The Best Budget Smartphones to Get Under 20K In Kenya[April 2021]

Most budget smartphones have really stepped up - from not just being affordable but also punching above their weights to give you value for money especially for price-conscious consumers.

Infinix Hot 10 Play Review

A lot of budget smartphones have been launched in Kenya the past few months and if you are a price-conscious consumer and looking a device that brings value without costing an arm and a leg – then you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve compiled the best budget smartphones to get if you’re in the market for one.

Huawei Y7a – Ksh 22,999

Huawei Y7a is the latest budget smartphone from Huawei and packs quite the specs:

  • a 6.67″ Full HD+ LCD screen with a punch-hole cutout at the middle that accommodates the 8MP selfie camera
  • Kirin 710a processor
  • 4GB of storage and 128GB of onboard storage
  • EMUI 10.1, Android 10 and Huawei’s AppGallery.
  • 48MP quad-camera setup at the back that also includes an 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro and 2MP depth sensor 
  • side-mounted fingerprint sensor on the power button, a headphone jack and a USB-C charging port
  • Huawei Y7a comes with a huge 5000mAh battery and will support 22.5W fast charging

Huawei Y7p – Ksh 18,499

Huawei Y7p

The Huawei Y7p is the company’s sub 20K that features a 48MP main camera setup.

The phone packs other powerful features including:

  • 6.39 inch Punch FullView display(1560 x 720-pixels).
  • EMUI 9.1 on top of Android 10
  • Kirin 710F processor
  • 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage that can be expanded with a microSD card slot
  • 48MP main camera at the back which is a relatively huge sensor plus it has a wide f1.8 aperture to let in more light. There is also an 8MP wide-angle camera with a 120-degree field of view to take those expansive photos that you would not take with the main camera. There is also a 2MP depth sensor camera at the back.[Read our review of how the cameras perform here]
  • 8MP selfie camera.
  • a 4000mAh battery
  • The Huawei Y7p comes in Aurora Blue and Midnight Black.

It’s worth noting that this is the first Huawei phone in Kenya that doesn’t have Google Play Services. Instead, you get Huawei Mobile Services that comes with Huawei App Gallery that lets you download your favourite Android apps from.

Here’s a handy guide that shows you how to download the apps.

The phone brings enough features to warrant users of previous Huawei phones especially the Y7 series.

Huawei Y6s – Ksh 13,999

Huawei Y6s

The Huawei Y6s is another budget phone from Huawei launched early this year.

Its compact size will attract you but here’s what you get inside

  • 6.09″ inch LCD Dewdrop display at a resolution of 720 by 1560 pixels.
  • EMUI 9.1 on top of Android 9. For all those worried about Google apps, the device comes with them preinstalled including the Google Play Store, Google Drive, Sheets, Docs, Duo, Google App, Google Photos, Google Sheets and Google Slides.
  • MediaTek Helio P35 chip which is an upgrade over the Helio A22 chip found in the predecessor, the Huawei Y6(2019)
  • PowerVR GE8320 GPU
  • 3GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage expandable using an external MicroSD card up to 512GB.
  • 3200mAh battery
  • The Huawei Y6s back finish comes in 2 beautiful shades – a glossy top half and matte bottom half. They’ll be two versions: Orchid Blue and Starry Black.

The Huawei Y6s will serve well users of previous Huawei phones in the Y6 and Y5 series.

Here’s our full review. The phone is available online and in Huawei’s official retail stores countrywide.

Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 – Ksh 21,899

Here is another great Huawei device you should consider too. It’s from last year but most of its features punch more than expected.

When it launched, it was selling at Ksh 23,999 and on you can get it for Ksh 21,899 on Jumia at the time of publishing.

The Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 rocks a pop-up selfie camera.

Here are some other features it packs:

  • 6.59″ Full HD Ultra FullView display with a resolution of 2340 by 1080.
  • Optics-wise, the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 rocks a pop-up camera mechanism that houses the 16MP f/2.0 lens.
  •  Triple camera setup that includes a 16MP(f/1.8) main lens, an 8MP(f/2.4) wide-angle shooter with 120 degrees FOV(Field of View) and 2MP(f/2.4) depth sensor units.
  • Kirin 710F processor
  • 4GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage plus the ability to expand it via a microSD up to 512GB.
  • The plastic finish looks good and you get various colours including Midnight Black, Sapphire Blue, Emerald Green and Coral Red. The back is curved just like the P30 series to give a good grip for easy one-handed use.
  • 4000mAh battery with Type-C port.
  • The phone recently got updated to Android 10 early this year.

Check out comparison review and unboxing video below(Subscribe to our YouTube channel too). The phone even made it to our favourite tech products from 2019.

Infinix Hot 9 Play

Infinix Hot series is the company’s budget line up and they never disappoint. The Infinix Hot 9 Play is their latest device and improves on its predecessor, the Infinix Hot 8.

Infinix Hot 9 Play Review

The Infinix Hot 9 Play packs interesting features:

  • 6.82″ with a resolution of 720 by 1640 pixels.
  • 8MP selfie camera.
  • AI-powered dual-camera setup that includes a 13MP main camera and a secondary macro lens together with a LED flash.
  • 2GB of RAM, 32GB of onboard storage
  • Powered by a relatively newer and faster chip – the MediaTek Helio A25.
  • Running the show is Android 10(Go Edition) and XOS 6.1.
  • 6000mAh battery, a huge upgrade from the 5000mAh battery that the Infinix Hot 8 had.

Read our full review here

The Infinix Hot 9 Play is available on XPark for Ksh 13,299, Jumia for Ksh 13,499 and in Infinix’s official retail stores.

Infinix Hot 8

This is another battery powerhouse from Infinix launched late last year.

Here’s what you’re getting:

  • 6.52″ waterdrop notch display that comes with a resolution of 1,600 x 720 pixels.
  • powered by an octa-core Mediatek Helio P22 chip coupled with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.
  • Android 9 Pie and XOS 5.0 Cheetah
  • The Infinix Hot 8 features a triple rear setup that includes an f/1.8  13MP primary sensor with aperture, 2MP depth sensor and a low light sensor. The selfie department is taken care of with an f/2.0 8MP shooter.
  • The 5000mAh battery performs very well. As we said in our battery review, you’ll never run out of juice ever again with the Infinix Hot 8.

Read our full review here.

Watch our unboxing and first impressions video below.

The 2GB RAM version of the HOT 8 (4G) goes for Ksh 10,699 while the Hot 8 Lite(3G) goes for Ksh 9,699 on Xpark(formerly Infinix Mall). On Jumia, the Infinix Hot 8 goes for Ksh 11,999.

Infinix S4

Infinix S4

Infinix S4 is another budget beast from last year but still worth checking out. I loved spending my time with this phone – you can check out the full review here.

Here’s what it packs:

  • 6.2″ waterdrop notch display that comes with a resolution of 1,600 x 720 pixels.
  • XOS v5.0 Cheetah on top of Android Pie
  • Mediatek’s Helio P22 SoC
  • PowerVR GE8320 GPU
  • 3/6GB RAM
  • 32/64GB onboard storage expandable to 128GB
  • Triple rear setup: 13 MP + 8MP + 2 MP, phase detection autofocus, Quad-LED flash
  • 32MP selfie camera
  • 4000mAh

If you’re interested in picking one up yourself, the Infinix S4 starts selling on XPark for Ksh 13,099 for the 3GB RAM and 32GB onboard storage variant and Ksh 17,099 for the 6GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage variant.

Infinix S5

Infinix S5

Infinix S5 follows up on the S4.

Here’s what you get:

  • The 6.6″ Infinity-O display(20:9 aspect ratio) gives the Infinix S5 an almost full-screen experience with a resolution of 1600 by 720 pixels and a 90.5% screen to body ratio.
  • Mediatek Helio P22 processor, 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. You can get 6GB RAM with 128GB storage variants.
  • Android 9 Pie and XOS Cheetah version 5.5.2
  • The rear setup features a 16MP main camera, 5MP ultrawide, 2MP for depth and a 2MP low-light sensor. For selfies, you get a 32MP front-facing camera.
  • a 4000mAh battery
  • support for both Faiba 4G VoLTE ad Safaricom VoLTE.

The 4GB RAM/64GB onboard storage variant costs Ksh 16,499 shillings while the 6GB RAM and 128GB onboard storage cost Ksh 20,999.

Infinix Note 7

Infinix Note 7

Infinix Note 7 is another Infinix contender.

Here’s what it packs:

  • 6.95″ Infinity-O display with a resolution 720 by 1640 pixels. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass.
  • runs on Android 10 and XOS 6.0.
  • octa-core Mediatek Helio G70 (12 nm) processor with Mali-G52 2EEMC2 GPU.
  • There are two RAM and Storage options – 4 or 6GB and 64/128GB of onboard storage respectively which you can expand with MicroSD card.
  • The main camera setup includes a 48 MP f/1.8(wide), 2 MP f/2.4 (macro), 2 MP f/2.4, (depth) and a 2 MP, f/1.8, (dedicated video camera) that is only be available in 128GB stoarage/6GB RAM model.
  • A 16MP front-facing camera sits in the Infinity-O display

The Infinix Note 7 with the 128GB/6GB configuration retails at Ksh 20,699 while the one with 64GB/4GB configuration will sell at Ksh 15,999.

Infinix Note 7 Review: A Welcome Upgrade

The devices can be purchased at Infinix’s online marketplace, Xpark with free delivery countrywide for all models.

Infinix Hot 10

Infinix Hot 10 is finally here. This is the company’s latest budget device in the Hot series following the launch of the Hot 9 series early this year.

The Infinix Hot 10 joins the Infinix Zero 8 and the Infinix Note 7 which were also recently launched in the country.

The Infinix Hot 10 blew my expectations and actually raised the bar for entry-level smartphones at least in the price category it sits on.

Definitely get this phone. It doesn’t get better than this as the Infinix Hot 10 is a value buy.

Infinix really stepped up their game(pun intended) with the Hot 10 this time round and it blew our expectations.

Impressive overall performance including the camera performance, excellent battery life and stunning design.

If you are in the market for a 14K smartphone, I highly recommend you to consider getting the Infinix Hot 10.

Infinix Hot 10 Review: Blew My Expectations

Infinix Note 8: The Upgrade Was Worth The Wait

After much teasing online, the Infinix Note 8 is finally here. Its arrival comes a few months after the launch of the Infinix Note 7. The Infinix Note 8 now joins the Infinix Hot 10 and Infinix Zero 8 that are already available in the market.

As a successor to the incredible Note 7, the Infinix Note brought its A-game and I’ve had the pleasure to use it as my daily driver for a good amount of time.

I like the direction in which the Infinix is going with its recently launched phones and now with the Note 8 that’s resetting expectations as it sits in a happy middle ground.

Infinix Note 8 stacks up surprisingly well against its competition and stands out way above what a 20K device would offer.

Infinix Note 8 goes for Ksh 21,799 online (Xpark – Infinix’s online shop, and Kilimall) and in Infinix’s official retail stores(Full list of stores here) countrywide.

Infinix Note 8 Review: Heading in the Right Direction

Infinix Hot 10 Play

Infinix Hot 10 Play is the latest budget smartphone in the Hot 10 line and now joins the Infinix Hot 10 and Hot 10 Lite that are currently available in the country.

Infinix Hot 10 Play ships with a 6.82″ Dot Drop display, Helio G35 processor together with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage, Android 10 and XOS Dolphin v7, 6000mAh battery, 8MP selfie camera and 13MP dual camera module and rear fingerprint sensor.

Infinix Hot 10 Play Review: Budget Value With Room for Improvement

Infinix Hot 10 Play will be available at their official and partner retail stores countrywide[list above] and online too for Ksh 15,499 for the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage.

TECNO Camon 15

This is TECNO’s latest device in the Camon series.

Here’s what it packs:

  • 6.55″ IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen that comes with a resolution of 1,600 x 720 pixels.
  • Android 10.0; HIOS 6.0
  • 4GB RAM and 64GB storage
  • 5000mAh battery
  • Mediatek MT6762 Helio P22 (12 nm)
  • 16MP punch-hole selfie camera and a quad rear setup that includes a main (48 MP), ultrawide (2 MP), depth (2 MP) and a QVGA sensor.

Read our full review here. You can get the phone at Ksh 18,000 online and in TECNO’s official retail stores.

TECNO Camon 12 Air

TECNO Camon 12 Air

Another great budget TECNO device is the Camon 12 Air.

Here’s what it packs:

  • 6.55″ 720p display
  • 3GB of RAM, 32GB of onboard storage
  • Android 9 Pie with HiOS version 5.5.2
  • 4000mAh battery
  • a 16MP, 5MP and 2MP lens for the rear cameras and an 8MP selfie shooter

Read our full review here.  The TECNO Camon 12 Air is available online and in TECNO retail stores and you can buy it for Ksh 13,499.

TECNO Pouvoir 4

The TECNO Pouvoir 4 is a budget smartphone that shouldn’t be overlooked. It comes with more impressive features and with its capable performance, you get more than you expected.

You’d think that the huge battery will make TECNO compromise on other smartphone features but no – you get a camera setup that gets you decent photos and overall solid performance that gets rounded up by the attractive design.

TECNO Pouvoir 4 starts selling from Ksh 14,999 and is available countrywide in official TECNO retail stores.

TECNO Pouvoir 4 Review: More Than You Expect

Nokia X5(5.1 Plus)

If you’re looking for Nokia device, then check out the Nokia 5.1 Plus.

It’s a little bit old since it was released in late 2018 costing Ksh 24,000. It now sells at Ksh 14,500 on Jumia(Ksh 13,600 on PhonePlaceKenya) and recently got updated to Android 10.

Here’s what it features:

  • 5.86″ LCD display with 720p resolution.
  • MediaTek Helio P60 chipset
  • Mali-G72 MP3 GPU
  • 3/4GB RAM and 32/64GB storage.

Nokia X6(6.1 Plus)

Nokia 6,1 Plus is another interesting budget device from Nokia.

Here’s what it features:

  • 5.86″ LCD display with 1080p resolution and Gorilla Glass 3 protection.
  • Snapdragon 636 chipset
  • Adreno 509 GPU
  • 4GB Ram and 64GB onboard storage with support for external storage (400GB)
  • It recently got updated to Android 10.
  • 3060mAh battery
  • USB-C fast charging.

Read our full review here.

Nokia 5.3

This is Nokia’s latest budget device announced in 2020.

Here are some of its key features:

  • 6.55″ display with a resolution of 720 x 1600 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~268 ppi density)
  • Android 10.0, Android One
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 (11 nm) chip and Adreno 610
  • 3GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage
  • 8MP selfie camera and quad rear setup including a 13 MP, f/1.8(wide), 5 MP(ultrawide), 2 MP (macro) and 2 MP(depth)
  • 4000mAh battery
  • 10W
  • Type C charging port

realme C15

realme C15 ships with a display with 90Hz refresh rate, Snapdragon 460 SoC which is relatively faster processor that comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and a decent compact design.

realme c15 is available on Jumia and other e-commerce sites for Ksh 16,999.

realme C15 Review: Almost Had It

Samsung A20s

The Samsung A20s has a lot to offer for its target, budget-hunting customers. Here are its features and price in the country:

  •  6.5″ Infinity V display with a resolution of 720 x 1560 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~264 ppi density)
  • Qualcomm SDM450 Snapdragon 450 (14 nm)
  • 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage and microSD, up to 512 GB
  • 4000mAh battery with Type-C port, 15W fast charging
  •  Android 9.0 (Pie) with One UI
  • 13MP main camera(Wide), 5MP depth, 8MP ultra-wide, and an 8MP selfie camera

OPPO A5 2020

OPPO A5 2020 was launched together with the OPPO A9 2020 late last year and now sells at Ksh 19,999 on Jumia.

Here’s what you get:

  • 6.5″ display with a resolution of 720 x 1600 pixels
  • Qualcomm SDM665 Snapdragon 665 chipset and Adreno 610 GPU
  • 4GB RAM and 128GB of onboard storage
  • 5000mAh battery with Type-C charging port.
  • 8MP selfie camera, a Quad rear camera setup that features a primary 12-megapixel sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor, and another 2-megapixel depth unit.
  • Android 9.0 (Pie), ColorOS 6.1

Xiaomi Redmi 8A

The Xiaomi Redmi 8A is an entry-level smartphone that launched late last year for its budget Redmi line which recently became a subbrand of its own. The Redmi 8A is the next device in its A-series(It follows Redmi 7A).

It packs quite a handful of features such as a 6.2″ HD+ screen, 5000mAh battery, type-C charging port, 18W charging, Snapdragon 439, 12MP Sony IMX 363 rear camera, MIUI 10(updated to MIUI 11) on top of Android Pie plus Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection.

Here are its more detailed specifications and estimated pricing details in Kenya.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 concludes this list and features:

  • 6.3″ display with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~409 ppi density)
  • Android 9.0 (Pie); MIUI 10
  • Qualcomm SDM665 Snapdragon 665 (11 nm)
  • Adreno 610 GPU
  • 64GB/4GB RAM, 64GB/6GB RAM, 128GB/6GB RAM configurations
  • 13 MP, f/2.0 selfie camera
  • Quad rear setup-  f/1.8, (wide), 8 MP, (ultrawide), 2 MP, (macro camera), 2 MP, f/2.4, depth sensor.
  • 4000mAh battery
  • 18W fast charging, Type-C port

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  1. right now, the latest Infinix smartphones – Note 8, Note 8i and even Tecno Camon 16 Premiere are really impressive smartphones with brilliant mediatek processors of the helio G series

  2. I love the additional features that Samsung has added to its A20 series. I am currently using Samsung Galaxy A20 and I see that Samsung have brought the A20S with a triple camera plus they have increased the size to 6.5″.I think I will now get the A20S when its time to upgrade. I also noticed the price is also pocket-friendly.

  3. It’s good to see one of ours actually giving a detailed review you can rely on. Good work sir. Do a flagship vs midranger lineup, we want to compare buying options and what we will be getting-or not, with each.

  4. I can see very nice specs in the Infinix Note 8i especially the cameras and the helio G80 chipset by mediatek.

  5. Why didn’t you include Redmi 9T? That phone is 16,500 , and it’s way better than most phones you’ve included in this list.

  6. I really don’t like Tecno and Infinix phones. They use the same processors every year and they are still using 720p screens in 2021? They are overpriced yet they have very low specs. E.g Infinix Note 8 is 21,800, yet for that price you can get Redmi Note 9s which has a 1080p(gorilla Glass 5)display and better processor (snapdragon 720G).

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