LG’s Optimus Android smartphone (finally?) in Kenya.

A few months ago, I excitedly wrote a blog post here about the announcement from LG’s Kenya office that the Optimus Android smartphone (also known as the GT540) would be launched in Kenya sometime in June 2010. As events would have it, this never happened in June 2010 and instead its taken a few more months to finally make it here.

At the time, no Android smartphones had been launched in Kenya so it was something of a landmark moment when the announcement was made. However, since then, both Huawei and Sony Ericsson have launched a total of five Android handsets that are now retailing exclusively in Kenya via Safaricom’s Shops.

Therefore, it came as something of a shock this week when I was reading one of the newspapers and saw an ad for LG that showed that they had indeed launched the Optimus in Kenya (possibly as early as this week?) This took me by surprise as I had expected that LG would have made a big deal when they finally launched an Android handset and probably would have done so in conjunction with a mobile network such as Huawei and Sony Ericsson had done? No such thing (yet) apparently.

The LG Optimus was only introduced into the global marketplace sometime around May 2010 so its actually a pretty new Android smartphone by any standard. The irony however is that the LG ad in the newspaper was a general one with other handsets featured alongside the Optimus with some basic specifications for each one – quite disappointing if you ask me for what should a major event for them in Kenya.

However, what caught my eye is that the Optimus has a retail price of Kes. 25,499.00 which in my opinion is a fair price for what is a top of the line Android smartphone. What remains to be seen is how well the Optimus performs in the marketplace considering that there has been hardly any kind of marketing for it – this will certainly hurt sales unless LG Kenya is planning to do something big soon. Whatever the case, its really great that more and more Android smartphones are finding their way to Kenya and things can only get better from here. You can find out more about the Optimus smartphone here>

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  1. Kunule Imbayi
    October 1, 2010 at 1:20 pm — Reply

    And what happened to the IDEOS, was it all hype?

  2. kaz
    October 2, 2010 at 11:33 am — Reply

    Noticed that Google announced 20 more countries that can access apps on Android


    No Kenya. Didn’t they say at the GKenya thing that Kenya will be added?

    No Huawei Ideos yet either! That was very poor reporting from Business Daily

    The Xperia X10 Mini Pro I got from Safaricom didn’t even have access to free Apps until I rooted it and put on a genereic UK firmware (which I assume voids my warranty).

    Android will go nowhere without access to apps.

  3. Don Ochiel
    October 4, 2010 at 8:27 am — Reply

    I’ve been getting on the android app store with my HTC tattoo For months no. BTW The safaricom store in Nakumat does not have the phone in stock. @kaz I’m not sure you needed to root your phone for appstore access. The Limit with the app store will be some ups will not show up because of your screen size

  4. Andy
    October 5, 2010 at 10:04 am — Reply

    I’m posting this from the said smartphone! 25k he he. got mine overseas for only 19k. the actual global price for this thing is between 20 to 23k so we are being duped for 2k. but its an android phone your getting so i wouldn’t complain to much its a bargain.

    LG are notorious for poor product support. for example most manufacturers will support their handset for at least 3 to 4 updates. LG have failed to put out more than one update for most of their phones! while handsets 4 years old will be getting android 2.2. this phone *may* get 2.1 (rumour it’s already out but with only for orange UK and the likes. as for hackers 😉 you know how we do!)

    in short it’s a good phone BUT you’ll be relying on LG. so watch out!

    And by the way in Kenya there is actually no service for your handset (debatable) just warrantee. so think about that too.

    and it gets worse.
    these phones are almost dead without internet and the price of net here in Kenya… ya.

    I’m not saying don’t buy (25k for an android is still a bargain!) I’m just telling you what to expect.

  5. Kaz
    October 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm — Reply


    Definitely no App Store at all on the Xperia x10 Mini Pro from Safaricom… its a complaint from lots of generic Asian market users. The is not a Safaricom/Kenya specialised unit at all.

    After rooting its running great. Communication between Android phones is amazing. You have to use Market Access to get updates to Maps and a few other Apps though. Great little phone and can’t wait for the 2.1 update end of October. The rollout will be slow but not for me 😉

  6. October 26, 2010 at 6:01 am — Reply

    Hi Guys I cant help but wonder am thinkin of getting a andriod HTC magic handset but was just wondering whether android apps is fully functional ama it depends with the handset you have coz I dont want to get surprises when I buy the phone.

    • October 26, 2010 at 8:57 am — Reply

      @menace It really does depend on the phone you buy as well as the version of android your running. In most cases the apps do work, even in Kenya.

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