Meet Mara Phones – The World’s First African Smartphone Company

What Exactly Do You Get with Africa’s Ethically-made Smartphones?

African ethical smartphone maker, Mara Phones, recently launched for the first time in the United Kingdom. african smartphone

Its X1 and Z1 midrange Android models sell for US$200-400 retail thru open channels such as eFones. Specs are a 6.5-inch screen, 16MP camera, and so on.

The Flagship – The Mara Z1

Designed in partnership with Google as part of the Android One programme, Mara Phones’ mission is to develop affordable high quality smart mobile products equipped with the latest technologies. Mara Phones have definitely achieved this with the Mara Z1, their flagship smartphone.

Mara Z1 Design

With the Mara Z1, you get an amazing smartphone experience at a great price. Its expansive 6.517-inch HD notch display gives you an immersive experience for content, perfect for looking at your favourite photos and watching YouTube and Netflix. The Mara Z1 comes with 64GB storage that is also expandable via its microSD card slot, allowing you to keep and download all of your favourite content. To power you through your day, the Z1 implements MediaTek’s Helio A25 octa-core processor with a huge 5000mAh battery, allowing for a snappy phone that easily lasts a full day.

Talking about the phone’s camera system, the Z1 implements a triple rear camera setup similar to what is found on its close competitors. Its primary camera is a 16MP sensor and is accompanied by an 8MP wide-angle lens with 118.8° view, along with a 2MP depth lens for creating portrait photos. Like many smartphones, Mara has implemented great image processing software to capture great photos with its cameras. Such features include Super Night Mode, Pro Mode, and Background Blur enabling you to take a wide range of photos for all situations. The Z1 also has a relatively sharp front camera, with a 13MP sensor, great for taking selfies to send to your friends and family.

The More Affordable Mara X1

Mara X1 Design

To satisfy an even wider consumer base with a highly capable phone, Mara Phones sell their even more affordable smartphone, the X1. The Mara X1 keeps almost all of the features of the Z1, even in its smaller package. Coming with a 6.088-inch display of the same resolution, the X1 has a more compact design, having the advantage of being slightly easier to hold and use in one hand.

With the Mara X1, you keep the Face ID and fingerprint sensor capabilities from the Z1, as well as the same 4000mAh battery, Android 10 software, and NFC functionalities. One difference worth noting is the storage of the X1. Although having a lower 32GB of included storage, the Mara X1 does retain a microSD card slot, allowing you to expand the storage if you ever need more. In addition to the storage difference, the X1 features a slightly less powerful Helio A20 processor, meaning that intensive apps load and games play a little slower than the Z1.

The X1 also has a triple rear camera setup; however, features a slightly different array of sensors to the Z1, with the phones only sharing a 2MP depth sensor. The first difference in its cameras is its primary camera, being a 13MP sensor. Although slightly less sharp, the X1 still features most of the camera software tricks from the Z1, including AI Integration, Super Night Mode, and Panorama Mode.

Overview & Pricing

With both of these Mara phones you get a highly capable smartphone with a highly sturdy design and all the essential features you’d ever need in a modern mobile device, all built by a company that does good by creating opportunities for its workers and other motivated individuals on the continent, benefitting Africa now and in the years to come.

Get the Maza Z1 for just £259 or Get the Maza X1 for just £199

Mara is a rare example of an Africa-led brand expanding into Europe. Its HQ is in Dubai, but most R&D and sales take place from Rwanda or South Africa.

The first Mara Phones factory was opened in Rwanda on 07 October 2019 by His Excellency President Paul Kagame and the second one in South Africa on 17 October 2019 by His Exellency President Cyril Ramaphosa. Mara Phones is committed to helping deliver on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by finding innovative solutions to global problems and have aligned its efforts to the SDG’s that mirror their business strategy; namely SDG 5, 8, 9, 10 and 17. The smartphone manufacturer has adopted progressive gender equality and employment equity initiatives in all its operations and both factories in Rwanda and South Africa each employ over 60% women and over 90% youth.

In 2019 at Geneva, Switzerland, Invest Durban & Dube TradePort were selected as one of the winners of the 2019 United Nations Investment Promotion Awards for their submission on Mara Phones as a successful foreign direct investment project within Special Economic Zones in key Sustainable Developmental Goals in South Africa.

Mara Phones is committed to developing affordable, high quality smartphones equipped with the latest technology and now available to UK customers through Mara Phones’ website.

Shipments are niche for now, but this is one to watch. african smartphone


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