To be the best budget smartphone in today’s smartphone market, it needs to provide the best value for the price charged.
Hey My Awesome Buddies,
Today, let us look at one of the lesser-known smartphones in the budget segment that is worth the crown of the best budget smartphone of the year. Taking into consideration that Redmi Series dominated the budget segment for long, this device has to compare fairly to match the value. In this article, we will look at 10.or E (Tenor E) which is the latest budget smartphone exclusive on Amazon India.
Over the years, I have been a Redmi fan and have used all the redmi series devices up to the Redmi 4. It really dominated the segment with its high-quality devices at very cheap prices. Many players have tried to enter the sub ₹ 10000 segments to take on with Xiaomi. However, most of them have failed severely against the Redmi series in this price range.
Most of the devices in the price range sports almost same internals (I am talking about the Snapdragon Processor Variants and not the Mediatek ones). Snapdragon 430 has been the most used processor in the budget spectrum of smartphones, mostly as it is super efficient and likeably fast. The newer generation SD 435 is quite similar to its older sibling. However, still, the 430 seems to the fair on most tasks thrown at it with ease. Coupled with 2GB/3GB RAM most devices in this price range are great value-for-money and not to forget the mammoth batteries.
Let us do a quick round-up of the specs that 10.or E sport to be the best budget smartphone.
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset
- GPU: Adreno 505
- RAM: 2GB and 3GB
- Display: IPS LCD 5.5 inches Full HD (1920×1080 pixels), 403 ppi and 400 nits brightness
- Display Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass 3 with 2.5D curved glass
- Build: Soft Aluminium Metal Body
- Unlocking: Rear Fingerprint Scanner
- Connectivity: VoLTE support for both SIM
- Connections: Dual Nano SIM 4G
- Storage: 16GB and 32GB internal Memory with Dedicated SD Card slot up to 128GB
- Battery: 4000 mAh Li-ion
- Cameras: 13MP F2.0 PDAF primary camera with 1080p video recording and 5 MP front camera with flash
- Android Version: Stock Android 7.1.2 out of the box upgradable to Oreo
- Price: ₹ 7999 and ₹ 8999
The specs sheet is impressive for the price and even stands out in two major areas against the competition to be the best budget smartphone currently available.
We find very few devices today in this price range with a Full HD Display. Impressively this device sports a rich Full HD Display with 400 nits of brightness making it one of the best displays on a budget device.
This year we have seen manufacturers moving towards the cleaner and smoother Stock android compared to the custom UIs we were accustomed to in past. 10.or E comes with Android v7.1.2 out of the box making it only a few devices in the price range with Android v7.1.2. It is to be upgraded to Android Oreo very soon. It supports the Stock Version of Android with very minimum bloat making it a very smooth and responsive device to use. I am a big fan of stock Android for its clean and responsive interface. I would always pick a device with stock android over the highly customized skinned android of Xiaomi’s, Huawei’s or Samsung’s.
Break down of the Device in Real World Usage
Specs never speak how well a device performs day to day in a real-world usage. We have seen devices that have impressive specs on the sheet but not optimized to perform accordingly. Having used the device for over 20 days extensively let us look at the things I liked about the device and things that the device lacked. Most importantly, I will answer the big question “is it the best budget smartphone”.
Before we dig deep into the various aspects we have to keep one thing in mind. The device featured here is a sub ₹ 10000 smartphones, to be specific a ₹8999 smartphone. You have to keep your expectations based on the price and competition in the market. The closest competitor of the 10.or E is the Redmi 4 series, which is priced similar but has a smaller 720p display and hybrid slot.
And if you have used Xiaomi phones in past you will know that MiUi is one of the heaviest skinned UIs on Android. In addition, Xiaomi has been very slow in providing android updates. In that respect, 10.or E are among few devices with Android v7.1.2 out of the box.
Pros (Things That I Liked About the Device)
I loved the build quality of the device, enclosed within a full metal aluminum body with rounded edges. This provides for a very sturdy grip and comfortable one hand usage. While the back is sort of matte finish making it a good-looking device at this price point. It was not very slippery and comfortable to hold a device with 5.5″ screen. I did not use any case and it never slipped out of my hands (Redmi always slipped). It is surprisingly light taking into consideration the 4000 mAh battery inside. Although am not very picky at this price range but the chins on this device are a bit larger by today’s standards. I will talk about this later in the cons section. Overall, it is better looking than the new Redmi Y1 and almost similar looking to the previous Redmi 4.
This has to be one of the best screens I have seen on a device in this price range. It supports a Full HD screen, which is very rare at this price point. The screen is bright and easily readable under direct sunlight. However, the display has a warmer tone and is relatively sharp. The colors are punchy and have good levels of contrast. The screen is protected by a 2.5D gorilla glass 3 making it scratch and small drop resistant. Gorilla Glass at this price point is very impressive and it stands out very well for everyday tasks. I kept my phone without any screen guard in my pocket with keys and coins without any scratch on the face of the device. It undoubtedly sports the best budget smartphone display currently in my opinion.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
Snapdragon 430 is the beast of the budget range of processors. Most devices in the price range come with a MediaTek processor but the SD 430 with its 8 cores can handle intensive tasks very easily. It can easily play Asphalt Xtreme and Mortal Combat without any issue. Minor frame drops can be seen, which is completely fine for the price point. Performance won’t be an issue with the device in day to day usage.
Multitasking and RAM management
I wish I could give 6 out of 5 for multitasking on this device. I have never seen a better RAM management and multi-tasking on devices in this price range. It easily handled intensive games like Asphalt, Chrome, YouTube all running in the background with social media app. RAM management is stellar which is always the major drawback of a Xiaomi device.
10.or E comes with a stock Android experience which is fast, clean and provides the best possible user experience on an Android device. I am always a stock Android fan, so using this device was really a great experience. It runs on Android 7.2.1 out of the box. Tenor promises Oreo update very soon.
Battery life is amazing on this device thanks to the 4000 mAh battery. It can easily last you one and half days with heavy usage and about 2 days with light to moderate usage.
Dedicated SD Card Slot
This can be the only feature that can make people choose it over Xiaomi devices. It has slots for 2 4G SIM slots and a separate slot for SD Card upto 128GB. Very useful and welcoming feature at the time when every manufacturer is moving to hybrid solutions.
The fingerprint scanner is fast and mostly accurate. 9 out of 10 times, it will work as expected. At this price point, a fingerprint sensor is a welcome option as it is getting more and more necessary.
Cons (Now let us look at things I did not like the device)
The battery is huge and the supplied charger is a normal charger and it takes about 2 and half hours to charge from 5%- 100%. That is one thing I faced issue with the device. So my advice would charge it at night while sleeping as it will last you a full day and more on one charge.
The chins on this device are huge, especially the bottom chin. I don’t understand why Tenor choose to go with on-screen navigation buttons while having such huge bottom chins. They could have easily placed the buttons on the chin. It really ruins the whole goodness of the full HD Display.
The Power Button placement
It is awkward for most users as the power button is placed above the volume rockers and they do not even have a different texture. Most of the times I was pressing the volume buttons while looking for the power button.
The cameras are decent in my opinion. The rear camera is sharp and captures good images in good lighting. It has a decent dynamic range and has a satisfactory depth of field. However, the front camera is average in my opinion. It comes with a flash but I feel it overexposes images most of the time. The focusing is fast and you can use tap to focus. The camera interface is clean and has ample options to play around. It has a beauty mode for the back camera too (Interesting). The camera is the only weak link of the device. If the camera is your priority then you can skip the device and go for other options like the Redmi Y1.
So How It Stands Against the Current Competition
It stands tall and strong against the competition for the user experience, screen quality, and RAM management. It blows out the Redmi 4 and Redmi Y1 with its superior screen and multitasking experience. The combination of Stock Android with SD 430 will any day beat the heavy skinned MiUi of Xiaomi. I would always go for a device with a minimum skin. Moreover, MiUi is also very slow in updating the Android and UI. While the 10.or E comes with Android v7.1.2 and will be getting the Oreo very soon.
DEFINITE BUY for the Price. Go for the 3/32GB variant as you have better RAM and thus can use for intensive tasks. If you are a light user and not a gamer than 2/16GB will be enough as it has dedicated SD Card. In that price point, this is the best device currently in the market. It is better than Redmi Y1 launched recently in the Build Quality as well as Display department. 10.or E is one of the best budget smartphones you can buy today if you compare with others in the range.
My experience with the device is very positive and it surely stands out amongst the competition. Moreover, the Impressive specs within ₹9000 truly give way for 10.or E to be the best budget smartphone today. You have to keep your expectations limited in areas like the camera and charging time. I will still give a buy decision based on the fact that no smartphone in this price has fast charged.
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Let me know in the comments your experience with the device and stay tuned for more interesting guides and reviews on techs you need.
See you soon my awesome Buddies.