Mid-range devices available from Mara’s website and Livewire’s eFones
Livewire Telecom is the exclusive launch distributor for Mara Phones, the smartphone brand whose devices are exclusively manufactured in Africa.
Mara devices are available through the manufacturer’s website, as well as Livewire’s online retail arm eFones, having launched on December 3.
The manufacturer is a subsidiary of the Dubai-based Mara Corporation. It opened its first factories in October last year, in the Rwandan capital Kigali, and the South African port city of Durban, with a third in the Nigerian city of Lagos to come next year. It sells its devices in 25 African countries.
These factories employ more than 90 per cent local employees. The company also donates 0.5 per cent of its revenues to local charities in the territories it has a manufacturing or commercial presence.
“Mara Phones has strong ethos around business and social impact, which appeals to the more conscious consumer, and we are thrilled to be able to establish an official presence here,” said Mara Phones UK and EU executive director Rona Kotecha.
Mara’s UK launch has been delayed from its original March launch date due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Mara’s debut UK devices are the Mara Z1 and X1 smartphones, which cost £199.99 and £149.99 respectively.
The Z1 runs Android 10 on the Mediatek Helio A25 chipset, with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage, expandable to 256GB with a microSD card.
It has a 6.517-inch HD+ screen display, a 4,000mAh battery, and a 16MP+8MP+2MP real camera setup, with a 13MP front camera.
The X1 runs Android 10 on the Mediatek Helio A20 processor, with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage, expandable to 256GB with a microSD card.
It has a 6.088-inch HD+ display with a 4,000mAh battery, and a 13MP+2MP+2MP rear camera setup, with a 13MP front camera. Both devices also have NFC, face unlock and a rear fingerprint scanner.
The Mara S is also available exclusively from Mara Phones’ website, but Mara’s UK sales director Adam Godwin told Mobile News he did not expect much demand for it, as it is a basic entry-level device limited to 3G connectivity that is more aimed at Mara’s African customers.
“Mara Phones offers the UK mobile consumer that appealing mix of quality and affordability at a time when good value really matters,” said Livewire CEO Richard Gallant. “We are pleased to now be able to offer an excellent product much greater global reach.”