Reliance Retail has expanded its Lyf smartphone portfolio by launching the Lyf F1. The company has decided not to position this model as part of its existing Flame, Water, Earth and Wynd sub-brands, and so it is devoid of a middle name. The Lyf F1 comes with full support for the Reliance Jio network, and is available for purchase in all Reliance Digital stores across India for Rs. 13,399. We got to play around with the device for a little while at the launch event, and here are our first impressions.
The Lyf F1 comes in just one variant, which is black with a dotted texture on the rear for better grip. The smartphone sports metallic sides, with the power and volume buttons both on the right. The 3.5mm audio jack sits on the top, while a standard Micro-USB port is at the bottom. There is a speaker grille on the back. The Lyf F1 fits neatly in a palm, and the navigation buttons are on-screen. There’s no fingerprint sensor so you have to stick to traditional methods for unlocking your device.
(Also see: Lyf F1 Specifications and Features)
The Lyf F1 sports a 5.5-inch full-HD screen, and during our brief time with it, we found that the display served up sharp visuals. All our time with the device was spent indoors, so the impact of sunlight reflecting off it could not be judged. The smartphone supports two SIMs (Micro + Nano), with a separate slot for a microSD card as well. Only one SIM can use 4G at any time; the other will have to make do with 2G. The Lyf F1 weighs 153 grams, so it won’t feel that heavy in a pocket.
The new phone runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, and the interface is simple and intuitive. Jio’s entire suite of apps is preloaded. There are several nifty features, for example, Smart Ring lets you find your phone even when it’s set to silent mode. The phone recognizes three consecutive missed calls from the same number within three minutes as a command to switch itself out of silent mode. Furthermore, the company claims that the Lyf F1 can detect ambient noise and set the volume of its ringer accordingly.
The built-in video player allows users to play two videos at a time, and a new Smart Play feature automatically pauses videos when you’re not looking directly at the screen. The Lyf F1 also supports gestures and there are a few that launch Jio apps. The default gestures are ‘M’ to open the Mi Jio app, ‘C’ to open JioCinema, ‘G’ to open JioMags, ‘V’ to open Jio TV, and ‘O’ to open XpressNews.
Apart from offering its own messaging service, Reliance has also added live call content sharing to its ‘Rich Communication Service’. This allows users to send and receive texts, doodles, locations, and other files while on a live call. Furthermore, users can even access 15 of their favourite apps through the Smart Tray while on call or in an IM conversation. You can choose the 15 apps to suit your own preferences.
Reliance touts a feature known as carrier aggregation (CA) as one of the Lyf F1’s big highlights. It claims that CA vastly improves data transfer rates while also boosting battery life. The Lyf F1 is powered by a 64-bit Snapdragon 617 processor paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. As mentioned, there’s a separate microSD card, and cards of up to 128GB are supported.
The rear camera sits in the top right corner of the smartphone. The LED flash is right underneath the 16-megapixel sensor, which supports multiple focus allowing users to focus on several objects in a composition. There are various modes in the camera app including Night, Panaroma and HDR, plus adjustments for white balance, ISO and saturation. The company claims that the Lyf F1 is designed for low-light photography, but we couldn’t test that, and so we will reserve our opinion till we review this device. Photos taken indoors seemed to come out decently, with good colour and detail.
There is electronic image stabilisation to minimise jerks in videos and improve sharpness in photos. The front camera has an 8-megapixel sensor with a screen flash for selfies in low light. The Lyf F1 sports a 3200mAh non-removable battery that the company claims will last through up to one day of usage.
At its price point, the Lyf F1 should be worth considering, given its specifications. Reliance is offering a two-year warranty and easy EMI options starting at Rs. 2,219. Furthermore, it offers 10 percent cashback to all Citibank cardholders, and is bundling a free Bluetooth speaker as well. The smartphone comes with a free Reliance Jio SIM card so buyers can take advantage of the Jio Welcome Offer, which gives them free data and voice calls till December. The Lyf F1 seems like it’s priced right with its sturdy build, decent specs and Reliance Jio support.