Smartron First Impressions

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With Sachin Tendulkar as a principal investor, Smartron has been making waves as the next big Indian company to look out for. The company has so far been involved in highly diversified technologies like convertible computers, IOT peripherals and of course smartphones. While Smartron’s first attempt at building a smartphone was not as successful as they might have hoped, it looks like their second innings might change the game altogether. We went hands on with the new Smartron and here’s what we think of it. 

Smartron specifications

  • 5.5-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels) IPS display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
  • Octa-Core Snapdragon 652 processor (Quad 1.8GHz ARM Cortex A72 + Quad 1.44GHz A53 CPUs) with Adreno 510 GPU
  • 4GB LPDDR3 RAM, 32GB / 64GB (EMMC5.1) internal memory
  • Android 7.1.1 (Nougat), Upgradable to Android O
  • Dual SIM (micro+micro)
  • 13MP rear camera with LED Flash, PDAF, f/2.0 aperture
  • 5MP front-facing camera with wide-angle lens
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • tcloud (unlimited cloud storage)
  • Dimensions: 153x77x8.9mm; Weight: 155g
  • 3.5mm audio jack, FM Radio
  • 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, USB Type-C, NFC
  • 3000mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0

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The first thing when you spot any smartphone is of course it’s display. The Full HD 5.5 inch panel may not be path breaking but it is certainly more than adequate. We found that the IPS panel on the Smartron erred on the side of over saturation but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The screen might not be the most natural out there but looks quite good when it comes to multimedia. The Smartron has three backlit capacitive keys at the bottom that correspond to the back, home and menu keys. Over at the top is a 5MP front facing camera equipped with a wide-angle lens. The bezels along the side of the display add to the boxy design of the hardware but we wouldn’t really call it a bad thing. The design here is simple, minimalistic yet visually appealing.

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The biggest gripe we have with the hardware design of the is the placement of the power button. Lined along the top edge of the phone, it is quite a stretch to reach out to it and we just couldn’t get used to it. Also up top is the 3.5mm audio jack.

The volume rocker lies to the right side of the phone and despite being a single piece of plastic, the feedback is reasonably good. In fact, the entire construction feels really high quality despite being plastic as opposed to the metal used by most of the competition. Along the bottom edge lies the USB Type C connector as well as the speaker grilles.

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The rear panel of the phone is removable but the only thing you can access here are the dual micro SIM slots. The phone does not offer microSD card expansion for storage and rather surprisingly, neither of the slots is of the hybrid variety. The battery is about a fourth smaller than the competition with a capacity of 3000 mAh which is a matter for concern. Support for Quick Charge 2.0 though means that you can charge it pretty quickly. We put the Smartron through our battery benchmark that simulates web browsing, gaming and more and this resulted in a screen on time of about 6 hours 35 minutes which suggests highly optimised hardware. Talking about the hardware, the phone is powered by a Snapdragon 652 processor and is paired with 4GB of RAM. The phone is equipped with 32GB / 64GB of storage that cannot be extended as we mentioned earlier. What you do get however is unlimited cloud storage that can be used to backup photos, videos and more.

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The back of the phone demonstrates a certain design flourish that is understated yet very appealing. Along the top, you can see the 13MP rear facing camera with a microphone and single LED along the opposite ends. Below it, a very smart-looking colored line differentiates the two segments of the hardware. Finally, you’ll notice the Smartron logo as well as the fingerprint scanner which the company claims is one of the fastest in its category.

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Running a near stock build of Android 7.1.1, the Smartron is a very pretty offering from an upstart that has made massive strides in the tough smartphone manufacturing business. Performance is more than adequate and the battery too surprises. Suffice it to say that our first impressions of the handset have been surprisingly popular and we’re quite excited to put the phone through its paces. Watch our for our full review coming up soon where we’ll focus on the software, camera experience and a lot more. It comes in Titanium Gray color, starts at Rs. 12,999 and is available exclusively on Flipkart.

Author: Dhruv Bhutani

Your friendly neighborhood techie. Currently using a Pixel 2 XL. Catch him on Twitter (@DhruvBhutani) / Facebook .