4G is said to be the next big thing in India. Telecom companies are spending big bucks on its with the expectation that this will help them reach where 3G could not go and help them get that big push in terms of data services.
Over the last one year, we have also seen a surge in the 4G smartphones that have been debuting in India. All eyes are now on the Reliance Jio launch that analysts believe will start a price war in the data segment. While we are not sure of when the actual launch will the place, its sister company Reliance Digital has already started offering 4G VO-LTE smartphones under the Reliance Lyf branding.
We have been playing around the Reliance Lyf Water 1 for some time now and here is what we think of the phone.
Display: 5-inch full HD 1920x1080p display,
OS: Android Lollipop 5.1.1
CPU: 1.5 GHz Octa Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939, 2GB
Storage: 16GB inbuilt storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD
Cameras: 13MP, 5 MP (front)
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, 3G/4G /2G, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB charging port, Infrared
Weight: 122 grams
Price: Rs 17,399
The moment you take out Reliance Lyf Water 1 smartphone from the pack, you realise that it is a good-looking the phone. It has a 5-inch display that fits the hand quite nicely. It has rectangular frame with curved borders with a strip of rose gold running across the edges of the white coloured phone.
Reliance Lyf only has touch-sensitive buttons so there is absolutely nothing on the lower panel. On the right panel, you have the power button and the volume rocker that can be easily reached even if you are using the phone with one hand. All the keys are responsive.
In addition to this, there is an LED light that keeps blinking much like the notification light on the earlier BlackBerry phones. Frankly speaking, I am not fond of the light as i thought it was a bit distracting (guess I am over the Blackberry days).
The lower panel houses the speaker grill and the USB port. The top panel houses the 3.5mm jack.
The phone looks stylish and feels light. Overall I liked how it feels in the hands and you can easily operate it with one hand.
Reliance Lyf Water 1 comes with a 5-inch Full HD display. It is an LCD display and everything looks vibrant and sharp. The viewing angles are nice and colours look saturated.
The under sunlight visibility is the only thing that we were not too happy about.
Relaince Lyf Water 1 has a 1.5GHz Octa-core processor running the show. Giving it company is the 2GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage, which can be expanded by up to only 32GB via a microSD card. This could be a bummer for people looking to store large media files (be it movies, music files or just photos). Most phones in this price segment offer you to go up to 64GB via microSD and 128GB is also not unheard of. In terms of performance, we did not face any lags or performance issues while multitasking or playing games. However, playing graphic-intensive games would make the phone go a little warmer than our liking. Though it would also cool off as quickly.
The phone comes with a 2,600mAh battery, which, if you are a power user, will leave you panting for more power in almost half a day! Most phones in this price segment such as the Moto X Play and Lenovo Vibe X3 come with a big battery that easily lasts for a couple of days.
The battery on Reliance Lyf Water is slightly more than that of OnePlus X (which has a 2525mAh), which is something that we were not too happy with. It is also non-removable and does not support fast charging, which makes matters even worse.
The phone runs on stock Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and we are happy that Reliance has added no tweaks to it. However, there are some of Reliance Jio apps that come pre-loaded with the phone such as the chat app and these might not go down well with people don't like too much of bloatware (like us).
In terms of camera, there is a 12MP rear camera that manages to capture decent images in good lighting conditions, and the performance does not drop down significantly when it starts getting duskier. However, the 5MP front camera is good for occasional selfies but you might not want to stretch it beyond that.
Here are some sample shots
It is a sheer beauty in terms of design. Personally, I am not a big fan of large-display phones so a 5-inch feels quite a right fit for me. In addition to this, the phone comes with a sturdy built.
Apart from being a phone that will make the heads turn, it also offers a great display and you will enjoy watching video content on the same.
The biggest drawback for me is the battery. We expect our smartphone to go on for a day on a single charge and if that does not happen, then it makes me very irritated.
Also given the completion at this price point, the Lyf Water will have to fight hard to make a place for itself.
We like the effort Reliance is making in getting 4G smartphones at varied price points. We have not really tried the smartphones that will be catering to the sub-Rs 10,000 price segment as yet but here is an offering that will retail for a little over Rs 17,000.
While we like how the phone looks and feels but there are certain things that we are not too pleased with. The biggest of them is of course the battery. Also we were under the impression that Reliance might be looking at offering 4G smartphones at a price lower than the market average but that is not the case with Reliance Lyf Water 1.
Currently, Reliance Digtial is offering a 16% discount and hence the phone is retailing for Rs 14,599, which we think is a more suited price given its specifications. It is expected that post the launch of Jio, the company might offer data bundles or cross subsidise the smartphone. If that happens, it would sweeten the deal but at the current price you have plenty of options to choose from.