Itel A14 and Safaricom Neon Ray 2 are the only smartphones below Ksh.5,000 that make sense in 2022

The value consumers get from a smartphone within a specific price range has never been consistent as expected, the handset you’d get for s certain price tag the previous year is often not the same as what you’d be looking at now. And this scenario has spiraled beyond the flagship genre to the very bottom level of mobile phones. As of today, looking for a smartphone device under Ksh. 5,000 here in Kenya could prove to be a daunting task without looking into the Chinese copycat market.

When I was requested by a senior relative of mine to shop for him a good handset below Ksh. 5,000 here in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, I had very little hope of exciting him without looking into the fake Chinese made smartphones that are filled within the retail shops on our streets. And of course, me being me, I set my target to get an original offering that could at least last him for the next 2 or so years. I had to narrow down my target as the range of devices within this genre are limited.

First of all, I knew my options only existed within the android world. And therefore, I set my target to Safaricom shops – along Moi Avenue to be precise as my first stop. Anyone looking to get an original phone without having to pay more attention, this is usually their very first stop. I was offered three devices for my budget, the Safaricom Neon Ray 2, Itel A16 and the Itel A14 with an option of topping up with Bonga Points. The Safaricom Neon Ray 2 was priced at Ksh. 4,500 while the Itel A14 would have seen me part with Ksh. 5,500. On the other hand, the Itel A16 was way above budget at Ksh. 6,300.

I proceeded to several shops along Moi Avenue and the prices ranged around the same as Safaricom’s. Only two devices made sense at that moment, either to get the Neon Ray 2 or the Itel A14. One peculiar thing about Safaricom’s devices though, was that they’re all SIM LOCKED, meaning you’ll be stuck with their SIM cards as long as you use those devices. To me this was a major bummer, and therefore settled on the Itel A14 instead.

Itel A14 specifications

  • 4inches WVGA display screen
  • 512MB RAM, 16GB internal storage
  • Android 10 Go edition
  • 2MP Rear Camera, 0.3MP Front Camera
  • 2500mAh battery
  • Dual SIM (unlocked)

Neon Ray 2 Specifications

  • 5inches display screen
  • 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage
  • Android 10 Go edition
  • 2000mAh battery
  • 5MP rear camera, 2MP front Camera
  • Single SIM (locked to Safaricom network)


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