I am writing to you regarding a purchase I made on 2 June 2018 of a Hotwav Pixel 4 mobile phone. I have attached an image of my receipt to this email.

According to the seller, Smartworld Electronics, the phone has a storage of 32 GB, a battery of 4000mAh and an Android 7 operating system.

I charged the phone and tried to use it but experienced the following problems:

  1. The first app I tried to download was WhatsApp. I kept getting an error message instructing me to uninstall and reinstall the app. I did this more than five times but never managed to get WhatsApp to work.
  2. The phone kept on restarting.
  3. Sometimes, when trying to enter my SIM card PIN number, the touchpad would malfunction. I would enter ‘1’ and it would appear as ‘7’, for example.
  1. By the time two weeks had passed, every single app I had tried to use on the new phone had malfunctioned. I even had to use another phone in order to access M-PESA.
  2. Within two weeks of buying this phone, I began receiving error messages that the storage was full. I had downloaded about 6 GB worth of content. The phone does not have the 32 GB it had been claimed to have. Furthermore, I have to charge this phone at least twice a day every day. It does not have a 4000mAh battery. Also, the operating system is Android 6 and not Android 7.
  3. On 23 June 2018, the phone switched itself off as it often did. This time, however, when it restarted, it showed a black screen with a message in Chinese. After several minutes, the Chinese words disappeared and were replaced by a screen that showed some of the technical details of the phone. I have attached the second black screen to this email.

I removed the SIM card from the phone and put it in my old handset. It had lost its Safaricom network. It took about two weeks for my network to be restored. (Vivian M)


On 2 July 2018, I took the handset to the seller’s shop. I expected the seller to let me exchange it for another phone, but he refused and sent me to the service centre. Here, the phone’s software was updated.

However, I still have the problems I enumerated above. In fact, I am unable to use the phone for days at a time due to malfunctioning apps.

Please have a look at this blog post and see what other Kenyans have said about the Hotwav phone. At the Hotwav service centre I met a woman who was having similar issues with her phone. There have also been complaints on the Facebook page, Buyer Beware Kenya.

Please advise on a remedy for this situation. I would like:

  1.     For my money to be refunded, or
  2. To be allowed to exchange the Hotwav Pixel 4 with a mobile phone from a reputable brand.

I have copied the seller of the phone on this email. I am hopeful that you can help me and look forward to hearing from you.


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