For a number of reasons, I have not attended a tech industry event in a while. When itel’s Marketing Manager sent me an invite to the company’s rebrand and P55 launch event for the 12th of December, I thought to myself, what better way to end the year than to go party. And go partying I went, like a boss.

The first rule of going partying is that you show up in style. You have to look the part; it is a party, not a funeral or a class session. It doesn’t have to be anything heavy. But by all means, be smart; exude class and elegance. And that was exactly what I did. I practice what I preach.

How I showed up at the itel rebrand and P55 launch
Me, acting like I own the place.

Showing up to party

I got comments like, “Mister Mo, why do you like to press our necks like this? Don’t you know you are old?” That was my colleague, Bimpe. She is forever bullying me. And I think she is a little jealous that I am able to get the ladies to take a second look at me. Maybe even a third or fourth. Seriously, which normal human being thinks 50 is old? My dad is 78; he is old. I am a young man, please.

Anyway, Bimpe is biased. itel’s Marketing guru for West Africa 1, Oke Umurhohwo, thought I looked great and said so. That’s it. If your host thinks you killed it, your job is done. Just carry your shoulder high.

But back to the event itself, Bimpe (who was officially representing Mobility Nigeria and who had no idea I was going to show up) had taken a table with a few others who turned out to be the absolute best party gang. It was the best table at the event, if I say so myself. We rocked to the violinist – who was fantastic at the job. If you see a video clip of people at a table dancing and singing like they lost their home training, I should be in there somewhere. That was our table.

Four itel P55 models launched

Of course, I spent some time at the display stand for the new phones and had a firsthand experience of each of them. I have never hidden my love for the itel brand. Why? It takes guts, mental labour, and skilful use of resources to invest in entry-level smartphones, and to do it in a way that says the company is actually thinking about the needs of their target audience. It is the easiest thing to throw crumbs at the low end. But itel makes affordable phones that meet clear needs and that are increasingly looking classy.

Four phones were launched that evening – itel P55, itel P55t, itel P55+, and itel P55 5G. With a lovely faux-leather back, methinks the P55+ is the most elegant of them. That’s the one you want to be seen with, if you want to exude class. But the P55 5G is the most powerful of the lot, and as the name indicates, it is the one with 5G connectivity, itel’s first 5G smartphone. And it is now the cheapest 5G phone in Nigeria.

itel P55 in hand
itel P55 has a familiar design

The itel rebrand

Not everyone likes the new itel logo. I have heard a few comments expressing that, and that’s fine. Not everyone likes me too, as awesome as I am. And not everyone likes Jesus. Such is life. The world will not come to an end, and honestly, it is okay for people to like what they like and not like what they do not like. I had seen the logo earlier that day, hours before the event, and I absolutely loved it. It has the vibes and reflects the kind of energy that I love to see. I love it. Perhaps it will grow on some of those who do not quite like it now.

A party well done

I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the event. I made friends with everyone on my table. They are such good vibes people and I think I have two new dance partners for when I have those dance events that I so love and have no-one to go with. It was an evening of entertainment, laughter, and good food and drinks. I don’t think I could have picked a better tech industry event to wrap up the year with. I even did some shoe modelling. Have a look:

Mister Mobility modelling his shoes
Model l’ọmọ!

Bimpe is my unofficial photographer. If you have seen any of my photos outside, this year, it is likely that she took them. And she’s getting accolades for being so good at it. Because I exist to taunt her, I never fail to remind her that I taught her everything she knows about smartphone photography. Which is why I’m not paying her a dime for the fantastic photos she takes of me, though she keeps trying her best to squeeze the cash out of my hands. Odeshi. It will not work. Interlude over.

In closing, 2023 has been a fantastic year in the mobile industry, the world over and especially here in Nigeria. 5G is finally building some momentum in Nigeria with MTN and Airtel firmly in the game (and Mafab/Mcom still AWOL). Also, we saw the evolution of a number of key smartphone makers. Some of the major highlights of the year included TECNO launching two foldable devices, and itel launching a premium mid-range phone, as well as a 5G smartphone. Absolutely fantastic. What a year it has been.

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By Mister Mobility

Tech blogging since 2003, I have owned and reviewed hundreds of smartphones running EPOC, Symbian, Palm, PocketPC, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.

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