2015 in the Kenyan smartphone market has seen its fair share of budget smartphones. There’s no shortage of low-cost smartphones in the market. Have Kshs 13,000? There are several smartphones you can choose from. Have just under Kshs 7,000, you won’t miss a smartphone as well. Just how low can device makers get in the quest to tap into the largely untapped African market? The Snokor Rocket Z5000 is proof that rock bottom is not unimaginable in this race to win the hearts and minds of the ordinary Kenyan.
We’ve had the pleasure of using quite a number of lowly-priced smartphones hitting the Kenyan market this year but the Snokor Z5000 is likely to end up being the only smartphone that walks the talk. Like we’ve pointed out before, on all low-cost smartphones, corners are cut to keep the prices low. In the case of the Snokor Rocket, that’s not any different. It’s the same story. However, the compromises are not openly visible as the device redeems itself in both high quality build and design, impressive performance and outstanding battery life.
What is Snokor?
Our first impressions of the Snokor Rocket is that it is arguably the most all-round entry-level smartphone in the Kenyan market but who or what is Snokor?
Snokor is a new smartphone brand from the same minds that have in the last one year heralded the Infinix brand in several markets including Kenya. The Snokor brand is meant to directly target the ordinary Kenyan. With smartphone penetration in the country still being low and the success of Infinix smartphones which have always thrived on their attractive pricing, it makes sense to make another effort. In the case of the Snokor brand, just like Infinix, this will be achieved by cutting out the middlemen and selling directly from the factory to the consumer through e-commerce platforms. In the case of the Snokor Rocket, the chosen e-commerce website is Kilimall which will have it exclusively.
Kenya is the launch country of the Snokor brand with the Rocket smartphone but it will also be available in several other countries in Africa and Asia including Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Pakistan.
In the box
The Snokor Z5000 arrives in a bright orange packaging which contains a neatly coiled USB cable, a charging adaptor, the battery, a user manual and a basic pair of headsets. The focus is providing real value and as you can see, nothing you would expect is missing.
- Size: 145 x 73.2 x 10.1mm
- Display: 5-inch FWVGA 480 x 854 pixels (196 ppi)
- Processor: Quad-core Spreadtrum SC7731 clocked at 1.2 GHz
- Memory: 8 GB internal memory; 1 GB RAM
- Camera: 5-megapixels rear sensor with LED flash; 2-megapixels front-facing sensor
- Operating System: Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
- Battery: 3,600mAh
- Network: 3G
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
- Others: Dual-SIM, FM radio, USB OTG (for charging other devices or connecting flash drives)
First Impressions of the Snokor Rocket
An quality entry-level smartphone at just Kshs 6,500 is too good to be true, right? Yet that is exactly what the Snokor Rocket is. You don’t get the feeling that you are handling such an affordable device when you hold it. It’s right at home in your hand thanks to the hardened plastic frame which comes between the removable glossy plastic back cover and the glass panel on the front.
It took an entire day to drain the device from the 57% its battery was at when it was unboxed to 0% before its first charge. That was the first hint of the great battery life the device has. We’ll have more on that in our full review coming soon.
The soft buttons on the front of the device give it an old look but make no mistake, it’s running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop underneath and any software customizations have are as minimal as possible resulting in overall smooth performance. The performance is something we’ll need to keep an eye on for the next few days before making our conclusions.
The Snokor Rocket Z5000 is available on Kilimall at the above-quoted price of Kshs 6,500.