Mara, the first smartphone made in Africa - The360 Technology

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  • Thursday, December 26, 2019

    Mara, the first smartphone made in Africa

    Mara, the first smartphone made in Africa

    "Made in Africa" ​​arrives in the mobile phone with Mara Phones, a company located in Rwanda. This newcomer on the sector plans to produce 1.5 million smartphones a year with very low rates.

    In Rwanda, a small revolution took place at the beginning of the week. Mara Phones has launched two smartphone models, the first entirely made in Africa. In a country where the smartphone penetration rate is only 15%, the firm relies on the African label and quality against competition, including Samsung whose first models are available for around $ 40.

    The firm organized a visit with Rwandan President Paul Kagame from its Kigali factory, which cost $ 24 million and is expected to produce 1,200 smartphones a day initially, with a goal of reaching $ 1.5 million a year. A second plant will open soon in South Africa. "We are the first smartphone manufacturer in Africa. Companies are assembling smartphones in Egypt, Ethiopia, Algeria and South Africa, but importing the components. Africans will be willing to pay a little more to buy a "Made In Africa" ​​smartphone, "said Ashish Thakkkar, P.-D.G. from Mara Group.

    An affordable model and a more upscale model

    The Mara X, the most affordable of the two new models, has a 5.5-inch display with HD + (720 x 1.440 pixels), which hides a Mediatek MT6739 SoC with four cores 1.5 GHz. It has 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. At the back, it embeds a single 13-megapixel photo module, and at the front a 5 megapixel selfie camera. The autonomy is ensured thanks to a battery 3,500 mAh which can be changed.

    The second model, a bit more upmarket, is the Mara Z. It has a 5.7-inch HD + screen (720 x 1.440 pixels) supported by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor, with eight cores clocked at 1.4 GHz . It has 3 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of storage. It has the same 13 megapixel rear photo module, but the front camera now features a 13 megapixel sensor. Curiously, the battery offers a 3.075 mAh capacity, less than the more economical model, but the manufacturer does not communicate on the autonomy. In addition, the battery is not removable.

    Smartphones already on sale on the manufacturer's website

    Both devices run Android 8.1 Oreo, but the Mara X has the light Android Go version, while the Mara Z has Android One. Smartphones have a fingerprint reader on the back, and the manufacturer indicates a dual SIM or SIM + TF card option, without further details. This means that the storage space should be expandable by microSD card.

    The mobiles are now available on the manufacturer's website at $ 159 for the Mara X, and $ 229 for the Mara Z. However, they were also announced at 120,250 Rwandan francs and 175,750 Rwandan francs respectively, suggesting that they could be sold cheaper locally.

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