So if you have not heard of Infinix Alpha Marvel X502 you need to read this small article we did about it at the launch in Kenya. For the last few weeks, I have been using and actually playing around with the Alpha Marvel X502. So before I tell you what I think about it , let me take you back to the memory lane and try to trace the root of Infinix. Long long time ago, when mobile phones were not smart, cool or something, there used to be a mobile device called Sagem. If you have no idea what Sagem mobile phones used to look like, then you are too young to be reading this……mmmh I am kidding. Anyway, after sometime Sagem mobile devices division was dissolved. The resources from Sagem mobile division including the designers are part of the Infinix design team. Sagem still exist but now they are into the military equipment and other heavy dangerous things.
Ok, back to Alpha Marvel X502. Whenever a new device is launched in Kenya, I always wonder how the Kenyan market would react to it. The same goes with X502… will it be a hit or a miss. From the initial assessment it has the potential to be a hit but you never know with Kenyans. To understand the potential of Marvel X502 let us look at some of the factors Kenyans consider when thinking about or buying a phone
Despite the much talked about growing middle class in Kenya, majority of Kenyans still make their decision on which phone device to buy based on the cost of the phones. Alpha Marvel X502 retails at Ksh.30,000 with 500 MB data bundle courtesy of Safaricom. And yes you can get the device in any of the Safaricom shops. To start with that is not that cheap but let look at what you are getting for that in summary:
- 1.5 GHz Quad Core Processor- Good speed right there
- 16 GB internal storage – You are not going to get this in many phones at the given price. The likes of S4 with 16GB and above storage are sold at the double the price
- 1GB RAM – Not good enough but most people are light users. So there shouldn’t be any problem
- 13MP AF rear camera – In the same league with S4
- 5MP front camera – Not many phones currently can match this. For the sake of Holy Selfies, this is huge
- 5 inch HD display- Good stuff but not in the same league of Super Amoled
- Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean – Disappointing in a way considering that majority of the latest phones come with Kit Kat…I hope there will be kit kat update in the near future
At this point I must say that although the cost is still a big factor in Kenya, the number of people who are now able to afford the high end phones are increasing by each passing day. Samsung is doing quite well in Kenya with their flagship devices in S series and Notes. I think it is advisable for the phone makers to cover both the high end, mid-range and low price levels.
There are other things other the cost factor on this device, so let us move on
Design and the Looks
For me, it is simple, the phone is solid and it has what one would call premium finish. I think I can fault them anywhere else but not on the design. It is amazing how they were able to pull off the above mentioned features within a thickness of 6’7 dimension. The little surprise on it is the placing of the volume and the power buttons on the left side of the phone. Not sure if that was deliberate, to make them look different from what others are doing or was just a design flaw. On the right side, you find the SIM slot which is accessible via pin. On the back, it packs non- removable battery but I guess most will be interested know that it has a massive 5 inch HD screen ..well not massive anymore to be honest.
Speaking during the launch Jean Sebastien Coste, Business Director, Infinix Mobility said
“Our partnership with Safaricom is timely and strategic in an environment that is in need of variety in smartphone offerings. Our phones are aimed at redefining what style-conscious Kenyans can get from a smartphone and will also provide users with a choice of the ultimate mobile devices that suite their needs.”
I keep on saying that whoever would crack the battery life of the smartphones to the extent of what it used to be with the feature phones, would win the hearts of the whole developing world. This is not close to what I have described but much better than the rest. I have taken number of trips upcountry while using this phone and the fact that it can stay the whole day with full active use is a big plus. I can confirm that with active use and by that I mean the data being on throughout, occasional use of camera and a few games here and there, the battery last for over 14 hours.
I know this matter more to most Kenyans. So I will go forward and tell you that it has FM Radio and the music is not bad…
Network and Connection
It supports 3G: 850/2100MHz and 2G: 850/900/1800/2900MHz network bands and transfer data in the 3.75G technology. That means, it is safe to use with any of the networks in Kenya, Safaricom, Airtel, Orange and Yu.
But as you know, most phone makers go for partnership with Safaricom in Kenya , which is understandable owing to their dominant position in the market. The folks at Safaricom were not left behind in singing praises for this phone. According to Jannet Atika, Safaricom Head of Retail Sales.
“This product, with its blend of pocket friendliness and elegance, coupled with fast internet from Safaricom, will truly resonate with the growing need of smart phone users and also provide them with more browsing benefits,”