Kenya is definitely a smartphone consumer’s paradise. You can get most, if not all current smartphones on the global market in Kenya. But what about the most expensive models? Jina Magazine has compiled the following list of 10 most expensive phones you can buy online in Kenya.
1. iPhone 12
There are currently four different variations of the iPhone 12. However, the regular iPhone 12 model is still a good pick. It is not that expensive, starting at around Kshs 99,600 for a 128GB + 4GB RAM – Single SIM (e-SIM) model, and is the best smartphone for many people.
Why Choose the iPhone 12
The iPhone 12 has the same overall design, the same processor, the same wireless charging, the same Face ID system, the same 5G support, the same front camera, and the same main and wide-angle rear cameras as the pricier 12 Pro but for thousands of shillings less.
At 6.1 inches, the iPhone 12 has a screen big enough for comfortable and engaging video and reading. But the phone itself is just the right size for most pockets. Battery life is also very good; you can reliably expect this phone to last all day without needing to charge up before bed.
Although this phone doesn’t have the telephoto camera that’s available on the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, most people don’t even notice it. The iPhone 12’s camera system is the best you can get in this price range and is excellent at most anything you’d use it for. It also has the ability to shoot Dolby Vision HDR for brighter and more dynamic video.
Since the 12 has Apple’s latest smartphone processor, the A14 Bionic, it has extremely fast performance and fluid animations. It also has a sleeker, more modern design than the previous iPhone 11 or iPhone XR.
2. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Currently retailing at KSh 121,800 in Kenya, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is quite a purchase if price and size are not a concern. Mostly preferred by business people, this phone is also an excellent choice for celebrities, social media enthusiasts, vloggers, techies, and anyone else who wants to take smartphone use to the next level.
Why Buy a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
According to Jina Magazine, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the best Android phone you can buy in Kenya in 2021. This phone contains the latest and best specs you can get on Android. It has the best cameras for Android phones, better than even the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra features support for S Pen styluses if you prefer to use a pen with your phone, although it’s sold separately. Its Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor is the fastest among peers.
The screen has a high refresh rate, which makes scrolling much smoother. It also has a huge battery that will last two days without much effort. With four cameras, you get a regular wide-angle with a 108-megapixel sensor, an ultra-wide, and two different telephoto lenses. You also get advanced video features like Pro modes and 8K recording.
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3. iPhone 12 Pro Max
If you don’t know it yet, Kenya is the next big place for online video creation. So it makes sense to have this phone on our list. The iPhone 12 Pro Max has the best camera system you can currently get on a smartphone. At KSh166,000, this phone allows you to save on expensive cameras. With it, you can easily add a microphone and lights to complete your home shooting studio for YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok.
Why You Should Get The iPhone 12 Pro Max
The iPhone 12 Pro Max has three rear cameras — standard wide, ultrawide, and telephoto — combine with Apple’s image processing to produce stunning images, even in poor lighting. If camera quality is your most important factor when buying a phone, the 12 Pro Max is where you should be spending your money.
The 12 Pro Max starts at 128GB of storage, which is the bare minimum we’d expect, as the cameras will fill it up quickly – and with 5G on board you’ll be able to download content faster, making it easier to fill up your phone with movies and music too.
5G is the future of mobile connectivity, but it’s not in itself a reason to buy the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Along with the larger display, one of the big reasons to go for the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the battery life – it has the biggest battery of all the new iPhone 12 range.
The biggest reason to upgrade to the iPhone 12 Pro Max sits on the rear of the phone: it’s the camera array. Three 12MP cameras live here – standard wide, ultra-wide and the 2.5x telephoto zoom – and they’ve been upgraded from last year too, with Night Mode available for the ultra-wide sensor as well as the main shooter.
4. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the most versatile big-screen phone yet, making it best for power users who are willing to pay a premium. It is still the phone to get if you want a handset with a stylus. Yes, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra supports the S Pen, but it comes separately. The price of a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in Kenya is Kshs 115,000.
Why Purchase a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra boasts a huge 6.9-inch display with a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate, a sharp 108MP camera with laser autofocus and a more responsive S Pen. The regular Galaxy Note 20 is the better option for those who can live without a 120Hz display and and more advanced cameras.
If you’re looking for the best phone to go from morning to night with heavy use and last through it all, Samsung’s top-of-the-line Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the one to get. It has a massive 4,500mAh battery that keeps its enormous 6.9-inch screen going as long as you need it to.
The Note 20 Ultra is also a high-end phone in every other respect. Its giant screen supports a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth interactions; its triple rear camera system is one of the most advanced you can get; and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus processor and 12GB of RAM allow it to perform without a hiccup. In addition, it supports Samsung’s S Pen for stylus input, allowing you to write or doodle on the screen with a pen instead of your finger.
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5. One Plus 9
This might not be the most expensive phone in Kenya, but it is worth a mention in this list. The One Plus 9 is one of the best options in the premium mid-range class. It currently costs Kshs 79,000. But if you want an upgrade, you can buy the OnePlus 9 Pro at just over Kshs 100,000.
Why Get a One Plus 9
The OnePlus 9 is the step-down model from the OnePlus 9 Pro, which is itself an excellent phone. But you don’t give up too much by opting for the 9, and you save a ton of money. Like the 9 Pro, it offers great performance with a Snapdragon 888 processor, fast 65W wired charging, and something that will appeal especially to the landscape photographers out there: a great ultrawide camera.
The sensor behind the OnePlus 9’s ultrawide camera is physically larger than most and offers a healthy 50-megapixel resolution. A unique lens design corrects distortion without introducing the funhouse mirror-type stretching you’ll often see in the corners of ultrawide images.
What the OnePlus 9 does better is recharge its 4,500mAh battery extremely quickly – from empty to 100% in around half an hour with its Warp Charge 65T charger.
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6. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
Folding phones have been around for less than two years and have already seen their share of controversies. But if you are interested in buying one and are willing to pay the hefty price required, there’s really only one model worth considering: Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2. Its price in Kenya is Kshs 198,000.
Is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Worth Buying?
Although it is not necessary, you can buy this phone for the sake of owning an expensive smartphone. Moreover, it is cool to have a phone that you can fold. It’s Kenyan to have style, so go for it!
The Fold 2 is Samsung’s second-generation folding phone. Its main premise is this: it is sized like a normal smartphone that fits in your pocket, but it unfolds to reveal a tablet-sized 7.6-inch display on the inside. That inside screen makes everything from reading books to browsing the web to watching video to playing games more enjoyable and immersive. When you’re done using it, just fold it back up and stick it in your pocket just like any other phone.
That flexibility is unmatched by any other phone you can buy right now, but it doesn’t come without a significant list of compromises. The Fold 2 is twice as thick when closed compared to normal phones, and its outside screen is much smaller than what you’re probably used to. It is also delicate; there’s no rated dust or water resistance, and its inner screen is more likely to get damaged if you poke it too hard.
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7. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
If someone told us the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra was a parody of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and iPhone 12 Pro Max-style superphones, we’d probably believe them. Its feature set and design evoke those luxury phones, but it turns it up to 11 with one extra feature that seems almost sarcastic. The price of a Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra in Kenya is Kshs 160,000.
Why Buy A Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
It’s absolutely huge, and it doesn’t just house three powerful cameras with giant lenses – it includes a 1.1-inch secondary display too. Why does this phone have a second screen? Who knows.
The Snapdragon 888 processor makes the Mi 11 Ultra snappy to use, which is especially useful for gaming, but it’s also great for when you’re editing photos and videos. You’ll find three rear cameras on the Mi 11 Ultra: a ‘standard’, ultra-wide and periscope zoom, with resolutions of 50MP, 48MP and 48MP respectively. They’re all top-of-the-line snappers, with the latter camera hitting 10x hybrid or 120x digital zoom. An overheating issue with the device can sometimes mitigate the powerful processor, though.
We’ve also got to commend the display, with its 2K resolution and 120Hz refresh rate, as it makes content look great, whether you’re streaming Netflix or scrolling through social media. The charging speeds are another feature we found super-useful, as the 67W wired powering boosts the phone up in (almost) no time at all.
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8. Google Pixel 5
The Google Pixel 5 may not be the high-end Pixel we were expecting, but it’s a pretty compelling mid-range option. Google is going back to basics with the Pixel 5, ditching higher-end features like face recognition and the quirky Motion Sense gestures. You can buy a Google Pixel 5 in Kenya at Kshs 105,000.
Why Purchase The Pixel 5
The Google Pixel 5 is a beautiful phone you have to make excuses to buy. The Google Pixel 5 is a charming and reasonably-priced premium phone with an amazing camera and good battery life.
The Pixel 5’s 6-inch OLED display touts a full-HD resolution and 90Hz peak refresh rate, which you can drop down to 60Hz in the device’s settings if you so choose. The Pixel 5 features a dual-lens camera system that’s equal parts familiar and new for Google’s handsets. The primary 12.2-megapixel lens is a mainstay of the Pixel brand; it’s been around since the Pixel 2 days.
Google’s decision to equip the Pixel 5 with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G processor, rather than the Snapdragon 865 employed by the fastest Android flagships, has certainly left critics and enthusiasts alike scratching their heads.
9. Huawei Mate 40 Pro
The Huawei Mate 40 Pro is the quintessential flagship smartphone. It’s a device for those who want one of the best smartphone experiences and are willing to pay for it. The Mate 40 Pro has top-shelf performance, powerful cameras, extended battery life, and robust, premium-feeling construction. At Kshs 103,000, this smartphone is not for the faint of heart.
Why Get A Huawei Mate 40 Pro
This phone is for those who aren’t dependent on the Google ecosystem. This means Google apps like Gmail and Maps, but also the myriad of third-party apps that rely on Google’s Play Services infrastructure to work. Put in other words, Mate 40 Pro buyers should be prepared to live without any given app or jump through hoops to make it work.
The Huawei Mate 40 Pro feels great in the hand, with- its glass back and glass screen sandwiching an aluminum frame. The dimensions are 162.9 x 75.5 x 9.1mm and it weighs 212g, and while those measurements make it seem pretty big, for a phone of its screen size, the Mate 40 Pro doesn’t feel overly huge; the curved-edge display, which helps the phone fit snugly in your palm, adds to this impression.
There’s no 3.5mm headphone jack here, so fans of wired audio will have to use a converter with the USB-C port in order to use their existing wired headphones, or look for USB-C wired headphones, although there are few options around at the moment.
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The Falcon Supernova iPhone 6 Pink Diamond – Billion Shilling iPhone
Currently, the most expensive smartphone anyone can buy in Kenya is the Falcon Supernova iPhone 6 Pink Diamond at Kshs 5.2 billion. Why? The Falcon Supernova is a customized iPhone 6, (2004 version), that’s covered in twenty-four-carat gold and decorated with one massive pink diamond on its rear. It’s also coated in platinum and features hack prevention technology to keep the owner’s information safe from unwanted prying eyes.
If you want this phone, you can buy it from Asia’s richest man’s wife, and Indian cricket team owner, Nita Ambani.