Smartron is an Indian technology firm that wants to build great smartphones and other hardware as well as weave an ecosystem around them. Till it gets its Internet of Things and other plans in place, Smartron will focus on smartphones. The company earlier launched it t.book, which was a copy of the Microsoft Surface Pro series, though Smartron’s device didn’t really enjoy that much success.
Smartron says 2017 is when they will launch a lot more smartphones, and the company is starting with the Srt.phone. It’s called srt.phone after master batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who is also the brand ambassador for Smartron and has been an early investor in the company.
Smartron’s srt.phone comes in two storage variants, and both sport 4GB of RAM. The 32GB storage version costs Rs 12,999 while the 64GB storage one is priced at Rs 13,999. Both versions of the phone are currently listed on Flipkart, and it is a Flipkart exclusive device. But how does it fare in terms of day to day performance? Here’s what we thought after our review.
Smartron srt.phone specifications: 5.5-inch full HD 1080 p display | Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor | 4GB RAM + 64GB storage | 13MP rear camera + 5 MP front camera | 3000 mAh battery | Android Nougat 7.1.1
Smartron srt.phone price Rs 12,999 for 3GB RAM, Rs 13,999 for 4GB RAM
Smartron srt.phone Design, Display review
Smartron’s srt.phone might be capitalising on the Sachin Tendulkar brand name, but honestly when it comes to design this phone is far from perfect. Yes, it will remind you of the countless other Chinese brand smartphones you might have seen in the market with the wide display, rounded edges, and dual speaker grille at the bottom.
The fingerprint scanner is placed at the back of the phone, the rear camera is on the side, and the power button is placed on top of the phone, next to the headphone jack. This positioning of the power button is really odd. I wish Smartron had just put it next to the volume rockers on the side. The problem with this position is that you keep trying to find the power button when you have to unlock the phone, and it does get frustrating.
The other aspect of the srt.phone’s design that I don’t quite understand is the removable back cover. This phone doesn’t have a metal unibody design like some of the other options in the same price band. Frankly, the removable back covers, which can be customised with some Sachin covers as well, isn’t doing the phone any favours. The plasticky feel of the phone might not go down well for many users. Also Smartron has not added microSD slot in this smartphone. But the company is giving unlimited storage in its own ‘tron Cloud’ (proprietary cloud system), though not everyone might be keen on using this.
However, the Smartron srt.phone has already moved on to Type-C USB charging which is good to see. On the display side, srt.phone comes with a 5.5-inch full HD display, which does the job. The blacks are deep enough, and overall the display is bright. It works fine in sunlight as well and readability is not an issue. YouTube, Netflix videos are not bad on this at all, and the 1080p resolution will keep most folks happy. However, the sound experience on this phone is far from perfect, and there is noticeable jarring when you’re watching videos on YouTube.
Smartron srt.phone performance review
Smartron srt.phone comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage ( this is for our review unit), and it runs the slightly dated Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 octa-core processor, which launched in 2016. Xiaomi’s Mi Max Prime comes with this processor and this phone was launched last year. Smartron has not gone with the new 653 SoC, but we’re guessing cost is one of the reasons, and remember they are new players in the market.
In terms of benchmarks, the phone gets around 64,000 on Antutu, which puts it below phones like vivo X9 Plus, even Redmi Note 3 from last year, which has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor. But, the overall performance of the smartphone is not a problem.
The clean, stock Android UI that Smartron has adopted works well to ensure that the phone’s animations are fluid, and there’s very little lag. However, the phone has a noticeable lag, especially when you are playing games like Asphalt 8, Lara Croft Run, Nova Legacy. The phone also tends to get a little warm when you’re using it for too long. My only major issue was when I was forced to reboot the phone because it had stopped responding
Smartron srt.phone Camera review
Srt.phone comes with a 13MP rear camera and the front camera is 5MP. The camera responds quickly in the auto mode, and the image results in bright, outdoor lighting are not bad at all. The colours, especially greens might seem a bit saturated, but the overall picture composition is not bad, and there are enough details.
However, in indoor lighting and low-light situations the srt.phone doesn’t perform well at all. But given the mid-budget pricing, I would say this is where most smartphones in this price range struggle. I wouldn’t consider the front camera impressive out here at all. The selfies seem a bit off on the colour front, which most might not find so appealing.
Smartron srt.phone Battery, UI review
Smartron srt.phone comes with a 3000 mAh battery, and Type-C USB charging supported. Given that rivals like Redmi Note 4 have a 4000 mAh battery, srt.phone doesn’t appear to be offering enough on the cards. However, with moderate to heavy usage you should be able to make this last for 8-10 hours. In the PCMark battery test, it scores around 5 hours 48 minutes, which again isn’t as impressive as what some of the rivals are doing.
On the UI front, Smartron has chosen to stick with a stock Android experience and this phone runs Android Nougat 7.1.1. So yes, the srt.phone is one of the few in this budget range, which is running the latest version of the OS. Perhaps other well-established players can learn something out here. The company has loaded its own Gallery App along with a TronX app where users can register their device, and also claim unlimited online storage from Smartrons’ own cloud solution.
Smartron srt.phone Verdict
Smartron’s srt.phone is built around the Sachin Tendulkar brand name, but it doesn’t quite have the finesse. The design feels rushed, the awkward placing of the power button and half removable back cover don’t do much to dispel this notion. The overall performance and rear camera is quite good, but nothing exceptional given most mid-range phones in India are now performing pretty well. Then there’s the battery, which is not exceptional either.
For srt.phone, the competition, which is dominated by the likes of Redmi Note 4, Moto G5 Plus, Samsung’s J series smartphones, means it will have a tough time standing out in the crowd. The only differentiating point out here is the clean UI and latest Android, but that might not be enough to convince most buyers.