This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
Smartisan has announced a smartphone powered by the Snapdragon 865. Announced on October 20, the JianGuo R2 is a notable product with accessories that expand the use of smartphones. Smartisan, which was previously run by a famous Chinese CEO, is now a brand of a subsidiary of Bytedance, which operates TikTok.
The main specs of the JianGuo R2 are powerful, with a 6.67-inch 2340x1080, 90Hz driven display and a 4510mAh battery. The cameras are 108 megapixels + 13 megapixels (super wide angle) + 8 megapixels (3x telephoto) + 5 megapixels (macro). The memory configuration and price for the smallest model is 8GB + 128GB for 4999 yuan (78,000 yen), and 16GB + 512GB for 6,499 yuan (101,000 yen), a price that is commensurate with the powerful specs.
The OS uses Smartisan's unique "Smartisan OS" UI, which includes "icons on tiles that are transparent to the background." The latest version of the Smartisan OS 8.0 on the JianGuo R2 features elaborate effects, such as light detection and shadows on the app icon in the direction of the light.
The JianGuo R2 is a high-performance smartphone that can compete not only with high-end smartphones from various Chinese manufacturers, but also with the top models from global manufacturers. At the presentation, the company explained why it has developed such a high spec smartphone.
Today, many smartphones are enhancing their camera and gaming capabilities. Night shooting, 8K recording, fast display responsiveness, etc., the performance of smartphones is moving towards consumer and entertainment applications. In contrast, Smartisan's goal is to create "high-end mobile computers," which is why the company is rolling out models with large memory capacity in addition to the Snapdragon 865.
The presentation was held in China. While many manufacturers are aiming for the camera phone and gaming phone, Smartisan is parting from this trend and choosing the path of "the next generation of personal computers."
So how do you use a small smartphone as a PC? It's paired with the Smartisan TNT go, a 2-in-1 PC-style laptop device announced in conjunction with the JianGuo R2.
The Smartisan TNT go is available in two versions: a wired and a wireless version. The wired version connects to the JianGuo R2 with a USB Type-C cable, while the wireless version is connected to it via Wi-Fi. The wired version is priced at 1,999 yuan (about 31,000 yen) and the wireless version is priced at 2,999 yuan (about 46,000 yen).
Key specs include a 12-inch 2160x1440-pixel display with 10-point multi-touch support, a 5-megapixel f/2.0 camera with AI face recognition support, a 10160mAh battery with 35W fast-charging support, dual microphones, and stereo speakers, two USB ports, and one of them is for video input. The size is 275.5x190.8x7.2mm and the weight is 619g for the wired version and 639g for the wireless version. The color of the unit is gray for the wired version and green for the wireless version.
The keyboard is a dedicated product and is connected to the display side with a dedicated contact. There is a stand on the back of the display body, so it can be used in a Surface-like design. Inside the stand, there is also a space for a stylus pen. The stylus pen is rechargeable via USB Type-C. The keyboard is sold separately for 699 yuan (about 11,000 yen) and the stylus pen is 499 yuan (about 8,000 yen).
When JianGuo R2 is connected to the Smartisan TNT go, it runs TNT OS 2.0 with a dedicated desktop UI, allowing the JianGuo R2's built-in apps to run in multiple windows, in any size, on an interface similar to that of Windows 10. The right side of the screen can also display calendars and notifications. This is exactly how you can use this device like a laptop.
Smartisan actually sold a desktop-style external monitor, the Smartisan TNT, back in 2018. The desktop UI developed for this TNT is the TNT OS. However, at the time, it was a commercial failure, because smartphones were not powerful enough, and TNT was for indoor use.
Incidentally, the Smartisan JianGuo R1, a smartphone that was compatible with it, was also a hot topic of discussion, including the world's first model with 1TB of storage. The price of the JianGuo R1 and Smartisan TNT set at 9999 yuan (about 155,000 yen) was probably too high even at the time.
The desktop UI developed for the original TNT is now version 2.0, and has been utilized in the new TNT go as smartphones become more powerful.
How much does it take to get the JianGuo R2 to be used as a mobile PC as well? For a minimal configuration, you'll need JianGuo R2 + Smartisan TNT go + keyboard + stylus pen.
Wired version: 4999 + 1999 + 699 + 499 = 8196 yuan (about 127,000 yen)
Wireless version: 4999 + 2999 + 699 + 499 = 9196 yuan (about 143,000 yen)
By the way, a simple stand that does not have a charging function costs 39 yuan (about 600 yen). Whether or not the price for everything is high is left to individual judgments, but it's not a bad price if you consider it as a total solution set that allows you to use your smartphone as a tablet or laptop-style and has a dedicated UI that is highly user-friendly.
Smartisan had considered bringing the device to the Japanese market in the past, but lost its presence in China due to increased competition from major Chinese manufacturers. The Smartisan OS is a finely tuned version of the Android operating system that is designed to be both beautiful and easy to use, making it difficult to localize into multiple languages. While the JianGuo R2 is unlikely to be available outside of China, we hope that other manufacturers will take this idea to the next level and build on it.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.