Muscat: Commonly described by customers as the best value for money phone, the Samsung J2 has emerged as the highest selling phone in Oman, according to retail stores in the country.
While flagship models from Apple, Samsung and Huawei remain the most marketed phones in the Sultanate, nearly 5,000 new J2 mobiles are sold every month, according to data collected by the Times of Oman.
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“It is the best phone for me,” said Aftab Alam, a Bangladeshi electrician who recently bought the J2 after saving money for it for four months.
“It costs less but has excellent features. I use it for everything,” he said, referring to the average eight megapixel rear camera and a five inch display. Costing OMR50, J2 is not the cheapest of phones but sells around 200 pieces a month in Cleopatra store alone, according to an official. A major dealer confirmed they sold 3,000-3,500 handsets a month.
“It is by far the highest selling phone in our store. With the features it provides, it is certainly the best buy in that category and we expect it to remain the highest selling phone in the future, too,” the official added.
The smaller stores also vouched that J2 was the phone that has been selling the most for the past several months. Comparatively, high end models like the iPhone and Samsung S series sell around 50 pieces a month in large retail shops.
“It is not cheap but it has a style that everyone looking at budget phones likes. Some people like the way it looks and others come and ask for the phone whose camera glows as notification. People like different things about it. The phone is good. You can’t compare it with the top models in S series or iPhone but it still is the coolest phone for a lot of people in Oman,” said Mayeen from Kaduyil Phones, a small shop in Ruwi.
He added that most of his customers are expats from India and Bangladesh who save money for a long time to buy this phone.
“I bought this phone because I did not want to look like someone who has a cheap phone. This phone looks expensive, has great features and helps me connect with my family in India easily. I feel this is a great phone,” said Ahmed C., a construction worker from Kerala who also believes that the J2 can rival an iPhone 7.
Samsung claims J2 to be its highest selling model in India but user reviews on various websites rate it as an average phone.
The phone runs on an average, and sometimes underperforming, 1.5GHz quad core processor, a decent 720p screen and a 1.5 GB RAM. Its upgraded variant, the J2 Pro, offers users 2GB RAM with 16GB internal memory.
The Samsung J5, Nokia 105 and 108 are the next most sold phones in Oman, according to the data, and sell nearly 200 pieces a month each. According to Mayeen, the reason people prefer to have a smartphone even though it costs more is because it is the only way to download applications, which they use to call back home.
“Smartphones are certainly expensive but these help expats stay close to their family. There are many calling and messaging applications that can only be downloaded through a smartphone. People want to buy good looking phones with good features, too, and a phone like the J2 ticks all the boxes,” he said.