5G is now official in the country – at least Safaricom 5G. The company has commercially rolled it out today while also announcing the availability of their Home 5G Wi-Fi meant for areas not covered by Safaricom Home Fibre.
The telco has been testing 5G for a while since early last year – quietly increasing the testing areas across the country.
It’s worth noting they had slowed down the 5G rollout to focus on 4G expansion but we can see new areas served by their 5G network after today’s announcement including Mombasa, Kisumu, some new Nairobi neighbourhoods, Juja, Ruiru, Kiambu town and more.
Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom’s CEO confirmed that they have increased the 5G sites from 15 to 35 during today’s 5G commercial launch event. He added that they are more sites coming.
Safaricom shared that 5G WiFi is the next evolution for home internet services and that it will offer its customers high-speed and reliable internet connectivity on the first 5G network in Kenya.
Communication Authority of Kenya added that they were planning to roll out 5G this year but the plans were set aside to focus on the elections.
Telcos aside, Smartphone manufacturers have slowly but steadily launching 5G smartphones in the country since last year. To get to enjoy Safaricom’s 5G speeds, you’ll need a good 5G smartphone for that.
Before we begin, Apple devices (iPhones) cannot connect to 5G for now – you’ll have to wait for a software update for that.
OPPO have some of the best midrange smartphones in the country and we’ve gotten to test them out including 5G tests at either Two Rivers Mall or Yaya Centre. Here are some OPPO smartphones to choose from:
OPPO Reno8 5G – Ksh 59,999
It comes with MediaTek’s Dimenstiy 1300 5G chipset and pairs it with Mali G77 MC9 GPU and 8GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 onboard storage. You also get additional 5GB of virtual RAM. It sports Sony’s 50MP IMX766 sensor for the main camera and 8MP ultrawide and a 2MP macro sensor. We also get an OPPO-exclusive 32MP SONY IMX709 sensor for the selfie camera. This sensor has an RGBW filter for taking better and sharper selfies even in lowlight.
OPPO Reno8 5G has a 6.44″ AMOLED screen with a 90Hz refresh rate and 800 nits peak brightness. Android 12 and ColorOS 12.1 are straight out of the box upgradeable to Android 13 and ColorOS 13 when it rolls out later this year or early 2023.
OPPO Reno8 5G packs a 4500mAh battery that charges up using 80W SuperVOOC Flash Charge.
Stay tuned for our full review.
Other OPPO 5G smartphones worth checking out:
Vivo V25 5G – Ksh 56,999
We’ve already reviewed it but you can check the video linked above.
It comes with a MediaTek Dimensity 900 5G processor coupled with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage. You can also expand it virtually up to 8GB. It comes running on FunTouchOS 12 and Android 12.
For cameras, we have a 64MP main camera with OIS accompanied by an 8MP ultrawide and a 2MP macro sensor. We also have a 50MP front-facing camera that sits at the U-shaped notch atop the screen.
The front has a 6.44″ AMOLED screen sporting a 90Hz refresh rate. It’s bright enough at 1300 nits and also supports HDR10+.
Vivo V23 5G
Vivo also has another great device in its V series but from early this year – the Vivo V23 5G. Surprisingly, it ships with a better processor than its successor- a Dimensity 920 5G chipset paired with Mali G68 GPU and 8GB of RAM and 128GB of RAM.
vivo V23 5G ships with Android 12 and FuntouchOS 12. It also comes with a 6.44″ AMOLED(1080 x 2400 pixels) display with a 90Hz refresh rate.
In the selfie department, we have two dual front-facing cameras that include a 50MP wide and 8MP ultrawide housed in the notch. At the back, we have a triple camera setup at the back that consists of a 64MP main sensor, an 8MP ultrawide with a 120-degree field of view and a 2MP macro sensor.
Infinix Zero Ultra
Infinix Zero Ultra is the company’s premier device and packs quite the flagship quality features through and through. It has a Dimensity 920 5G chipset paired with Mali-G68 MC4 8GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage. You can also expand the RAM offered up to 13Gb with the additional 5GB Virtual RAM.
Android 12 and XOS 12 come baked in. It comes with a 71-degree curved waterfall 6.8″ 120Hz AMOLED screen featuring 900 nits peak brightness.
We get a 200MP triple main camera setup which uses Digital Overlap High Dynamic Range. The two other cameras include a 13MP ultrawide and an additional 2MP camera. It can now do 4K 30fps video.
Infinix also has a 4500mAh battery and supports 180W fast charging.
Stay tuned for our full review
Infinix Note 12 Pro 5G – Ksh 33,499
Inmfinix has another 5G smartphone in its lineup. The Note 12 Pro 5G ships with a is MediaTek Dimenisty 810, 6nm 5G Processor paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB Onboard Storage. You can expand with 5GB Virtual RAM.
At the front is a 6.7″ AMOLED screen protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
The Note 12 Pro 5G has the same 108MP Main Camera as the Note 12 VIP but the complementary cameras are switched to a 2MP Macro and a 2MP Depth Sensor and a 16MP Selfie Camera.
Note 12 Pro 5G has a 5000mAh Battery and supports 33W Fast Charging.
TECNO Camon 19 Pro 5G – Ksh 41,599
TECNO Camon 19 Pro 5G ships with a 120Hz 1080p LCD screen, HiOS 8.6 and is powered by the 6nm MediaTek Dimensity 810 chipset paired with 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of onboard storage. You can expand both with up to 5GB of virtual RAM and there’s an additional slot for an external microSD card.
The TECNO Camon 19 Pro 5G shares the same main cameras as the regular TECNO Camon 19 Pro as we have 64MP main rear cameras in the dual ring setup next to a 50MP portrait camera with 2X optical zoom and a 2MP bokeh lens. The 64MP main camera has OIS support and uses an industry-first RGBW+G+P lens for ‘Bright Night Portrait’.
We get a 32MP front-facing camera for taking selfies.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is Samsung’s premier flagship and can access Safaricom’s 5G network. Any of the three phones in the S22 series can as they ship with 5G-powered chipsets – the Exynos 2200 processor.
The Ultra gets the big features such as a 6.8″ 1440p 120Hz display powered by a 5000mAh battery that supports 45W wired and 15W wireless charging.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra ships with a 40MP front-facing camera. For the main cameras, we get 108MP main, 12MP ultrawide, and two 10MP telephotos with 3x and 10x zoom.
Some Samsung devices will have to wait for a software update to access Sfgaricom’s 5G network.
Xiaomi 11T Pro 5G – Ksh 65,000
Xiaomi 11T Pro 5G is a great device for Xiaomi consumers. It comes with a Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm) chipset paired with Adreno 660 GPU. You also get 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
You get a 6.67″ AMOLED 120Hz screen and for optics, you get a 108MP main camera and a 16Mp selfie camera.
It has a 5000mAh battery and 120W fast charging. It also has Android 11 and MIUI 12.5.
Safaricom 5G Bundles
Safaricom has said that they will provide 5G data bundles from December this year. Finally!!