Is Luo Yonghao of Smartisan the Steve Jobs of China? Not Really.

5 min read 

On the evening of May 15, diehard fans of Smartisan and Luo Yonghao, the CEO of Smartisan gathered at the Beijing National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, for one sensational launch of Smartisan products.

According to Luo, even Guinness World Records officers have come to the scene and the overall ticket income of the event has amounted to 4,848,500 yuan (around $761,000).

Were the products really as revolutionary as Luo had claimed?

After the launch, Pandaily interviewed some Smartisan fans on the spot. Most of them think that the AI-based TNT is far from the previously dubbed “revolutionary innovation” Luo has repeatedly posted on his Weibo account.

“I admit that this kind of interactions marks a future trend for PC development, but considering the resource integration capabilities of Smartisan, building a set of revolutionary office softwares that can compete with Microsoft is pure fantasy, ” said one Smartisan fan.

“The Nut R1 phone is pretty cool as usual, but TNT? I can hardly imagine someone would spend a 10,000 yuan just to make better PowerPoints.”

According to Luo, Smartisan has worked dedicatedly with iFlytech, a Chinese information technology company speciaizing in voice recognition softwares, in developing the voice control function of TNT. Changing the fonts and colors of the characters with voices is not usually considered a total upgrade of work efficiency. It would also take some time for people who are used to work silently to try out this “Touch and Talk”. During his speech, Luo brought up Steve Jobs and his development of Macintosh in 1984 a few times, a sign of his equally wild ambitions.

“There are many reasons why fans love Luo Yonghao so much, his personal charisma and the quality industrial design of the previously released phones, which are differentiated from homogenized products following the design of iPhone,” one of Pandaily’s editors commented after attending the event, “but his ego is clearly not one of the reasons.”

Curious about what the fans are talking about? Let’s check out the details of these two launched products.

Smartisan Nut R1

Nut R1 is equipped with Snapdragon 845 processor and starts with 6GB of RAM. It supports up to 8GB of RAM and up to 1TB of ROM. It also supports the TV-OUT cable which will connect the Nut R1 to the TV screen.

Nut R1
Nut R1

The phone adopts rear-facing dual cameras of 12MP and 20MP, as well as a 24MP front-facing camera. It also uses Sony’s flagship IMX363 sensor, with 4-axis optical image stabilization(OIS) and 4K video stabilization, that ensures quality phototaking and video recording in various settings.

As for hardware-software interactions, Nut R1 adopts a pressure-sensitive touch screen similar to the iPhone 6s. The three unique features of the Smartisan system – Flash Capsule, Big Bang, and One Step – have also been optimized with AI technology for the R1.

As for industrial design, it has a 6.17 inch 18.7:9 almost-full screen with a wide color gamut, a contrast ratio of 1500:1, and a 84% screen-to-body ratio. It has kept the design of Nut Pro 2 that combines fingerprint recognition with logo, where you press the logo to unlock. The back cover is made out of 3D glass with all four edges (the top, bottom, left, and right) curved, distinguishing the phone from previous Nut phones.

In terms of configurations, the phone supports fingerprint and facial recognition unlock. It has a 3600 mAh battery that allows for 18W quick charge and 10W wireless charge.

The available versions of 6GB + 64GB, 6GB + 128GB, 8GB + 128GB, as well as 8GB + 1TB are priced at 3499 yuan ($549), 3999 yuan ($638), 4499 yuan($706) and 8848 yuan respectively ($1389). The phones have already launched on their official online store and Smartisan’s online flagship store on JD.com.

Nut TNT Workstation

Another product unveiled at the product launch is the supposedly revolutionary Nut TNT Workstation. The workstation comes in two versions: desktop monitor and an all-in-one desktop computer.

TNT - Touch and Talk
TNT – Touch and Talk

The Nut TNT Workstation monitor is made based on the Smartisan OS. It features interactions that combine touch with voice control, hence the name TNT – Touch and Talk.

TNT - Touch and Talk
TNT – Touch and Talk

Luo also introduced to the audiences the Smartisan Office Suite, which has three major components of PPT, Word, and Excel. Luo claims that their products are superior to Microsoft’s as they use TNT interactions and AI algorithms to bring faster and smoother user experiences. Other innovative functions include Crystal Ball, a user’s next moves predictor, Poker Dealer, a tool that shows previews of all relevant webpages after a search, and Bullet Messenger, a more efficient messaging tool, all designed to improve efficiency.

TNT - Touch and Talk
TNT – Touch and Talk

The TNT Workstation monitor has a 27-inch 4K resolution 10-finger multi-touch screen with 100% sRGB color gamut. It is equipped with a 5 million pixels front-facing camera and facial recognition unlock. It also has nine data transfer interfaces and 10 short-cut virtual buttons on the screen.

Another important feature is that it enables data sharing with Smartisan phones without synchronization settings. The monitor is priced at 9,999 yuan ($1570) and the all-in-one is priced at 14,999 yuan ($2355).

The monitor will be available in three months but you can pay the full price now to have it later, while the detailed specs and release date of the all-in-one desktop computer have yet to be disclosed.

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