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In the beginning of this era, only a few cell-phone manufacturers were there. Other than Nokia and Motorola, no other company was able to create a good presence in the cell-phone industry.
Well, we are talking about the time when smartphones were completely out of the picture and only feature phones were available. While cell phones were introduced in India quite late as compared to other countries, they took the entire nation by storm. People specially office goers slowly started to rely on cell-phones more for convenience's sake.
Skip a few years, and then we see the entry of smartphones. If you recall, HTC was the first manufacturer to launch a smartphone in India, but during the same timeline the Indian market got the taste of Apple's iPhone as well.
Soon after that, Indian smartphone market was completely revolutionized with the entry of Chinese brands. Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, Huawei, Coolpad, etc. the list is quite long. The newest Chinese brand to arrive in India is 10.or (pronounced as Tenor). It has just launched a budget smartphone in India dubbed as the 10.or E.
Talking about the specs, the smartphone comes in two memory variants. The standard one has 2GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage, while the higher variant features 3GB RAM and 32GB of storage space. The 2GB RAM model and the 3GB RAM model are priced at Rs. 7,999 and Rs. 8,999 respectively. The storage space on both the variants can be extended up to 128GB using the microSD card.
The 10.or E was supposed to go on sale from 14th September exclusively on Amazon but it got postponed. However, the Amazon page says that the phone will be available for purchase soon with many launch offers for the customers.
Now that you have got some idea about both the company and its offering, let's get down to the main aspect - the review.
Build and Design
Naturally, the first thing we notice about any phone is its build and design. While design is not the most important aspect of a device, it surely plays a major role in people's buying decision. The smartphone is available in Beyond Black and Aim Gold colors and here we reviewed the Black one.
So right out of the box, when you look at the 10.or E, you will find it sporting a familiar look. The phone has almost similar design to recent Xiaomi phones. So in terms of design, you might confuse 10.or E with phones from some different brands.
Even though the 10.or E is made out of plastic, it has a quite stylish and premium look to it. The rear panel has a matte finish and smudges appear it on quickly. However, it is not that visible.
The rear panel holds a circular camera module that is accompanied by a LED flash on its right side. There is rounds-shaped fingerprint scanner positioned a little below the camera module. At the bottom, you will find the branding.
Up front, the display is surrounded by quite thick upper and lower bezels. The side bezels, on the other hand, are relatively narrower. The top bezel houses the selfie camera along with the flash and the earpiece, but the bottom bezel is empty (no physical home button). The power button and the volume rockers are housed on the right edge and the SIM tray is placed on the left.
The smartphone has curved edges which provide a good grip quality. 10.or E comes with a 3.5mm audio jack at top, and a micro-USB port and the speaker grilles placed at the bottom.
Well, overall, this is a good-looking budget smartphone with decent ergonomics as well.
5.5-inch full HD Display
The 10.or E comes with a 5.5-inch FHD IPS display with the resolution of 1920×1080 pixels.
. The display is covered by a 2.5D curved glass and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for better protection. So you can stop worrying about getting scratches on the display.
During my encounter with the smartphones, I found its display to be quite bright with decent viewing angles in bright light conditions.
One drawback is the display's slow responsiveness. The touch response is not that smooth so you might feel frustrated while you are in a hurry.
Talking about viewing experience, the FHD display does a pretty good job while watching videos and browsing the internet.
Android Nougat with custom UI
On the software front, the 10.or E runs on Android 7.1.2 Nougat operating system with layer of the company's own UI on the top. I was really impressed by the fact that the smartphone runs with Android Nougat, since there are very few smartphones under the 10K category running on this OS.
Notably, the 10.or E has an app drawer. Coming to the UI, it looks good and the icons are not gimmicky. Moreover, you will be able to do a lot of customizations as per your wish.
The smartphone also comes with pre-installed apps such as Google Chrome, Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, etc. Since it is an Amazon exclusive, the Prime Video, Amazon Kindle and the Amazon shopping app are also pre-loaded on the device. If you wish, you can remove these third-party apps though.
You would be happy to know that the 10.or E smartphone would be later upgraded to Android 8.0 Oreo.
Performance and Battery
Performance wise, this phone did not fail to impress us. Our review unit came with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage and is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor.
While we were using the device, we didn't find any noticeable lags and the 10.or E was able to perform most of the tasks quite smoothly. Navigating the user interface, launching apps and even switching between multiple apps was quick enough.
Likewise, we didn't face any mention-worthy problem while playing full HD videos and light games such as Subway Surfer and Dancing Line ran smoothly enough. That being said, you may find some glitches when it comes to heavy games.
Talking about the battery life, 10.or E packs a large 4,000mAh battery. For comparison, the Xiaomi Redmi 4 comes with a 4,100mAh battery. The 10.or E's battery easily lasts a day with moderate to heavy usage. So on this aspect; this phone didn't give us any scope to complain.
On heavy usage that includes voice calls, emails, constant 4G/Wi-Fi connectivity, browsing the internet and social media accounts, watching videos and playing some games the phone will last a full day and a little more without any problem. With light usage, the smartphone delivers almost 2 days of battery backup.
Overall, the 10.or E handled tasks and performed well in an everyday usage scenario. We also ran the device through some benchmarking tests and the results are below.
As for optics, the 10.or E comes with a 13MP main camera with PDAF, LED flash and f/2.0 aperture. At the front, there is a 5MP selfie camera with LED flash and the same aperture.
Truth to be told, the main camera doesn't justify its 13MP pixel resolution. We used the primary camera for taking pictures in both outdoors and indoors. While in daylight, the picture is quite clear, the same can't be said about images taken in low-light condition. When we zoomed into the picture, it got pixelated. So don't expect clear and sharp pictures if you are using the phone where light is not sufficient. Some blurriness will be there.
On the bright side, we were quite happy with the camera performance in day light. Other than taking clear photos, the color reproduction is impressive as well.
If you love taking selfies, you may not feel satisfied with 10.or E's front camera. The pictures often come out to be blurry and results are not very good.
Some other aspects
The 10.or E delivers loud and clear audio output from both in-ear and loudspeakers. The fingerprint scanner is really fast and accurate. Connectivity suite of this dual-SIM smartphone offers 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, micro-USB port and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Truthfully speaking, we did not expect the 10.or E to be as good as it turned out to be. Considering the pricing, the phone is impressive in terms of features and specs it offers.
The only downside is the camera, which could have been better, especially while clicking images in low-light condition and capturing minute details in the photos.
Talking about the pros, the phone packs a large 4,000mAh battery, which easily lasts a day even after heavy usage. Another good point is; the device doesn't heat up.
That being said, this phone has to fight the likes of other budget smartphones such as Xiaomi Redmi 4, Lenovo K6 Power and Motorola Moto G4 Play. Since it is a new brand, 10.or E will face a tough competition from above mentioned devices that are widely popular in the Indian market. However, even with the downsides attached to it, it does fit in the recommendation list for many who are looking for a secondary smartphone in a pocket-friendly budget.