The Brand New Mara Phones - What Exactly Do You Get with Africa’s Ethically-made Smartphones?

With the release of the Mara Z1 and X1 smartphones into the UK market, this ‘Proudly African’ tech brand is making large strides in becoming a big player in the consumer electronics industry. With our much-anticipated partnership with the brand, we are happy to provide our UK customers with two great new smartphones from an all-new and unique brand.

Mara Phones Made in South Africa

Company Background

Mara Phones is an electronics manufacturer that is making a huge difference to thousands of people in Africa. After constructing the first ever factory producing smartphones on the continent in Rwanda, and with further operations in the country and throughout Africa, Mara Phones have now provided over 11,000 workers with high quality jobs to produce the very first ‘Made in Africa’ smartphones.

Employing mostly young and over 60% female workers, Mara Phones is working towards a less polarised society, working alongside the African Development Banks Presidential Youth Advisory Group (PYAG) and Jobs for Youth in Africa (JfYA), aiming to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals by 2025. If you want to know even more about what makes the company extra special, have a read of our blog article about the brand’s launch on

The Flagship - The Mara Z1

Designed in partnership with Google as part of the Android One programme, Mara Phones’ mission is to develop affordable high quality smart mobile products equipped with the latest technologies. Mara Phones have definitely achieved this with the Mara Z1, their flagship smartphone.

Mara Z1 Design

With the Mara Z1, you get an amazing smartphone experience at a great price. Its expansive 6.517-inch HD notch display gives you an immersive experience for content, perfect for looking at your favourite photos and watching YouTube and Netflix. The Mara Z1 comes with 64GB storage that is also expandable via its microSD card slot, allowing you to keep and download all of your favourite content. To power you through your day, the Z1 implements MediaTek’s Helio A25 octa-core processor with a huge 5000mAh battery, allowing for a snappy phone that easily lasts a full day.

Mara Z1 Display

Talking about the phone’s camera system, the Z1 implements a triple rear camera setup similar to what is found on its close competitors. Its primary camera is a 16MP sensor and is accompanied by an 8MP wide-angle lens with 118.8° view, along with a 2MP depth lens for creating portrait photos. Like many smartphones, Mara has implemented great image processing software to capture great photos with its cameras. Such features include Super Night Mode, Pro Mode, and Background Blur enabling you to take a wide range of photos for all situations. The Z1 also has a relatively sharp front camera, with a 13MP sensor, great for taking selfies to send to your friends and family.

The Mara Z1 also includes some notable features to enhance your smartphone experience. For secure unlock, the Z1 includes Face ID and a rear fingerprint sensor, allowing you to keep all of your data safe if you were to lose your phone or if your phone was to be stolen.

Mara Z1 Cameras & Fingerprint Sensor

Additionally, Mara Phones is proud of its use of NFC in the Z1, helping to simplify your life by allowing your phone to make mobile payments, transfer files with other NFC-enabled devices, store and scan your e-tickets, and more.

In terms of design, the Mara Z1 comes in two very stylish and distinct colours, a classy Black & Gold and a sleek Pearl White finish (as shown above).

The More Affordable Mara X1

Mara X1 Design

To satisfy an even wider consumer base with a highly capable phone, Mara Phones sell their even more affordable smartphone, the X1. The Mara X1 keeps almost all of the features of the Z1, even in its smaller package. Coming with a 6.088-inch display of the same resolution, the X1 has a more compact design, having the advantage of being slightly easier to hold and use in one hand.

Mara X1 Display

With the Mara X1, you keep the Face ID and fingerprint sensor capabilities from the Z1, as well as the same 4000mAh battery, Android 10 software, and NFC functionalities. One difference worth noting is the storage of the X1. Although having a lower 32GB of included storage, the Mara X1 does retain a microSD card slot, allowing you to expand the storage if you ever need more. In addition to the storage difference, the X1 features a slightly less powerful Helio A20 processor, meaning that intensive apps load and games play a little slower than the Z1.

The X1 also has a triple rear camera setup; however, features a slightly different array of sensors to the Z1, with the phones only sharing a 2MP depth sensor. The first difference in its cameras is its primary camera, being a 13MP sensor. Although slightly less sharp, the X1 still features most of the camera software tricks from the Z1, including AI Integration, Super Night Mode, and Panorama Mode.

One advantage the X1 has over the Z1 is its macro camera, allowing you to capture highly zoomed in pictures of the micro world, especially great for close up pictures of small wildlife. On the front of the phone, the Mara X1 features a slightly less sharp 8MP selfie camera compared to its flagship counterpart; however, is plenty good enough for taking great selfie photos, especially with the phones’ cheaper price tag.

In terms of design, the Mara X1 comes in the same two very distinct colours as the Z1, a Black & Gold finish (as shown above) and a sleek Pearl White.

Mara X1 Cameras & Fingerprint Sensor

Overview & Pricing

Check out our YouTube video on Mara Phones here

With both of these Mara phones you get a highly capable smartphone with a highly sturdy design and all the essential features you’d ever need in a modern mobile device, all built by a company that does good by creating opportunities for its workers and other motivated individuals on the continent, benefitting Africa now and in the years to come.

Get the Maza Z1 for just £259 here

Get the Maza X1 for just £199 here

Want to pay in smaller payments? By purchasing direct from you can take advantage of the Klarna service, allowing you to split the cost of the device over your choice of 3, 6, 12 months interest free or 24 months at just 18.9% APR.

Mara Phones South African Factory


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