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Some Quick Thoughts on Telkom Kenya’s Kaduda T-Smart 4G feature phone


After launching Kaduda 1, Kaduda Selfie, and Kaduda Smart, Telkom Kenya came back with Kaduda T-Smart. The Kaduda T-Smart feature phone retails at KES 3,100 and runs on KaiOS, smart operating system for feature devices.

Telkom Kenya launched this device back in September this year. As Steve Okeyo, Telkom’s Managing Director for the newly created Consumer division said during the launch The Kaduda 4G is a significant upgrade in the Kaduda series that will allow more of our customers to have access to additional features and applications not seen in the previous devices. 

KaiOS is quietly becoming a global powerhouse in the mobile industry, bridging the gap between feature phones and smartphones. We have seen a number of feature phones already selling in the market.

On the Telkom Kenya Kaduda T-Smart which we have spent a few weeks with, users are able to surf the internet via Wi-Fi and 3G/4G/LTE. Users also have access to handy smartphone apps like YouTube, WhatsApp, and Facebook.

Basically, KaiOS brings smartphone-like functionalities to affordable phones: (via) the KaiStore for apps. 

Where we are

According to GSMA more than half of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa will be connected to mobile service by 2025.  This means there will be 634 million unique mobile subscribers across the region which is equivalent to 52 per cent of the population, up from 44 million (44%) at the end of last year.  

GSMA notes that one of the biggest contributors to this growth is lower device costs, which is serving to accelerate the migration to 3G/4G mobile broadband networks and services. Telkom Kenya says it’s contributing to this growth and that’s where devices like the Kaduda T-Smart come in. 

In Kenya, entry-level smart-feature devices constitute about 40% of phones sold in the market, affirming their acceptance and popularity due features like longer-lasting batteries and the ability to pick signals faster in areas that are underserved with regard to connectivity.

Kaduda T-Smart specs

We managed to get our hands on the Kaduda T-Smart. With this device, you get a 2.4-inch display which, to be honest, it’s too small, but then again Telkom is trying to save costs here. 

People like me might not be really excited by this because I prefer larger displays for obvious reasons, but then again remember Telkom is focusing on a completely different consumer in areas with challenging mobile connectivity.  This could be family members who would just want to share memories or keep in touch using WhatsApp, a boda-boda rider who would want to communicate with his regular customers via social media or just anyone who would want to manage their business remotely.

The design is also pretty simple and inside the packaging, you have the charger, the removable battery, a pair of earphones, some user manual and the phone itself. 

Important to mention is that the Kaduda T-Smart is a Dual Sim phone with Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi hotspot/tethering functionality, Bluetooth and GPS which is actually not bad at all for a feature phone at that price. 

Dual-Sim

Setting up KaiOS which we have already said so much about earlier is not really hard. You will just need to choose your desired system language, keyboard language, and sign up for a KaiOS account if you so wish for device tracking. Again, this is optional, so no signing in with your Google account like some of us are used to, feels weird though. Even with this, you can still be able to import your contacts from your Google account using the Contacts app on the phone. Just open the app, select options, then setting, then go to import contacts and select Gmail. 

System navigation from here is also very simple too so you really won’t struggle so much. 

For the cameras, we’re getting a 0.3 MP  both for the selfie and main camera. The battery capacity is 1900mAh which performs pretty good. 

Some pre-installed apps that come with the device include WhatsApp which was made available on KaiOS last year, YouTube, Google Assistant and Google Maps. The addition of WhatsApp is one of my favorite things about this phone 

Specs

Display 2.4” Display
Operating System KaiOS
SIM Dual Sim – SIM 1: 4G LTE , with VOLTE Facility, SIM 2 : 2G Voice
Memory 512MB with micro SD Slot up to 32GB
Internal Storage 4GB
Camera 0.3 MP + 0.3 MP
Battery 1900mAh
WiFi Sharing MiFi Support – up to 8 users
Other features Wireless FM, torch

Kaduda T-Smart availability

The T-Smart will be available in all Telkom shops, countrywide and if you’re a current Telkom subscriber who purchases the T-Smart, you will receive a free daily introductory bundle of 100 MB of Data to browse the Internet. You will also receive another free 100 MB of Data to access WhatsApp as well as another free 100 MB of Data to access Facebook. 100 minutes to call within the Telkom network also form part of this bundled offering, which will be renewed daily for a whole one month.

Telkom says first-time subscribers to its network who purchase the T-Smart, and top-up their line with KSh 50 or more, will receive free 50 MB of Data to browse the Internet, another free 50 MB of Data to access WhatsApp as well as free 50 minutes of call within the Telkom network, daily, for the first 30 days. This offer will be replicated in the second month should the first-time subscriber maintain a top-up of KSh 100. The same free offer will also be extended to the subscriber’s third month on the network, if they top-up another KSh 100 or more.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I write about tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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