It may have the weirdest brand name out there, but 10.or (pronounced Tenor) has surprised us with its range of products. The 10.or E was quite a decent smartphone in the sub-Rs 10,000 segment, and the 10.or G offered a dual-camera setup on a budget. The company recently launched an affordable device called the 10.or D, which is a part of the ‘Crafted For Amazon’ program. With prices starting from Rs 4,999, the new smartphone faces tough competition from the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi 5A. So is the 10.or D up for the fight? I answer that question in my review – read on.
10.or D design
With a price tag of Rs 4,999, it is too much to expect standout design features, and the 10.or D doesn’t surprise. You get the standard candybar design with rounded edges, a glass front panel, and plastic panel at the back that has been a metallic finish. The ports and other features are pretty much where you would expect them to be. One aspect worth pointing out is that unlike many smartphones these days, the 10.or D comes with dedicated slots for two SIM cards and one microSD card.
While the overall design is a standard affair, what works in the smartphone’s favor is its compact form factor. With smartphones these days growing in size and aspect ratios, it is refreshing to use a phone that comfortably fits into your palms. There’s something reassuring about being able to reach all corners with your thumb while holding the device in one hand.
10.or D hardware
The front of the smartphone is dominated by a 5.2-inch display sporting an HD (1280×720 pixels) resolution, 282ppi, and 400 nits brightness. The display is bright with good legibility even under direct sunlight, and viewing angles are good too. Colors are punchy, and text look sharp too.
What surprised me though is the lack of an ambient sensor. This essentially means that the device is not capable of automatically adjusting the brightness according to your surrounding lighting conditions. It is difficult to fathom why the company chose to omit a feature that is pretty much standard on smartphones across all price ranges.
Under the hood is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 quad-core SoC clocked at 1.4GHz, and paired with an Adreno 308 GPU. You basically get to choose from two variants – 32GB storage with 3GB of RAM, and 16GB storage with 2GB of RAM. The internal storage can be expanded using a microSD card.
As the spec sheet suggests, overall performance is just about decent. While the 10.or D doesn’t feel slow or bogged down, it is not what you would call lightning quick either. Apps open and close with ease, and multitasking is possible to an extent. Interestingly, a quick look online for benchmark tests show the 10.or D scoring slightly better than its chief rival, the Xiaomi Redmi 5A.
Graphic-heavy games however tend to struggle a bit. The likes of Riptide GP2 or Asphalt 8: Airborne work well as long as the graphic settings are turned down. At higher settings though, you will see the smartphone’s internals struggling to cope. Gaming also results in the device getting a bit warm, but not too hot that you need to put it down.
10.or D software
Despite the specifications list, what ensures smooth-ish performance is the operating system. The 10.or D runs Android 7.1.2 Nougat out-of-the-box. But instead of being bogged down by a heavy UI, the company is offering near stock Android.
In my books, stock Android OS always scores higher than customized UIs, and this is one advantage the 10.or D has over the Xiaomi Redmi 5A. The only apps pre-loaded on the smartphone are the 10.or Care, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Shopping, and Amazon Prime Video apps. These apps are not removable, unfortunately.
10.or D cameras
Moving on to the 10.or D’s photographic chops, which are quite honestly its weakest point. At the back is a 13-megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture, and LED flash. The camera app is quite minimal with the standard set of features, and different camera modes like Auto, HDR, Night, Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Flowers, Backlight, Candlelight, Sunset, Beach and Snow.
As far as performance is concerned, it is strictly average. Photos shot outside in ideal lighting conditions lack punch, and often details too. While you do manage to get good details in macro mode, the camera does struggle to focus on a subject. You will end up having to endlessly tap for the camera to properly focus on the subject.
Not surprisingly, performance indoors or in darker environments is equally average. Photos clicked in low light lack details, and there is also a lot of noise to contend with. The accompanying LED flash makes it easy to shoot some photos in darker environments, but again the quality doesn’t improve much.
The primary camera is able to shoot videos at up to 1080p resolution at 30fps. Video quality is again average at best. For selfies, there’s a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with f/2.2 aperture. Again the quality is nothing worth writing home about, and it is just about good enough to instantly share on social media.
10.or D features
Where the Xiaomi Redmi 5A has an IR blaster, the 10.or D has a fingerprint sensor. It is placed on the back panel, and is quite easy to reach with your index finger. The sensor is useful for unlocking your phone or authenticating Google Play Store purchases, and you can store up to five fingerprints. The sensor is a tad slow in unlocking the smartphone from sleep though, and there’s a visible lag between you placing your finger and the screen waking up. Surprisingly, there’s also no option to use the sensor as a camera shutter button.
Making sure everything ticks is a 3,550mAh battery, which also happens to be bigger than the 3,000mAh unit powering the Redmi 5A. The battery on the 10.or D is among its strong points, and you can sail through a day on a single charge. Even with heavy usage, you can get through a day. The downside of having a big battery is its charging time. Without fast charging support, it takes about three hours for the battery percentage to go up from zero to 100 percent.
Similar to the 10.or E, the 10.or D also managed to surprise us with what it offers. A good display, decent hardware performance, a long battery life, and features like fingerprint sensor make it worth your time. The only downside is the camera, which can still be forgiven when you consider its price tag. While the 16GB variant is priced at Rs 4,999, the 32GB variant is priced at Rs 5,999 – Rs 1,000 cheaper than the top Xiaomi Redmi 5A variant.
On paper at least, the 10.or D does seem to be a worthy competitor to the popular Redmi 5A. That said, what works in Xiaomi’s favor is the brand recognition, something that 10.or has yet to garner. In this scenario, it seems difficult for a buyer to choose the 10.or D over a Xiaomi Redmi 5A or even the slightly more expensive Nokia 2 for that matter.