24 June 2013

Uganda: The Smart Phone Era

Kampala, Uganda — Call it being tech-savvy or simply curiosity, it's not doubt that Smartphones have become the in-thing.

The mobile phone evolved and just like Mr. V.G Somasekhar, the Airtel Uganda Managing Director says, 'We often forget that Smartphones can also be used to make phone calls because they are mainly used for browsing the internet, taking photos among others.'

With slightly over $100, one can get themselves an android powered smartphone in Uganda with which to access internet and nuemerous applications.

However, for one to own the high end smartphones like the HTC one x or the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the Nokia Lumia, one has to part with a handsome fee for their exotic user functions.

The smartphone market is packed with some amazing devices at the moment. Mobile phones have never been so advanced and the good news is that there are so many to choose from. If you're currently looking for a new phone and you don't know where to start, here is some help.

The Samsung Galaxy S4, a slim, complex, slick and high end smartphone was recently launched on the Ugandan market. A customer will however have to part with Ushs2.2m for this dazzling device. The prices of mobile telephone handsets in Uganda remains high compared to those in neighboring Kenya, partly, as a result of the 18% VAT imposed on the sales.

There is also the Nokia Lumia 920 which is one of the best Windows phones.

The smartphone market previously consisted of Android handsets, Blackberry devices and Apple iPhones. However, Windows phones are rapidly rising to the forefront. The Lumia 920 runs the Windows Phone 8 operating system on a 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU.

It features an 8.2MP rear camera with LED flash and a 1.3MP front camera. The battery life can leave the phone running in standby mode for 400 hours. The device is one of few that can be recharged wirelessly, using a special charging pad.

Samsung Galaxy Note II.

Its one of the larger sized handsets on the market. It's sometimes known as a phablet (a hybrid of Phone and Tablet), due to its large 5.55 inch display. It's rear 8MP camera and 1.2MP front camera is typical amongst current smartphones.

The phone is 4G LTE compatible and runs the latest Android operating system.

There is the new Xperia Z that has somewhat overshadowed the previous Sony attempts.

One of their better previous handsets, was the Xperia T. The phone was introduced in August 2012, and runs on the latest Android operating system. Its rear camera is 13MP and has a zoom of up to 16x.

Sony Xperia Z

The Sony Xperia Z is a revolutionary gadget. The PlayStation and the Walkman are among the Sony brands featured on this water and dust proof handset. Its rear camera is an amazing 13.1MP and can record 1080p HD videos. The 2.2MP front camera can also record in 1080p, which is rare for front facing cameras. The device runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and its battery life is great too, with up to 550 hours of standby on one charge.

Also for those who want style, there is the Google Nexus which is an exciting brand. Google owns the Android operating system, so for them to be making their own phones is a good sign. The Nexus 4 is their most recent smartphone design. Obviously, it runs the most up to date operating system Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. It packs the typical smartphone camera specs - an 8MP rear camera, and a 1.2MP front camera.


And just as we thought the market was getting saturated, the BlackBerry Z10 comes in. BlackBerry always had a unique style. Every phone used to come with a QWERTY keyboard, but the Z10 sees the manufacturers step away from their well-known image to attempt a more conventional design.

The Z10 looks nothing like a BlackBerry. It looks like your typical smartphone.

However, it's a lot better than a typical smartphone. It runs the BlackBerry 10 operating system on a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU and it comes with 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage.

It has a typical 8MP rear camera and a good 2MP front camera. Another plus point is the built in BlackBerry messenger, a free way of messaging friends.

BlackBerry reaches out to typical smartphone users with the Z10, but they have also stayed faithful to their original market by releasing the Q10. The Q10 pretty much has the same specs as the Z10, but comes with the classic QWERTY keyboard.

iPhone 5

The original iPhone was quite revolutionary and unique, but the brand is starting to fade. Shares in Apple have worryingly dropped to their lowest since December 2011. Don't let this put you off though. Although, the phone can is beaten in specs and features, it's still a top quality high-end smartphone.

The iPhone 5 has a 4 inch retina display, and comes with an 8MP rear camera and a 1.2MP front camera.


Taiwanese manufacturer HTC has always made fantastic phones, and there are no exceptions for the HTC One. This aluminium cased phone packs a 2.0 μm 4 MP rear camera. 4MP sounds bad in comparison to other smartphone's rear cameras, but the designers claim that the use of ultra pixels make superior photos. The front 2.1MP camera can record in 1080p HD, as can the rear.

The phone doesn't have options for removable storage, but does ship with either 32 or 64GB of built-in storage and 2GB of RAM. The phone's operating system is Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. So whatever one's tastes and preferences as well as pocket depth, the smartphones are available all over town.

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