Android phones dominate the smartphone market in Africa, and for good reason too. With disposable income at a premium in most African households, budget-friendly phones are the popular choice.
And with more Android phone makers creating budget-friendly alternatives to their flagship devices, it is no surprise that Android phones are eating the African smartphone market.
According to Counterpoint Market Monitor service, over 80% of Africa’s smartphone shipments in 2020 came from phones below the $200 price point
But what are the top phone brands in Africa?
Transsion holdings, the manufacturers of phone brands like TECNO, Itel, and Infinix is the leading mobile phone brand in Africa. As at Q1 2022, Transsion sold 29% of the smartphones sold in the MEA (the Middle East and Africa) region.
Following Transsion are Samsung with 19.7%, Xiamoi with 7.5%, and Oppo with 6.4% in Q1 2022.
Apart from their camera and internet capabilities, these phones also have hidden features that can be accessed with USSD codes. Some of these codes are the same across brands while some are unique to each brand.
Six popular phone brands and their secret USSD codes
You already know that USSD codes are a way for our mobile phones to communicate without mobile network operators. However, one other thing you might not have known is that they are also a way for our phones to access some secret information/functions in our devices.
These USSD codes are also referred to as MMI Codes, where MMI stands for Man Machine Interface. They are codes that give users access to information about the state of the phone and can be used to send instructions to your device.
Here are the USSD codes that work for the six (6) most popular phone brands in Africa: TECNO, Samsung, Xiaomi, Itel, Infinix, and Oppo.
Tecno USSD Codes
Samsung USSD Codes
Xiaomi USSD Codes
Itel USSD Codes
Infinix USSD Codes
Oppo USSD Codes
4 USSD codes that work on any android device
Although most codes do not work across all devices because of the different manufacturers, there are still universal codes that work. Regardless of the type of Android phone you have, here are four (4) USSD codes that work for all Android devices:
Hide caller ID (*31#)
You can stop people from viewing your mobile phone number when you call by dialling *31#. You can also tailor it to a specific person by dialling #31#[person’s phone number].
Enable call waiting (*43#)
Call waiting is a service that allows people to receive other calls during a phone call or place calls on hold. You can enable call waiting on your device by dialling *43#. To turn off this feature, you can dial #43#.
Check call forwarding status (*#67#)
Call forwarding is a feature that diverts calls from one phone number to another. You can check if your calls are diverted to another number by dialling *67#. To turn off call forwarding, dial ##002#.
Display your device’s audio loopback control (*#0283#)
You can determine if your device’s speakers or mics are functioning properly by dialling *#0283#.
USSD/MMI codes are an exciting way to find out new features and information about your device, so it's great to experiment with them. However, while experimenting with these codes, it's important to be careful. As some of these codes can cause you data loss or alter significant settings on your mobile device.
Ensure that you have your important files and documents backed up before experimenting. Goodluck!