Mara, the first smartphone made in Africa

”  Made in Africa ” arrives in the mobile phone with Mara Phones, a company located in Rwanda. This newcomer on the sector plans to produce 1.5 million smartphones a year with very low rates.

In Rwanda, a small revolution took place at the beginning of the week. The company Mara Phones launched two smartphone models, the first made entirely in Africa. In a country where the penetration rate of smartphones is only 15%, the firm relies on the African label and quality against the competition, including Samsung whose first models are available for around 40 euros.

The firm organized a visit with Rwandan President Paul Kagame from its Kigali factory, which cost $ 24 million and is expected to produce 1,200 smartphones a day initially, with a goal of reaching $ 1.5 million a year. A second plant will open soon in South Africa. ”  We are the first smartphone manufacturer in Africa.

Companies are assembling smartphones in Egypt, Ethiopia, Algeria, and South Africa, but importing the components. Africans will be willing to pay a little more to buy a “Made In Africa” ​​smartphone, ”  said Ashish Thakkar, CEO of Mara Group.

An affordable model and a more upscale model

The Mara X, the most affordable of the two new models, has a 5.5-inch display with HD + (720 x 1.440 pixels ), which hides a Mediatek MT6739 SoC with four cores at 1.5 GHz. It has 1 GB of RAM  and 16 GB of storage. In the back, it embeds a single 13-megapixel photo module, and at the front a 5-megapixel selfie camera. The autonomy is ensured thanks to a battery of 3,500 mAh which can be changed.

The second model, a bit more upscale, is the Mara Z. It features a 5.7-inch screen  HD + (720 x 1440 pixels) supported by a processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 435, with eight cores running at 1.4 GHz. It has 3 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of storage. It features the same rear camera module 13 megapixels, but the camera front integrates this time a sensor of 13 megapixels. Curiously, the battery offers a 3.075 mAh capacity, less than the more economical model, but the manufacturer does not communicate on the autonomy. In addition, the battery is not removable.