Before we start off with the review of this phone, I want to ask you to do one thing. Close your eyes, and imagine a printed Polaroid picture on one hand and a digital photo on the other.
You may be wondering why I made you do that. That is somewhat the gist of what the experience of using the Panasonic T11 has been like. It has an old school charm of sorts. You ask how? Read on to find out!
Where does the phone figure out in the universe of android phones?
Panasonic has been on a launching spree in India lately. This is one of their latest phones. The Panasonic T11 retails at around Rs. 9000 – in other words an entry level android market. Now this term is arguable because androids are now available at 4000 ish range, but honestly the experience is pathetic at that price.
So this phone is mostly likely to be your first (or second) android. And you expect it to be a good companion for most of the basic needs. And the competition is not easy either – loads of local manufacturers practically rule this segment. Best of luck Panasonic!
Our PromiseWe review phones with an obsessive focus on the experience that really matters to you. We don’t care about specifications, we will tell you what you will really feel while using the phone. And needless to say, we maintain total integrity and truthfulness in our reviews.
Panasonic P11 Review: Jack of all trades
Pros and Cons
i. Design – The iPhone 3GS
Like I said earlier, the phone has a certain old school charm. Do you remember those old Nokia phones? You would not feel afraid of dropping those phones. This one feels similarly sturdy.
The phone screen has a lot of margin both below and above it, a rare thing in todays smartphones. The look reminds one of the iPhone 3GS. It has a nice chrome bezel around the front half. And the quality of the bezel seems good. So it probably won’t be getting eroded over time.
The plastic quality is cheap. But less than Samsung anyway!
Size is extremely manageable, so you will not have a problem fitting it in the pocket. Even girls will find the phone easy to carry.
The buttons and sensors are generally traditionally placed. The only exception is the power & lock button. Its placement on the top of the phone is annoying. But a smaller size does make it a little less annoying.
All in all the phone is not a looker, but will grow on you. It feels sturdy and durable. And the size is quite good too.
ii. User Interface : Naked android
This is one front where Panasonic disappoints us. Panasonic is a well known name in the consumer industry, and we expected they will put in more efforts on the software they provide.
The android is quite bare in this phone. There are a few customizations, if any. But the good thing is that the phone interface does not lag. No matter what you throw at it. And this is aided by a good touch response.
The experience across almost all of the menus was seamless. Multi – task or single task, the phone does not get slowed down. Transitions are present but will not get long and slow.
One of the funny experiences was the task manager. Most other phones will show the recent apps on holding down the home key. We tried a lot and finally figured out you need to double tap for that.
For getting a good experience out of this phone, you will have to customize it and put in apps from the play store.
iii. Display – Does a good job
The phone has a reasonable sized 4” screen. With a resolution of 480×800, the phone has a decently crisp screen. The screen won’t hold a candle to today’s HD screens, but then the price is low too.
The screen feels to be a little small given the large margins it has around the phone. But the size is decent for most uses. That also makes it easy and convenient to be used with a single hand.
The colours on the screen are quite natural. Sharpness is good owing to the smaller size. And contrast is also good.
The phone has limited brightness options – Low, medium high and Auto. The lack of a brightness adjustment slider might seem like a missing point but the auto adjust works fine so that should not be a big problem.
Screen does not have a problem with washing out when seen from an angle. Most of the usable spectrum of angles is handled nicely by the screen.
Reflectivity hampers sunlight visibility. The brightness makes it readable but only by a small margin. A little more brightness would have been good for outdoor use. Indoors it is alright.
All put together, the screen is a nice package at the price. You won’t be complaining about it any time soon.
iv. Typing: A pain
Single handed typing is honestly a pain. And the absence of swipe is even worse.
You will have to buy something like SwiftKey to be able to use the typing freely. This is specifically for the portrait mode.
Things get much better in landscape mode. They typing is much more intuitive and you won’t have to pull your hair out in frustration.
I strongly recommend you get Swipe up and running on your phone if you plan on getting this one.
Voice dictation and other features are hogwash anyway – I don’t know a single person who has used it successfully in daily life.
One more annoying thing is the lack of good smileys.
v. Browsing: You will be doing a lot of it
Browsing on this phone is a good experience. The page load is generally quick with the occasional hiccup. The default android browser is snappy and the pinch to zoom works alright.
I expected that at the given resolution, reading with zoomed in text will be an eyesore. But surprisingly the text maintains good fidelity even when you zoom in fully. It remains nice and crisp.
The night I spent in bed with the Panasonic T11 was quite good for the price. I mean browsing , for the perverts among you!
Downloading chrome is recommended. Even that works without any hiccups.
Camera : Good focus, but details are zilch
The camera is a disappointment. To summarize all of it, the 5 MP camera had potential but in the end it fails.
Camera button is not present, but on such a phone it may not really be a must-have.
Let’s first start with the positives of the camera. The focus is exceptional! The way it adjusts to a whole range of distances was really surprising. And this seems to be the norm with all Panasonic phones like the P51 and the Panasonic P11.
The focus adjusts to close macro shots really well. We tried focussing in some scenarios which would have generally been problematic (Read. Transparent windshield and dots on it) but the camera held its end up well.
The colour reproduction is very real too. One of the only cameras where it is not saturated (over coloured) or washed out. Just as or eyes see it.
The problem starts when you start looking for details. Because there aren’t any!
The 5 MP shooter feels inadequate in today’s digitally connected world. Had there been a capability to capture details well, this camera would have been a delight for using.
There is HDR and a set of some more functions. But with the lack of detail it’s a waste.
Downscaled Camera Samples at 90% Quality
One fun thing in this low end device was Picture-In-Picture (PIP). The PIP attached clearly shows my editor’s displeasure and my happiness about the fact that his more expensive test phone did not have it 🙂
Video Recording Test : 72op
The speakers are well, to put it mildly, like a ‘Fata Tambura’. (Broken musical instrument for those who do not get Hindi). They are a little on the less loud scale for volume. But what really kills it is the bad quality. Different sounds are not easily discernable!
The first time I saw the phone a
nd it straightaway looked like an iphone. But the similarities don’t end there, they run deep. The earphones are a ditto replica of the iphone’s old ones. The colour combination, number of holes and everything else is exactly the same.
Plagiarism aside, the earphones are a much better way to listen to music on this phone. We would have like them better if they would have been the ‘in ear’ ones which is like the industry norm now a days.
So on the music front, the best experience I had was with wires in my ears. If you wish to listen to music on the speaker, please go somewhere else.
If you wish to try stunts and listen to music on the speakers despite all that, Panasonic awards your bravery with an equaliser in your arsenal. You can tweak it around, but honestly you would have spent your time better chasing stray dogs.
The volume of the ringtone is sufficient. Because of the feature phone like build, I had an impression that it would be loud. But alas!
Let me tell you one funny incident demonstrating my point. The phone was next to my younger cousins pillow while he was in the middle of his afternoon nap. I could not find it for the life of me. He had picked it up and fell asleep while playing Subway surfer on it. So I called the phone.
Not once or twice, 9 times!
And he dint budge from his sleep.
I don’t know if it was the large amount of food he had just devoured, but I suspect that was because of the comparatively non loud ringtone volume.
Generally we cover the UI and stock music player features in this section. But I have to tell you, I won’t be doing that. The stock UI is much less than what experience an Android can give you.
Please go ahead and download better alternatives. This will be a big favour to you and all of our kind.
Video experience is alright. The display is good while the speakers are a little on the problematic side. But putting all
of it together, you will enjoy the experience. 720p and 1080p will not play on this device. Live happily ever after with 480p. Skipping to various parts of the video is a breeze!
Hardware performance: Dabbang/Solid
The hardware performs nicely just like its sibling, the Panasonic P11. This is one of the astonishing points in this phone: it’s a solid performer.
Now you might say that since it can’t play 720p or 1080p. But honestly those things don’t matter at this price point.
In terms of how it operates, the phone is butter smooth. Irrespective of how many ever apps you multi task with, the phone will not lag. Its basic menu and interface remains responsive and quick. That is such a pleasure to use. Third similar point to apple!
Steve Jobs has been re incarnated at Panasonic, no?
Games run brilliantly on this phone. We tried the following popular games on the phone, and they worked really well.
- Temple Run 2
- Subway Surfers
- Temple run Oz
- Guns N Glory
- Beach Buggy Blitz
My younger cousin told me he wants to buy this phone within 2 minutes of playing Subway Surfers on it. And that’s saying something!
The phone battery is not exceptional. But it should easily last you a day with good heavy use. We tested it heavily all day and it still had about 35% battery left by late night. So a nice thumbs up for that!
One complaint I had is the heating. It is not unbearable. But with a non-high performance processor they could have made the heating better.
The connectivity options are standard. Nothing exceptional but nothing important is missing either. The usual barrage of options like 3G, Bluetooth, GPS and WiFi are present.
Final VerdictNo nonsense phone
The Panasonic T11 is definitely worth its asking price. Even though it disappoints in the camera section, it has some very good features like picture-in-picture. So, if you are looking for a branded phone under 9k INR and do not care about photography that much then this is it.
You ought to know this- Why we don’t trust specifications?
Panasonic T11: Specifications
|Processor (CPU)||1.2GHz quad-core|
|Display Type||TFT LCD Capacitive|
|Size & Resolution||4inch, 480x800pixels|
|Primary Camera||5MP, LED Flash, 2592 x 1944pixels|
|Secondary Camera||0.3MP, 640 x 480 Pixels|
|Android OS||Android 4.1 JellyBean|
|Memory||Internal- 1GB, microSD card upto 32GB|
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi with Hotspot & Wi-Fi Direct|
|Dimensions||112.60 x 63.50 x 9.20mm|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Light sensor & Proximity sensor|
|Online Price||Rs. 9,650|