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Highs and lows of smartphones assembled in Uganda

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Mione U1 smartphones are assembled in Uganda at Mbale Industrial Park. 

You have probably seen the Mione smartphones by now. Assembled in Uganda, the handsets were launched in January and have been promoted heavily by celebrities such as Sheeba, Vinka and social media influencers.

So far, only two smartphones have been released on the Ugandan market, and the prices seem to be pocket friendly. The Joy 9 sells at Shs 399,000 while the U1, sells at Shs520,000.  Let us look at the U1 and weigh its strengths against its weaknesses. 

Very good sound with two speakers on both ends of the phone, giving the impression of surround sound when the phone is held landscape. However, the back panel vibrates a little too much at high volume, giving the impression that it has a weak skin. It just feels like the housing is not as strong as it should be. 

The battery is very strong and the charge is able to hold for very long. For instance, on some lazy Sundays, I have been able to watch Netflix on the phone from about dawn (after an overnight charge) until sometime in the afternoon without getting it into the red. On two occasions I have been able to spend a day and night on one charge without needing to plug in again. It appears that the battery specifications of 5,000mAh on the cover is not just a marketing stunt.    

It boasts of a108MP+VGA AI Dual Rear camera and 6.82 HD +MH Punch Hole Display. The camera behaves exceptionally well in all lighting conditions. In low light, the picture is clearly seen with minimal fuzziness. In night mode, the picture becomes enhanced by AI to give better visibility. Other camera abilities include slow motion, GIF, intelligent scanning, panorama and so on. 

Speed and storage
One of the best aspects of this phone may as well be the speed. Whether you are changing from one app to another, opening heavy websites or streaming video, the phone just feels nimble and effortless. The 12GM of Ram enables the phone to handle different tasks with little to no difficulty, and with 256GB of space, there is little worry that the phone will slow down due to storage problems anytime soon.

This phone has one major frustrating aspect, which should be a simple bug to rectify with a software upgrade, really. It is in the call log, where all your recent calls are listed. If you to call someone already listed in the call log, the phone won’t place the call as it automatically drops the zero at the beginning of the number.

You have to search the contact again or manually add the zero before making the call. That is a small matter but annoying, nonetheless. 

The company assembles these phones in Mbale Industrial Park.