Very many people buy phones for the name they are rather than the phone specs and performance. Even though different brands are known for unique characteristics and notable versatility, doing trade offs for price and daring less famous but acceptable brands could land you the ultimate phone that will serve you well for a good number of years to come.
In line with this, do not expect any iPhones, Samsung or Nokia in this investigation of the three most impressive phones you would get for Ksh16, 000 to Ksh18, 000.
The featured phones for are (to be covered in the next three days since I have to make actual contact with each phone before making an honest opinion of the same):
To make the review as Kenyan and realistic as possible, I collected some contacts from Olx, strapped on my wits and went into town to have a feel of what these phones can do by taking them through several test paces.
The Ascend G6 is a mini version of that adorable super-slim Ascend P6 that shortly claimed the honour of being the slimmest production phone on its maiden days early last year. As a budget version, however, the Huawei Ascend G6 undoubtedly features toned down robustness and slightly inferior innards so as to meet the desired budget cut.
At first, the display on the 4.5” LCD display would startle a mainstream Android OS user. You will not get an app drawer here or some of the things we are used to in the normal Android user interface. Huawei chose to run the phone on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean but obscured its UI with its Emotion 2.0 Lite (more of a launcher) which embraces the iOS approach of keeping all the apps on the home screen. After this teacherless crash course, I could grudgingly embrace the convention despite my deep seated misunderstanding with the iOS conventions.
The plastic casing feels strong enough and does contribute to making the phone a lightweight. The 4.5” screen and the acceptably thick bezels make the phone sizeable enough for single hand operation while its sharp edges and a silvery lining tend to give it this serious no nonsense look.
Comparing the 245ppi screen resolution with that of an S4 or S5 would be pointless and unfavourable. It is however crisp enough to display your favourite videos or help you capture and gaze in awe at your exclusive selfies taken with the 5mp front camera (it has 8Mp primary camera).
Huawei powers the phone with an acceptable Snapdragon 400 1.2GHZ quad-core processor coupled up with 1GB of RAM. Ignore the heavy talk. What this means is that the phone will not stutter when you switch from the browser to check out the new tweets flocking in via your favourite Twitter client. Loading other apps is fast and snappy and gamers would be adequately covered since the phone handled a couple of high graphic games likes Temple Run II and Asphalt Adrenaline quite well.
Notable physical features is the microUSB port at the lower side of the phone (rather than the top or bottom) and the earphones slot at the very bottom of the phone (which I find intelligent since I normally slip my phone into the pocket head fast.)
Beneath the rear cover is some space for a microSIM and a microSD and a compact non-removable battery, which heavily contributes to the compact light weight design. You would need to purchase a microSD soon since the measly 4GB internal storage won’t do you any good if you seek to install a good number of apps to the phone.
Notable pre-installed apps on the Huawei smartphone include a music player, time, email calendar and the phone manager. You can trash the rest, I won’t mind, but I tend to think that the phone manager native app is impressive. It will scan your phone and give tips on what to delete or tweak in order to get the very best off the resources on offer.
If all you need is a wieldy affordable phone, then perhaps the G6 would be a perfect alternative to the mainstream Samsung and LG alternatives. Some sellers in OLX quoted prices as low as 15,500/- while mainstream shops like Jumia.co.ke, Safaricom and Ebrahims put the price at a maximum of 18, 000/- (my contact person had the price down to 16, 500/-)
Even though you would get an impressive second hand phone at this price, the G6 is among the few performers you would get for such an amount – assuming that you do not want anything to do with Tecno or the oddly cheap Wicos flooding the market.