The Nokia Lumia 1020 Launched in Kenya

A Windows 8 Nokia Lumia phone that stands out for its revolutionary camera of 41 Megapixes, the 1020 is a beauty to behold.

nokia lumia 1020 The Nokia Lumia 1020 Launched in Kenya

The Nokia Lumia 1020

The phone was officially launched in the market on Thursday last week (31st Oct) at a colourful ceremony on top of KICC (the helipad). I’d never been up there and the view was breathtaking. Looking down on the city of lights, Nairobi was ethereal, it’s a city that you fall in love with. You know that in its alleys danger lurks, but from up here all you see is beauty, and all you feel is the wind blowing through your hair.

Here and there, I could see several invited guests (of the launch) taking pictures with their phones but I can tell you that no picture can come close to capturing the actual view from the helipad! If you are a Nairobian, make sure you go up there at least once in your lifetime.

Here’s a picture I took with the Nokia Lumia 1020:

WP 20130329 009 1024x576 The Nokia Lumia 1020 Launched in Kenya

A view of Nairobi at night from KICC rooftop. Picture taken by a Nokia Lumia 1020

This is a device that excels at being both a phone and a camera. The quality of the photographs is amazing. It is currently retailing at Safaricom shops at Ksh. 79, 999 including 1.5GB data and a special accessory bundle including the DC18 charger (wireless charging pad) and a Mozo leather cover.

Safaricom has announced other deals across the Nokia Lumia range:

  • Nokia Lumia 925 at KES 53,999 with 1.5GB and 500 airtime
  • Nokia Lumia 625 at KES 28,999 with 500 MB and 250 airtime

Nokia to host mobile application development competition “Nokia Hack”

Nokia East Africa will be hosting a two day mobile application development competition on 23rd and 24th June 2012. Dubbed “Nokia Hack” the competition will challenge participants to develop the best Qt apps. Qt offers a UI framework for the development of rich, compelling apps for Nokia smartphones such as those based on Nokia Belle.

Developing for Nokia with QT

“Through Nokia Hack, we want to recognize and reward local app developers by giving them a platform to create their best apps with Qt. We will also work closely with them to refine the apps for publishing on Nokia Store and have already seen great traction in East Africa and globally for downloads of these smartphone apps,” said Peter Karimi, Business Development Manager EDX, Nokia East Africa.

100 developers will gather for 48 hours to compete against each other in app development. They will be treated to a number of fun leisure activities to keep the energy high, as well as chill out zones for some downtime.

This competition comes after the recently concluded Series 40 Hackathon, dubbed “Ignite” which challenged participants to develop mobile apps for the broad base of Series 40 users, a segment that is showing tremendous growth in downloads from Nokia Store.

Peter Karimi added: “The first hackathon was very successful and saw over 80 developers participate. We hope to get well over 100 registrations for this one, and encourage developers to take advantage of this great opportunity to showcase their talent.”

So who wants a cool million?!

The overall winner will receive Ksh1 million, while the second and third runners up will receive Ksh300,000 and Ksh100,000 respectively. In addition, there will be special mention prizes where 10 apps will receive Ksh10,000 each. Judges for the competition will be trainers selected from Emobilis training school.

The event will be held at the 88MPH, Human IPO start up garage, Piedmont Plaza, 4th floor. Interested developers must be able to code in Qt and can register at: Registrations close on 18th June and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

The Nokia C1-01: My Review

It’s been a while since I used a feature phone, let alone reviewed one. I used this phone for about 5 days while I waited to return to the sane world of smartphones.

This is Baby C, The Nokia C1-01. Image from

Opera Mini

It’s the cheapest phone with a ‘good’ internet connection that I could find. It comes pre-installed with opera mini so you can start surfing right away. It has an Edge connection (2G network) but it’s pretty decent for a phone that size because its data requirement is minimal. You can do the usual sites: facebook, twitter, gmail comfortably.


I don’t how many MP it has but either way, the pics are the type give you a headache when trying to view details, so let’s skip the review. It’s probably 1.2MP


I could listen to X FM pretty well, so can’t complain. Standard Nokia headphones, standard port so you can play music on external speakers.


A good music player, and since it has a slot for a memory card, I could listen to music in peace on my way home to and from town. It’s a long journey to Utawala, and the bus usually has friendly people who want to talk. Earphones will get you out of conversation.


It has the usual games… including Solitaire and Snake, except the snake is too big so not very responsive! You can download Series 40 apps from the Ovi Store so knock yourself out.

Size and Lightness

It’s a sleek phone, felt tiny in my hand considering my previous phone was a Samsung Galaxy S II named Calypso, but that is a story for another day.


Picture this: it’s raining. Heavily. It has taken me one hour to get to town from Strathmore, only to find no buses at my stage. I need to make a phone call but I only have a SIM card. I don’t have cash, my money is in MPESA. So when I asked the guy at the shop what’s the cheapest phone with internet, and we tend to trust Nokia brands for lower end phones, I decided to get the C1-01. For Kshs. 5,000. I’m ready to sell it for Kshs. 4,000. Any takers?

Anyway, I have moved on to a new phone: The Samsung Galaxy Y Pro Duos. It’s the one on the right that’s both QWERTY and touch, and runs on Android. Will review it soon. I haven’t named it yet and suggestions are welcome!

The Galaxy Y Duos and the Galaxy Y Pro Duos. Image from

5 Reasons Why Nokia Still Got It

Low-End Phones

Nokia still controls over 90% of the market share of low-end phones; the mulika mwizis. If you need to buy a phone for a (aged) relative living in the rural area, you’d buy a Nokia. In fact, your first phone was probably a Nokia. Nowadays, I don’t see cheap Motorolas very much. I think Nokia and Samsung are the only ones releasing low-end phones into the market. Let’s not forget counterfeit subquality Chinese phones.. with the CCK directive to eliminate these phones from the market, the next alternative for cheap quality phones is Nokia. If your phone gets stolen and before you get enough money to buy your next phone, you’d probably buy a mulika mwizi.

The phones are called a mulika-mwizi because they have a torch.. which you can use to locate candles on the days of frequent power outages.

Nokia 1200.. an example of a mulika mwizi

If you are reading this blog, you are probably among the earliest adopters of technology so the buzzword ‘smartphone’ is all you look for. However, majority of the Kenyan population, mostly in the rural areas, have no idea what a smartphone is and don’t want to know. (Or they may want to know.. who wants to do research? Any i-Hub researcher reading this? What do people in Kenya rural know about smartphones and are they interested?)

Battery Life & Camera(sometimes) & Ease of Use

Again with access to electricity in rural areas still a challenge, Nokia phones have a reputation for long battery life. I don’t know how long it will take for Kenya to have a widely distributed, reliable supply of electricity but in the meantime, a phone that has a long battery life is still an asset.

Even in the cities and major towns, power outages are still an issue.

Generally speaking, Nokia cameras are better in comparison to other phones.. like Huawei Ideos for instance. I hear the N8 with its 8MP camera is awesome. (Been told it’s actually 12MP. I know digital cameras with less resolution)

Nokia phones have the easiest interface to use. Perhaps because we are already used to them since most of our introductory phones were Nokias.

Customer Care

There are a number of Nokia shops in town where you can take your phone for repair if it has issues. Nokia also established a VIP customer care center where I hear you are served coffee and snacks as you wait to be served. Nokia is the only phone company whose marketing manager I know personally, the lovely Dorothy Ooko. Even the general manager Kenneth Oyolla is friendly and professional.

If my Samsung developed issues, I wouldn’t know where to go… maybe the shops are around and I just haven’t Googled for them.

P.S. If you are wondering what Nokia did for the hunger crisis.. they gave a total of 26M towards the effort. They just didn’t shout about it to the rooftops.

Support of Local Developers

Nokia recently trained a number of young developers to make apps for its ovi store. They gave them an allowance during the training, and provided all the support they needed.

In addition, Nokia has been providing free marketing for apps by local developers. You wake up one morning to find your app on the billboard, how awesome is that? If you’re a developer that is. Among the billboards I’ve seen is the apps for Around Me (for places around you), Tell a Secret (duh, for telling secrets) and CDF Monitor App.

The Future?

Okay, so everyone is talking Android. Every smartphone being released into the market is running on android, except the iPhone of course.

Nokia will be moving to Windows Phone OS. In a sea of android, a Win Phone will be the unique one. You will stand out. Unfortunately, this is the only advantage I can see. I can’t speak much about the Win Phone OS except it is restrictive… something android is not.

Perhaps Nokia can release a series of touch-phones in the $100-$200 range.. smartphones that will give Huawei and Samsung android phones a run for their money.

We wait with bated breath.