Smartron srt.phone: A fine deal if you are a die-hard Sachin Tendulkar fan

Powerful innards of Smartron’s ‘all-rounder’ smartphone are failed by its many software glitches

Domestic information technology (IT) start-up Smartron, which counts Indian cricket legend Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar and former Motorola Mobility Chief Executive Sanjay Jha among its investors, recently launched the srt.phone smartphone, “inspired by the dependable traits of Tendulkar”.

At the launch of srt.phone, the company claimed that the smartphone used the best antennas and other security features that made it an all-rounder. Indeed, Smartron has pleased investors with its manoeuvres to deliver solutions ranging from internet of things (IoT) to smartphones built specifically for Indian consumers. But how does the srt.phone fare against the claims of dependability and the inspiration it apparently draws from one of the tallest role models for India in recent times?

To find out, Business Standard took the device for a spin and tested its real-life performance. Here is an in-depth review of the srt.phone:

Watch the hands-on review here
Design

The srt.phone offers a no-frills design, with rounded edges and curved sides. The smartphone might look appealing, but its polycarbonate built with metallic finish seems to somewhat spoil the experience. The plastic built is not loose or creaky – it fits perfectly on all sides and the matte touch adds to the aesthetics – but the pseudo metallic look was not necessary; it is way too prominent even at the first glance.

The front of the srt.phone is dominated by a 5.5-inch full-HD display protected with Gorilla Glass 3. There are three capacitive keys below the display, but these are without any sign or icon, just three flat dots. These dots acts are the home button and navigation keys. The earpiece along with sensors are placed neatly on the top, next to the front camera. (more)

Sachin: A Billion Dreams: A glorified account of an over-glorified celeb

Like his book, Tendulkar’s biopic is a nostalgic cruise through his career

As I walked out of the cinema hall after watching Sachin: A Billion Dreams, I wondered: Would I have thought differently of this biopic had I not known anything about the person it is based on? James Erskine’s documentary on one of the most celebrated cricketers in the world – one who has achieved a near-deific status in India – went along expected lines.

But was that because I, like many Indians and cricket followers around the world, already knew so much about Sachin Tendulkar? How would someone living under a rock for the last quarter of a century, and did not know who Tendulkar was, have liked it?

Sachin: A Billion Dreams starts off rather nicely, showing us a naughty curly-haired boy of seven or eight years living in Mumbai’s Bandra suburb, getting up to the usual seven-or-eight-year-old boy things like annoying his neighbours with pranks. The boy then receives a cricket bat as a gift from his elder sister, and this is where the story that most Indians and cricket followers already know begins.

This wasn’t the first time I was watching the celluloid adaptation of a story I already knew. I wasn’t, of course, expecting any suspense or plot twists, but I have been far more entertained by some of those other movies where I already knew what was going to happen, than I was by Sachin: A Billion Dreams. Maybe our man under the rock might think differently, but then a story still needs to be told properly, completely and honestly, and this is where Erskine’s attempt is found lacking. (more)

Brad Pitt in Mumbai to attend War Machine screening, meets Shah Rukh Khan

The 53-year-old actor plays a US General posted in Afghanistan

Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt is in India to promote his latest film, the Netflix satire “War Machine”.

Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan will be moderating a special chat session here with Pitt, in which the two actors will discuss the project.

In the movie, the 53-year-old actor plays a US General posted in Afghanistan.

Directed by David Michod, of “Animal Kingdom” fame, the Netflix Original film is inspired by the book “The Operators: The Wild & Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan” by late journalist Michael Hastings.

An investment in the range of $60 million also makes it Netflix’s biggest-budget feature to date.

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Pitt’s character is loosely based on General Stanley A McChrystal, a retired United States Army general best-known for his command of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).

His last assignment was as Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, US Forces Afghanistan.

Hastings’s blistering profile on McChrystal led to his firing by Obama.

Pitt’s company Plan B is also one of the producers of the film.

The first big-budget Hollywood movie on Netflix will be released on May 26.

Pune beats Mumbai by seven wickets; Smith, Rahane seal win

Chasing a target of 185, Pune crossed the line with just one ball to spare

Rising Pune Supergiants rode on superb batting by captain Steve Smith and Ajinkya Rahane to defeat Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in the second game of the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Thursday.

Chasing a target of 185, Pune crossed the line with just one ball to spare.

The hosts had started their chase on a strong note, scoring at more than 10 runs an over in the initial stages before Mayank Agarwal was dismissed by Mitchell McClenaghan.

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Smith then joined Rahane in the middle and the duo added 58 runs in the space of seven overs to lay the foundation of a successful run chase.

Rahane scored 60 runs off 34 balls with six boundaries and three hits into the stands. He was finally dismissed when Nitish Rana pulled off an excellent catch at deep square leg off the bowling of Tim Southee.

Smith, however, continued in the same vein and remained unbeaten on 84 runs off a mere 54 deliveries. His innings included seven boundaries and three sixes.

Fittingly, it was he only who brought up the winning runs with two consecutive sixes off Kieron Pollard in the final over.

For Mumbai, Southee, Hardik Pandya and McClenaghan bagged a wicket each. (more)

Jet Airways joins SpiceJet, Vistara, starts variable pay to save wage bill

Plan covers 100 execs; fixed pay at 80-85%, rest based on staff performance, firm’s profitability

Jet Airways is introducing 15-20 per cent variable pay component for its top management as it looks to save on its wage bill.

The Mumbai-headquartered airline has a higher cost structure than other listed domestic airlines and is undertaking cost control exercises to remain nimble. The variable pay scheme will be applicable to around 100 senior executives of Jet Airways and is expected to result in annual savings of Rs 25-30 crore, an airline source.

While the fixed salary component will be 80-85 per cent, the remainder will be linked to employee performance and airline profitability. The senior executives will also not receive salary increment this year.

A Jet Airways spokesperson did not offer immediate comments.

Some of Jet’s peers already have a variable pay scheme in place. Vistara and SpiceJet too have variable pay for its senior management. Air India a productivity linked incentive scheme which was a variable pay out in mid-1990s but the same was discontinued in 2012.

Jet Airways has a staff strength of around 15,000 and had a wage bill of Rs 2,316 crore in the first nine months of FY 17. Employee costs rose 26 per cent on a year on year basis for the period. The airline has around 2000 pilots on its rolls whose salaries account for nearly half of the wage bill. Read more

From Mumbai to the Oscars — 8-year-old Sunny Pawar’s incredible journey

The 89th Academy Awards may be over, but the internet cannot get enough of eight-year-old Sunny Pawar. The Indian child actor who acted in the Oscar-nominated movie Lion starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman was a huge hit with the stars at the awards. Host Jimmy Kimmel even went on to pick Sunny up in his arms.

Sunny, who plays the role of Saroo Brierley, the younger version of Dev Patel, joined the Slumdog Millionaire actor on stage while he introduced their film. Lion is the true story of a young child who is separated from his family and later gets adopted by an Australian family. When he grows up, he uses Google Earth to find his parents.

Sunny used phonetics to learn and speak English as he speaks only Hindi. Initially, director Garth Davis had to struggle a bit, but only until Sunny overcame the obstacles with hard work. Garth and casting director Kristy McGregor went through over 2,000 tapes and zeroed in on Sunny for this role. In an interview with Vulture, Garth said, “For me, when I’m looking at all the kids, anyone who kind of touched that place in me, I thought we were getting close. But it was never a bull’s-eye, really, until one day, this little Sunny came into the room and he was kind of pretty instant for me.”

Actor Dev Patel, in his chat with Daily Telegraph, had to say this about Sunny, “He’s our little mascot on this movie. For him, he’d never been on a plane before or seen a Hollywood film and now he’s leading this big movie. He’s so beautifully innocent and that’s why you get such a beautiful performance from him. He’s just really enjoying it.”

Though Sunny is passionate about choosing acting as a career option, he is also interested in becoming an IPS officer and joining the Mumbai Police. He loves WWE and is very keen on attending a match soon, which he missed during his press tours. Otherwise, this adorable little actor likes to eat and sleep.

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See Pics: Vin Diesel moves rhythmically to LUNGI Dance

Vin Diesel seems to have enjoyed each moment of his during his first visit of him to India.

Deepika Padukone, Vin Diesel-starrer Hollywood film, xXx: Return Of Xander Cage is what everyone is talking about, as Vin is in India for the premiere of the film.

Deepika Padukone is all set to make her Hollywood debut with xXx Return of Xander Cage.

Not only this, at the star-studded premiere, Deepika’s boyfriend Ranveer Singh, her Padmavati co-star Shahid Kapoor, Irrfan Khan,

Ranveer put in a rockstar appearance at the premiere to support Deepika. He did not shy away from calling it his proud moment

See more pics