Every now and then, one comes across a feature phone that qualifies to be called the king of the pack. I came across one last week at an event in Ogun State, and it must have the longest battery life of any phone on the planet. I just had to take a picture to show you.
We have all seen those PowerPoint presentations that tout Nigeria as a smartphone country – and some of us have held our peace knowing that it is a blatant lie and that those who follow those slides will get their fingers burnt.
As someone who watches the mobile space intimately, and one who takes the pain to travel by road often, I see the reality of life outside the bubbles of Lagos and Abuja first-hand and know that Nigeria is nowhere close to being a smartphone country.
Walk the streets of towns in Ijebu-land, Oyo, Ibadan, and Ekiti-land in the West, the South and the East, the Middle Belt, and the dusty landscape of the North, and come back with your reports on this smartphone country thing.
I was at an event in Ogun State last week and saw a feature phone that immediately captured my attention. It was so unique that I knew I had to take a picture. It was an example of the kind of phones that rule the landscape of Nigeria and indeed Africa. It was king of them all, actually.
Here is a zoomed in image of the phone:
Sorry I do not have a better picture. That I got one this clear after zooming and cropping is testament to both my shooting skills (cough! cough!!) and the Samsung S9+‘s photo-taking abilities.
But this is quite clear enough for our purposes. So, what do we see?
Analysis of the king of feature phones
A massively thick body that encases a giant battery (for long battery life). Two flashlights. A keypad. A tiny screen. If you ever saw the king of feature phones, this is it. I would not be surprised if it also functions as a power bank.
Outside of our bubbles in small smartphone oases across the country, most people in Nigeria use a feature phone that have stripped down versions of these features – a flashlight, a tiny keypad, and a tiny screen. Artisans, market men and women, vendors, pastors, doctors, nurses, teachers, drivers, and more.
Even here in Lagos, all you have to do is get out of your posh office and on to the streets to observe. Feature phones rule the landscape by far.
The longest battery life
But this guy, is the T-Rex of feature phones. This is designed to give you the longest battery life so your phone is still running long after everyone else’s have emptied their battery. It is designed to provide you with light for long reading or treks in the dark of the night.
This is a feature phone for hunters, hikers, even law enforcement out in the countryside. This is a top dog feature phone for countries where power supply is still a luxury in 2019.
It has no 3G or 4G internet and has no apps that are constantly pinging a server behind your back and sending information about you to a guy eating from a box of pizza in an underground bunker. It lacks a huge power-guzzling display. It lacks a powerful processor and 24 MP camera.
If you want a phone with the longest battery life, forget smartphones and go get one of like this. There is no smartphone that can outlast this guy. In the endurance stakes, it is king.
I have played a bit with these sort of phones and will tell you for free that while the ringtone will be loud and shrieking, the call quality is not likely to be stellar. It is because of phones like this that you have to talk out loud and change positions when talking to your grandmother’s niece’s sister’s brother who lives in the village.
Don’t be angry. This is what they can afford. And without this, you would not be able to speak with them at all.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.