Safaricom has started selling the Huawei Ascend Y100 in Nairobi. The IDEOS U8150 replacement goes for Ksh 8,449 and is bundled with a Ksh 1,000 in airtime, 7 days unlimited SMS and 1.5GB of free data bundle. The phone is available exclusively to Safaricom which is has customised it with its UI and SIM-Locked it to the network.
The device was launched in UK by O2 network in May. The phone comes with Android 2.3 GingerBread but is upgradeable to Android 4.0 ICS and has full access to the Google Play store.
With an 800MHz processor, I see an upgrade to ICS as a wrong move as it will make the phone very slow. The processor is a very good upgrdae of the IDEOS U8150 famously referred to as “IDIOT” among Kenyans on Twitter. The IDIOT packed just 528MHz in speed and 200MB in memory. The Ascend Y100 comes with 2GB internal memory, 3.2MP camera and 2.8 inches screen.
Full Specs of Huawei Ascend Y100
- Android OS v2.3 Gingerbread
- A 800 MHz Qualcomm MSM7225A CPU
- 2.8 inch TFT Capacitive touchscreen, 320 x 240 display, 10.9mm slim
- 3.2 MP camera (with video record/replay)
- 3G data speeds, with 7.2 Mbps
- Wi-fi enabled + hotspot
- 512MB ROM internal storage, with 256MB RAM
- Micro USB, 3.5mm earphone jack
- 1050mAh battery
- Power saving mode with All back-up and fast boot
The Ascend simply looks superior compared to the Samsung Galaxy Pocket which is pricier at Ksh 9,999. It also has better specs and feel compared to the Huawei Gaga announced by Orange Kenya.
Safaricom is also expected to unveil the Huawei U8860 Honor for around Ksh 35,000 – 40,000. The network operator is currently in talks with the vendor to see how low they can price the phone.
Safaricom has indicated that it is not looking for a margin on the cost of devices but on usage. Even without locking the devices to its network, Safaricom believes that majority of buyers would still want to use Safaricom’s network at some point since no operator has deployed 3G like Safaricom in Kenya.