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5G ready smartphones to buy in Kenya

If you’re looking to hop on to the 5G bandwagon, you now have quite a number of options in devices that are 5G-ready. Now that Safaricom 5G is officially live – in the following areas – you can get a 5G device to enjoy the speeds.

What’s important to note is this: currently only Xiaomi and OPPO smartphones can readily access the 5G Safaricom network. Some of Samsung devices should also readily access the network. Other devices including TECNO, Infinix, Vivo and Apple’s iPhones will need to receive software updates to be able to take advantage of the 5G network.

We tested this out on a short TikTok below:

@techishkenya Testing #Safaricom5G ♬ Cough (Odo) – Kizz Daniel & EMPIRE

5G Smartphones from Xiaomi:

Xiaomi currently offers the cheapest 5G ready phone in the market, powered by the Dimensity 700 chipset.

  1. Redmi 10 5G – KES 23,000
  2. Poco M4 Pro 5G – KES 25,000
  3. Poco X3 GT 5G – KES 35,000
  4. Redmi NOTE 11 Pro+ 5G – KES 46,000
  5. Xiaomi 11T Pro 5G – a device I’ve really loved using.

5G Smartphones from OPPO:

OPPO has a pretty solid line up of devices in their Reno Series:

  1. OPPO Reno 8 5G – which we are currently using.
  2. OPPO Reno 7 5G – which is currently around KES 54,000
  3. OPPO Reno 6 5Gone of the best in the Reno series ever.
  4. OPPO Find X5 – their flagship which they recently brought to the market.

Apple’s 5G-ready iPhones:

Apple will need to send out updates for each of the following devices (around 13 different devices) so as to allow Kenyan owners access Safaricom’s 5G:

  1. iPhone 12 Series
  2. iPhone 13 Series
  3. iPhone 14 Series
  4. iPhone SE (2022) 2nd Generation

Infinix’s 5G Ready Smartphones:

We have two Infinix phones and each of them still didn’t access the 5G network, so there must be an update needed.

  1. Infinix Zero Ultra – the company’s best phone to date, just check out our review. KES 68,000.
  2. Infinix NOTE 12 Pro 5G – we recently unboxed this one too. KES 34,000.

TECNO’s 5G ready smartphones:

TECNO has two 5G smartphones:

  1. TECNO Camon 19 Pro 5G – we’ve reviewed the non-5G devices in the Camon 19 Series. We’re yet to interact with the Camon 19 5G which costs KES 42,000.
  2. TECNO Pova 5G – we aren’t sure if this is a device you can currently buy in the Kenyan market.

Vivo 5G smartphones in the market:

We’ve used and loved the following two 5G-ready smartphones from Vivo Kenya:

  1. Vivo V25 – KES 57,000
  2. Vivo V23 5G – KES 60,000. Read our review.

5G smartphones from Samsung:

  1. Galaxy S22 Series
  2. Galaxy S21 Series
  3. Galaxy NOTE 20 Series
  4. Galaxy Z Fold 4 – KES 250,000
  5. Galaxy Z Flip 4 – KES 150,000
  6. Galaxy A33 5G – KES 35,000

Do you really need 5G?

Currently, there’s no benefit to having 5G apart from the faster speeds. Also, you can probably not access 5G on your phone, unless you’re outdoors. Which means, you’re not missing out in any way, should your phone not access the network.

Safaricom’s 5G WiFi solution is weird on the other hand, if you want 5G indoors. First, the speeds are capped, the acquisition cost is too high, and there’s a fair usage policy.

The company has promised 5G-specific bundles come December. But this may also not be exciting if Business Daily reports are to be believed.

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