CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

Kenya: Nokia Launches Windows Phone 8 Lumia 920, 820, and 620 Smartphones in Kenya

Nokia has announced the launch of the Lumia 920, Lumia 820 and notably Lumia 620 in Kenya. This was at a launch ceremony held Thursday evening at the Crowne Plaza and attended by Nokia General Manager for East Africa - Bruce Howe and Safaricom General Manager for Consumer Business - Peter Arina. The Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 were launched globally in November 2012, while the Lumia 620 has only started been available starting the beginning of February 2013, making Kenya one of the few countries to have the device.

Howe says the three devices are all on the latest Windows Phone 8 operating system and have been designed not to compromise the user experience.

The Lumia 920 is Nokia's flagship device and carries an 8.7 megapixel camera, 4.5 inch display and will cost KSh. 55,000 at Safaricom outlets bundled with 1.5 Gb of data and Ksh. 500 airtime. The phone is exclusively available at Safaricom, with the first 500 buyers getting wireless charging plates. The device supports wireless charging and also wireless music playback with select speakers. The phone is available in 5 colours and its battery is not removable due to its unibody design. You can read a comprehensive review of the device here http://www.cio.co.ke/news/main-stories/nokia-lumia-920-a-comprehensive-review

The Lumia 820 comes in seven colours, features removable covers and has an 8 megapixel camera too. The camera however lacks some of the technology available with the 920. The phone's covers can be switched to covers that support wireless charging. The phone is available at Safaricom for KSh. 45,000 with 1.5 Gigabytes of data, Ksh. 5090 airtime and wireless charging covers. The device is also available from Midcom at Ksh. 40,000 with a standard cover.

The Lumia 620 is a "low end" smartphone, though it fits more into the middle segment in Kenya. It features a front and back camera like the 820 and 920, but the front is VGA resolution(below 1 megapixel) and the back is a 5 megapixel camera. Nokia distinguishes the phone from other competitors devices by providing 8 Gigabytes of internal storage , saying that the 4 Gb provided by competitors is usually not enough for Windows Phone 8 devices. The phone also has a smaller 3.8 inch screen and comes in removable covers. The covers feature poly infused colours that give a mixture of two colours in the six colour variations available.

The 620 retails at Ksh. 23,000 at Safaricom outlets with a number of portable USB chargers available for a few buyers. Alternatively, Safaricom will offer the 620 at KSh. 15,000 and 10,000 Bonga royalty points. Midcom is also retailing the device at Ksh. 23,000 with no offers.

Arina said that Safaricom was placing more focus on smartphones, after witnessing a growth of more than 300 percent of smartphones on the network in the last year. 25 percent of Safaricom subscribers are now on smartphones. Howe says that 30 percent of phones sold in Kenya are now smartphones.

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