Smartisan, one of China’s smaller players in the smartphone arena, has released their latest smartphone, Jiangguo, which means ‘nut’. The multi-colored device will precede the T2 flagship, set for release later this year.
The 5.5-inch Android phone is the company’s first release since their T1 in May last year. Smartisan itself is now over two years old but unlike other competitors in the market has taken its time releasing flagships. It will be interesting to see what the company, headed by teacher-turned-CEO Luo Yonghao, has come up with over the past 18 months.
The T1 was a fairly solid smartphone with a relatively unique Android OS which has performed well with critics. It was priced above its market contemporaries Meizu and Xiaomi. Smartisan has not opted for the higher price bracket with the Jiangguo, with the newest release retailing at 899 yuan, which is about $140 USD.
There were rumors that the phone would be released in the US, but like most Chinese smartphone brands, a U.S. market entry is fraught with challenges, which makes an initial exit to emerging markets like India or Brazil more palatable.
The Jiangguo features a 1080p display with an octa-core Snapdragon 615 chipset. There’s 2GB of ram along with 32GB in internal storage, 2,900mAh battery and dual sim slots.
Perhaps its most recognizable physical feature is its vibrant cases, there are seven available covers in a range of colors. Smartisan could be targeting a younger crowd with the pastel rainbow or options, along with a lenient long-term payment plan.
Like a handful of other Chinese smartphones on the market, including the recently released OnePlus 2, cover changes can be mimicked in the home UI.
Smartisan has gone from a novel joke to a solid prospect in Chinese phones since its launch. Its attractive OS has been praised among its price range. At the time of the launch of the T1 last year, the company allied with San Francisco-based Ammunition group to plug the phone’s design, giving it a credibility boost.
Consumers in China will be able to buy the phone as of September 1, though patient supporters of Smartisan may wait until later in the year to get their hands on the T2 flagship.