What kind of smartphone can N30,000 buy? A darned good one

by Bankole Oluwafemi

Samsung Galaxy S4

I need a new phone. A smartphone. And I don’t have Galaxy S4 money, talk less of BlackBerry Z10 or Q10 maga money. Actually, all I’m prepared to spend at this point in time is N30k.

After a bit of looking around, I’ve narrowed down to three devices that I wouldn’t mind being seen outside with, and yet stay within tweaking distance of my 30k budget, more or less.

There’s the Huawei Ascend W1, which I pointedly refuse to call the “4Afrika” simply because I detest the name. It’s got decent specs and runs the latest version of Windows Phone.

Then there’s Tecno’s N7, the 5 inch monster phone that appears to be trying to pass itself off as a Samsung Galaxy Note…until you turn it around and spy the logo. I’ve heard many good things about it, but I just don’t know. I mean, it is a Tecno phone afterall. But at just under N30k, it looks like a steal.

Finally, I’m looking at the Nokia Lumia 520 . At just around 30k, Nokia is finally doing something sensible that isn’t exactly mid-range, but isn’t low end either. It looks good, really good. The specs aren’t half bad for the price, plus it’s got that unapologetic Lumia swag that just speaks for itself.

I should say that in zeroing in on those three, I’ve skipped a dozen other very good, similarly priced Samsungs, HTCs, Sony Ericssons and a bunch of other no-name brands straight out of Shenzen.

It used to be that the device prices were skewed towards towards two extremes. The very high end market, and the very low end budget conscious market. The devices in the middle were often slightly souped up versions of the low end phones and seldom delivered on the serious stuff. So if you were a mid-ranger you were faced with a difficult choice. Either save up to afford the high end phone of your dreams, or cop out and buy a cheaper phone that doesn’t exactly meet your needs.

See me ranting here about how Nokia didn’t care about geeks on a budget all the way back in 2011 on Mobility, these comments here, here and here.

I’m thinking that is no longer the case now. Two months ago, all N30k would have bought was some low end crap hardware running obsolete software. Now? There’s suddenly a whole range of decent middle priced devices to choose from, running the latest versions of Android and Windows Phone…BlackBerry doesn’t have any sensible devices in the thirties, IMO, so they probably aren’t getting that lower mid-range action.

The battle to get smartphones below the hundred dollar mark is far from over, but the mid-range consumers  are already reaping the first fruits. Time was when truly kickass devices used to cost an arm and leg. They still do. But these days, a mere N30k can get you a pretty darned good smartphone.

They all cost about the same and look like they can get the job done, so now I’m sort of confused about which to go for. The fresh Huawei? The massive Tecno? Or the sleek Lumia?

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Published with permission from Tech Cabal

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Comments (9)

  1. I don't bother with all the names, I just bought a phone for about 10k so happy with it. E dey browse, e dey make call, even get game and qwerty keypad etc etc etc and etc. All these X9 Asha ipant stuff is for learners 😀

  2. I think it depends on what you want. for me I prefer an android device, and I think that is what you should go for if you are a tech geek, coz of the plethora of apps available and the level of customization available for android devices. The fact that its techno does not really matter, what matter most is that it runs on the ubiquitous android os. What any android app evangelist should also take note is the type of processor your device runs on, if your device runs on powerful processors liKE the ARM, etc(cant think now lol), then be happy your device can get all the apps on the market. But be rest assured the techno android device is cool, currently I am using an LG L3 E405 and it rocks coz I have rooted mine and running on mad apps to speed up the whole process. Please everybody forget windows…..I mean it….i have used it before.

    1. u can never use all the apps installed (thats the fact) android if loaded with app but how many can u use. how many is productive?

    2. Windows is more of a close source, you yourself well knows that. The "tweakability" of windows is not close to android. If you mention IOS (Apple), i can still understand that, but windows ? not close at at all.

    3. That is why i said all depebds on the user, and the user level when it comes to productivity, if you are a tech geek of any sort, maybe a programmer, a graphic artist, a web developer, computer engineer, network admin etc, then u need android.
      I have 39 apps installed including games. and i use them all.
      there is one cool app called exotic colors, if you are into web design or graphic design and u dont have that app, then u are behind.
      That app can snap a picture and tell u the colors in that image,
      eg if i see a house and i luv the color of that house, all i do is snap the house with exotic colors app, then it tells me the exact color of the house in its database, or it gives me a color close to it.

    4. there are other apps too depending on what u want. My phone has a little internal memory, bcoz my phone is cheap (i was low on budget when i bought it…..another reason u shld consider android), and i needed to play games coz i need games, but i cant install games into my internal memory coz its too small for the games, and also considering the fact that android does not allow u to install on the sd card, then what do i have to do ?
      I went ahead to download an android app, which in my opinion is one of the most respected app i have seen in the market. it is called directory bind, the name tells you what is does.
      I copy my games to my 8gig external memory and then bind it to the internal memory where it ought to be, the app fools android to believ that the app is in the internal memory so i can now enjoy well polished games….I can say alot here but just try it out with an open mind then u will see what im saying. All depends on u the user.

  3. The sleek Lumia yo!!!! Looking at getting the 720 for myself 😀

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail