9 Surprisingly Affordable Mobiles Available in Nigeria for 2016

Affordable Mobiles NigeriaI know what you’re thinking.

Affordable mobiles are hard to come by in Nigeria these days – right?

Wrong. Dead wrong.

Our team at NigeriaSHARE.com has undergone a painstakingly comprehensive review of the newest and most affordable mobile phones available in Nigeria for 2016. The good news is that we’ve uncovered 9 affordable mobiles that will offer value for money.

The bad news is that I’m not talking about the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge or the Apple iPhone 6S. It doesn’t take a genius to realise these devices don’t fall in the category of “affordable mobile phones”.

There are in fact plenty of smartphones with a cheaper price tag that are worth your consideration. Feel free to scroll down to the end of this article for easy-to-read profiles of each of these mobile phones.

So how do you go about choosing the perfect mobile for 2016? There are a number of important issues which you should keep in mind but we start with an obvious one – the design and appearance of the phone…

Hey, Good Looking?

According to CNet, buying a mobile phone means:

“entering into a relationship with a highly portable, physical object…you should think hard about how it’s designed, since you and it will be spending plenty of quality time together”.

For this reason, it is really important think about how the mobile looks.

Design is a question of personal taste. However, we love the look and feel of the Lumia 950 which has a sleek black and white finish and is a perfectly compact size (145mm x. 73.22mm) making it fit comfortably within the palm of your hand. As if that was not enough, the Lumia 950 will also feature a 5.2 inch QHD OLED display, making images and videos display in a sharp and vibrant way.

Although the Lumia 950 is a handsome hand set, it is at the more expensive end of the range of mobiles which we reviewed. If you are looking for a well designed mobile but want to spend a little less, we recommend the Infinix Zero 2 which has a textured back panel and comes in a wide range of colors including gold, black, white, blue, red and purple.

A Weighty Decision

Another important factor in any decision to buy a mobile will be the weight of the device. Nobody wants a phone that feels heavier than Santa’s sack as he leaves the North Pole on Christmas day, right?

From our list of 9 mobiles phones which offer amazing value for 2016, there is a clear winner in this category – the Infinix Zero which is by far the lightest of all the mobiles available at a mere 118 grams. The heaviest mobile which we reviewed was the Blackberry Passport which weighs in at a pocket busting 196 grams!

Very Selfilicous

Affordable Mobiles Buhari

President Buhari was taking selfies on the campaign trail in 2015. Could the Tecno Phantom 5 be the mobile for him in 2016?

Earlier this year, President Buhari hit the headlines when he took a number of selfies while on the campaign trail. However, you don’t need to be president of Nigeria to enjoy the odd selfie.

For selfie lovers, there’s one question and one question only that matters when it comes to choosing your new mobile device – how good is the front camera or the “selfie camera” as it is better known.

One of the best measures of the selfie camera is the number of mega pixels in the pictures it takes. One mega pixel (MP) represents a million pixels and is a measure of how high the resolution of your pictures will be. This is most crucial when either you want to crop your photos on your mobile or print the photos.

The mobile devices we reviewed had selfie cameras with mega pixels ranging from 2MP to 8MP. We’ve included a chart to the right hand side of this article which shows the full range of phones ranked by their selfie prowess.

As you will see, the clear winner in the “selfie category” is the Tecno Phantom 5, which boasts a selfie camera with 8MP. That’s a lot of mega pixels! Even more impressive is that the rear camera also packs a punch with 13MP. To put that into some context, the Techno Phantom 5 has more MPs than even the Apple iPhone 6S, which has a selfie camera of 5MP and a front camera of 12MP.

Affordable Mobiles Cameras

Operating Systems

You’ve probably heard advice along the lines of “All operating systems are the same these days; there’s very little difference between them”. However, nothing could be further than the truth. There are huge differences between all the operating systems on the market today and mobile phone buyers in Nigeria need to keep this in mind.

The 9 affordable mobiles we reviewed ran off the following three operating systems: Blackberry, Windows 10 and Android.

So, how do you decide which of the Blackberry, Windows 10 and Android operating systems are the best? Each operating system has its own unique design features and user flow, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages.

99% of readers will buy a mobile phone with the same operating system as their current device. It doesn’t matter whether your roots are Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba, the real tribal loyalty these days is to your mobile operating system.

Think for a second though – you may be used to the “look and feel” of your current mobile operating system but is it giving you the best experience?

If you’re ready to take the giant leap of faith required in order to try a new operating system, the best way to distinguish between these mobile operating systems is the number and quality of apps they have available.

99% of readers will buy a mobile phone with the same operating system as their current device. It doesn’t matter whether your roots are Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba, the real tribal loyalty these days is to your mobile operating system.

According to Statistica, as of July 2015, the Google Play Store available to Android users hosts 1,500,000 apps whereas the Windows Phone Store and Blackberry World host a measly 340,000 and 130,000 each.

This means that the Android operating system is the stand out option when it comes to the number of apps available. All of the following are cheap Android phones available widely in Nigeria for 2016: Infinix Hot 2, Infinix Zero 2, Tecno Phantom 5, Innjoo Fire Plus and Innjoo Halo.

Readers who would rather stick with the Blackberry or Windows 10 operating systems need not be completely disheartened. Many of the most popular apps available in Nigeria today are also available on Blackberry and Windows 10.

One good example is the Diamond Bank Mobile App, which by the way we featured in this How To Guide, is available on Android, Blackberry and Windows 10 operating systems. Other examples of must-have Nigerian apps such as the iROKOtv app and the Jobberman app are also available via the Windows Phone Store and Blackberry World.

Storage Space

While having a great camera for taking selfies is important, don’t forget to make sure that the mobile device you purchase has enough storage space for your snaps. There’s nothing more annoying than receiving an error message telling you “There’s not enough room on your device to take any more photographs due to lack of storage space”.

If like me, your pet hate is also running out of storage space, then check out our chart below which sets out a list of the top 9 affordable mobile phones in the Nigerian market for 2016 ranked by the amount of storage space provided.

Affordable Mobiles Storage

As you will see, the best mobile devices for storage in 2016 are the Blackberry Passport, Tecno Phantom 5 and Lumia 950 – each of these phones comes with whopping 32GB of storage. That’s a lot of storage and means you can download apps, take photos and videos without having to constantly delete items from your mobile.

Now, it is important to stress that it may be possible to buy additional memory slots for the other mobile devices though this is the probably the last thing you want to do if you’re on the hunt for an affordable mobile!

Battery Life

Last but not least, anyone looking for affordable mobiles in 2016 should take into account the battery life. A key indicator of battery life is mAh, which stands for milliamphere-hour. Each mAh is a technical term used to describe how much electrical charge a battery is able to hold. In theory, using a higher mAh battery in your mobile should in theory lead to your mobile device lasting for a longer period of time.

The results of our review were clear – the Innjoo Fire Plus (3,600 mAh) is the stand out option for those looking for maximum battery life. The Chinese manufacturers of the Innjoo Fire Plus claim that a fully charged battery could provide 330 hours on standby, 24 hours of music, 22 hours of call time, 10 hours of video watching time and 6 hours flashlight.

The chart below shows all of our top 9 affordable mobiles for 2016 in order of their battery power (according to mAh). If you use your mobile device for watching videos, playing games or any other type of energy intensive activities, we recommend you consider mobiles with an mAh of 2800 above.

Affordable Mobiles Battery mAh

If you spend a lot of time on the road without access to a charger or watch lots of videos on your mobile device, then the choice should be clear – the Innjoo Fire Plus is the mobile for you.


Profiles of Our Top 9 Affordable Mobiles for 2016

1. Blackberry Leap is a mid-priced smartphone available in Nigeria for around 50,000 Naira. The device is notable for being a Blackberry phone without a traditional keyboard. One key advantage is that the battery is fairly long lasting with Blackberry claiming that “heavy users” may see up to 25 hours of battery life.

Who’s it for? The Blackberry Leap is perfect for readers who want the full screen smartphone experience with the traditional Blackberry operating system.

Affordable_Mobiles_Blackberry

The Blackberry Passport features the traditional keyboard found on Blackberry devices and is available for around 104,000 Naira.

2. Blackberry Passport is at the high end of the affordable category and can be bought in Nigeria for around 104,000 Naira. The Blackberry Passport is a hugely powerful device with its 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU coupled with 3GB of RAM. We love that the device features the traditional Blackberry keyboard. However, keep in mind that the dimensions are 4.5 inches long by 3.5 inches wide, meaning that the Blackberry Passport fits into the phablet category.

Who’s it for? The Blackberry Passport will not disappoint workaholics looking for the security of the Blackberry operating system alongside the ease of a traditional keyboard.

3. Lumia 550 is not yet available in Nigeria but the starting price in the US will be the bargain basement price of $139 (around 27,000 Naira). The Lumia 550 will use the new Windows 10 operating system. As you might expect from the price, the processing speed will be limited with only 1 GB of Ram and a simple 1.1 Ohz quad core Snapdragon processor. Also, the camera is disappointing with the selfie camera offering 2 mega pixels only.

Who’s it for? The Lumia 550 is the perfect choice for readers looking for a smartphone that can perform basic functions who are willing to take a gamble on Windows’ new operating system.

Affordable Mobiles Lumia 950

Lumia 950 is expected to be available in Nigeria for around 109,000 Naira during Q.1 of 2016.

4. Lumia 950 is yet to be released in Nigeria but the price will be similar to the release price in the US of $539 (around 109,000 Naira). When it is released here, the phone will give the Apple 6S and Samsung S6 a run for their money. The Lumia 950 has plenty going for it – a sleek design and impressive display as well as a large in-built 32GB of storage. It also has an impressive 20 mega-pixel rear camera which will make for impressive photos.

Who’s it for? Shutterbugs who use their camera like it’s going out of fashion and want lots of storage space for gazillions of photos.

5. Infinix Hot 2 is selling like hot cakes in Nigeria and no wonder when you can pick up the device for a mere 19,500 Naira. This is particularly value for money when you consider that the Infinix Hot 2 has 2GB of Ram with a Quad Core 1.3Ghz processor and a respectable amount of internal storage (16GB to be exact). Did we mention that it runs off the Android (Lollipop) operating system?

Who’s it for? The Infinix Hot 2 is ideal for readers who are looking for a cheap Android phone but don’t want to compromise on the operating system and storage.

6. Infinix Zero 2 can be picked up online in Nigeria for around 35,000 Naira. The Infinix Zero 2 runs off the Android (Lollipop) operating system like its cousin, the Infinix Hot 2. So why is it nearly double the price? Well, compared to the Infinix Hot 2, the Infinix Zero 2 has a much more powerful processor (2gHz) as well an impressive graphic chipset. In addition, the rear camera has been given a boast with 13 mega pixels (compared to 8 mega pixels on the Infinix Hot 2).

Who’s it for? If you’re a gamer, the Infinix Zero 2 could be your partner in crime due to its quick processor and access to the thousands of games available on the Android operating system.

7. Tecno Phantom 5 is available to buy for around 75,000 Naira. We genuinely think that in terms of value for money, there’s no better affordable mobile on the market at the moment. The Tecno Phantom 5 is particularly impressive for its 8MP selfie camera and 13MP rear camera (along with a Dual LED Flashlight). You’ll also have somewhere to store your snaps as the device comes with an impressive 32GB of internal storage.

Who’s it for? If you can’t go out for lunch without taking several hundred selfies, then the Tecno Phantom 5 is the ideal phone for you.

8. Innjoo Fire Plus is retailed online for the very reasonable price of around 27,000 Naira. The device doesn’t come with all the frills of its rivals but it is a true workhorse of the phone, with excellent battery life (3,600 mAh) and the manufacturers claim that a fully charged battery could last 330 hours on standby! Another positive for the Injoo Fire Plus is that it runs off the Android (Lollipop) operating system so users will have access to all the latest apps.

Who’s it for? Readers who are always out and about with little time to charge their mobile will appreciate the long-lasting battery of the Innjoo Fire Plus.

9. Innjoo Halo can be snapped up for the bargain basement price of around 14,000 Naira. That’s a very cheap Android phone. The Innjoo Halo is a step down from its more expensive cousin, the Innjoo Fire Plus. In all areas, the specifications of the Injoo Fire Plus are less advanced (for example, the selfie camera and rear camera are a mere 2MP and 5MP and there’s only 1GB Ram). On the plus side, the device has an attractive design with Kevlar textured back cover that comes in classic black, shiny white and champagne gold.

Who’s it for? The Innjoo Halo is perfect for anyone who wants an affordable mobile for the most basic of tasks such as making calls, texting and taking the occasional photo.

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