The budget smartphone category has just gotten heated up this year with the entry of Lava International into the Kenyan market. The Indian tech firm recently launched a couple of affordable smartphones and feature phones. The Lava Z81 is here to shake the likes of budget devices from Infinix and TECNO that have been doing good so far in the Kenyan market.
The Lava Z81 comes in two versions one that packs a combination of 2GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage and goes for Ksh 12000 and the other version comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory and goes for Ksh 14000. Our review unit is the lower spec’d one.
Once you open the box, you get the smartphone itself. You also get a sim ejector tool, a transparent plastic case to keep the phone in its pristine condition without the fingerprint smudges. There’s a quick start guide. You also get a 3 pin power adapter, a USB cable and some earphones.
The Lava Z81 has a 5.7-inch 720p display. On the top, you get the 3.5mm headphone jack with the volume rocker and the power buttons on the right. The sim tray is on the left while the USB power port is below. The speaker and the fingerprint scanner are at the back. The sim tray holds two dual SIM slots and a slot for expandable memory.
On the software side, the Lava Z81 runs on Android 8.1 Oreo and Star OS version 5.0 user interface. The interface itself isn’t heavily skinned and hopefully won’t interfere too much with the general Android performance.
The display though LCD is perfect and crisp. Its spacious screen offers pretty sharp visuals and will still do the job if you’re into binging videos or scrolling through the web while on the go. My early impression is that this is obviously a nice looking screen.
The Lava Z81 is powered by Mediatek MT 6761 Helio A22 chipset(Quadcore 2.0 GHz Cortex A53) backed up with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage which you can expand via microSD ensuring that everything runs nice and nippy and that nothing lags during your day to day use. Stay tuned for our full review coming soon.
The Lava Z81 comes packed with a 3000 mAh battery and should keep you going all day easily. There’s also super power saving modes to squeeze more out of the battery when you’re nowhere near a place you could charge it
On to the cameras. The Lava Z81 gets a single 13MP rear camera and an LED flash. On the front is the 13MP selfie shooter. Opening the camera, you get several modes to play around with including AR sticker, beauty, normal and video.
Here are some sample photos
I’ll go ahead and put my sim cards and make the Lava Z81 my daily driver to see how it holds up and if it’s worth the money. Stay tuned for my full review coming soon.