Smartron T.Phone Review

Just days after launching the ambitious two-in-one tablet T.Book, Smartron has launched its next product. Smartron T.Phone is for a special kind of user. This is a handset with strong specifications. The most important thing is that the company has adopted a long-term strategy for this.

We spent some time with this new product (note that the Smartron T.Phone is available exclusively on Gadgets 360). And the good thing is that it is very different from the products being made by Indian companies for many years. Smartron has tried to do something new in the competitive Android smartphone market. Does this startup have the courage to take on big companies? Let us know.

Look and Design
smartron t.phone Looks a little different. The rear panel of our review unit was bright orange in color. It is also available in pink, blue and neutral gray colors. The top and bottom parts of the handset are in a unique metallic gray color. Considering the 5.5-inch screen, the T-Phone feels quite large and heavy. But it is one of the thinnest handsets available in the market. It is not that easy to use this phone with one hand.

You will see a big, different looking camera at the top of the front panel. Earpiece and many sensors are also present in this part. You will see a small dot on the left side edge. This is a multi-colored notification LED. There is no fingerprint reader in it. According to Smartron, most companies are not able to fully implement the security parameters and in such a situation the fingerprint sensor is of no use. The different design pattern gives the T-phone a tough look. This is completely different from the commonly found phones with slick glass and full-metal body.

smartron_tphone_new_side_ndtv

You will see the dual-SIM tray on the right side. This means that you will have to choose between a microSD card and another SIM card. We found the edge of the SIM tray to be slightly worn when we took it out. Looking at this, we are not sure whether it will be sustainable in the long run or not. The power and volume buttons are on the right side. It is very easy to reach them. The standard 3.5 mm audio jack is on the top. Type-C USB port at the bottom. The T-phone comes with a quick charger. Along with this, Type-A to Type-C USB cable, headset and a SIM eject pin will also be available.

Specifications and Software
While on one hand companies are trying to woo more and more customers in the price range of Rs 10,000, Smartron is eyeing customers interested in slightly more expensive smartphones. Keeping the price in mind, the company has also given powerful features in this handset. The T-Phone has an octa-core Snapdragon 810 chipset, which was Qualcomm’s most powerful processor till last year. In the initial days, this processor was criticized due to overheating. Smartron has said that it has used the latest revision of this processor. You will get 4 GB RAM and 64 GB inbuilt storage. The screen is 5.5 inches with a resolution of 1080×1920 pixels. Today, even higher resolution displays are being provided in expensive smartphones. In reality it doesn’t make much difference. Gorilla Glass 3 protection is present on the display.

smartron_tphone_new_rear_ndtv

The rear camera has a 13 megapixel sensor. It has dual-LED flash and phase detection autofocus feature. You will be able to record videos in 4K resolution with it. The 4 megapixel sensor of the front camera is also claimed to take excellent selfies in the dark. The reason behind this is the enlarged pixels, much like HTC’s UltraPixel camera. There are four microphones in T.Phone, about which the company says that with the help of these, voice echoes are reduced and background noise is also reduced.

Smartron has a 3000 mAh battery. This phone supports Quick Charging 2.0. You will be able to use microSD card up to 128 GB. Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS and FM radio are part of this handset. You won’t find a fingerprint reader, infrared or NFC.

smartron_tphone_new_top_ndtv

The T-Phone comes with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. The good thing is that Smartron has already started talking about Android N update. You will also get some minor customization options in this handset.

You’ll get Smartron’s own TronX app. We got a glimpse of this earlier in T.Book. Here you will be able to buy Smartron products and accessories.

performance
As expected, we have no complaints with the general performance of this smartphone. The screen is decent, but the colors should be more vibrant. Surprisingly, the option of Assertive Display is present in the Settings app and it is off in default mode. If it really improves the display and reduces battery consumption, it should have been on by default. The T-phone has DTS premium sound enhancement. With its help, it produces very clear sound, but it is not as loud as we expected. We are not satisfied with the quality of the headset provided with it and we will not use it for listening to songs.

While recording videos, using LTE data or playing games, we noticed the handset getting a bit warm near the camera lens at the rear and the earpiece at the front. The phone remained cool during all other tasks. The UI is quite responsive.

/smartron_tphone_new_buttons_ndtv

Benchmark results point towards good performance. Even games with heavy graphics run smoothly. In our video loop test, the phone’s battery lasted for 11 hours and 10 minutes. After using 4G data for some time during the day and playing games, its battery easily lasted for a day.

When we turned on the T-Phone for the first time and tried to setup it, the camera app disappointed us the most. There were no modes and no creative tools. We also had to open a menu to switch between the front and rear cameras. We got three pages of options. The flash toggle is found on the third level of the menu.

At times the app took a few seconds to store the photo and due to this there was a slight delay in taking the next photo. In such a situation, it is not possible to take photographs continuously. All these problems went away after using another camera app, but the autofocus still worked strangely at times.

smartron_tphone_new_camera_ndtv

After talking to Smartron, we came to know that an update has been released for this app. But we found that it was not available in the phone’s firmware update tool or on Google Play. We could get it through manual update. The version of the new app is 2.1. The camera app has been completely redesigned in this version.

The camera app sometimes faced focus issues while taking photos, especially in low light. Generally it also took longer than required to lock the focus after tapping the screen. But when we took the time to take pictures, they came out fine. Viewing the images in full size, I found that they were severely lacking in texture and detail. Autofocusing became more difficult at night. Pictures taken from the front camera were disappointing.

our decision
Smartron has stressed that the T.Phone has been designed keeping India in mind. We also want the domestic company to earn name in the international market. There’s a lot to like about the T-Phone. The best thing is that the company has tried to offer something different instead of being a part of the hustle and bustle of smartphone companies. The price is aggressive, especially considering its specifications and features. However, many people are satisfied with the capabilities of even cheap phones.

Battery life is the most important feature of T-phone. It would have been better if there were convenient features like fingerprint reader. We also have high expectations from the company’s TronX service. Smartron will have to work on further improving the out of the box experience for its customers. The new camera app solved our problem, but what is the point of such an update if the user has to struggle a lot to get it. Xiaomi Mi 5 equipped with Snapdragon 820 processor, made with better finish, is available in the same price range, but we hope that there is no dearth of fans of T-phone also. This is a strong offering from an ambitious new company and we’ll be sure to keep an eye on Smartron’s next steps.

Related articles