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Xolo Q1100 review: Quite a performer


Xolo Q1100 review: Quite a performer
Overall Rating 3.5/5

Indian brands have been playing the specs game ever since they started making budget smartphones. Quad-core processors, 8MP rear cameras and 5-inch plus displays, all at less than half the price of a mid-range smartphone from global brands. These 'high-end' specifications did not always imply good performance.

However, after the entry of Motorola's Moto G, a phone that has almost become the benchmark for budget Android smartphones, Indian brands too have realised that they need to focus on performance. Xolo Q1100 is one of the first Indian phones to come with the Snapdragon 400 processor, the one that also powers Moto G. It also sports a camera sensor with a higher resolution. But is it better than the Moto G? We try to find out.

Build and Design
Xolo Q1100 features a modern design and a sturdy build. The phone looks sleek and sharp thanks to its linear, clean edges and corners that are not very rounded. One of the highlights of the design is the chin like bottom edge of the phone that makes it look different than its peers.

The front of the phone is dominated by its 5-inch display. The three capacitive navigation keys are placed just below the display and are faintly backlit. It is easy to miss these keys as they light up only when you touch one of them. Above the display, you'll be able to spot a 2MP front camera, an LED notification light and XOLO branding.

The back panel features a wrap-around removable cover that also sports buttons and surrounds the phone's edges. The cover sports a matte finish and fits snugly with the phone, without any creaks and wobbles. The right edge sports the Power button while the left one is home to the volume rocker key. The micro-USB port is placed at the bottom edge while the 3.5mm headset jack is located at the top.

You'll see the phone's 8MP camera lens at the back of the phone which protrudes out a bit along with the LED flash. A small speaker outlet is also placed at the back.



The back cover hides the battery compartment, two regular sim card slots and a microSD card slot.

Overall, we feel the Xolo Q1100 looks better than some of the company's earlier smartphones. At 150gram, it's not the lightest one around, but the phone feels good to hold.

Display
Xolo Q1100 sports a 5-inch 720p display. One Glass Solution IPS display offers good viewing angles and brightness but the glossy screen affects under-sun legibility. Text and images look crisp and sharp and colours look vivid. However, the screen is prone to smudges and gets soiled easily.

Software
Xolo Q1100 runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with minor customization and some pre-loaded apps. The navigation structure is more or less standard with multiple home-screens, a lock screen and the app launcher. It is one of the very few phones from Indian handset makers that offers Android 4.3.

The phone comes with some preloaded third party apps including Qualcomm Battery Guru, Xolo Power, Xolo Secure, and X-TransPic (picture to text translation through the phone's camera).

Of course, the phone comes with the Play Store, so there's no limit to the number of apps that you can download.

Camera
Xolo Q1100 sports an 8MP rear camera with BSI 2 sensor and LED flash and a 2MP front-facing camera that also comes with a flash. Xolo offers a custom camera app that also offers Panorama mode, in addition to granular settings for most attributes including focus mode, scene mode, face detection, saturation, contrast, sharpness, anti banding, ISO, exposure, white balance, flash mode and red-eye reduction. The camera interface is anything but intuitive with settings stacked across three different menus.



The image quality offered by the rear camera is good especially when images were taken outdoors in day light. Photos captured indoors in less light were grainy, and low-light outdoor shots had a considerable amount of noise. The camera is capable of shooting 1080p videos and did an average job.



The front camera captured decent quality pictures for selfies. It's also good for video chats.

Performance
Xolo Q1100 is powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset and has 1GB of RAM with Adreno 305 graphics chip. We were satisfied with the performance of the phone while navigating the phone's user interface, launching apps, browsing the web and clicking photos.

We were able to play games like Temple Run 2, Subway Surfers, Dead Trigger 2 and Asphalt 8 without encountering frame drops or freezes.

In synthetic benchmarks, Xolo Q1100 beats most MediaTek chip based handsets as well as the Moto G which is powered by the same processor albeit running at slower clock speed. The phone scored 19,417 in Antutu, 9214 in Quadrant and 56.2 in Nenamark 2 benchmark tests. The Moto G had scored 17,404 in Antutu, 8574 in Quadrant and 57.9 in Nenamark 2 benchmark tests.

The phone comes only with 8GB of internal storage (5.8GB available to the user) which can be expanded with a microSD card.

In terms of multimedia, this Xolo warrior comes with FM radio capability (with support for recording) and the phone's built-in speaker offers decent sound output. The default video player doesn't support some multimedia file formats such as .AVI and .MOV, but this can be solved by installing a third party player.

We did not encounter any issues while making calls and were satisfied with the phone's network reception. Voice clarity and loudness levels were also up to the mark. Xolo Q1100 comes with GPS for navigation and maps and was easily able to lock a signal.

Xolo Q1100 is backed by a 2,000mAh battery with a claimed standby time of up to 450 hours and talk time of up to 12.5 hours on 3G. With moderate to high usage, including about one to two hours of making calls, playing games, clicking some pictures, listening to music and browsing the web, the phone will easily last you a full working day, even if you put the screen brightness at the highest level and keep 3G turned on.

Verdict
Is Xolo Q1100 the ultimate Moto G killer? Looking at benchmarks alone, it may appear that the phone trumps Moto G. However, Xolo Q1100's user interface is not as fluid as that of the Moto G as the former comes with an older OS version. We got in touch with Xolo to check if the phone would receive Android 4.4 KitKat update, but the company was not forthcoming with any commitment. We also feel the phone's battery backup is inferior compared to that of the Moto G.

However, unlike Moto G, the Xolo Q1100 offers expandable storage and a removable battery, which go in its favour. So if you want to store a big collection of music and videos in your phone, then the Q1100 is the best budget smartphone out there. It is available at a price of Rs 14,999
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