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First HMD branded devices launched in Kenya, and they’re very cheap


HMD Global, the renowned maker of Nokia phones, has unveiled its first original HMD-branded smartphones in Kenya.

The first handsets to bear the HMD branding are the HMD Pulse, HMD Pulse+, HMD Pulse Pro. Launched on Thursday in Kenya, all the phones share similar aesthetics, with very splashy colours and a good budget.

The HMD Pulse for example features a 90 Hz refresh rate, a 6.55-inch touchscreen display offering a resolution of 1612×720 pixels (HD+) and an aspect ratio of 20:9. The phone is powered by an octa-core Unisoc T606 processor and comes with 4GB of RAM.

The HMD Pulse runs Android 14 and is powered by a 5000mAh non-removable battery.

HMD Pulse
HMD Pulse

For the cameras, the HMD Pulse on the rear packs a 13-megapixel camera. It has a single front camera setup for selfies, featuring an 8-megapixel sensor. All this for

HMD Pulse is based on Android 14 and packs 4GB RAM and 64GB of inbuilt storage that can be expanded via microSD card (up to 256GB). The HMD Pulse measures 163.19 x 75.02 x 8.45mm (height x width x thickness) and weighs 187.00 grams. All this for just £100.

HMD Pulse+

The HMD Pulse+ on the other hand also comes with a 90 Hz refresh rate and features a 6.55-inch touchscreen display offering a resolution of 1612×720 pixels (HD+) and an aspect ratio of 20:9. It is powered by an octa-core Unisoc T606 processor and comes with 4GB of RAM. The HMD Pulse+ runs Android 14 and is powered by a 5000mAh non-removable battery. For the cameras, the HMD Pulse+ on the rear packs 50-megapixel and a single front camera setup for selfies, featuring an 8-megapixel sensor.

HMD Pulse Pro
HMD Pulse Pro

HMD Pulse Pro which is the big brother here will be available for £150 and also features a 90 Hz refresh rate and 6.55-inch touchscreen display offering a resolution of 1612×720 pixels (HD+) and an aspect ratio of 20:9. It is also powered by an octa-core Unisoc T606 processor and comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. The HMD Pulse Pro runs Android 14 and is powered by a 5000mAh non-removable battery.

As far as the cameras are concerned, the HMD Pulse Pro on the rear packs a dual camera setup featuring a 50-megapixel primary camera, and a 2-megapixel camera. It has a single front camera setup for selfies, featuring a 50-megapixel sensor.

The company said in a statement that the HMD Pulse collection sets the tone for HMD’s original line: clean lines, calm tones, modern aesthetics, elegant repairability and bold, brazen design at an accessible price. 

HMD Pulse

Speaking during the Launch event, Sanmeet Singh Kocchar, Vice President Africa, Middle East and Asia (AMEA), said “We’ve got our finger on the pulse, and recognise consumers’ needs and anticipate market trends; This launch in Kenya represents not only a significant milestone for our company but also a testament to our commitment to serving diverse markets with excellence, innovation, and integrity.’’

‘As we unveil the Pulse Family today, it is clearly a new era of smartphone sophistication with substance.” he added. 

Joseph Umunakwe, General Manager, West, East and Central Africa (WECA), said who was also present at the launch said “We want to champion people’s creativity – which is leaps and bounds beyond what we can achieve solo. The potential is endless. These could be as simple as a case with an extended battery, a bespoke fashion-forward outfit, a payment terminal, barcode scanners, or even portable, connected medical equipment, it really is a blank canvas for creativity.”

This commitment gives a nod to the younger generation as they continue to spearhead the FIY (fix-it-yourself) trend, with new research from HMD revealing 41% of Gen Z would be more likely to purchase an electrical device if they could repair it themselves at home.4 HMD predicts that three out of every four devices it sells in Europe in 2024 will be repairable, up from one in three in 2023, demonstrating a significant shift in consumer purchase habits.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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