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Sony’s attempt to get back in lower mid-range segment.

Sony has been struggling the most to tap the smartphone market right and in yet another attempt they have tried to get under 15k segment which is by far the most crowded and difficult segment. It is heavily dominated by Chinese, South Korean Giant Samsung and now a little by Finnish comeback Nokia. So, has Xperia R1 (Rs. 12990) and R1 Plus (Rs. 14990) got what it takes? Let’s check out.

The design is the same signature (Boxy) Sony design which has started to show its age. The devices feel unmistakably Sony from any angle. They have a slim profile of 8 mm and weighs 150 grams as one would expect from Sony and should feel good in hand although as the edges are not curved, could dig deep in the palm with long usage. The screen to body ratio has never been Sony’s forte and this time is no different, the devices have unnecessarily huge bezels on top and bottom which make the devices look so 2015. The screen is a 5.2-inch 720p IPS display with 2.5D Curved Glass on both devices
Coming to the Specs, the device is powered by a 28 nm1 almost two-year-old Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 430 which also powers Nokia 5 (12500), Nokia 6 (15000) and LG Q6 albeit a bit advanced version 435 but are extremely comparable. This is also the same processor found in Redmi 4 line up which is priced 9k. Although this processor is good but in the long run as it is quite old, will start stuttering early. A Snapdragon 625 (14 nm) or even a Helio P25 (16 nm) would have made more sense for the asking Price.
A 13 mp rear shooter accompanied by an 8 mp front shooter with f2.0 aperture will handle the Photographer in you. Which looks good on paper will have to wait and see how they perform.
The R1 comes with 2 GB Ram and 16 GB Storage which is disappointing like the Nokia 5 while the elder sibling R1 Plus is mated with 3 GB Ram and 32 GB Storage just like the Nokia 6. So Clearly Sony is after Nokia here but unlike Nokia they lack Fingerprint Sensor, Metal Body, NFC and R1 Plus doesn’t have a full HD Display and stereo speakers like its rival.
They also have relatively small battery at 2620 maH which is again 400 maH lesser compared to the rivals. But when it comes to battery optimisation Sony has always delivered so a 2620 might prove sufficient for a whole day. Luckily unlike Samsung, Sony has added all the sensors including Gyro.
The smartphones run on Android 7.1 and will be upgraded to 8.0 unlike Nokia which will be upgraded to 9.0.
Where do these Gain? Surprisingly they both support Quick Charging and comes with a Type C Port. Which is a first from a tier 1 brand as none other has an offering in this segment with Type C Port.
Both these devices are exclusive to India and are Made in India.

All the usual stuff like Dual Sim, GPS, Wifi, Blutooth 4.2, VoLTE, Headphone Jack are present.
The devices come in Black and Silver colour options. They support external SD Card up to 128 GB and most probably without a hybrid tray.
The devices will go on sale from 4th November 2017 on Amazon and offline stores.

1NOTE: - nm mean Nano Meter which here denotes the distance between each transistor in a processor. The lesser the distance the more power efficient, faster and cooler a processor. That’s why 14nm is better than 28nm. The flagship Processors like A11 Bionic and Snapdragon 835 are both 10 nm SoC.



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