Smartphones usage takes off in Cameroon

In the recent years, the use of mobile phones and smartphones has increased exponentially in Cameroon. More than 75% of Cameroonians own a mobile phone in 2014, and this number is increasing very fast as the prices of phones decrease, thanks to the strong competition happening on the market. 

If major brands like Samsung are still the most popular in the country, cheaper Chinese brands like Tecno have found their place in the market thanks to their cheap but very convenient smartphones.

While many Cameroonians still use regular mobile phones to make calls, the possibility to browse the web, send emails, take pictures and play games on a smartphones is seducing more and more locals and famous Smartphone flagships like the iPhone from Apple are making their way into the Cameroonian market. 


Most popular smartphones in Cameroon and their prices

The most commonly used smartphones in belong to the top international brands: Samsung, Sony, LG and Apple are still very popular in the country. The Taiwanese HTC is also a prominent player, as well as Apple of course. Still, smaller brands like Tecno or Huawei manage to get a share of the market .

Here are some of the best smartphones available in Cameroon:

  • iPhone 6 Plus: the most famous smartphone in the world is available for about 350,000 CFA for a 64GB model. Bigger and thinner than the iPhone 5, it features a Retina HD display and benefits from an increased battery life. Two of its distinctive features is Touch ID and Apple Pay which allow to make transactions directly from the phone. Like every device from the brand, it runs on iOS 9.
  • iPhone 5S: this older version is still one of the best smartphones on the market and many of these get sold by their owners on classifieds. If you are looking for an excellent phone at a cheap price, this is definitely an option to consider.
  • Samsung Galaxy S6: the latest of the Galaxy series, it features a metal case just like the iPhone and it is equipped with a 5.1 "Quad HD. For a 32GB model, the price is around 350,000 CFA. Equipped with a 16 MP camera which allows the user to take real good quality pictures and 4K video recording. Finger print scanner, wireless charging and heart rate sensors are some of the key features of this latest creation from Samsung. Here again, older versions like the Samsung S4 or S5  get traded a lot of Jumia Deals.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Another popular smart phone from Samsung with a large display of super Amoled 5.7” display. Favored by young people due to high processing speed and large screen ideal for entertainment purposes whereas some business persons find it useful due to the functionality of S – pen, the dedicated stylus pen of Samsung which gives incredible touch screen capabilities experience. A 32 GB model is available around for 200,000 CFA.
  • Sony Xperia Z1: this smartphone offers an excellent performance and a great camera. Edited in 2013, it is available for 100,000 CFA when bought used.


Buying a SIM card in Cameroon

The two major phone providers in Cameroon are Orange and MTN.  You have the choice between prepaid cards and subscriptions: prepaid cards need to be recharged regularly as you go, while subscription allo you a fixed monthly amount of data. 

To buy your card, you will have to go to one of the stores or you can also buy online from retailers like Kaymu Cameroon. 


Buying a second hand phone in Cameroon: the cheapest option

Whether you are looking for a top smartphone or a cheap mobile phone, buying a used device is a great solution to save some money. Selling your old phone on a classifieds website is an excellent idea to make some money and use it to buy a newer model.  For people looking for cheap mobile phones to make calls, buying second hand is again the best solution to get a competitive price, it is also a convenient option for people who don't live in big cities like Douala or Yaoundé and are looking for buying options near them. Here are the things you need to know before buying a used phone:

  • Battery life: is the phone battery still usable or will you need to buy a new one?
  • Is the charger included by the seller or will you need to buy one? (if you don’t already own the appropriate cable)
  • Storage capacity: depending on your needs, you may want more or less. If you tend to take many pictures or if you’re addicted to apps, definitely opt for a high capacity. Gaming apps in particular use a lot of memory. Keep in mind that while some smartphones include the possibility to add an extra SD-card, it is not the case for all models. 
  • State of the device: buying second hand means there will probably be marks on it. It might not be a problem for you, but don’t hesitate to ask the seller about anything visible.

If you are a seller, all the points above should be mentioned in your product’s description. It is a good idea to protect your phone with a case and screen protector so that it stays in good condition. This will increase its value# for the time when you decide to re-sell it on