium applied it on a 4K (2160p) panel. In addition, OLED screens tend to render HDR images better than LCD ones. This is because OLEDs have independent pixels that can be completely turn off to give a truly dark color. In the same light, not all HDR screens are created equal, there are several formats available.

HDR10 is the most commonly used format, its open source nature has played a key role in its popularity. Game consoles, TVs and blu-ray players have widely utilized this variant. All other formats in the market use the HDR10 as a basis and build upon it.

Dolby Vision is another HDR format tuned by Dolby. It is fundamentally HDR10 but on steroids. It has increased color gamut of up to 138% of SDR screens and can also reach up to 4000 nits of brightness. This level of brightness is above any TV ever made, HDR or not. Phone screens have not yet been able to crack the 1000 nits brightness level. Unfortunately, to enjoy this added benefits, your device hardware has to support Dolby Vision, existing HDR screens cannot get this improved aspect via software update, so it is a point to bear in mind when shopping for this next-gen displays. Netflix and Amazon have adopted this format of HDR, this will only serve to make it grow in popularity in future.

Technicolor also got into this bandwagon with its Advanced HDR technology. This variant promises to provide all viewers with a consistent experience by delivering HDR to any device regardless of it being SDR or HDR.  The technology will use the capabilities of your device to provide the best HDR rendering possible when watching content shot in high dynamic range.

So next time you see HDR in phone specifications you will be familiar with the tech. It will be interesting to see how HDR grows overtime but signs are pointing to quite a bright future.

 

So you think your octa core can beat the quad core? Think again.

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Every time you look at smartphone’s specifications, you find that processors are labelled either dual core, quad core, octa core or deca core. These names indicate the number of cores available. However, more cores does not necessarily translate to more power, there are a lot more considerations. We will go through the major types of smartphone processor cores to help you understand the fine print next time you check out phone specifications.

ARM

ARM (Advanced RISC Machine) Holdings is the company that is at the center of mobile processor cores. The company provides the architecture that acts as a blueprint to manufacturers of mobile CPUs (Central processing units). The current architecture version is ARMv8 it comes in both 32 bit and 64 bit variants. 64 bit is equivalent to what laptops and desktops have been using as their standard, all it means is that mobile applications using this higher bit level can access more RAM than was previously possible. The ARMv8 has brought forth 5 processor cores that are running in almost every modern smartphone out there, they include Cortex A35, Cortex A53, Cortex A57, Cortex A72, and the latest Cortex A73. These 5 cores are the ones that are used in every smartphone apart from Apple and Intel mobile chip-sets.

The cores are divided into two distinct groups namely, power saving group and high performance group. The power saving cores are focused on carrying out simple tasks such as sending texts, making calls and other basic phone activities. Their main aim is to conserve as much battery life as possible. These cores are the ones that are most active in phones and also come with frequencies that do not normally exceed 1.8GHZ. Power savings cores include Cortex A35 and Cortex A53. The high performance group, as the name suggests, are for doing the heavy lifting. They are the least utilized cores in a phone; they only get activated when playing processor intensive games, recording 4k resolution videos and when running complex apps such as photo and video editors. The 3 remaining cores are all in this group.

ARM Cortex A35

This is the latest power saving core from ARM. No processor from the major manufacturers is utilizing this core. It is an ultra-power saving core that would be most suitable in smart watches due to their small batteries and their low powered tasks which include fitness tracking and syncing notifications.

ARM Cortex A53

This is the most utilized and most versatile core of them all. It is found in all tiers of smartphones from entry level to high end phones. It mostly comes in either quad core configuration or octa core. The popularity of this core can be credited to its power saving features, its decent performance for everyday tasks and low production cost. It can handle HD and Full HD displays when coupled with a capable graphics processing unit (GPU).

ARM Cortex A57

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This core was released the same time as the A53. It was supposed to act as the high performance complement of the Cortex A53. Manufactures made octa-core chip-sets with four A53 core and four A57 cores to balance out the power saving and high performance equation. This kind of setup is called the big.LITTLE (written in small and capital letters in a paradoxical manner) configuration whereby the power saving cores are combined with high performance cores in the same processor; the cores are only activated when needed. For example, when typing a text message, the phone will only activate the power saving A53 cores, when playing a game, the A57 cores are woken up. Manufacturers can have this configuration in all manner of combinations; the most common is octa core with 4 power saving and 4 high performance cores like in the Samsung Galaxy S6. Other manufacturers have used 2+4 to make hexa core or even 2+4+4 to form a deca core. ARM has come up with a better high performance core to replace the A53, meet the A72.

ARM Cortex A72

This core has entirely replaced the A57. It offers 50% more performance than A57 at the same frequency. Unfortunately, only high end phones come with the A72 built in. This core has become the option of choice for manufacturers using big.LITTLE configuration. It also allows all manner of combinations. The bulk of 2016 flagship phones came with this core and thanks to its high performance, 4k video recording and virtual reality were made possible.

ARM Cortex A73

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This core is the latest offering from ARM with 30% more performance than the A72 it is meant to replace. Currently, only one chipset utilizes it, the Kirin 960 from Huawei’s subsidiary called Hisilicon. It allows up to 2.8GHZ frequency levels while at the same time saving 30% more power than its predecessor the A72. It is no surprise that the Kirin 960 found in the new Huawei Mate 9 and the Huawei P10 is the most powerful and benchmark topping chipset currently available in any phone. In 2017, we are going to see a  lot of high end chipsets come with this core. Samsung has already announced plans for using a customized version of it in its next flagship processor called the Exynos 8895.

Custom cores

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It is good to note that ARM only gives blueprints detailing how manufacturers can build processors. Some companies use the blueprints as they are, without tinkering with them. On the other hand, companies such as Samsung and Qualcomm usually alter the blueprints to make custom cores. The Samsung Exynos chipsets recently started using custom cores called Mongoose, the first phone to utilize them is the Galaxy S7. Qualcomm’s latest custom cores are called Kryo, they are found in all 2016 flagship cores in the Snapdragon 800 series. Snapdragon processors are the most popular chipset in android smartphones. Apple’s custom cores are called Hurricane, they are being used in the latest iPhone 7. Altering cores has many benefits such as squeezing the most power out of the lowest count. For instance Apple only uses a dual core setup, yet it has one of the highest benchmark scores of any chipset. Qualcomm uses only four Kryo cores in total, and was the reigning benchmarks champ in 2016 android flagships. Samsung Exynos uses 4 Mongoose cores and 4 A53 cores to make a total of 8, it’s always among the leaders in the android world especially in the power saving sector when compared to Snapdragon chipsets. Mediatek uses 10 non-customized cores yet it was only midrange in terms of performance, thousands of points behind the likes of Samsung and Apple, however, this deca cores are affordable and prioritize on power saving over speed, they are found in the new Infinix Zero 4 Plus and the Tecno Phantom 6 Plus.

Conclusion

In conclusion, not all cores are created equal. It is wise to look for cores that will fulfill your smartphone lifestyle. Those that do a lot of social networking and little to no gaming can do with power saving cores (A35 and A53), however those that are power users who do lots of gaming and heavy apps need the A72, A73 core. Remember, more cores does not necessarily mean more power. The power factor lies in the type of cores used.

 

Little known TECNO & Infinix sister brand itel mobile pushes image with new brand partnership

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itel mobile, a Transsion brand and sister to TECNO and Infinix has signed Kenya’s Avril, a local musician and actress, as its brand ambassador on a one year contract.

The financial details were not disclosed.

As the main brand image of itel mobile, Avril will grace campus events sponsored by itel mobile, attend CSR activities sponsored by itel, and tweet, share on Facebook or Instagram everything itel mobile.

“I am extremely excited to partner with Itel on their new chapter into Kenya. Great affordable phones help us communicate better and that’s the essence of good living. I’m looking forward to a great partnership” Said Avril.

17156324_1241201635994662_728374758779885845_nAvril has in the past years won several awards, among the latest being, Bingwa Awards – Bingwa ever relevant female artist, best dressed female artiste – Jumia Glamour Awards, and Business Daily – Top 40 under 40.

Chris Zhao, itel mobile Kenya manager mentioned that they decided to work with Avril because she is young and successful which touches the hearts of many hence making her the best choice, since itel is a young brand that is growing at a fast rate and quite affordable to the “common mwananchi”

Launched in 2007 , itel is present in 45 countries. In 2016, itel said it delivered 50+ million mobile phones to worldwide consumers. It’s focus markets are Africa, India and other emerging markets.

Inside Branch, Tala & Mshwari | Which one works for you?

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Kenya has seen the rise of mobile money services since MPESA became a household name. Services range from mobile money transfer, payment services, purchasing solutions, and now the latest trend, savings and loan services. Many companies have come in to offer the loaning services to Kenyans, however, three of them seem to be making the headlines, they include, Branch, Tala, and Mshwari. We will review each one of them and help you decide which one is the best.

Branch app review

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Branch app has one of the shortest and most straight forward registration methods. All you have to do is log in with your Facebook credentials, give your MPESA number and receive a confirmation code. After you key in the code you get via SMS, you are set.

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The app does its magic behind the scenes to decide if you are eligible for a loan. If everything checks out, you get presented with a choice of loans that you qualify for. It starts from KES 200 and builds up with multiples of 500. The loan choices are presented in a beautiful interface of circular buttons which present loan amount and move in a carousel manner. Below each loan amount is the interest fee, duration of loan payment.

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Selecting a loan and confirming it will take you a page that breaks down the installments; it gives you the exact amount you need to pay and even the due date of each payment. You can go further to see the fee details section which  displays the percentage interest rate, and the actual interest amount. The money is sent to your MPESA account after the loan is approved. The interest rate for Branch starts at 14.57% for 500 shillings and gets lower as you request for bigger loans.

The app offers a customer care section that answers your questions but not as fast as I would like, they sometimes take hours before responding. Branch also offers a referral bonus that is deducted from the total loan amount that you have to pay.

Tala app review

Tala, just like Branch, requires you to give your MPESA number in order to get a confirmation code. The similarities between the two apps’ sign up end there. Tala asks you to enter a security PIN which is a great feature considering that this is a financial app.

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Once you finish singing up, you will be taken to the home section of the app, here you find four options presented in a card like interface. The options include “Apply for a loan”, “My savings”, “My Tala status” and “Success stories” section. Clicking on the “Apply a loan” section brings a lengthy questionnaire asking all manner of things from your job details to the possession of the phone you are using.

I like the simpler approach of the Branch app a lot more.

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After being approved for a loan, you will be presented with your maximum limit and will be given a choice to take an amount below that limit. The choices are very few, only two, I wish there were more. After you pick your amount, you will be given the option of choosing your preferred payment schedule. You can pay in single, one month installment or you can have weekly installments. What I dislike about the schedules is that the weekly installments amount to only 3 weeks instead of a complete month (4 weeks). Also, the interest rates of paying the whole loan in one installment are higher than choosing to pay weekly. Tala does not charge a lower interest rate if you take a big loan. The rates are fixed at 11% if you pay weekly and 15% if you pay monthly. It seems Tala wants users to opt for weekly payments.

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“My Tala status” section tracks the loan categories you qualify for. A user starts at bronze status which ranges from 500 to 4,999, a silver status spans from 5,000 to 9,999, and finally a gold status that lets you borrow from 10,000 to 50,000.

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Tala has a savings feature which enables you to deposit cash and set goals. Unfortunately, the feature has not being launched yet. On a positive note, Tala has a referral section that lets you earn KES 100 off your next loan payment whenever you invite your friend. Tala’s customer care is not as informative as that of Branch. Even more, the option of talking with the support team is not obvious at first impression; you have to search it in between the answers of the FAQ sections.

Mshwari review

Mshwari is built into the MPESA menu, unlike Branch and Tala, it has no dedicated native app, but do not let this fool you into thinking it is lacking feature-wise. To access Mshwari, you just click the loans and savings option on the MPESA menu.

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Mshwari lets you save money by simply transferring it from your MPESA account for free. You can have saving goals through the “Lock savings account option on the Mshwari menu”. This section lets you save for a given period of time ranging from one to six months. The saved money earns you interest of 7.35% paid every three months. These are features that neither Branch nor Tala offers.

When it comes to loans, Mshwari lets you borrow after you have been an MPESA subscriber for at least 6 months, have saved in Mshwari and use Safaricom services actively. Loans have no interest fee; they instead have a facility fee of 7.5%. Payment period is set at one month only, regardless of the loaned amount.

 

Comparison

Branch Tala Mshwari
Interest rates Starts at 13.36% on first loan but gets lower as the loan amount increases Fixed at 11% for weekly payment option

 

Fixed at 15% for monthly payment option

Fixed at 7.5 “facility fee”
Ease of use Simplest, beautiful, informative and intuitive interface Has a lengthy questionnaire before applying for a loan.

 

Does have many borrowing options

Interface is text based and straight forward but lacks the visual cues.
Added features Loans borrowing only Savings option coming soon

 

In-built PIN lock for opening the app

Normal savings feature

 

Lock savings feature

 

Earning of interests on saved money (7.35% payed every 3 months)

Doesn’t need internet connection to operate