The first South African smartphone – How it compares to Huawei and Samsung

Mara Phones recently opened the first-ever smartphone manufacturing facility in South Africa, where it will build its Mara X and Mara Z smartphones.

The company built the factory using a R1.5-billion investment that was supported by the South African government.

The smartphone maker states that its two devices have long-lasting batteries, lots of storage space, and are Android One-certified.

Mara Phones is entering a competitive budget smartphone market, however, with dominant companies Samsung and Huawei both offering similarly-priced handsets.

The more expensive of the two smartphones, the Mara Z, costs R3,999 – which is the same price as both the Huawei Y7 2019 and the Samsung Galaxy A30.

We compared these three devices to determine how the homemade Mara Z stacks up to its local competition.


The Mara Z has a 5.7-inch, 1,440 x 720 IPS LCD display, which is similar to the Y7 2019’s screen – a 6.26-inch, 1,520 x 720 IPS LCD panel.

The Galaxy A30 sports a 6.4-inch, 2,340 x 1,080 AMOLED display.

Both the Y7 2019 and the Galaxy A30 outclass the Mara Z in the camera department. These smartphones sport dual-camera systems, while the Mara Z only offers a single-lens 13MP rear camera.

The Mara Z’s front camera also uses a 13MP lens. The Y7 2019 has an 8MP selfie camera and the Galaxy A30 has a 16MP front-facing lens.

The battery of the Mara Z is smaller than the Huawei and Samsung devices, with its 3,050mAh battery being outgunned by the 4,000mAh cells in both the Y7 2019 and the Galaxy A30.

Huawei’s Y7 2019 uses the Android 8.2 operating system, and both the Mara and Samsung devices use the newer Android 9.


Samsung’s Galaxy A30 has an octa-core Exynos 7904 processor, while the Huawei Y7 2019 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 450 chipset.

The Mara Z uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 435 processor – which is the least powerful of the three chips.

The Mara Z offers 3GB of RAM, which is equal to the Y7 2019 but lower than the 4GB of RAM offered by the Galaxy A30.

Huawei’s Y7 2019 and the Mara Z are also equal in terms of storage space – with both offering users 32GB. However, the Y7 2019 supports up to 512GB expandable storage while the Mara Z supports up to 128GB.

The Galaxy A30 offers 64GB of internal storage and 512GB of expandable storage. The full specifications for each of these smartphones can be found below.

Huawei Y7 2019 vs Samsung Galaxy A30 vs Mara Z

Mara Z vs Galaxy A30 vs Huawei Y7

Specifications Huawei Y7 2019 Samsung Galaxy A30 Mara Z
OS EMUI 8.2 (Android 8.1) Android 9.0 Android 9.0
Display 6.26-inch 1,520 x 720 IPS LCD 6.4-inch 2,340 x 1,080 AMOLED 5.7-inch 1,440 x 720 IPS LCD
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 Samsung Exynos 7904 Qualcomm Snapdragon 435
Storage 32GB, microSD up to 512GB 64GB, microSD up to 512GB 32GB, microSD up to 128GB
Rear camera 13MP + 2MP 16MP + 5MP 13MP
Front camera 8MP 16MP 13MP
Battery 4,000mAh 4,000mAh 3,050mAh
Price R3,999 R3,999 R3,999

Now read: Vodacom launches 4G smart feature phone for R299

Latest news

Partner Content

Show comments


Share this article
The first South African smartphone – How it compares to Huawei and Samsung