“The srt.phone draws inspiration from Sachin Tendulkar and is a gift from him to his fans,” says Smartron. Home-grown startup, Smartron which “was founded with a vision to build India’s first true global technology OEM brand designed and engineered in India for India and the world to disrupt the current trend of Indian market flooded by cheap Chinese brands” launched its second phone, aka the srt.phone, in the country on Thursday at a starting price of Rs 12,999 for the base 32 gig version. The 64 gig version of the srt.phone will meanwhile cost buyers Rs 13,999.
The srt.phone, as clearly indicated by Smartron, will take on value for money phones like the Redmi Note 4, the Honor 6X and the Moto G5 from Chinese counterparts Xiaomi, Huawei and Motorola. Not only is Smartron using nationalism to boost srt.phone’s credentials, the company has master blaster Sachin Tendulkar batting for it: a combination that should ideally bolster sales by leaps and bounds. “The srt.phone is a stunning smartphone which caters to all the requirements of the people today. This is another opportunity for me to engage with all who have given me much over the years including the second innings of my life,” says the god of cricket himself. The srt.phone ought to be special indeed. It is, and it is not.
The srt.phone looks generic at best. It’s not a looker, but perhaps, folks back at Smartron weren’t gunning for an all-metal premium. You never know. Perhaps they were chasing practicality for the srt.phone clearly is a very practical phone to begin with. It boasts of an all-polycarbonate shell that’s smooth to the touch, but, not as slippery as all-metal counterparts like the Redmi Note 4, the Honor 6X and the Moto G5. The phone will stick to your hands and stay put no matter how you use it. The front is somewhat chamfered while the back has a very subtle curve enhancing grip and ergonomics. It’s light yet feels very solid, the srt.phone.
The back cover in the case of the srt.phone is removable. The battery isn’t. The dual-SIM slots lie underneath the back cover. The power button inconveniently lies up top, while the volume rocker lies on the right. The phone comes with USB Type-C for charging and data-syncing.
The srt.phone comes with a 5.5-inch 1080p display which gets fairly bright but colours on-board aren’t the most accurate. They seem muted in comparison to rival phones in and around its price point.
On the inside, Smartron’s new phone is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor clubbed with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of memory. Unlike phones like the Redmi Note 4 (Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, 14nm finfet) and the Honor 6X (Kirin 655, 16nm finfet) which essentially gun for attaining higher clock speeds without overheating and draining the battery quickly, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 (28nm) inside the srt.phone is designed for raw power. Although in the initial run, we haven’t experienced any major heating issues, we are yet to test the phone more comprehensively to pass a better judgment over performance and battery life.
The one thing to really look forward to in Smartron’s new phone is the fact that it runs a near stock and unmodified version of Google’s latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat software with little or no unwanted apps on-board.
The srt.phone comes with Smartron’s tron x suit that consists of t.cloud, t.store and t.care features. “Once enabled t.cloud automatically backs up and allows you to access your data seamlessly from any Smartron device. t.store offers e-showcase of all Smartron devices and accessories, allowing you to get it delivered at your doorstep with a single click. t.care is meanwhile Smartron’s 24×7 customer service service.”
On the camera front, the srt.phone comes with a 13-megapixel camera on the rear and a 5-megapixel camera on the front. The phone is further backed by a 3,000mAh battery and supports fast charging.
Smartron’s first phone, the t.phone, was super ambitious but because it was so exorbitantly priced (close to Rs 25,000) it did not leave much impact on the market. Smartron’s second phone, the srt.phone is a lot more grounded and main-stream. At its price point, the srt.phone will compete with phones like the Redmi Note 4 and the Honor 6X, both fantastic phones for so little a price. Smartron, however, believes that the tag of being the master blaster’s phone could be its ticket to fame in the Indian market. Watch this space for our full review of the Smartron srt.phone in the days to come.