10.or pronounced as Tenor (Go figure that out!) has created a lot of buzz in the Indian markets. The phones are crafted for Amazon which is Amazon’s way of taking on the homegrown e-commerce giant Flipkart’s growing popularity of inhouse brand Billion. There are currently 3 models available on Amazon India and today we will be reviewing the cheapest of the lot the Tenor D.
On paper the phone is solid, but does it live up to the expectations? We’ll see; before that let’s get the technical specifications out of the way. The display is a 5.2 inch 720p LCD panel with decent colors and viewing angles for the price, the touch isn’t the best but considering the price I can let that slide. Under the hood there is a Snapdragon 425 coupled with either 2 or 3 GB of RAM and 16 or 32 GB of internal memory which can be expanded via a micro SD card. We will be testing the 3/32 GB variant of the device. There is a 13 Megapixel camera to the rear of the device with LED flash while the front touts a 5 Megapixel selfie shooter. All of this is powered by a 3550 mAh battery.
|Display||5.2 Inch HD (720p)|
|Chipset||SnapDragon 425 Quad-Core SoC|
|Memory||2 GB RAM and 16 GB Internal Storage or 3 GB RAM and 32 GB Internal storage|
|Camera||13 Mega Pixel Rear and 5 Mega Pixel Front|
|USP||Finger Print Sensor, Budget Pricing|
|Price||2/16 GB Variant – Rs. 4,999|
3/32 GB Variant – Rs. 5,999
As we already know the Tenor D comes with a 720p display which isn’t IPS and hence the colour reproduction or the viewing angles aren’t great. It has a peak brightness of 400 nits which is serviceable but nothing spectacular. The display overall is acceptable but just barely. There is no mention of any display protection like gorilla glass or dragon tail glass either which is not acceptable, at least in my books.
Rating – 3/5
The phone is completely made of a plastic polymer with a very bland and stealth design. It is definitely not winning any awards for ground breaking design and we have seen this design quite a few times in the past too. The 2 colour variants you can choose from Beyond Black and Aim Gold. If you want a flashy looking device look Aim gold is for you as it has gold all around but if you want something sober we suggest you stick with the black variant.
There are thick bezels on the top and bottom of the device, there are no capacitive keys and that is a major design flaw in my opinion and a poor use of space. Instead of capacitive buttons we get on-screen navigation buttons which take up screen real estate and the worst part is that they don’t even hide in apps. In apps like Snapchat it is really hard to access the bottom buttons on the left and right as they are covered with the navigation buttons.
To the top of the phone, we find the earpiece along with a notification LED and the front-facing camera. The sound from the earpiece is deafeningly loud so you always have to keep it a bit far from your ear or put the volume down; this is a plus for some and a major minus for the others. There is also the lack of an ambient light sensor which in 2018 is extremely frustrating to see.
The phone is quite compact to hold but is quite hefty too, you feel the weight when you pick it up and wonder how something this small can be this heavy! That heft is thanks to the huge 3500 mAh battery inside. All the buttons are to the right of the device both the volume buttons and the power button, this shows design flaws and no consideration for left-handers. Surprisingly though the power button is placed above the volume buttons and a lot of times I have mistakenly pressed the volume down button instead of the power button, and this to me is an odd design choice.
There is also a fingerprint sensor to the rear of the device which is a rarity in this price segment and I think it is the first phone with a finger print sensor under Rs.5000 so that’s a definite plus.
The phone is almost 9 mm thick and weighs in at 150 grams which is heavier and thicker than its immediate competition i.e. the Redmi 5A. The left of the phone holds the Sim and SD card tray while the bottom holds the primary microphone and the micro USB port. To the top, there is the 3.5 mm audio jack and the secondary microphone. The speaker is placed to the rear of the device which is quite easy to muffle due to its placement.
Rating – 3.5/5
Performance and Software
Snapdragon 425 is a pretty capable chip in the budget segment, it functions well and there is minimal lag or stutters that said, this is partly due to the stock Android like software that’s running on the device. The device runs on Android 7.1.2 with no skin on top and minimal bloatware though it comes pre-installed with some Amazon apps which are non-removable.
On average there is 1.6-1.8 GB of RAM free at any point of time on our variant which has 3 GB of RAM. The RAM management is good enough and the phone handles multitasking without a lot of problems. Heavier apps take some time to load but they work well after that, for the price of course, heavy games on the other hand are barely playable and we strongly recommend against it. This phone is for people who are looking for a good secondary phone not someone who wants a primary phone which performs well too, that isn’t possible at this price segment.
The finger print sensor on our unit didn’t work well and it just straight up refuses to work properly unless the same finger is enrolled at least thrice. That said once we did the necessary arrangement it worked fine enough to be at par with acceptable standards.
The phone is said to be updated to Android Oreo soon, how soon we don’t know yet. Currently, it runs a stock-like version of Android nougat 7.1.2 with only 5 extra preloaded apps, 3 of which are from Amazon, 1 is by tenor and 1 is a voice recorder app which is built in.
The network quality is decent at this price range, it does have marginally weaker network compared to other devices on the same network and in the same area but it is not too bad hence passable.
Rating – 3.5/5
The tenor D touts a 13 Mega Pixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, the images are acceptable under good lighting conditions and extremely bad and unacceptable in indoor lighting conditions, there is a lot of noise when images are clicked indoors and it just doesn’t perform well indoors. However once you take it outdoors under sufficient lighting conditions you can manage to click some decent images. The camera does have some problems focusing on the subject but once the focus is locked it works well. The camera app is very basic and is set to auto mode at launch which works well enough.
You have options to choose between a few shooting modes like HDR, Night, Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Flowers, Sunset, Beach, Snow and obviously Auto. The video too is just barely acceptable; the camera can shoot Full HD in 30 frames per seconds. The good thing about the camera is its flash which is quite powerful.
For the selfie-obsessed people, I have some bad news, the front facing 5 Mega Pixel f/2.2 aperture camera doesn’t click phenomenal pictures either but then again you shouldn’t be expecting that from a phone priced at 4,999. It works fine enough to share a few selfies here and there on social networking sites and for taking video calls occasionally. Under outdoor lighting conditions it actually does a fairly decent job but once you try to click something indoors it just produces images filled with noise and that makes the images almost unusable. Bad lighting is the Tenor D’s nemesis.
Rating – 2.5/5
The phone has a 3550 mAh battery which is plenty big for basic use, if this is your secondary phone it can easily last you a minimum of 2 days on moderate use. If you use it as your primary device it should easily last you for a full work day with some battery to spare. A weird thing about the device is that it takes a very longtime to go from 5 to 0 which is a good thing in case of emergency scenarios. It takes around 3.5 hours to charge the device completely with the charger provided with the device.
Rating – 4/5
Final Take – Should you buy it?
Yes, you should. Provided this isn’t your primary device which you plan to use extensively. The Tenor D is a solid device priced at Rs. 4,999, it runs on decent hardware and comes with a good software experience. You can use it for calls, messages and social networks like Facebook and Whatsapp and use it as a business phone. We recommend going for the 2 GB variant as that makes much more sense than the 3 GB variant which is priced at Rs.5,999 at that price the Tenor E becomes available at only Rs. 1000 extra.
Tenor D has a slight edge over its closest competition the Redmi 5A as Tenor D comes with a fingerprint sensor and stock Android like user interface. Overall we would rate it a solid 3.5/5.