Four models, including the flagship Vibe Z2 Pro, hitting stores in August and September
by Dominika Maslikowsi
Lenovo may not be known to most Egyptians for smartphones, but that may soon change with the upcoming launch of four touchscreen gadgets from the Chinese company long known for reliable PCs.
Facing stiff competition from tech giants like Samsung in the local smartphone sector, officials from Lenovo say they’re nevertheless confident that their phones — already bestsellers on the company’s home turf in China — will quickly become widely popular in Egypt. The company announced on August 11, at an event at Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah, that three Lenovo smartphone models are launching in the Egyptian market on August 25, followed with the launch of their flagship Vibe Z2 Pro phone on September 20.
“We have the ambition of being the third key player in the Egyptian market and we believe we are well-poised for that,” said Sharay Shams, head of smartphone business at Lenovo Middle East and Africa, adding that Egyptian customers are familiar with Lenovo and have already accepted the brand, as seen in solid sales figures for tablets, for example. Shams said the market for smartphones here is growing and has “high potential,” and people are looking for choices when shopping around for the latest technology.
The company’s Vibe Z2 Pro (with pricing to be announced later,) is the most souped-up of the four phones to debut in Egypt. It isn’t exactly pocket-sized with a large 6-inch screen that boasts 2K resolution, but it’s 7.7mm thin and has a 16MP rear camera that the company says rivals high-end compact cameras. The Z2’s 4K video recording and the ability to shoot 10 clicks per second make it tempting to anyone who’s looking for a pro photography experience, and the phone is lightweight even if not compact.
Aside from the Vibe Z2 Pro, Lenovo will launch three other smartphones in Egypt on August 25. The basic A859 with a 5-inch HD display and 8MP front and rear cameras is the least expensive entry-level offering at LE 1690. However, it isn’t much of a bargain compared to other entry-level smartphones of similar quality that are already available in Egypt.
Next up is the S850 for LE 2250, which like the A859 has a 5-inch HD display, but also better shooting-power with a 13 MP rear and 5MP front cam and a 1.3 GHz Quad-core processor. It can take diagonal selfies and, in person, feels light and looks quite elegant with an all-glass exterior that comes in blue, pink and white.
Then there’s the S860 for LE 2700 with a larger HD screen at 5.3 inches, and long battery life that allows two full days of talk-time. The 2GB of RAM allows for uninterrupted gaming, chatting and Internet surfing.
Whether Lenovo will take the already-saturated Egyptian smartphone market by storm, like the company’s officials hope, may depend on the effectiveness of their advertising campaign and on Egyptians’ willingness to look past trends and try something new.
In 2005, Lenovo purchased IBM’s PC business and quickly went on to outsell giants like Dell and Hewlett-Packard in the personal computer business. Lenovo’s more recent purchase of Motorola from Google for $2.91 billion gives them a similar step up in the smartphone business and makes the Chinese company a major player to watch.