The Smartron t.phone P is priced at Rs 7,999.
It comes with a 5,000mAh battery.
It runs Android 7.1 with the TronX software suite onboard.
When we think about Indian smartphone makers, we usually think about brands such as Micromax, Intex and Lava. If you’ve been paying attention to recent launches in the smartphone space, you’ll also hear of upstart brands such as Comio, Tecno, iVoomi and others. But perhaps one of the most interesting brands to come out of India is Smartron. Based in Hyderabad, Smartron’s product line-up consists of smartphones, computers and IoT products, all centered around its TronX software platform.
Smartron is still a young company, and doesn’t have a huge product line-up, with just a handful of products available. The latest launch from the company is the Smartron t.phone P, which is its most affordable device yet. Priced at Rs 7,999, the Smartron t.phone P is being sold exclusively through Flipkart, and promises affordable competence, with the promise of excellent battery life. Here’s our review.
While other smartphones that are similarly priced may focus on other things, Smartron has set its USP straight here. The t.phone P’s signature feature is its massive battery; the phone has a 5,000mAh battery that gives it many hours between charges. It’s helped along by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 SoC, and 3GB of RAM under the hood. You will get about two days between charges even with moderate-to-heavy usage, and even more if you keep it frugal. On standby, you can have the phone running for days on end, and you can use the phone as a power bank to reverse-charge other devices using an OTG cable.
It’s an intelligent approach, considering that buyers in this price bracket are often more considered about practical benefits such as battery life rather than things like screen resolution and specifications. The rest of the phone comes across as fairly basic, but is about what we would expect from a phone that’s priced at Rs 7,999. You get 32GB of onboard storage, which is expandable through the hybrid storage slot, albeit at the cost of dual-SIM connectivity. Charging is through a micro-USB slot, and the bundled charger is a 10.5W unit. The phone also has a fingerprint sensor at the back for biometric security.
When it comes to design and build, the Smartron t.phone P is functional and inoffensive. The phone has a 5.2-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) screen, backlit capacitive Android keys that mimic manufacturing partner ZTE’s design, and a plastic frame. The back of the device is metal, but since it isn’t a unibody design, this won’t help with durability if the phone is dropped on its corners. The phone is a bit on the bulky side, since it holds a large battery. However, the curved edges and different materials do succeed in fooling you a bit, and it doesn’t feel quite as bulky. The phone is a bit heavier than you’d expect from a typical 5.2-inch screen device though.
TronX software returns
Smatron has, since its inception, developed and pushed its TronX software suite on its devices. According to Smartron, the true benefits of the TronX suite will be seen when the entire ecosystem of its products are used together, although apart from a handful of phones and a laptop, there aren’t any other significant products available today on the Smartron website. For the time being, if you’re buying the Smartron t.phone P and don’t have any other connected devices, the TronX suite’s biggest advantage is the 1,000GB of cloud storage on t.cloud that you get with the device.
The software itself is based on Android 7.1, and the phone comes with the December 2017 Android security patch. The interface and menus are dual-layered and designed to look close to stock-Android Nougat, which does help in getting around the device. It’s an approach that makes the phone particularly easy to use. However, there is a bit of bloatware, including a handful of Microsoft apps that can’t be pre-installed. That apart, it’s an easy and uncomplicated phone to use, with performance that is about on par with what you would expect from a Rs 7,999 smartphone.
Simple camera setup
As is usually the case with budget smartphones, the camera setup isn’t particularly fancy on the Smartron t.phone P. You get a 13-megapixel primary camera with single-tone LED flash, and a 5-megapixel front camera which also has a lamp flash unit for a bit of assistive lighting when shooting selfies. The rear camera can record video at up to 1080p resolution, while the front camera can record up to 720p video. While you can shoot in panorama, time lapse and burst mode, there’s no slow-motion video recording.
In daylight and other well-lit settings, the camera is fairly capable of taking good pictures. Images are detailed enough, with good color reproduction and sufficient composure. While it would be unrealistic to expect top-level performance from a smartphone in this price range and with the Snapdragon 435 SoC in control, it is certainly effective enough for basic use, and takes decent pictures. In low light, you will of course see the detail and color lose some edge. Video recording and selfies are also about what you’d expect from a budget smartphone. Take a look at some of the camera samples below.
The Smartron t.phone P isn’t a spectacular smartphone when compared to even devices in the Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 price range. However, budget smartphones don’t need to be spectacular. When we’re talking about a budget smartphone, the important factors are reliability, usability and basic smartphone competence. Any added features are a bonus in this case. The Smartron t.phone P ticks all the right boxes when it comes to reliability and competence, and the added advantages of a big battery, good software, a fingerprint sensor and front flash make this a worthwhile option.
There are plenty of solid competitors also available in this price range, including the Xiaomi Redmi Y1 and 10.or E, and the Smartron t.phone P has a tough fight to capture attention. However, it’s a worthy option and well worth your while if you’re looking for an affordable smartphne that gets the basics right. And the fact that Smartron is an Indian company only makes the deal sweeter.
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