In the smartphone industry, competition and hatred has existed between Samsung and Apple phones; Android vs iOS. The competition have been in boardrooms, courtrooms, and in the streets among the fans of the two top brands. Although Samsung phones have delivered high end top notch specs, Apple has consistently delivered on design and efficiency. I was surprised the other day that the fight among iSheep and Samsung fanatics still exist – but that’s elsewhere. In Kenya, there is a slowly far fetched fight that is starting to take shape in the Infinix vs Tecno phones, and rightly so as one search term, “Infinix vs Tecno Phones, which is better?” landed someone on this website; and I thought, why not write about it.
When comparing brands rather than products, what is always compared are: 1. Brand Popularity, 2. Design and Aesthetics, 3. Quality of Products under the brands and 4. Class association with the brand. So let us dig into these.
In the last 30 days over 120,000 different devices (Windows PC, Macbooks, Tablets, Android smartphones, iPhones, etc) have been used to access content on this website. Of those devices, 32% have been Samsung Phones, 11.5% Apple phones, 6% Tecno phones, 5.9% Huawei phones and 5.6% have been Infinix phones among other phones. Given that the over 6,000 unique individuals who access this website every day are mainly Kenyans at the rate of 84%, it is acceptable to generalize that the device statistics represent device ownership in Kenya especially in Nairobi. If this be true, the brewing battle of Infinix vs Tecno has Tecno taking the mantle on brand popularity. This agrees with a non-scientific data collected on Twitter that revealed that 31% of Kenyans who responded to an Infinix vs Tecno question preferred Tecno phones whereas only 28% of them preferred Infinix phones.
Infinix vs Tecno on Brand Popularity, Tecno wins.
Design and Aesthetics
Around the time Samsung Galaxy S4 was launched, I found myself in the Safaricom Shop at Kimathi Street. I can’t remember what took me there but I remember that’s the first time I saw the name Infinix on a phone. The phone was slim, black, and stood out among the rest. I looked at it, wanted to touch it, but I ignored it. It looked nice but affordable. When Samsung Galaxy S4 was priced around shs 75,000, the better looking Infinix handset was priced at only shs 29,999. I got served at the customer care desk then tried to get out of the shop without touching the phone by I couldn’t. I just had to have a feel of the well designed handset.
It was light, the screen was smooth and felt strong. The plastic body felt as though it were a metal. On the specs side, I discovered that the reason it was lowly priced compared to the top end devices of the day was because it had compromised a bit on screen resolution, storage and camera, but the specs were still useful.
Around the same time Tecno was all over churning out more affordable feature phones and low budget phones every so often. It was the time that Tecno was already making aggressive moves to take over the smartphone mantle from Samsung in Africa, but as I noted in that 2013 article (follow the link above), the young tech savvy Africans especially Kenyans were shunning the Tecno brand as it wasn’t a cool brand to associate with. Today, I personally still feel that Tecno has a name does not sound like a cool brand especially when compared to brands like Samsung, LG, HTC and even Infinix. The lowliness of the Tecno brand name in most part stems from the fact that for a long time it was associated with cheap feature phones before properly venturing into the top tier smartphone market.
But there are those I have interacted with who would rather own a Tecno phone instead of an Infinix one. These are people who have been accustomed to hearing and seeing the word Tecno everywhere they go; people who are just starting to familiarize themselves with the Infinix brand. Although they agree that Infinix sounds better, is better looking in design and aesthetics, to them Infinix could just be another fake Chinese brand.
In Design and Aesthetics, Infinix wins.
Quality of Products
When it comes to quality of products I will only compare Infinix vs Tecno in line of the phones I have used from the two brands: Tecno Phantom 5, Tecno Boom J8 and Tecno C8 from Tecno and Infinix Hot 2, Infinix Hot Note and Infinix Hot Note 2 from Infinix.
Other than Tecno Phantom 5 which is a high end device that requires you to cough roughly shs 45,000 in order to own, Infinix phones feel and look quality. Currently I have both Infinix Hot Note 2 and Tecno Boom J8, and whenever I walk, I feel more comfortable holding the Infinix handset with less care as it feels stronger, likely unbreakable. Actually my Infinix Hot Note once fell from near my head to the tarmacked road down at my feet when I was walking along Kenyatta Avenue Nairobi, and I picked the phone as if nothing had happened. I didn’t even feel the instinct of checking out whether it was still working.
The biggest win for Infinix on hardware quality is the battery life, especially on its Infinix Hot Note series. The other day when Kenya Power decided to switch off power the whole day, I decided to waste the whole day playing chess (a very power hungry App) between 10 AM until the power was back at 6.30 PM. By the time the power was back, the battery had drained to 43%. This is compared to every other phone in the estate that people were using to browse, making calls with or constantly texting with back and forth that had their power drain by lunch time. Remember I had praised the battery usage on Microsoft Lumia 640, but even that had to leave my wife without access to phone services by 3 PM of that blackout day.
Then there is the software part of quality. Both Infinix and Tecno phones run on Android and today they are mostly on Android 5.1 Lollipop. In this regard therefore their efficiency would likely be the same. What differs between the two phones is that Infinix is powered by XUI user Interface software whereas Tecno has decided to venture into the HiOS User Interface.
What I have realized when using the Infinix phones is that the phones take their sweet time to both boot up and start Apps. The lag time may be very annoying at times. Tecno on the other hand boots pretty first, opens Apps even faster, and has indeed beautiful animations when toggling between Apps. The big issue with the Tecno HiOS is that in some cases the Apps do not respond to inputs. For example you can’t imagine it took me over 30 minutes to withdraw money from MPESA simply because the Tecno Boom J8 could not respond to text input when I was trying to enter the Agent’s number, the amount to withdraw and my MPESA PIN. I have also realized that non-response when trying to input text on SMS and other text centric Apps.
Overall when it comes to hardware quality and user interface, Infinix wins big time.
Infinix vs Tecno; which Brand do People Like to Associate with?
Tecno is popular, and that is because it has been here for much longer. When it comes to pride though, I find those who own Infinix phones more enthusiastic about their phones as they are normally ready to talk about the advantages their phones have even against phones from top brand names like Samsung, Sony and LG that are trying to sell low and mid budget smartphones too.
The advantages Infinix offers users is top end specs at a very affordable price points. Consider the Infinix Hot Note 2 4G version for instance. The phone has better battery (4040 mAh), bigger screen (6 inches), good RAM (2GB) and sells for shs 14,000 only compared to the recently launched Tecno Boom J8 that has similar 4G and RAM specs but smaller screen and is selling for shs 17,000.
Given that more people own Tecno than Infinix phones despite the obvious favorable prices for Infinix phones, it is easy to conclude that people love associating with Tecno phones. However, when user satisfaction is taken into consideration, more Infinix users are satisfied with their phones compared to users of Tecno devices.
Here – I would say Tecno wins simple because many people own Tecno smartphones.
Personally, I think Infinix will be the end winner in the Infinix Vs Tecno battle that’s shaping up.