The Transsion Holdings, which had made its foray into the Indian smartphone market scene last year with its Itel range of smartphones, has now made a bid to bolster its claim on the India soil with the introduction of its Tecno-branded range of handsets.

Primarily targeted at those who prefer taking the offline route while buying a smartphone, the company has earmarked the Indian population, which has cemented its place as one of the fastest growing smartphone markets across the globe.

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We caught hold of one of the members of the initial sets of these Tecno phones – the i7 – and here’s what our assessment stands at, after we have had spent some quality time with it:

Tecno i7 Specifications

Model Tecno i7
Display 5.5-Inch, Full HD IPS, 2.5D Gorilla Glass
Processor 1.5GHz octa-core MT6750T MediaTek Processor
RAM 4GB
Internal Storage 32GB
Software Android 7.0 Nougat based HiOS
Primary Camera 13MP rear camera, 4X LED Flash, 1080p Video Recording
Secondary Camera 16MP Front Camera, LED flash
Dimensions and Weight  151.50 x 75.20 x 7.70 mm and 155 Grams
Battery 4,000mAh removable battery
Others 4G LTE, Dual SIM, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, 3.5mm Audio jack, Rocket Charging; Sensors: Accelerometer, Proximity, Ambient Light
Price 14,990 INR

Tecno i7 Design, Build and Display

The i7 is a premium-looking metal unibody smartphone, that has just the right amount of thickness, and features a 5.5-inch display safeguarded by a 2.5D curved glass. Combine all of that with very narrow bezels, and you have a phone worth throwing some weight behind its design.

The back is largely metal with just a speck of plastic, with the camera and the quadruple (yes, you read that right) LED flash placed at the top left side, doubling up as a more than an efficient flashlight. The front-mounted fingerprint sensor is fast and responsive and, according to the company, carries an anti-oil coating making it perfect for Indian conditions and weather.

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It gave off a solid feel with negligible flexes and creaks, and would be fitting for even those who have butter fingers/accident prone hands.

Plus point: the phone comes accompanied by a protective case that has flaps to protect the USB port as well as the audio jack from spills and dust. Moreover, the company is also providing for free one-time screen replacement for one year from the date of purchase.

Also Read: Samsung Galaxy S8+ Review – Majestic

The display is sharp and clear. The viewing angles too, are wide. The display can get very bright when you turn the offline mode and thus ensuring comfortable outdoor usage. By default, the display gives off too much of blue light, and in case you are sensitive to it, that can be easily fixed by using the eye protect filter under display settings (Under Miracast vision).

Tecno i7 Performance and Software

The use of a 4G RAM supporting an octa-core 1.5GHz MediaTek MT6750T processor bodes well with us, and rendered a smooth working performance throughout. High-end gaming experience too was reasonable for the price.

There are no heating issues as such, but sometimes continuous high-end gaming does manage to warm it down a bit. The presence of the Android Nougat OS means that the i7 is one of the only two smartphones (the G5 completes the pair) in its category to feature the latest Android version, although in this case, it comes laden with the HiOS UI, which, frankly, has features that come in pretty handy.

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Amongst the features is a ‘freezer’ app that allows you to literally freeze apps that you do not make use of. Then there’s the split-screen one (which we all know about), Whatsapp mode (restricts data of all apps excluding the messenger) and a power widget that enables you to traverse straight to the Ultra Power Saving mode.

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To sum it up, the UI looks really fresh and offers something to play with, and would definitely be appreciated by the audience that the company is targeting to reach out to.

Tecno i7 Camera

The 13MP camera on the phone’s back does not disappoint and manages to secure decent(if not perfect) details in photographs. In good lighting, the noise is well under control and details are good.

The night shots are also quite good considering the price range. Details and colors are quite accurate in low light shots. And yes, the flash quartet is really the knight in shining armor, particularly in pitch dark conditions.

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The camera interface is minimal and sports real-time filters too. Also, it is capable of capturing 1080p full HD and 480p slo-mo videos as well.

Coming to the front camera, it had a good outing with us, and we think the company’s quest to build it up as a major selling point holds solid ground. It is capable of capturing some sharp selfies in indoor areas as well as a place with scanty lighting.

If you are looking for offline alternatives, Tecno i7 can offer decent camera experience, if you are looking for online exclusive options you can score a better camera in phones like Moto G5 Plus.

Tecno i7 Battery, Connectivity and Others

Tecno’s decision to fit in a mammoth 4,000mAh power unit in the phone has paid off, as the i7’s battery backup is one thing that has augured well for us, and lives up to its billing. Even with moderate to heavy usage, you can stretch its running time to more than a single day comfortably.

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Oh, and it also supports fast charging (put across as the ‘Rocket Charging’, a logo of which you will also be able to see on the phone’s rear), thrusting the battery from zero to the full capacity in a matter of 90 to 100 minutes.

Also Read: Best Smartphones In India Under Rs. 20,000 [April 2017]

Verdict

The Tecno i7 scores pretty high on our radar, and even hits a few out of the park (read: software features that you’d end up using quite often). The phone’s looks bolster its claims as a rival to the Moto G5 as well as the Redmi Note 4.

That said, the phone, just like any other in this range, does not fall into the ‘perfect’ criteria and there are a few things that we wish were looked into.

Nevertheless, the i7 is a fairly decent handset, considering it is the first one from the company being introduced to a completely new market with already established players.

Pros

  • Interactive software based on Android Nougat
  • Slim and lightweight design
  • Great battery backup
  • Decent camera performance
  • Fast fingerprint reader with sapphire glass protection

Cons

  • A tad overpriced compared to online alternatives
  • Display has slight blue tint

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