Uber and Little are ride sharing companies and they rely on a number of technologies for the system to work.
The system relies on having a data plan, GPS and the Uber/Little network that acts as the hub. Drivers need to have phones with great GPS connectivity so that they can be tracked easily by their customers and for accurate positioning.
This topic has always bugged me for a while since I’ve experienced instances where the driver could not locate me accurately.
Interesting enough, Uber and Little have a list of banned phones that their driver partners should not use. The list of phones include smartphones you would not expect to find.
List of banned/blacklisted devices
- Infinix Hot 5
- Infinix Note 3
- Infinix Hot 2
- Infinix S2 Pro
- Infinix Smart
- Infinix Hot S
- Infinix Hot Note
- Infinix Note 2
- Infinix Zero 3
- TECNO Camon CX Air
- TECNO Camon CX
- TECNO Pouvoir 2
- TECNO S6
- TECNO B1
- TECNO L8 Lite 2019
- TECNO W1
- Nokia 1
- Nokia 3.1 Plus
- Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
- Samsung Galaxy J5
- Samsung Galaxy Mini Prime 2016
- Huawei P8 Lite
- Huawei Y6 2019
- Wiko Jerry 3
- Safaricom Neo Ray LTE
- Oppo F5
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 5s
This is a pretty extensive list by Uber and the most surprising entrant in this list has to be the iPhone 8. Apple had acknowledged GPS issues with iPhones and iPhones released in 2012 or earlier but the exclusion of iPhone 8, iPhone 7 and iPhone 5S here is quite interesting.
Little’s ban list is quite short but they single out specific devices which I will list below:
- All Infinix devices
- All X-TIGI devices
- TECNO Y5S
- TECNO M3
Little blacklisted the TECNO Y5S, M3 and all X-TIGI devices as of March 2019 while all Infinix devices were blocked as from April 2019.
What about Bolt?
I decided to check out Bolt (formerly Taxify) and they haven’t blacklisted any phone as specified in their support page. That is a stark contrast to what Little and Uber Kenya have done.
So what is the recommended phone to use by driver partners of rideshare companies in Kenya?
Little and Uber have the exact requirements for a phone that a driver partner should use. I suspect one copied the other.
These are the requirements:
- Android version: 6.0 or newer
- Single SIM slot only. No dual sim devices
- 2GB RAM minimum
- Snapdragon or Mediatek
- Minimum processor model: Snapdragon 630 or the Mediatek Helios P10
- Minimum of an 8 core processor running at 2Ghz
- Minimum Geekbench 4.1 score of 600 (single core) and 4000 (multicore)
- Minimum screen size of 4.7 inches
- Device must have both A-GPS and GLONASS
Bolt’s requirements are quite current compared to the ones by Uber and Little.
- Devices should run at least Android 9.0 or iOS 13 (Uber and Little don’t mention anything about iOS which is weird)
- Device should have a minimum of 1.5GB of RAM
- They don’t recommend rooted phones.
- Don’t use battery saver since it causes GPS errors
- Connect your phone to a charger during the journey
- Use a phone holder for best possible GPS signal
- Set your location accuracy as “high accuracy”
Bolt warns that they will disable a partner’s account if they show “problematic GPS behaviour.”