Mara Phone: My hands on experience and plans for the first smartphone made in Africa.

Happy New Year.

I am writing this blog form Rwanda where I visited the Mara Experience point at Kigali Business Centre.

Africa’s first smartphone.

If it your first time to hear about the Mara Phone, let me fill you in. The Mara Phones are the first smartphones to be made here in Africa. All the components are manufactured here and assembled into two models i.e. Mara X and Mara Z.

The two models.

Mara X: A dual sim android smartphone packed with 16GB storage capacity and 1GB RAM, fingerprint scanner and 3500 mAh Li-Po removable battery.

The Mara X has an elegant design weighing in at 152 grams. It runs on the Android™ 8.1 Oreo Go Edition. Mara X has a 3.5mm headphone jack and a built in FM radio. In the box, it comes with earphones, turbo charger and a power adaptor.

Current price is $130. If you need to customize your phone, you will pay $50 and the character limit is 19. It comes in three colors, black, gold and silver.

Mara Z: A dual sim android smartphone packed with 32 GB storage capacity and 3GB RAM, face unlock, fingerprint scanner and 3075 mAh Li-Po non-removable battery.

This is the Mara Z

Weighing in at 152 grams, it runs on Android™ 9.0 Pie. The Mara Z has a 3.5mm headphone jack and a built in FM radio. In the box, it comes with earphones, turbo charger and power adapter.

Current price is $190. You will pay $50 for customization with a character limit of 19. It comes in three colors, black, gold and silver.


Mara Z is a very power smartphone that promises more to come.

Weight: They both weigh 152 grams.

Screen: The Mara X and Mara Z have a 720×1440 pixel resolution with Corning® Gorilla® Glass and Oleophobic Coating.

Back camera: These models share the same 13 MP back camera that supports portrait mode, night mode and touch focus among others.


Battery size: Mara X has a slightly bigger battery than Mara Z i.e. 3500 mAh and 3074 mAh respectively.

Operating System: Mara X runs on the Android™ 8.1 Oreo (Go Edition), a powerful online experience for entry-level smartphones. The apps are smaller in size this means they take very limited space in your smartphone.

Mara Z runs on Android™ 9.0 Pie which harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to give you more from your phone. With this OS, you are able to unlock your Mara Z with your face.

My thoughts

These are the flagship smartphones made in Africa. For the 1st generation models, they pack enough power and are better that some phones already on the market.

The software and hardware teams worked together to make a smartphone that is quick, looks great and feels great.

Form my hands on experience and specifications, the Mara X has a longer battery life compare to the Mara Z. The best phone for selfies and video making is the Mara Z. This will suit anyone that uses the phone for photos, videos, emails, editing and gaming.

My plans.

I am definitely getting both phones. The Mara Z will be my second phone to the IPhone 7 Plus. I have invested a lot in IOS apps at the moment that I can’t just stop using an iPhone.

However, the Mara Z is a phone I will proudly own as an African and Smartphone Phone Guru. Yes, it not just a smartphone and I know some people will disagree with me.

I know the 3GB RAM is not as competitive as the 6GB RAM in other smartphones already on the market, lack of 4K video camera capabilities, no wireless charging and the price now may make the buying decision hard.

However, only a handful of people can tell the difference between 1080p and 4K footage. Even smartphones that offer 4K footage don’t have 4K screens. The speed of the phone is dependent on the user and so 3GB RAM is good enough for majority of people.

The Mara Z will be my secondary camera, ebook reader, FM radio, sound recorder and music player because it has the headphone jack. I will set it up on my Beastgrip cage for additional lenses and on the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 for steady footage.

The Mara X will be a phone I gift to select family members and friends. It’s an equally powerful and elegant smartphone that promises more.


This is the first smartphone Made in Africa and it promises more great features. With reference to the current models, the next Mara phones will be more powerful and an recommend upgrade for every android user.

I will be visiting the Mara Phone factory on my next trip to Rwanda taking you on a Mara Phone experience.

This blog is not sponsored by Mara Phones and they are reading it at the same time as you.








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