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Would you pay $1400 for a smartphone with 1TB of internal storage?

The Smartisan R1 offers up to 1TB of UFS 2.1 storage, but do you really need that much storage in a smartphone?

Published onMay 16, 2018

Smartisan R1
  • The Smartisan R1 offers up to 1TB of UFS 2.1 storage, but do you really need that much storage in a smartphone?
  • The phone also has up to 8GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 845 chipset, and a dual camera combination.
  • Pricing starts at roughly $550, but the 1TB model has a price tag of almost $1,400.

Smartisan has quietly made a name for itself in the last year or two. In fact, we called it a Chinese brand to watch back in 2015. Now, the Smartisan R1 has been revealed, packing up to 1TB of storage. That’s not a typo.

The company didn’t slap a huge microSD card in the phone and call it a day, opting for fast UFS 2.1 storage instead. This is equivalent to 4.69 days of 1080p footage or 2.19 days of 4K video, Smartisan says.

In an era where cloud storage, portable hard drives and/or microSD cards are available, it makes you wonder why you’d need this much space in a smartphone from the get-go. Sure, many people use phones in lieu of computers, especially in emerging markets. But if you can afford the 8,848 yuan (~$1,388) price tag, you probably have a computer and access to cloud/external storage already.

I could see frequent travellers buying this phone to store their media library if they’re visiting regions with no connectivity. But it’s really the only demographic I can think of for a phone with this much storage.

A loaded list of features

Smartisan R1

The Smartisan R1 isn’t a one-trick pony though, offering a rather comprehensive spec sheet. There’s a cutting-edge Snapdragon 845 chipset, 6GB or 8GB of RAM, and a 3,600mAh battery to keep the lights on. When your phone is about to die, you’ll be glad to know there’s Quick Charge 4+ and wireless charging support too.

The phone also serves up a 6.17-inch 2,242 x 1,080 (18.7:9) notched LCD screen — this is a skinny cutout like the Essential Phone, rather than an iPhone X-style notch. Oddly enough, the screen sports 3D Touch capabilities as well. And here I thought Android OEMs abandoned this feature…

Smartisan R1
The Smartisan R1, a China-only phone, has a 1TB storage option.

Turning to the cameras, we’re looking at a dual camera setup here, comprising a 12MP f/1.8 OIS-enabled main shooter and 20MP f/1.75 secondary peeper. Selfies are handled by a 24MP camera that offers AI-powered beauty effects. The rear and front cameras deliver depth-of-field/bokeh effects as well.

Other noteworthy features include NFC support, a desktop mode, a rear fingerprint scanner, facial recognition, and a USB Type-C port. Unfortunately, the Smartisan R1 follows several other flagships by ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack.

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The Smartisan R1 has a starting price of 3,499 yuan (~$549) for the 6GB RAM/64GB storage model, 3,999 yuan (~$628) for the 6GB/128GB variant, and 4,499 yuan (~$706) for the 8GB/128GB version. Then, of course, we have the 8GB RAM/1TB storage model for 8,848 yuan (~$1,388). That UFS 2.1 storage doesn’t come cheap at all…

Keen on the Smartisan R1? Then you can check out the Chinese store listing via the button below.

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