Rwanda has made a huge leap into the world of smartphone manufacturing, though the phones are labeled ‘Made in Africa’. This is definitely good news as African countries’ unlimited potential continues to be exploited. The factory that is located in Kigali’s special economic zone has the capacity to produce at least 1,200 units per day. It has employed 200 people.
The official launch was presided over by President Paul Kagame on Tuesday 8th, October. The plant is run by the Mara Group led by Ashish J. Thakkar.
About the Mara smartphones
Welcome to the Mara brand of smartphones that are being produced in Kigali, Rwanda. The production began in late 2018 and has so far produced the Mara X and the Mara Z. The smartphones run on Android 8.0 Oreo and a guaranteed two-year OS upgrade.
The Mara X smartphone price and specifications
With a 5.5” HD+ screen and a resolution of 720×1440, the Mara X comes preinstalled with the Google apps such as the Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Google Assistant. It operates on a superfast 64-bit Quad-Core processor, with a 1GB RAM and 16GB Internal memory which makes it a great fit for gaming and social media.
The Mara X’s 5.1 Dolby Sound System seems to offer an amazing cinematic experience according to the manufacturers. The Mara X dual HD cameras may be lagging behind the present innovations but they are still a great start for a new manufacturer. The Mara X has a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP selfie camera. With the preinstalled Google Photos, one gets an unlimited online storage space for videos and photos.
The Mara X security system has a finger print sensor on the rear of the phone. When activated it means only you can unlock the phone. The phone comes in variants of three colours, namely Space Gray, Gold, Black. Mara X price is USD 159.00, equivalent of about KES 16000. Below is a summary of important Mara X specs.
|Capacity||32GB, 3GB RAM|
|SIM (options as dual or single)||
SIM 1 + Nano SIM 2|
Nano SIM + TF Card
|Weight and dimensions||
154.2 x 72.7 x 7.96 mm|
Weight: 152 gr
Incell LCD, 16M colors |
18:9 next generation display 5.7 inches HD+
720×1440 pixel resolution
Corning® Gorilla® Glass, Oleophobic Coating
architecture – New generation architecture |
Qualcomm MSM8940 Snapdragon 435, Octa-core ARM Cortex A53 1.4GHz Processor
MP AF, f2.0 Diaphragm Back Camera |
13 MP FF, f2.2 Diaphragm Selfie Camera
850/900/1800/1900 MHz, LTE Band |
FDD : 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 20(800) TDD : 38(2600), 40(2300)
Internet at 4.5G Speed
Cat 7 300Mbps Download, Cat 13 150 Mbps Upload
VoLTE, ViLTE, VoWi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.2, A2DP (Multiple connection)
GPS Satellite Connection (A-GPS Compatible)
Wireless Network Connection (802.11 ac/b/g/n)
Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Display
Contacts synchronization with Gmail and Exchange Server
5Ghz and 2.4 Ghz dual band support
|Power and battery||3075 mAh Li-Po Battery (non-removable)|
|Operating System||Android™ 8.1 Oreo™|
Android™ 8.1 Oreo™|
Manual, charger, PC cable, earphones, back cover
The pricing of the Mara X phone is a little high given the competition from superior phones from China.