Smartisan Technology, a Chinese smartphone company, was pretty much regarded as a joke in China, for it was founded by Luo Yonghao, an English teacher who is famous for performing live talk shows.

Till Robert Brunner, founder of Ammunition Group, showed up in an video explaining their design philosophy behind the first Smartisan phone, Smartisan T1, at the launch event tonight.

Brunner mentioned two points that I think may be the reasons his company would like to work with Smartisan. One is its emphasis on design and the other is “bringing the great design to the Chinese market.” The customized Android system the company launched in March last year wasn’t well received as many people think it’s just a redesign of app icons. The updated system shown tonight is still about incremental redesigns of some features. The second is easy to understand that everyone understands what “Chinese market” means.

It’s unknown how much money Smartisan spent on hiring such a design firm who designed consumer electronics such as Beats headphones which are well received in China. What’s for sure is Smartisan isn’t short of money for now. The company announced Series A round of funding at a valuation of roughly $76 million at the end of 2013 and a new round of RMB180 million ($29million) last month at a valuation of more than RMB1 billion ($161mn), according to the founder.

Although many people make jokes about Smartisan, some of its investors have strong confidence in it. Zheng Gang, an early stage investor, told TechNode earlier this year that he was confident about the first Smartisan phone after he got a look at the prototype.

The two models of Smartisan T1 will be on sale in early July at RMB3000 (roughly $480) and RMB3150 (less than $510), respectively. Their 4G versions will be available later and sold at higher prices, RMB3500 ($570) and RMB3650($590), respectively.

While most of the newly emerged Chinese smartphone makers, such as Xiaomi, are focusing on high-spec, low-cost Android phones, apparently Smartisan’s strategy is selling design at higher prices.

Specs:

  • Operating System: Smartisan OS based on Android 4.4
  • Chips: Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 ( MSM8274AC ) Quad-core, 2.5GHz
  • GPU: Adreno 330, 578 MHz
  • Rear Camera: 12.78MP, ƒ/2.0 Aperture, SONY Exmor RS CMOS; Fujitsu Milbeaut Mobile® ISP, Acutelogic AWB 4.0, Arcsoft Scene Recognition & Low Light Noise Reduction
  • Front Camera: 5.03MP, ƒ/2.4 Aperture, 88°Wide-angle Lens, OmniVision OmniBSI+ CMOS
  • Video: Rear Camera 1080p@30fps; Front Camera 720P@30fps
  • Display: JDI 4.95-inch Pixel Eyes display, 1920-by-1080-pixel resolution, 445 PPI
  • Sound: Texas Instruments OPA2604 Operational Amplifier, Support Hi-Fi Mode; ALAC, APE, FLAC, WAV Supported
  • Battery: 2570 mAh Lithium-polymer Battery
  • Dimensions: 141×67.74×8.23 mm
  • Weight: ≈ 167g
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0
  • NFC: Yes

Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com

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15 Comments

  1. Being a teacher and being famous for performing live talk shows have nothing to do with leading a company to design a neat smartphone. I think T1 is beautiful.

  2. nothing about the product itself in this article. I would say it’s really well built, ammunition group won’t soil its reputation, it’s not a matter of money, otherwise there’re more rich companies all around the world.

    1. Thanks, Lei. We’ll follow up on it reporting more about the phone itself after we see the real thing. 🙂

        1. “Chinese Smartphone Brand Smartisan Hires Ammunition Group to Design Its First Phone”

          That’s the headline. Please go out and smell the flowers.

  3. I am from china.Just love the last sentence he showed ,which touched me so much,he showed(I never said he spoke,because at the end of meeting,he choked) :我不是为了输赢,我就是认真。means I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT WIN OR LOSING , JUST BEEN SERIOUS. He’s the real tough guy.For me ,all the details in this phone are surprise.

  4. Hi,Tracey. Just like your news and Laoluo. Tell me how to contact you if you don’t mind

  5. idiot writer, tracey who knows shit about smartisan or ammunation wrote above shit to fool people around !!!

  6. since when copy cats has philosophy? notice idiotically out of place calculator app, what’s up, run out of philosophy? pathetic fools

  7. design wise, one plus one, blows this lump of offensive garbage made for chinese by americans, out of the water, don’t people forget that mister brunner designed for apple the most retarded bunch of gadgets never produced, all under tutelage of idiot ceo mr scully , tenure of which ran the apple company to the ground. poor misguided chinese, feel sorry for you

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