Being different is not always easy, and trying to be better than the rest at the same time, certainly needs lots of character. Hyderabad based technology firm and the makers of the Smartron t.phone, for sure, is built with some such characters.
Smartron, the company that was backed by none other than cricket ace Sachin Tendulkar, recently launched two devices – a smartphone called t.phone, and a convertible laptop named t.book.
Those who do not know, according to the company the ‘t’ in the t.phone or tbook stand for ‘trons’ or ‘things.’ The name of the company has also been coined in the same concept – ‘smart’ ‘tron’ or smart things.
Look & Feel
The Smartron t.phone is like some fresh air in the heavily polluted (read crowded) Indian smartphone market. It certainly does not fall under the ‘born in China and brought up in India’ category of smartphones. In the first look one can distinguish the t.phone from all other phones of these days with metal-glass frame. The 5.5 inch smartphone is built on aeroplane grade magnesium alloy. The orange-grey combination one that we received for review has a distinct look. Though the device looks big (a 5.5 inch one has to be big!), it looks sleek and lighter compared to some other phones of this size.
The back panel of the phone features the camera module on a square frame, dual tone flash and two microphones. The front side has two more microphones, a tiny multi-coloured LED indicator, couple of closely located sensors and the front snapper. The SIM tray that can double up for two SIMs as well as a micro SD card is placed at the left. However, at any point of time one can use either one SIM and a SD card or two SIMs. The right side is provided with the volume rocker and the multi functional power button. The 3.5 mm audio jack is on the top and the bottom portion contains the speaker grill as well as the USB port. The t.phone is protected with Gorilla glass 3 which has become standard for premium category phones these days.
The overall look and feel of the t.phone is pretty good with some scope for improvement. The back panel where the grey portion joins with the coloured portion is not seamless and very smooth – one can feel some sort of ridge there.
The Inside Story
The Smartron t.phone comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor with 4GB RAM and 64 GB inbuilt memory space. It’s an audacious move for a startup to launch its debut smartphone with such specifications. However, this move can be justified if Smartron’s ambition is taken into account. The company, as per its co-founder Mahesh Lingareddy, wants to be among the top smartphone companies that offer the best products to their customers. At 1080×1920 pixels, the device still offers good quality display if pitted against higher resolution smartphones.
The t.hone runs on Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 and comes with 3000 mAh battery which appeared to be a downer in its overall offerings. At this data consuming times, the t.phone needs a recharge every day – it lasted 11 to 12 hours during our testing phase. Connectivity wise, the t.phone comes with Bluetooth 4.0, offers LTE along with VoLTE on all 4G bands available in India and WiFi.
When we received the Smartron t.phone review unit, it was performing poorly on many aspects. Running multiple apps was a task and the phone used to stop responding frequently. Camera performance was also not that of a flagship device. However, with the latest update, the t.phone, it appeared, got a new lease of life. Running multiple apps became cake walk and the t.phone does not hang anymore. The 13 megapixel rear camera gives out great photographs but we still believe Smartron needs to spend more time and research on it. There is a significant lag in taking continuous snaps which should, in no way, be a part of the current generation flagship devices. Though just 4 megapixel, the front camera performs better than the rear camera on a comparative analysis. In low light the front camera gives outstanding output.
There’s lot more than just the device that Smartron offers for its customers. There it brings the differentiation than its peers in the same category or at the same price band. Smartron t.phone offers a dedicated tronX app that offers multiple services to its customers. It offers tstore where users can buy accessories and other devices of the company. There is also a tcloud offering unlimited cloud storage, tcare that offers after sales service and some other solutions like Forum where a user can discuss with other forum members about any issue related to the product or the company, or even about anything around the technology industry.
The Smartron t.phone, overall is a smart device with a futuristic approach. The company that portray as India’s first integrated consumer IoT company has also claimed that the t.phone is designed and engineered in India and assembled in China. Audacious as it may sound, launching the first phone at Rs 22,999 with the best specifications, Smartron for sure has informed the industry that it is set for the big league. However, the company has miles to go before it takes even a bit of credit. Camera, ever improving performance, and some more futuristic features are some of the elements the Sachin Tendulkar backed firm needs to look constantly at to remain ahead of the crowd.