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Best phones for less than KES. 10,000 in Early 2021 (Updated)

If you have a budget of not more than KES. 10,000 and you want a really good smartphone experience, this new list should help you out. The devices listed here complement the other best under 10k lists I’ve already made previously. So, if you feel your budget isn’t met here, check out the other lists here from a while back. These older lists will have devices not listed here that perform just as good, and cost lesser right now.

This is the first time a Xiaomi A-series device isn’t on top of my list. Unlike last year, Xiaomi decided this time round to go with a micro-USB port. That decision, plus the processor they chose makes me prefer the realme C11 to the Redmi 9A.

Here’s the full list of the best devices under KES. 10,000 right now:

  1. realme C11 – KES. 9,999
  2. Redmi 9A – KES. 9,999
  3. Infinix Smart 5 – KES. 9,999
  4. Vivo Y1s – KES. 9,799
  5. Itel S16 series – KES. 7,799
  6. TECNO POP 4 – KES. 8,830
  7. Huawei Y5p – KES. 8,999
  8. Nokia C2 – KES. 7,599
  9. Safaricom Neon Kicka 5 – KES. 3,499
  10. Safaricom Neon Ray Pro – KES. 20 a day
  11. itel A37 – KES. 6,960

1. realme C11 – KES. 9,999

Realme C11 Kenya

This 6.5-inch display device features a Helio G35 processor with 2GB RAM, 32GB storage. It runs Android 10 with realme’s UI. There’s a 5000mAh battery with 10W slow charging over Micro-USB. The main rear camera is 13MP, but there’s also an extra 2MP camera to help with depth-sensing useful in portraits. There’s no fingerprint scanner. Get it from Jumia.

2. Xiaomi Redmi 9A – KES. 9,999

Redmi 9A

This series has generally taken position one because of the specs. This time around, the micro-USB port, and the Helio G25 processor makes it feel inferior. If they kept USB Type-C, one would be inclined to it more than the realme C11. There’s a 6.53-inch display with 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, 5000mAh battery and 10W slow charging. It runs Android 10 with Xiaomi’s MIUI. There are models with more RAM and Storage for money, but these haven’t been availed in Kenya. There’s no fingerprint scanner. Get it from Jumia.

3. Infinix Smart 5 – KES. 9,999

Infinix SMART 5 Kenya

This is a device that could easily be listed as number one. However, the lack of 4G support throws it to number 3. I like it because of the bigger 6.6-inch display and the slightly more powerful Helio P22 processor. There are three rear cameras, but the main thing you’ll use is the 13MP main sensor. There’s a 5000mAh battery with 10W slow charging. However, the phone runs Android 10 (Go Edition) unlike the above two which run the full Android experience. It, however, has a fingerprint scanner. Get it from Jumia.

4. Vivo Y1s – KES. 9,799

This is a device that’s actually only silently available. Vivo hasn’t pushed it online as we see with other launches. It would be easy to have it even higher on this list. However, since there are contradicting specs online, we are not sure about the Helio P35 processor. Also, the 4030mAh battery is way less compared to the above-listed devices. It comes with 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android 10, and a 13MP main rear camera. There’s no fingerprint scanner. Get it from Jumia.

5. Itel S16 Series – KES. 7,799 to KES. 8,499

itel S16 Pro Specifications:

The new itel S16 Series features three devices, the S16 PRO 4G, the S16 PRO, and the S16 normal version. The PRO 4G version is the only one with 4G/LTE support. For that, you get a 6.6-inch display, a 13MP main camera, an 8MP selfie camera, a 4000mAh battery, Android 10 GO Edition, with 2GB RAM, and 32GB storage. Get them from Jumia.

6. TECNO POP 4 Series – KES. 8,830

This is an addition to the POP series from TECNO which we first saw in 2019. The POP 4 brings in a 6-inch display with 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, 5000mAh battery, an 8MP main camera, the Helio A22 processor, and a rear fingerprint scanner. There’s no 4G/LTE support, and the display resolution is very low at 480×960. Get it from Jumia.

7. Huawei Y5P – KES. 8,999 to KES. 9,799

Huawei Y5p Kenya Safaricom

This is a device I’d only advise you to get if you’re sure you’re comfortable leaving the Google ecosystem. Having no access to Google Apps means one will have to go through certain processes to get every app they may want. There’s a 5.45-inch display, with 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, a 3020mAh battery, a Helio P22 process, and Android 10. Get it from Jumia, or from Safaricom shops at a higher price.

8. Nokia C2 – KES. 7,599

Nokia C2 budget smartphone now available in Kenya

If you’re ready to jump to the Nokia bandwagon, the Nokia C2 comes with Android 9 Pie (Go Edition), 1GB RAM, 16GB storage, 5MP main camera, 5MP selfie camera, and a tiny 2800mAh battery. However, there’s 4G support. Which is something many devices lose under these price points.

9. Safaricom Neon Kicka 5 – KES. 3,499

Safaricom Neon Kicka 5 now available for KES. 3,499

The new update to the Neon series brings 512MB of RAM, 8GB RAM, an 1800mAh battery, a 2MP main camera, and Android 9 Pie GO edition. There’s no 4G Support however. You can get it from Safaricom shops.

10. Safaricom Neon Ray PRO – KES. 20 a day

Safaricom Neon Ray PRO Specifications and Price in Kenya

The new Safaricom Neon Ray PRO costs KES. 5,999 but you can get it for KES. 20 a day with Lipa Mdogo Mdogo. There’s a 5.5-inch 480p display, Android 10 GO edition with 1GB RAM, 16GB storage, a 2500mAh battery, and 5MP front and rear cameras. Get the KES.-20-a-day deal from Safaricom shops.

11. itel A37

It starts at a very affordable price of just KES. 6,960. And for that, you're getting a device with 1GB RAM, 16GB storage, and a 5.7-inch HD+ display. The device is powered by a 1.6GHz processor, with a 3020mAh battery.

Headlined by none other than Diamond Platnumz, the new A37 costs only KES. 6,960. Check out details here.


  • Many of the devices in this list now have 2GB RAM and 32GB storage
  • The devices also come with better processors
  • Also, with Google demanding that 3GB be the least amount of RAM for the full Android experience, we may see devices with 3GB RAM and more in the coming months in this price point. As you’ve seen in the list, some 2GB RAM devices are already Android GO devices.
  • 5000mAh batteries are here to stay
  • There’s still a big under-served market between KES. 4,000 and KES. 8,000. But here you can pick devices like last year’s Xiaomi Redmi GO, and the now quite dated Neon Lineup from Safaricom.


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