Will it be able to outlast its competition and garner much praise from all corners of the society?
- Impressive Performance
- Lightweight design
- Good Battery backup
- Stock Android
- Bizzare placement of power on/off button
- Inconsistent camera
- Average speaker output
Smartron, a homegrown company, has launched its second smartphone for the Indian market known as srt.phone. After keeping mum for almost a year, the company is back with another smartphone that it boasts a similar trait to the cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and offers some interesting specs sheet, which is enough to give a stiff competition to the Chinese-branded smartphones that have dominated the market, especially at sub Rs 15,000 price point.
So will it be able to outlast its competition and garner much praise from all corners of the society? Let's argue.
What we like about srt.phone
At a time where the design of the smartphones is becoming a tad identical, this one surely stands out of the crowd. The device is certainly lightweight, all thanks to the polycarbonate body, which does not feel cheap at any angle. The front is dominated by a 5.5-inch screen which has some minimum side bezels, though the top and bottom bezels are noticeable. The right houses volume controls, which offers some tactical response. At the base, there is a USB Type-C port, a rare feature found at this price point, flanked between two speaker grilles out of which only one houses a speaker.
The back sports a primary camera at the top left corner along with LED flash and at the centre, there is a fingerprint sensor. The back is removable and there is dual SIM slot. Bizarrely, the power on/ off button is on the top. Overall, though the smartphone looks a bit wide in nature, but it is surely lightweight and is easy to use.
Just like the exterior, the smartphone boasts some interesting internals as well. To start with, the srt.phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor along with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage, which is not expandable. We were quite happy with the overall performance of the smartphone as it was able to able most of the daily task quite effectively. When it comes to multitasking, the phone does not disappoint either.
On the gaming front, the phone handles all the casual gaming and graphic-intense game like Assassin's Creed Pirates, Asphalt 8: Airborne and Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade, like a piece of cake.
This is because the software is well optimised with the hardware. The smartphone runs on the latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat, which has a near stock experience. The company has promised that it will be rolling updates on a regular basis, which is a welcome move of it is able to deliver it.
During our testing period, we did not encounter any lags or bugs in the operating system. The company has added some basic pre-loaded apps like Microsoft suite and Google suite but largely, the software takes a less space---out of 64 GB almost 58 GB is meant for usage. The company has added some gesture support. So, for example, when you double-click the power button, it opens the camera app. You also get tron.x app, which has tcloud, company's cloud service that offers unlimited storage options, a tstore, tcare and company's forum. Overall, the company has built a user-friendly operating system.
Coming to the display, the device sports a 5.5-inch Full HD screen, which offers good viewing angles. We watched different video clips and animated movies on the phone and was quite happy with the colour output, though colours were a bit washed in some occasions.
The phones sport a 3,000mAh battery coupled with Quick Charge 2.0. The performance of the battery is at par with its competition, as comfortably last a day of normal use and even on intensive use, expect it to last about 5-6 hours.
What we didn't like about the srt.phone
No smartphone is perfect and same can be said for this one. First of all, we didn't like the placement of power on/off button. It becomes a difficult task to reach the button whenever you want to shut the screen. This is because we are used to the placement of the button at side edges, which is comfortable to reach.
The smartphone misses on the camera department. The device sports a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter for selfies and video calling. Though the shots carry some good details during broad daylight, it is very inconsistent on the downside. First of all, the smartphone took some time to lock its focus and every time we clicked a photo, the result was different in terms of light present in the images. The HDR mode works well under some conditions, but grains were quite visible in the pictures. Panorama shots taken from the camera was seriously below average, as it lagged detailing and images were a bit pixelated.
Under low-light conditions, the camera goes for a complete toss. The sensor is not able to handle glares at all. So, at the end, you see a straight line of light in every photo, which is seriously a bad thing. The detailing is particularly missing and the photos are prone to graininess and noises.
Other than this, the earpiece volume is low and even if you max out it, it becomes a difficult task to hear other person voice, especially, when you are in a crowded space. But in order to tackle this problem, the company has given a voice boost option, which somewhat increases the volume coming through the earpiece. The speaker output is also not so great. When maxed out, the speaker tends to give up and you get a sound which is not pleasant to ears.
Overall, with a price tag of Rs 13,999, the smartphone has a lot to offer in terms of sheer performance, lightweight design and well-optimised software, though it has some flaws in the camera department. But overall, we finally have an Indian brand which has a potential to take head-on competition with the Chinese dragons.