By: Anil Satapathy, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi
Last updated : Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 13:30
Though awkwardly named, the tphone would blow your mind with its colourful appearance and powerful performance.
Superb metal body
Not so good cameras
Average battery back up
Smartron, who? That's what many asked the first time the company announced its devices earlier this year. Like many, I was also baffled when I saw the God of Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, as its brand ambassador. I could not believe why Sachin, who usually represent top class brands, choose Smartron.
Anyway, we got the device for review and the moment I opened the box, I got half of my answers.
The device was beautiful. I have seen phones from all top smartphone makers, some good and some bad but never got wowed. The Smartron tphone is just amazing. I thought why anyone had not tried such colour combinations. It comes in grey, pink, blue and orange colours. As you can see in the pictures majority part of the area are coloured while the top and bottom parts are in silver (in pink and grey models, the top portion is slightly darker). This gives a perfect contrast and it is a crowd-pleaser undoubtedly.
But what was the best aspect of the tphone is its body material. I have no doubt in admitting that it is the best metal I have ever felt my palms. It is smooth like plastic, offering super grip. It is not a fingerprint magnet either. And despite being such a big phone, it is light and very thin.
Wish it was water and dust proof but despite that I gave full marks to Smartron tphone for its design.
The Smartron tphone has a 5.5 inch display. And it is not just big. With full HD resolution, it offers 401 ppi pixel density. AMOLED technology is icing on the cake, enabling the display to offer crisp output. I had to admit that I had a fun time with Smartron tphone. However, the display too has a bug. Actually, its Adaptive Brightness tend to brighten the display to extreme points where it hurts the eyes. Even in low light, the auto brightness mode increases brightness to very high limits. During review, many a times I had to switch off the mode and this is perhaps one of the biggest reasons of its low battery life about which we will discuss later in this review.
The display has Gorilla Glass 3 protection, which did a good job as throughout the review, it didn't get any visible scratches. The Olephobic coating also protected it from smudges and fingerprints.
But was this good enough? Well in the sub-Rs 25,000 segment, phones now offer Quad HD resolution and even Super AMOLED technology. So comparatively, the tphone is not that good but if you keep figures aside, you will find it as good as others.
However, Smartron has not compromised anything when it comes to processing power. It has fitted the Snapdragon 810 chipset in the phone that comes with a 64 bit octa core processor, Adreno 430 graphics processor and huge 4 GB RAM. With Android Marshmallow operating system, the processor offered a smooth, lag free performance even while multitasking.
There were a host of sensors in tphone including Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Barometer/Pressure sensor, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Hall Sensor, ST sensor Hub for context awareness, Digital Compass, GPS with AGPS and GLONASS so that you won't miss out on any feature expected from a smartphone these days.
The tphone offer built-in speaker with sound chamber, DTS Premium sound and DTS PlayFI with which the phone offered crisp sound as well.
Storage wise, the Smartron tphone is quite good as well. It has 64 GB of internal storage so might not need expandable storage but if you need any, then insert a micro SD card but for that you have to forgo the SIM2.
There is a 3000 mAh battery in the phone which does a decent job but nothing of note. I usually had to charge the device atleast once in 12 hours. Note that I was using two SIMs with active internet round the clock (either WiFi or 4G) and I used to surf a lot (emails, shopping apps etc).
The Smartron tphone has a 13 megapixel rear camera with 1.12Âµm pixel size, 6 element lens, phase detection auto focus, HDR, dual LED flash, F2.0 aperture, zero shutter lag and 4K video recording ability.
A 4 megapixel camera is in its front that comes with 2Âµm pixel size, Automatic black level calibration, F2.0 aperture, BIS sensor, and HDR.
Initially, the cameras offer good output if there is decent lighting but in low light I found them pretty average with pixelated and noisy images.
But towards the end of my review, Smartron pushed a camera update which greatly improved its camera ability. Post that update, both front and cameras' were able to capture much better pictures even in low light. But in terms of detailing and focusing ability, the tphone is not par with its competitors that come with laser auto focus.
The tphone has a hybrid SIM slot, so you can use only two SIM or a micro SD card along with a SIM card. It has 4G as well as VoLTE. Along with that the phone offers dual band WiFi (a/b/g/n/ac), USB Type C port and a 3.5 mm jack with ANC support. But it comes with older Bluetooth 4.0 version while new age devices have the Bluetooth 4.1 version. There are four microphones for noise cancellation.
Though I had had no issues vis-Ã -vis internet connectivity (both 4G and WiFi) but the phone has some issues with its calling mechanism. The bug I stumbled upon is related with its speaker mechanism. During any call, if you switch on its speaker than it malfunctions and doesn't allow you to go back.
The Smartron tphone is a gorgeous smartphone and perhaps the best one in its price segment. In terms of storage and performance, it is as good as the best. There are some issues with its cameras but a camera update would perhaps iron out the problems. In my view, at Rs 24,999 the tphone won't disappoint you.