The Pandaily team finally got a chance to review newly released Nut R1 flagship phone by Chinese smartphone maker Smartisan Technology and here are our thoughts.
The Nut R1, a highly anticipated phone, was released at the Beijing National Stadium in front of a crowd of over 30,000 on May 15. The phone immediately caused a great stir with its storage size of 1TB at maximum, equivalent to the storage of 16 iPhone Xs.
Smartisan explains that the storage size was made available for the phone to be used with their all-one-computer, the TNT work station. When paired, the phone can be used like a desktop, but with the TNT work station nowhere in sight, the 1TB model probably will see much sales.
Design & Configurations
In terms of appearances, the Nut R1 has kept its rigid edge design that reminds us of the iPhone 5. It is much bigger of course with a 6.17 inch full HD screen which has a resolution of 1080 x 2242 and an aspect ratio of 18.7:9.
In terms of configurations, the new flagship runs on the Snapdragon 845 processor which is seen inside of most mid-to-high end Android phones being released these days. It uses the Qualcomm Adreno 630 GPU and its storage option starts at 64GB.
The phone unlocks via facial recognition and fingerprint unlock. It is interesting to note that they’re perhaps the only company to put a logo on the fingerprint unlock button at the back, and still have a crazy unlocking speed. All around the finger print unlock button and the phone has a shiny gold or rose gold line, giving off a sleek and high-end vibe.
Front & Back Cameras
As for its camera and image processing abilities, the flagship uses the Spectra 280 image sensor processor and the Sony IMX363 sensor. It has a 24MP camera at the front and dual 12MP lenses at the back. The camera function is also equipped with many AI features and produces images with great color saturation and detail.
After a comparison with the similarly priced and also recently released OnePlus 6, it is safe to say that the Smartisan R1 is a great choice for smartphone photography.
The Nut R1 runs on the proprietary SmartisanOS which has always been known for its sleek UI and innovative features. Luo Yonghao, founder and CEO of Smartisan, also introduced many new features that will improve the efficiency of R1 users this time. The three most notable features of the new phone are Big Bang, One Step, and Idea Pill.
Big Bang is a text editor function that is activated via the hard press of a finger over any type of text. Once activated, the text will explode like a Big Bang onto another interface on the screen, and the user can select any word or group of words to copy, share, edit, translate, or check the definition. The easy activation and access to a full range of functions make this a great tool.
One Step is another function that can significantly reduce the steps needed to perform frequently needed tasks. These tasks include switching from one app to another back and forth, copy and paste from one place to another, quickly access a whole list of apps without losing track of the entire list, and more.
Idea Pill is a function that allows text or voice-to-text messages to be be saved on the go. It can be accessed by swiping left on the screen and the messages can be turned into to-do lists, events on the calendar, and pretty much anything you want them to become. It’s perfect for those who have ideas popping up all the time but no time to type them down.
One of the most interesting features on the SmartisanOS if a function called “Fake Call” which is accessible through the quick access menu. This function stages a call from an ID showing “John Doe” a minute after you’ve pressed the button. Once you pick up the call, a male voice will say a line in Chinese that roughly translates to:
“Hey, the boss was just looking for you, you better go find him!” We thought this was a clever trick to get out of a sticky situation or a boring conversation, unless you’re with your boss of course.
Pros & Cons
The Nut R1 isn’t all perfect. In fact, there exist quite a few problems with the English interface, such as weird display of English punctuations and inability to fit English names of functions inside of existing space. We have suggestions for its design too. The small and circular side buttons are way too difficult to press, while the gold embeltiments which collect a lot of dirt.
All in all, the Smartisan Nut R1 is a pretty good phone, especially considering its camera and operating system. The price of the 64GB version is only about $513, while the 1TB version goes all the way to around $1297. I would say that this is a pretty good buy for its price, perfect for even non-Chinese users once they get the English displays fixed.