Dear TECNO and Infinix… (2021 Requests)

Before you say I am always on Infinix and TECNO’s case, let me explain: Transsion enjoys a huge respectable market share in the country, which means they can influence other players if they want/choose to. Also, TECNO and Infinix were my first smartphones to review, and those reviews built this platform, so whenever I criticise them, I am only wishing them the best.

I know I’ve already written extensively on the things I feel affect the brands locally. This article is meant as sort of a request list. Things I feel the company should really focus on in 2021 so as to survive the tough competition they’re currently facing from Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo, Samsung, and realme.

In 2020, we saw a couple of changes in approach by the two brands. For example, their “flagships” from last year, were some of my favourite tech devices in 2020. The company changed how it spec’d its devices, re-drew its launch cycles, and went in harder on using local influential people to market its devices. However, they didn’t touch on a couple of very important things.

So in 2021, TECNO and Infinix should focus their energies on the following three things:

  1. User Interface
  2. Android System Updates
  3. USB Type-C

User Interface:

TECNO Camon 16 Premier and Infinix Zero 8 Comparison
Left: Original UI versus Right: Downloaded launcher

TECNO and Infinix devices currently have the worst User Interfaces. I am serious. Take any of their devices, and compare it to any Samsung, Xiaomi, OPPO, realme, or Vivo phone of the same price class and tell me I am lying. The phones are loaded with useless bloatware everywhere. It is always annoying spending time after getting a new phone trying to disable or delete an app. Ads are everywhere, the Home Screen is full of widgets screaming for attention.

I don’t know why the company hasn’t moved from this noisy UI even after companies like OPPO and Vivo have. Everyone is trying to have a relaxed, intuitive, clean UI. Infinix and TECNO should take note.

And if the reason for that noisy UI is because they want to make more money with useless apps, ads and annoying notifications, then that reason is flawed.

Android System Updates:

TECNO Camon 16s Kenya

Transsion companies have the worst update cycles of any smartphones I use. You are not assured any updates to the new versions of Android. That’s why many people will still hold on buying an expensive TECNO or Infinix phone no matter how good the specs are. They aren’t assured they will be getting updates over time, so those good specs will be rendered useless.

I don’t know why it is hard for TECNO and Infinix to send out updates. Is it because of the numerous customisations they add to their skins? Then why not scrap off those skins? Or why not go the Android ONE way like Nokia?

Users need to demand not only the monthly security updates, but also significant updates whenever those become available. We are yet to see Android 11 on any Transsion phones. And many of their phones which launched with Android 9 are yet to get Android 10.

If users can be assured of timely updates to newer Android versions, then more people will choose to get an Infinix or a TECNO in 2021.

USB Type-C:

TECNO Phantom 6 Plus from 2016
USB Type-C on TECNO Phantom 6 Plus from 2016

I already said in February 2020, don’t buy a phone for more than KES 15,000 if it doesn’t have USB Type-C. That motto should remain in 2021. Don’t get an old annoying Micro-USB port when the whole world has gone type-C.

If we can have type-C ports on affordable headphones, we should have them on all smartphones. TECNO and Infinix have sort of refused to add type-C’s to their affordable line of phones. It is annoying. In 2021, I hope we see a change of tact.

If all these requests are met, I think both brands will have more people opt for their devices when buying a new device. Tell me what are some things that hold you from buying a TECNO or an Infinix phone?


  1. For USB-c Infinix will do it surely. They begin. But for major os update and ads in their UI I’m more septical. It’s the way they get money, making phones with good price and hardware but poor os support and experience that make you change phones all year. Because of agressive price tag you take always one of them. I used Infinix hot 4 pro and note 4 before getting Infinix note 5 the best phone made by china’s transsion. I use it until now and it receive security patches. I’m a great fan of Infinix note 5 but concurrence give us choice, If they don’t change we will change.

  2. Itching to see so many changes in devices this year and Tecno is one of the major ones. I know they like to innovate so we should see changes

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