Mara Phones has officially opened the first smartphone manufacturing facility in South Africa, located in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
The manufacturing plant is the result of a R1.5-billion investment by Mara Phones that was supported by the government, and the opening on 17 October 2019 was attended by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Mara Phones aims to deliver high-quality smartphones at affordable prices for South African consumers, and it has started off by manufacturing two products – the Mara X and Mara Z.
These devices are described as having long-lasting batteries, immense storage space, and Android One certified – which means they are guaranteed to receive Android updates for two years.
The Mara X and Mara Z are available to purchase from the Mara Phones website and are priced as follows:
The Mara X and Mara Z are available in three colours – Black, Gold, and Silver.
We have compared the specifications and features of both smartphones below.
Hardware and Design
The Mara Z and Mara X feature similar designs and sizes, although the Mara Z is slightly larger and sports higher-end hardware.
The Mara Z has a 5.7-inch display and the Mara X has a 5.5-inch screen, and both displays have the same resolution of 1,440 x 720.
When it comes to chipsets, the more expensive Mara Z boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 CPU, while the cheaper Mara X has a Mediatek MT6739 chip.
The rear cameras of both smartphones are identical, but the front-facing camera of the Mara Z boasts a 13MP lens compared to the Mara X’s 5MP selfie camera.
The more expensive Mara Z also includes better network capabilities, as well as much better RAM and storage specifications.
While there are some major hardware differences between the two Mara Phone models, the biggest difference is their operating systems.
Both smartphones run Google’s Android 9 operating system, but the Mara Phone X runs the “Go” version of this software.
Due to its comparatively low amount of memory, this handset runs a more lightweight version of Android 9 designed for cheaper smartphones with 1GB of RAM or less.
This means that while its version of Android uses less storage space and memory, the Mara X will not have all the advanced features of the Mara Z, which runs a full version of Android 9.
The specifications and pricing of the Mara X and Mara Z are detailed below.
|Specifications||Mara X||Mara Z|
|OS||Android 9.0 Go||Android 9.0|
|Display||5.5-inch 1,440 x 720 IPS LCD||5.7-inch 1,440 x 720 IPS LCD|
|Processor||Mediatek MT6739||Snapdragon 435|
|Storage||16GB, MicroSD up to 128GB||32GB, MicroSD up to 128GB|
|Connectivity||802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, MicroUSB, 3.5mm audio||802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, MicroUSB, 3.5mm audio|
|Network||LTE Cat 4||LTE Cat 7|
|Dimensions||150.0 x 70.5 x 8.59 mm||154.2 x 72.7 x 7.96 mm|