Smartron t.Phone P
With more and more smartphones filling up the sub-Rs 10,000 segment, users are now confused more than ever. Companies like Xiaomi and Moto have filled the market with affordable options. Smartron, the Hyderabad based electronics company, has also launched the t.Phone P under this budget. But is the t.Phone P just another smartphone masquerading as an inexpensive entry level phone, or does it stand up to the tall claims? We find out.
Smartron t.Phone P price and release date
The Smartron t.Phone P was launched in India on 11 January at Rs 7,999. It is exclusively available on Flipkart.
Right out-of-the-box, the t.Phone P doesn’t look like a cheap phone. It’s got a rear panel made out of metal which fits into a plastic frame, though the top and bottom of the back panel are made from plastic. It has a fingerprint sensor on the back which, in our usage, is quite snappy.
The power on and off button on the right side is textured to differentiate it from the volume rockers. The power button is metallic while the volume button is plastic, which is also a differentiating factor.
The phone feels a bit on the heavier side and considering the battery capacity you would expect no less. It weighs 160 grams and is the thinnest at 8.9mm. When you pit that against the competition, those aren’t really good numbers but not all of them have metal bodies either. It's more like a favourable compromise which we don’t think should bug most users.
Smartron's t.Phone P is a well-built phone and feels solid in hand. The weight works in its favour and gives it a certain, reassuring heft.
The t.Phone P comes with a 5.2-inch HD (1280 x 720 pixels) display with 2.5D curved glass atop. It’s a gently curved glass that fits the plastic frame of the phone, unlike curved designs on Samsung's flagship devices.
If you're coming from a phone with an 18:9 display, the bezels of t.Phone P will look huge. They did to me. But I did get used to them eventually.
For its price, the display is good. It isn’t the best one and surely isn’t the brightest one when you look at the competition. When indoors, the display is well-lit and bright. However, sunlight legibility is far too low.
The colour reproduction on the screen is decent, something matching the standard on phones in this price bracket. Images are sharp and the phone can be used to watch videos easily, as long as you're indoors.
Interface and reliability
One of the major highlights of the t.Phone P is its near stock Android experience. The smartphone comes with Android 7.1.1 Nougat, topped with Smartron experience apps, including the t.store, t.cloud and t.care. Along with this, Smartron has loaded a bunch of apps like Microsoft's Office suite, Skype, Forums app and Google Duo, which unfortunately cannot be uninstalled. This is a bummer and gets in the way of what could have been a clean user experience. Smartron should have allowed users to uninstall them.
Otherwise, the UI is slick and we didn’t face any lags during our use. It’s as stock as they come, except for the aforementioned issue. It runs on Android Nougat right now, and there's no word on when it will get Android Oreo.
Specs and Performance
The t.Phone P is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 435 octa-core chipset, which is generally what powers every second smartphone in this budget. Paired with 3GB of RAM, the phone performs well. It was able to run games like Clash of Clans flawlessly and even graphics hungry games, such as Shadow Fight 3. Though the phone did get warm while playing the latter one.
When it comes to multitasking, the phone is able to switch between 4-5 apps simultaneously, accompanied by frame drops and lags.
The dual-firing speakers at the bottom are possibly the worst part of the smartphone. They sound just plain bad. If you are going to watch videos or listen to music, we recommend using earphones.
The performance of the t.Phone P isn’t groundbreaking. Smartron has played it safe with the hardware that they have put together and frankly, it’s not bad to use at all.
The Smartron t.Phone P comes with a 13-megapixel primary snapper, which has an aperture size of f/2.2.and a 5-megapixel selfie camera on the front. The images coming out of the rear camera are decent, but the front-facing camera needs a lot of work.
From the rear camera, images shot often look washed out. There seems to be a whitish tone over the photos, which make them underwhelming. The phone also overexposed when shooting in outdoor sunlight, while low light shots were filled with noise and blurs.
There’s a manual mode as well which feels gimmicky. It doesn’t let you adjust anything except ISO and white balance.
The front-facing camera for selfies will make for your usual Instagram and Snapchat posts. Anything beyond that is just expecting too much out of an entry-level smartphone. Here, the Y1 from Xiaomi takes the cake for creating better pictures from the front camera.
Considering the price, the camera is just about fine, but don't expect much more. If camera isn't your priority, then you probably won't mind.
The major highlight of the t.Phone P is its 5,000 mAh battery capacity. On a single charge, the phone gave us a day and a half's worth of usage before dropping to 10%.
Considering we use smartphones pretty aggressively, a basic user should get about two full days of usage on a single charge with the t.Phone P. It also comes with reverse charge support, allowing it to charge other devices as well.
The phone doesn’t support fast charging, which is why it took us close to 2.5 hours to charge from 0% to 100%. It is a disappointment that the t.Phone P doesn’t support fast charge even after having such a high capacity battery.
What can you possibly get for Rs 7,999 that works?
This is the question the t.Phone P answers. It’s got a humongous battery, good hardware and clean software. Though the camera department is a hit and miss affair, this Smartron phone comes a close second to Xiaomi’s Redmi Y1 or Redmi 4.
The Smartron t.Phone P is well built and has good battery life. If that's your priority, this phone is worth considering. However, Xiaomi's Redmi Y1 is a better fit for those who want good selfies, while the Redmi 4 remains the best smartphones under Rs. 10,000 right now.
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