What’s on My Phone: Saruni Maina

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What's on my phone - Saruni Maina

Welcome to What’s On My Phone, a weekly column where we will be snooping in on people’s smartphones and figure out how they use them, what apps they are using, and why plus tips too.

We’ll include new entries with different and notable people about what’s on their smartphones and if they are a reflection of their personalities or not.

This week, we’re featuring Saruni Maina.


This Q/A has been edited for length and clarity.

Tell Us a Little About Yourself

My name is Saruni Maina, I am a tech journalist and founding editor of Gadgets Africa.

When I am not working, I spend my time catching up on gadget reviews, car reviews and rewatching old shows and of course, Twitter.

I spend my day on my phone, thus it’s my little heaven and access to the rest of the world, thanks to my job, I also get to play around with a lot of phones which has, in the long run, deepen my love for these hand-held gadgets.

What smartphone are you using and why?

I am currently using the OPPO A53, a lower midrange device that I have come to fall in love with.

The phone has a long battery life, a really good camera and an OLED display and its performance is not compromised at all, thanks to the 8GB RAM onboard.

It’s also stylish and since I love my phones naked, the matte design on the back ensures it doesn’t slide about everywhere.

Let’s start from your homescreen – how and why have you arranged your apps the way they are?

Funny story, I recently started using a new launcher, Ratio. It’s a productivity-focused launcher that’s nothing like we have seen before.

So, to answer the question, I have four categories; Essentials, Social, Work and then the full list of Apps under the last category. The reason for this arrangement is because I want easy and quick access to certain apps without worrying about digging them up from the app drawer.

The apps are also grouped because I just like how the launcher looks with everything under certain groups – honestly, it’s a beautiful launcher if you don’t mind the shortcomings.

What’s on your lock screen wallpaper/homescreen wallpaper?

Dark wallpapers. Black and white are my favourite colours and because I have an OLED display, why not take advantage of that?

My lockscreen is a stock 3D wallpaper of the Moon’s surface that moves around depending on the way you hold the phone.

My homescreen wallpaper is blocks of lines, also a stock option on Ratio launcher.

How do you handle notifications?

Everything off apart from emails, calls, Texts and a few work-related groups. I don’t like notifications, especially from messaging apps, they are distracting and needy.

Only a few people have the privilege of being on my notifications list with their chats being given priority, otherwise, I prefer to check social media only when I want to.

What customisation tweaks have you done on your phone?

Apart from a third-party launcher, there’s nothing else. Gone are the days when I would spend time rooting and installing custom ROMs on my devices.

Now, I just take it as it is. But I do change a few settings within the phone, such as the quick access toggles on the notification shade.

What is the app you use to have fun and unwind?

My go-to app to unwind is TikTok, it’s honestly just a happy place to watch both educative and silly videos.


As for other non-social media apps that I spend time on, hmmm, that would have to be Chrome, I have so many tabs open and I read a lot of articles online.

Anything else before we wrap up?

One more thing, I am thinking of switching to an iPhone, again, but only if they get rid of the notch or at least reduce it!

More articles in this stream:

What’s on My Phone: George Kamau

What’s on My Phone: Kenn Abuya

What’s On My Phone: Kiruti Itimu

What’s on My Phone: June Okal

What’s on My Phone: Saruni Maina

What’s on My Phone: Dickson Otieno

Stay tuned for new entries each week.


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