Tenor (also known as 10.or) is probably the only company giving a tough competition to Xiaomi in the Indian market. The Huaqin Technology owned mobile brand will now launch 'Crafted for Amazon' smartphones in India, and of course, they will be exclusive to Amazon itself. And the recent one to come out from the brand is the Tenor D, which competes with the Xiaomi Redmi 5A that stirred the entry-level market in India with its affordable price tag of Rs 4,999.
The Xiaomi Redmi 5A is an excellent value for money product, but the Tenor D offers slightly better features than the former, at least on paper. We have got a chance to play with the Tenor D smartphone for quite some time, and here's what we think of it.
The Tenor D looks similar to the earlier launched Tenor smartphones- Tenor E and Tenor G. Like the Tenor E, the Tenor D also sports polycarbonate body, and the device evidently feels cheap when taken into hands. But you can't expect more at the asking price though. The power button is still awkwardly placed above the volume rockers, like the earlier Tenor smartphones.
Also, the device feels light when taken into hands, even though packing a 3500mAh battery inside. The device comes in two colour options- Beyond Black, Aim Gold. We received the Beyond Black colour option for review.
Coming to the display, the Tenor D packs a 5.2-inch display with a resolution of 720x1280 pixels. Sadly, Tenor did not mention the protective layer used on display. The display gets bright enough to view the text even under bright sunlight, but the viewing angles are not that great. Also, this panel is a reflective one, which affects the viewing angles even more.
Powering the Tenor D is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 SoC, which is a quad-core chipset with all the four cores clocked at 1.4GHz. Tenor launched the phone in two variants- 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, and the other one with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Both the variants have a microSD card slot for storage expansion up to 128GB.
The highlight of the Tenor smartphones is the stock Android support; the Tenor D is no exception. The Tenor D boots near stock Android 7.1.2 Nougat with a few apps preinstalled- Amazon Shopping, Amazon Prime Video, and Tenor Care application. Tenor did not reveal any plans for upgrading the smartphone to Android 8.0 Oreo. In our brief time with the smartphone, it opened all the applications real quick, and animations are smooth too. Stock Android also comes in handy for the relatively less powerful processor.
The Tenor D has a 13MP camera at the back, which is coupled with PDAF and an LED flashlight. Up front, we get a 5MP selfie camera. We should not expect much in the price range. The camera application also has a pretty standard interface, and it offers various filters such as Mono, Sepia, Aqua, Sketch, etc. Thankfully, the front-facing camera also comes with the same modes.
Below the rear camera module, we have a fingerprint scanner. This is one feature which distinguishes the Tenor D from Redmi 5A. The Tenor D is also the first smartphone under Rs 5,000 to sport a fingerprint scanner. The scanner is quick in unlocking the device. Apart from unlocking the device, there's no special use of the scanner as the device runs on close to stock Android ROM.
Overall, the Tenor D seems to be a compelling smartphone under Rs 5,000. Possibly, it is the best smartphone under Rs 5,000 you can buy right now. Pricing wise, the 2GB+16GB variant of the Tenor D costs Rs 4,999, whereas the 3GB+32GB option is priced at Rs 5,999. The device will be up for open sale on Amazon India on January 5.
Aforesaid, the device goes against the Xiaomi Redmi 5A, which is also priced at Rs 4,999 for the 2GB+16GB variant, and Xiaomi is selling the device in flash sales. The 3GB+32GB variant of the Redmi 5A is priced at Rs 6,999. In many ways, the Tenor D has an advantage over the Redmi 5A- a fingerprint scanner, larger battery, stock Android, and open sale. We will be testing out the Tenor D in the coming days and will post a complete verdict on the same. For now, if you're looking to purchase the Tenor D, get the higher 3GB RAM and 32GB storage variant, instead of going for the 2GB RAM and 16GB storage option.