Why Samsung Phones Will Rule Kenya in 2012

While Nokia seems to be faltering in Africa, especially where the high-end market is concerned, Samsung is getting it right. Let’s face it, the Samsung Galaxy S II is the phone to beat this year. Launched late last year, its screen size, processing power and memory are the benchmark for the competitors such as the iPhone 4S, the LG Optimus, the Sony Experia Arc etc. I’m not saying it’s the best (this is an objective term), but it’s the one setting the standards!

The Galaxy S II is the King of them all...

We are still waiting for Nokia to deliver on the high-end Windows phones, so we can compare. The iPhone 4S was launched in Kenya last week, for the asking price of 16GB model at KSh 74,899, 32GB model at KSh 87,999 and the 64GB model at KSh 101,499. The S II 16GB is selling at 60K, I’d say value for money.

When it comes to the mid-level phones, Samsung should make more sales this year with the many variants of the Galaxy in the market, including the Galaxy Mini (which everyone seems to have). This phone is an alternative to the Huwaei Ideos, which is painstakingly slow in response. The Galaxy Mini is an improvement in performance, even though the resolution is compromised. The phone goes for about Kshs. 13000

The Samsung Galaxy Mini

For the lower-level phones, where Nokia dominates (every mulika-mwizi is a Nokia), Samsung introduced dual-SIM phones. While Nokia dual-SIMs have normal keypads, the Samsung Ch@t 322 and a new model, Ch@t 222 are QWERTY phones. Makes for faster texting.

The Samsung Ch@t 222 is just like the Samsung Ch@t 322 which I reviewed last year. You can read techweez’ review of the Ch@t 222 here.

The Samsung Ch@t 222- pic from courtesy of techweez.com

The Samsung ChatON

If you have used 2go, WhatsApp, Blackberry Messenger etc, you are already know what messaging apps are all about. I like the Samsung ChatON User Interface, very pleasant. It gives WhatsApp competition. It is available for all Samsung phones, so you can download it from the Android market or from Samsung Apps for those using Bada. It comes pre-installed in the Ch@t 222 phone.

A conversation I had with someone using the Samsung ChatON app.

I think it will be an exciting year and I’m looking forward to the phone wars that will bring down prices for consumers while increasing the benchmark for quality phones!

The Samsung Ch@t 322 – My Review

I’ve had this phone for just over a week now. So my review may not be complete, more like a general look and feel of the phone.

The Samsung Ch@t 322

Unlike Kachwanya, who thought it looks like a candybar (in what world does that phone look like a sweet?!), I think it looks like just another QWERTY phone.

So here is what makes it different from the phones within its price range (7500-8500):


It’s really hectic walking around with two phones: one cool one with a Safaricom line, and one shady one for the other line (Yu/Airtel/Orange).

Finally, Samsung have caught up with the Chinese who have been making those low quality dual-sim phones.

Raised QWERTY keypad

Maybe because I’m so used to touch (well, the Ideos), I find it hard to use keypad phones. But this Samsung has raised keys that are soft and easy to type with, which means faster typing, of course.

Optical TrackPad

At first I didn’t know what that meant! Anyway, the scrolling/navigation/menu button in the middle uses a light sensor (like some Blackberrys) to track the movement of your finger. Scrolling around is smooth and seamless.. I loved it.

Standard Audio Jack/USB Cable/Bluetooth 2.0

With the USB cable you can transfer data to/from the memory card. The phone comes with a 2GB memory card.

The audio jack (3.5mm) is standard and you can connect your phone to standard speakers and listen to your music/radio.

Which reminds me, the music player sounds really good, better than the Ideos’. The radio reception is also quite good, I could receive the X FM signal anywhere. X FM’s signals are the weakest among the channels I bother to listen to.

The Social Media/ Contacts Shortcuts

Now that everyone is into twitter/facebook, there are native apps already installed on the phone and there are shortcuts on the home-screen. However, I never got to tweet/facebook with them because the phone refused to accept internet settings. The SMS from 445 said I should go to the nearest customer care center. I pictured the lines there and gave up.

There are also IMing apps: Yahoo Messenger and MSN Messenger, among other apps/games.

However, for others who’ve used this phone, they say it should automatically figure out the internet settings for you.

You can also add your frequently accessed contacts on the home screen.

The Downsides

It uses an EDGE connection for internet, but so does the Nokia X2-01, and for most people the only difference between Edge and 3G is the name!

It has a 1.3MP camera, but it produces better quality images than the Ideos with its (supposed) 2MP camera! At least this is a better camera than the X2‘s VGA camera (I’m just being honest here)

Unlike Nokia with a strong OVi Store presence for apps, the Samsung market is er.. it is there but who’s ever shopped for apps there? Now that Samsung high end phones are using the Android market it seems the lower end phones have been forgotten?


This phone looks stylish, is semi-smart and dual-SIM enabled. The music quality is awesome. Texting is fast. If you’re tired of carrying two ‘stupid’ phones, upgrade now!