We’re now half past the year and 2023 has seen great tech products launched and we got to check out some of them – ranging from smart home equipments, wearables, laptops and smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy S23

Samsung kicked off the year with the flagship S23 series. It comes with a few upgrades and took the crown for being the best Android smartphone. Read our full review here.

It has a clean design featuring a 6.1 inch AMOLED screen which is one of the most brightest screen at 1750 nits. It comes powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor which is a powerful chip making the phone a beast.

The cameras are excellent as expected and I enjoyed taking shots with it. It has a floating camera design that features three lenses – a 50MP with OIS, 10MP telephoto with OIS and a 12MP ultrawide with video capture capped at 8K. The 12MP selfie camera is great too.

It has a larger battery with improvement in endurance over the S22 from last year.

If you’re looking for a compact flagship phone, the get the S23. You can also check out the S23 Plus or the S23 Ultra as well.

Vivo V27 5G

If there’s a phone I’ve enjoyed using for three months especially for its photography has been the vivo V27 5G. It’s a midrange smartphone from Vivo and nailed it in terms of features with regards to its price.

In my review, I said that it was a peerless midrange camera smartphone.

The phone comes with a colour changing back panel, a 6.78-inch OLED slightly curved screen, Android 13 and FunTouch OS 13, Dimensity 7200 paired with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, 4600mAh battery with 66W fast charging.

All those great features are complemented by the amazing cameras. We have a 50MP selfie camera with 4K recording, 50MP main with OIS, 8MP ultrawide and 2MP macro sensor. Go check out our camera review for all the details.

So if you’re looking for midrange camera smartphone that offers unquestionable photography performance, then get the Vivo V27 5G.

Phantom V Fold

Phantom V Fold is a first gen bookstyle foldable from TECNO and the company did a really good job(Full Review) with it which has probably given them the courage to also launch for a Phantom V Flip this year.

The V Fold comes with two excellent displays – a 6.42″ LTPO AMOLED screen at 1080p resolution protected by Gorilla Glass Victus. The inner display is a 7.85″ foldable LTPO AMOLED screen at 2K resolution. Both screens sport 1100 nits in terms of peak brightness and 120hz refresh rate.

It comes powered by a Dimensity 9000+ 5G chipset, upto 21GB of RAM, 512GB RAM, Android 13, HiOS 13 and 5000mAh battery with 45W charging.

The Phantom V Fold is more than reliable when it comes to photography and videography. The photos and videos are well-detailed, sharp, saturated colours and with a really good dynamic range.

This is courtesy of the unique circle camera housing that has a 50MP main, 50MP telephoto with 2X optical zoom(20x Digital Zoom) and 13MP ultrawide. The V Fold two front-facing cameras for selfies with the cover display having a 32MP lens while the inner display has a 16MP lens.

The Phantom V Fold gets a lot of things right. Flagship design, flagship performance, quality cameras, fast charging and long-lasting battery. We now have a really good and affordable competitor in the foldable smartphone market in Kenya and globally as well.

TECNO Spark 10

The TECNO Spark 10 has been my favourite budget camera smartphone so far this year going for Ksh 19,300.

It’s camera performance goes toe to toe with the midrange Camon 20 series. It has a 50MP main camera and an additional VGA camera while the notch houses the is an 8MP front-facing camera. Video recording is capped at 1080p resolution.

The phone takes really good photos both with the main and selfie camera. Photos come out well-detailed, with decent saturation, dynamic range, and background separation even in low light.

It comes powered by Helio G37 chipset, upto 16GB RAM, 128GB storage together with Android 13 and HiOS 12.6.

The Spark 10 has a smaller 6.6″ screen sporting a 90Hz refresh rate and HD resolution.

Read our full review here. Here’s our comparison review with the Redmi 12C.

Oraimo FreePods 4

Oraimo makes the best accessories and the FreePods 4 have been the best affordable TWS earbuds with ANC.

They come offering high-quality sound, responsive touch controls, customizable music experience, active noise cancellation and long-lasting battery life. All these features make the Oraimo FreePods way better than you expect – read our full review here.

  • 8 hours of playtime
  • Heavy bass technology
  • IPX5 Rating
  • Type-C quick charge
  • Three listening modes including transparency mode
  • Noise reduction in calls.

Asus Zenbook S13 OLED(2023)

I’m a huge fan of compact and powerful Ultrabooks and the latest ZenBook S13 OLED from Asus ticks all the checkboxes. Here’s our full review.

It’s a snappy performer, last longs unplugged and charges really fast, brilliant display, speakers that sound really good, great keyboard and touchpad, sleek and compact look, and a more than reliable webcam.

The laptop is a significant step up for anyone looking to upgrade to an ultraportable powerhouse like the ZenBook S13 OLED.

Mi Robot Vacuum Mop 2

This vacuum mop from Xiaomi 2 is equipped with a suction and a mopping system that can clean and mop your floors at the same time.

It has a powerful suction of 2000Pa and a high-precision laser sensor that can scan and map your home in real time. It can clean for up to 3 hours on a single charge and has a dustbin capacity of 420ml.

It also comes with a set of features such as automatic room recognition, selective room cleaning, and an app-controlled schedule, allowing you to schedule cleaning, track the robot’s progress, and control it remotely.

Additionally, it has voice command compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, which makes it easy to control the robot with your voice.

Canon R7

I’ve been playing around with the R7 and the R6 Mark II for photography and videography this year. But the R7 has stuck with me.

Canon R7(left) and Asus ZenBook S13 OLED 2023(right)
Canon R7(left) and Asus ZenBook S13 OLED 2023(right)

This is a very versatile and robust high end mirrorless SLR-Style APS-C camera that can confidently handle a variety of situations especially for hybrid shooters. It features a sturdier build, an inbody image stabilization(IBIS), great and well detailed image quality, a high resolution sensor(32.5MP), 10 bit video recording(C Log), large image buffer, burst shooting(15FPS mechanical), fast autofocus, and decent battery life.

Connectivity is sorted as you get plenty of ports such as the headphone jack, micro HDMI, microphone jack and Type-C port. Other features include twin SD card slots that support UHS-II speeds, WiFi and Bluetooth support. Video shooting is limited to 4K 60p.

As a amateur photographer, I’ve loved the R7 for the past few months and is overally a nice camera.

What Next?

We expect exciting tech in the coming months such the new foldables from Samsung, TECNO and OPPO – the Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5, Phantom V Flip, Find N3 respectively and more.

So stay tuned for our coverage.