There really is no shortage of smartphone brands and options under Rs 15,000. Whether you want a big name manufacturer like Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo or Vivo, or you’re willing to settle for a not-so-popular option from Coolpad or Nubia, options are aplenty. And if you’re willing to let the names get even sillier, you have an interesting little brand called 10.or to consider as well.
We reviewed the 10.or E last month, which is priced from Rs 7,999 and is available exclusively through Amazon India. Today we’re reviewing the Rs 10,999 10.or G, a slightly higher-specced option from the brand that offers a similar sense of quality and capability, all while keeping the price down. Imported by Amazon India and sold through the portal, the 10.or G is the slightly more capable and mid-range smartphone in the range, aimed at offering the same AmazonBasics-like approach as the 10.or E. Read on to find out if it’s worth your money.
Excellent on paper
What we loved about the 10.or E is its excellent set of specifications; the phone offers far more than what you’d typically expect for the price. The 10.or G continues to follow this same philosophy, giving you more bang for your buck. Interestingly enough, I’d say that on paper, this is a better smartphone than the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, which is currently the budget champion.
There are two variants of the phone – the one with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage is priced at Rs 10,999, while the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage variant comes in at Rs 12,999. The rest of the spec sheet is common to both variants. The 10.or G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 SoC, and comes with a 4,000mAh battery. Interestingly, there’s also a dual-camera setup at the rear featuring two 13-megapixel sensors, and a 16-megapixel front camera with single-tone LED flash. The phone has a 5.5-inch full-HD screen, and comes with near-stock Android 7.1.2. While our review unit had the August security patch out of the box, an OTA update subsequently brought it up to the October security patch.
There’s also a hybrid SIM slot letting you use either two SIM cards or one SIM and one microSD card up to 128GB. The phone comes with a 10W charger and cable, and features a metal build. While the top and bottom are plastic, the main part of the phone is built solid and feels great. Connectivity and charging is through a micro-USB port, and there is also a 3.5mm jack for audio and a fingerprint sensor for biometric security at the back. All of this from Rs 10,999 sounds like a pretty great deal. ALSO READ: Motorola Moto G5S Plus Review
Stock software and good performance
As is the case with the 10.or E, the G comes with near-stock Android Nougat 7.1.2 out-of-the-box, and a software update has brought the security patch up to October 2017. I say near-stock because there is a bit of bloatware pre-installed, which can’t be uninstalled. This includes the 10.or Care app, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Shopping and Amazon Prime Video. Considering that this is effectively an Amazon smartphone, this push for Amazon’s web services would come across as obvious, and is entirely forgivable in the larger scheme of things.
Performance is decent as well, thanks to the combination of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 SoC, enough RAM for a mid-range device and the efficient and light software. It’s comparable to what you get with similarly priced devices such as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 and Moto G5S Plus, which is quite the achievement. With a 4,000mAh battery, the phone easily lasts through the day and more even with heavy use. Charging isn’t quick, but it isn’t slow either and is once again on par with what you can expect from devices in this price range. A little over two hours of charging will top up the phone from zero. ALSO READ: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Review
Mixed results from the dual-camera setup
The 10.or G certainly isn’t the only phone to offer the benefits of the dual-camera setup in this price range. The Lenovo K8 Plus offers a similar setup at the same price, while going up to Rs 15,000 will also get you the excellent Xiaomi Mi A1. The 10.or G has an RGB + Monochrome camera setup, with color data captured by one sensor and light data captured by the second. This theoretically ensures better pictures in all conditions, including low light and indoors. The camera setup also uses its stereo vision to give you DSLR-like bokeh and depth effects. ALSO READ: Lenovo K8 Plus Review
(Camera samples shot on the 10.or G)
We’ve taken a few photos with the 10.or G, and the results are a mixed bag. The depth-effect shots are fairly decent, managing to properly sense depth and creating proper borders. It also offers a powerful blur in the background, making for photos that are dramatic and exciting. A lot of the processing is done by the Snapdragon 626 SoC, which natively supports up to 13-megapixel dual-camera setups with improved image processing. Additionally, we also tried out the front camera, which features a single-tone LED flash for better low-light images, and images were decent in terms of detail and color.
(Camera samples shot on the 10.or G)
However, standard images aren’t the best we’ve seen, even in this price range. Ordinary pictures that we took in good light, artificial light and low light initially appeared decent, but on closer inspection we found that images were shaky, unstable and badly composed. This wasn’t a case of one or two images; most of the pictures we took suffered this. It takes incredibly careful composition and stability to take decent pictures, and even then, detail and quality are lacking. The 10.or G is essentially adequate for pictures you’ll share on social media and definitely does a good job with bokeh images, but can’t be counted on to take good pictures all the time. ALSO READ: Xiaomi Mi A1 Review
The 10.or G is a beast when it comes to specifications. It’s got powerful hardware, features that matter right now and a competitive price tag to boot. The icing on the cake is its software, with near-stock Android and up to date security patches. On the whole, it’s easy to recommend the 10.or G to anyone looking to buy a decent smartphone at under Rs 15,000.
While the dual-camera setup sounds great on paper, it isn’t quite as capable as it seems. The phone is average at best when it comes to ordinary photography, but does take decent depth-effect shots. This is the only real shortcoming, and the phone comes through in all other ways. With that in mind, you could consider the 10.or G if you’re willing to settle for a sub-par camera or only intend to take basic pictures for social media, as the rest of the phone will not disappoint you.