Smartron has been in India for couple of years now and they has previously launched the t-phone and t-book laptop which didn’t find much success. Sachin Tendulkar is one of the investors in the company and this time company is looking to tap the sub 15k market in India and has launched the SRT.Phone. The phone is Sachin Tendulkar branded and hence the name SRT.Phone.
With competitive pricing and decent hardware, will the SRT.Phone be able to survive with Sachin Tendulkar’s brand name? Let’s find out in this detailed review.
Here is the video review of the device.
Design and Build:
The design and build quality of the SRT.Phone is quite unique. While most of the OEMs have moved to aluminium and metallic builds, Smartron is offering a plastic body for SRT.Phone. It is finished in plastic with removable back panel, but with a non-removable battery. Inside the rear panel you have the dual SIM slots. The back panel can be interchanged with Sachin Tendulkar branded covers which are offered on Flipkart. The plastic quality is quite good. On the design aspect, the SRT.Phone feels bulky with large bezels and also thickness, but usability wise, this is taken care with a lightweight design.
One of the most annoying aspect of the SRT.Phone in terms of design is the placement of power button, which is placed on the top panel. We found is really annoying to use the power button place on the top panel. The volume key is on the right side, while the USB C type port, speaker and the 3.5mm jack are placed at the bottom.
SRT.Phone comes with 5.5 inch Full HD display (1920X1080p) with Corning Gorilla glass protection. The display has good color quality and the brightness levels are also impressive. The touch response feels quite decent although at times the display was sticky in nature. The viewing angles are also decent and so is the outdoor visibility.
The display quality on the SRT.Phone wont disappoint users.
The software of the SRT.Phone is being mentioned as one of the best in this price segment and it comes with Android 7.1.1, the latest version of Android. It also does not have any specific UI and features the stock UI. The notification center and setting panel have the same look and feel you find on a pixel smartphone.
The phone does not come with any additional tools or apps and there are absolutely no bloatwares installed on the device. This is one of the best aspects of the phone. The company is also promising quarterly security updates and three major Android upgrades and this phone is sure to get the next version of Android as per the company.
The phone has app drawer similar to the stock Android. It also comes with customizable navigational buttons, so you can either use on screen buttons or use capacitive buttons.
SRT.Phone is powered by Snapdragon 652 Octa core processor (4 cores cortex A72 and 4 cores Cortex A53) and is coupled with 4GB of RAM and either 32 or 64GB of storage. The Snapdragon 652 is one of the really powerful chipsets for this segment and it performs very well on the device. In day to day experience, there was no lag or issues on the device and it provided smooth overall experience.
The gaming performance of the device is also pretty good with no lags even with high graphic rich games. But the heating of the device with intensive gaming is something really concerning as it reached a temperature of almost 48 degrees with 20-25 minutes of intensive gaming.
The call quality of the phone is good and the speaker performance is above average. It comes with support for dual SIM cards and VoLTE support, so you can use your Jio SIM card with the phone. The device also packs either 32GB of storage or 64GB, but does not include support for SD card. Instead the company is offering unlimited t-cloud storage, which is the cloud storage offered by the company.
The SRT.Phone comes with 13MP rear camera with LED flash and a front 5MP camera for selfies. There is also PDAF on the rear camera. The camera interface of the device is quite decent with some good options including manual mode, filters and the usual set of options like Panorama. The phone also can record videos in 4k since the processor has support for it.
Now, talking about the imaging abilities of the device, this is one area where the SRT.Phone failed to impress as the performance was just average. In a segment which is dominated by camera smartphones like Honor 6X, Cool 1 and Moto G5 Plus, the SRT.Phone does not make an impression. The rear camera took decent shots in daylight with good color quality, but the major issue was with sharpness and noise. Even in daylight you could see noise and the focusing was messy with PDAF not working properly on our unit. The low light performance was pretty poor with noise level increasing and there is hardly anything to talk about the low light performance. The front facing selfie camera also was just an average affair with decent photos for social shares. We expect Smartron to fix these issues with software updates. Here are some of the samples taken with the device.
SRT.Phone ships with a 3000mAh battery and it also supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 which is something you rarely find in this segment. The battery performance of the device was quite good and in day to day usage, with social networking apps running, calls, browsing, using the camera and a bit of gaming we could get a day of battery life with 3-4 hours SOT. While this is no way near the battery performance of Redmi Note 4 or Honor 6X, the inclusion of QC 2.0 makes up for the slightly lower capacity battery.
The SRT.Phone is priced Rs 12,999 and Rs 13,999 for the 32GB and 64GB variants respectively. The below Rs 15,000 segment is currently ruled by the likes of Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, Moto G5 Plus and Honor 6X, so how does the SRT.Phone perform in this segment? SRT.Phone ticks a lot of right boxes especially with software, performance, pricing and the value for money aspect.
But where the SRT.Phone fails is the camera department, which is one of the important features people look for when they buy a smartphone. The camera issues can be fixed to an extent with software updates and we are expecting Smartron to fix it. If you are not really worried about the camera performance, the SRT.Phone is a decent offering worth considering for performance and software.
The phone is available exclusively on Flipkart and you can buy it from here.