Smartron is an Indian smartphone manufacturer not known to a lot of people out there. It has not been too long since its inception and it first product the t.book was launched on March 31, 2016.
Soon after t.book the t.phone emerged which is a sub 25k phone with a decent processing speed for its price. Smartron's future endeavor is to create an ecosystem that allows synchronization between various devices. A system similar to Apple's iCloud.
The company's latest handset- srt.phone was made public on May 3, 2017. It is a budget smartphone that gets work done efficiently for the price. But does it fit the lot and is it worth the price? Let's find out.
srt.phone comes with 32 GB and 64 GB ROM priced at Rs. 12,999 and Rs. 13,999 respectively. The unique selling proposition from Smartron to boost this smartphone's sale is by stimulating the emotions of Indians for Sachin Tendulkar, colloquially referred to as God of Cricket. It is quite evident from the fact that the brand is offering not one but two back covers signed by Tendulkar himself with each srt.phone.
Design: Basic design and feels a bit bulky for one-hand usage
The design is quiet simple to look at and there is nothing too appealing about it. The front panel brings to memories the old HTC devices that had quite a lot of bezel around them. The front snapper rests adjacent to the earpiece.
Three physical buttons viz. home, apps and back button lie at the bottom and are simply represented by three exactly similar back lit dots. Users will have to invest efforts to find out the functions of the three buttons and that's one of the negatives.
The back panel houses fingerprint sensor at an easy to reach spot, talking of which, the sensor is quite responsive and works perfectly well. Camera has been placed at the top left corner with the flash lying next to it.
Earphone jack lies on top left edge while USB type C port occupies the center base. Speakers are placed at the bottom as well. Volume rockers lie on the right side of the phone while the power toggle lies on the top right edge of the phone making it hard to reach.
has nothing much to boast off as far as looks are concerned. It also lags behind in offering a comfortable grip which only adds up to the discomfort of moving the finger often to reach the volume rockers and power button.
srt.phone weighs around 155 gms and its dimensions are 153x 77x 8.9. The phone is best operated with two hands.
Camera: Good enough for daylight photography
srt.phone has a 13 MP primary camera and a 5 MP selfie camera. The primary snapper is specified with PDAF, F2.0, BIS sensor and a single flash. PDAF is a technology used in DSLRs for better light controlling.
srt.phone takes decent pictures during the day, it is in low light that the camera starts giving up on you. The pictures are noisy in low light condition. Using flash in low light conditions over saturates the pictures.
The camera has three focus features namely macro, auto and manual. While Manual and auto focus modes were good enough to produce some sharp imagery, macro focus on the other hand was of no good use.
While in macro mode the camera looses focus and at a point you start realizing that there is no need of macro focus mode at all. Focus in macro mode is way too slow and once you have locked the focus a minute shake is enough to lose it.
The phone also offers 4K video recording support and the results are no different for video recording as well. When the light is appropriate the primary camera manages torecord videos of good quality. During dim light condition you would rather prefer using the flash because the F2.0 aperture doesn't seem to be quite effective. Even during the daylight the videos are a bit lifeless.
The selfie cam justifies its presence to an extent since it's a 5 MP snapper and works appositely. The wide angle lens allows a bunch to fit in easily.
Hardware: A snappier performer but not a delight for serious gamers
If srt.phone has any precedence over its rivals, it most certainly would be the strategic hardware configuration of this device. The smartphone isbacked by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 Octa Core operating at 1.8 GHz paired with 4 GB LPDDR3 RAM. If you haven't guessed it already, not a lot of phones can afford to boast 4 GB RAM in this price segment and this gives srt an upper hand.
As far as the performance of the phone is concerned it is not at all a gamers' device. Modern Combat 5 found a smooth run time of close to 15 minutes. Once the device started heating up the game developed a lag. However the lag was not too prominent. Adreno 510 can pull this phone through some mediocre graphics without breaking a sweat.
The phone is certainly not made for enthusiast gamers but it performs well enough to survive through all the apps you throw at it.
Overheating is yet another problem and this device needs some serious R&D into. Although heating effect seem to be severe while running strenuous tasks, the device manages to cool down in quite less time then you would actually expect it to be.
The speakers on the device are loud enough, however they have a strong vocal ensemble rather than musical.
Display: Crisp 5.5-inch full HD screen
srt.phone has a 5.5 inch 1080 FHD LCD. The pixel density on the screen in 401 PPI and it has an all angle IPS display which makes it convenient for user to view the screen from different angles. The display is aptly visible in daylight. As a matter of fact this phone has one of the best displays in its price segment.
srt.phone has a USB type C port which certainly makes charging fast. In fact it takes less than two hours to charge from 0-100%. The 3,000 mAh non removable battery on this device has enough juice to last through the day.
Software: Android 7.1.1 out-of-the box
The phone runs on Android Nougat 7.1.1 which is a positive for this smartphone. The user interface is very similar to Moto G4 Plus. The UI works without a glitch and has every component in a well deserved spot. srt.phone manufacturers seemed to have picked from the mistakes of Coolpad and LeEco, who in the name of innovation try to bring changes to the GUI which sometimes results into an impractical approach.
srt.phone kept it simple and outshines several mediocre manufacturers in terms of OS and GUI. Srt also has Microsoft Office in built which gives users an additional option to work on the go.
srt.phone is a decent budget smartphone with some outstanding features in the price segment. The goods of this smartphone make up for the ones where it lags behind. It gives tough competition to brands like Coolpad and LeEco.
There are several smartphones in sub 15k category that have the potential to challenge srt.phone on every front. What sets srt apart from the likes of its competitors is the ambition of Smartron to build a closed ecosystem within its devices.
If Smartron succeeds in its venture we can expect it to launch devices in every price segment and build up a substantial market.
With Sachin Tendulkar backing it up as a brand ambassador, we can safely assume that Smartron has faith in its dreams and would go lengths against the odds to promote its products.
As far as srt.phone is concerned, there are several well established and trusted brands that offer similar features that one can resort to. Unless you want a digital memorabilia signed by Mr. Tendulkar.