While there are Plethora of Chinese Smartphone manufacturers who are trying their luck or tried their luck and failed in Indian Smartphone market, there comes another entrant, this time a Vietnamese Smartphone maker Mobiistar with high hopes in garnering the love of Indian Smartphone users by launching their two latest Selfie centric Smartphones called Mobiistar XQ Dual and Mobiistar CQ on May 23rd and these smartphones are Flipkart exclusive. They are priced at Rs. 7999/- and Rs. 4999/- respectively. Both will be available for purchase in Black and Gold color options via Flipkart on May 30 starting 12pm IST. We got an opportunity to review one of these devices Mobiistar XQ Dual and here is our views on what this device offers.
Specs under the hood:
The Mobiistar XQ dual is powered by an Octa-core Snapdragon 430 processor with 1.2 GHz speed and coupled with Adreno 505 GPU. The device comes with a 3 GB RAM and a 32 GB storage which could be expanded upto 128 GB using a Micro-SD card. It houses a 5.5-inch full-HD IPS display with 400ppi of pixel density and Asahi Dragontrail 2.5D glass protection. In camera department, the handset has a 13-megapixel sensor on the back with an f/2.0 aperture and a dual-tone LED flash and the dual front camera setup has a 13-megapixel primary sensor with an f/2.0 aperture and an 8-megapixel secondary sensor with an f/2.2 aperture. The smartphone also features a fingerprint sensor and the device is powered by a 3000mAh battery . On connectivity front, the Mobiistar XQ Dual supports 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth v4.1.
Design and Build:
The Mobiistar XQ dual measures 154.3 x 76.6 x 7.9mm and it weighs around 160 grams which is little bulky to carry when compared to other slim factor phones in market though company has tried to build it to look slim. The device comes with a full metal unibody design and there are two visible antenna lines on top and bottom of the device at back. There is nothing special about the design of this device, it comes with a mediocre design just like any other smartphones in the current market. On the right there is a power / unlock button and a sim tray, at the left volume rockers are placed, while audio jack is at top, Micro USB charging / data port is available at the bottom. The speaker grill is also located at the bottom side of the device. There is a finger print scanner placed on the back which is easily reachable and Mobiistar branding under that. Also, there is a 13 MP camera at the top left side of the device along with a dual LED flash. At the front, there is a dual camera setup on top along with few sensors and a LED flash on the top right corner of the device to capture selfie’s under low light. There are 3 capacitive buttons at the bottom which is placed quite oddly at almost near the edge with just little gap from the edges which sometimes find frustrating to operate. Even though the bezels have occupied the lot of space on the display, the placement of capacitive buttons should have been perfect. Overall, the design of the device is quite OK and there is nothing exciting about it.
The Mobiistar XQ dual houses a 5.5″ Full HD 2.5 D glass display with 400ppi of pixel density and Asahi Dragontrail 2.5D glass protection to prevent scratches and stains. The display is a 16:9 ratio and its not a Full view display which has become de-facto standard in the smartphones which are getting launched in India these days. The display is good, responsive and has good viewing angles and it works well even under the sun light and in different light conditions. The 5.5″ display is quite good for watching movies, playing games and utilizing multimedia content etc., Overall, Mobiistar has given an good priority for display quality and we just wished this could’ve been a super hit if it had a 18:9 ratio at least for competition purpose.
Hardware and Performance:
Coming to hardware and performance, the XQ dual is powered by a basic Qualcomm processor Snapdragon 430 with 1.2 GHz Octa-core processor and coupled with Adreno 505 GPU for gaming/multimedia. The device performs multi-tasking with ease and no problems observed during day to day operations like Internet browsing, social media activities, calls etc., We could utilize the multimedia content normally without any hindrance. However, the gaming of HD games on this device is little challenging and one has to change the settings in certain games (for ex: Asphalt) to Low display quality mode in order to play it without any lag or stutters. During the benchmark tests , this device scored 57430 which is not as par as the performances compared to the other devices in the same range and similar specs devices. However, this is not bad buy for the folks who mainly focus on the basic activities and use it as a device for some decent quality pictures using back or front cameras. We don’t recommend this device for a power users whose hunger for power and performance is more. Fingerprint sensor is quick and responsive which is a positive sign on this device. Overall, we are neither totally disappointed nor totally happy with the performance of this device.
The Mobiistar XQ dual selfie could deliver some decent selfies in a bright lit conditions with accuracy in colurs and detail, the camera offers some real time filters as well as Face Beauty mode to adjust the skin tone of the image output. The rear camera sensor also has PDAF and supports face beauty, professional mode, camera filters, HDR and night mode. Although the Mobiistar XQ Dual primary focus for selfie lovers, the low-light performance is quite average. The LED flash is too bright and it does cause little inconvenience when we power it on in dark conditions and try to click selfie using the front camera. While portrait mode and bokeh effect is becoming a default standard in camera features these days, the XQ dual doesn’t have capability of the same though it has a two front cameras, however the secondary camera is pretty useful for wide selfies which covers more area and useful for groupfies. Coming to videos, one can shoot upto 1080p videos using the rear camera as well as front camera. Overall, the camera on XQ dual is pretty OK for the phone in this price range, however there is lot of scope for improvement in this department from the company in their upcoming smartphones. Some sample pictures clicked using this smartphone is uploaded below.
Software and Features:
The Mobiistar XQ dual comes with Android Nougat 7.1.2 out of the box and with their Own UI / launcher called Star UI. The UI comes pre-loaded with Flipkart as them being the exclusive partner for this sales of this phone and there are no more bloatwares on the system. UI is simplistic and snappy. The phone offers a gesture feature like jump to camera by pressing the power button twice from any screen, Anti-theft feature, cloud service, Intelligent assistant, SOS etc., On the home page, the UI offers a feature called ‘Intelligent aggregating page’ when we swipe from extreme left page on the home screen which gives quick access to the most and recently used applications, news feed from some predefined sources, and also gives a search bar to quickly search for any applications or content from the phone. However, we have observed the UI itself crashes sometimes when we try to access this ‘Intelligent aggregator page’ and the system freezes for few minutes until the UI restarts automatically which is quite annoying. One can disable this feature if they don’t need by going to home settings. Anyhow, we are not sure if the company is planning or promising any OS update for these phones in near future or users have to live with Android N, only time will tell.
The XQ dual houses a 3000 mAH battery and the performance of the same is quite acceptable. We could get around 16 hours of uptime during heavy usage with 4G network on always and when we made few hours of calls. If there is a moderate usage on the phone, the battery could hold upto to 24 hours or more. We found this is not pretty impressive though and little fine tuning from the software end could fix the quick battery drain on this device and could hold up for more hours. Also, we could play a Full HD video continuously for around 5 hours. Though there is nowhere a mention about the quick charge on this device, we observe that device gets charged quite fastly from 0 to 100% in around 90 minutes or so which is bit impressive.
Although the company has a high hopes in capturing the smartphone market in India and they are trying to tap the right things like focusing on the Selfie centric phones with the success seen by other Chinese players, only that is not enough to woo the consumers in the Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities. We honestly think, if this device was launched somewhere during the 1st quarter of 2017 with same kind of hardware and the pricing, probably it could have captured some market share, at the present time, we honestly think with little addition to the amount which an end user is willing to invest on this device, the could lay their on hands on few other smartphones with better hardware and the features which are available in this competitive market. We feel, that little reduction in the pricing of this device, say around 2000/- less on the current offering, could attract few buyers who are having budget constraints and who are willing to buy a decent smartphone with nice and bigger display which can click some decent pictures.