The first handsets manufactured and assembled entirely in Africa have been unveiled earlier this week, and the proud company that created them is Mara Group from Rwanda.
The two phones are Mara X and Mara Z, two low-end devices. Although their specs are pretty poor by comparison with nowadays flagships, the creators from Mara Group are hoping that the first African smartphones will boost the economy of Rwanda.
13 MP camera for both devices
The rear cameras are not bad at all for some low budget smartphones. Both Mara X and Mara Z feature a 13 MP camera on the rear, and both phones are running Android One editions of 8.1 Oreo as the OS. There are several differences, though.
Mara X features a MediaTek MT6739 SoC, it packs only 1 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of storage. The display is a 5.5-inch HD+ (720×1440) covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 5, it has a fingerprint sensor on the back and a 5 MP selfie camera on the front.
Mara Z is undeniably a better device than Mara X since it has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 435, 2 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of storage. The Z also has a 5.7-inch HD+ display and a fingerprint sensor on the back. Probably the biggest difference as against the X model is the selfie camera: the manufacturers created a 13 MP shooter.
Mara Z and Mara X retail for 175,750 and 120,250 Rwandan Francs (~$190 and $130), respectively. Mara Group CEO Ashish Thakkar says that the two phones are dedicated to customers who would pay a higher price for quality smartphones that are designed, manufactured, and assembled locally.
“We are actually the first who are doing manufacturing. We are making the motherboards, we are making the sub-boards during the entire process,” Thakkar said in an interview for Reuters.
Surely the two phones from Mara Group have more than enough decent specs for somebody who doesn’t have high expectations for his smartphone. And after all, they are very good gadgets for the beginning of the company’s activity in the smartphone field.
Brian Dan is just getting his feet wet as a tech reporter but has already had his work featured in many major publications including Tech Spot and Tech Crunch. In regards to academics, Brian earned a degree in business from Fordham University. Brian has a passion for emerging technology and covers upcoming products and breakthroughs in science and tech.