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Xolo Q3000 Review: 5 Days with Big Phone


One of the first thoughts that came to my mind when I got my hands on the Xolo Q3000 was an advertisement that used to be aired for Reliance Big TV, with the punchline "Ho to Big Ho". I recently got the opportunity to review the 5.7 phablet from Xolo, and so I decided to use it as my primary smartphone for the next five days. (From now on, that's what I shall be doing for reviewing smartphones.) In this post, I shall write down all the positives and negatives of this giant phablet. I hope that the Xolo Q3000 review helps you to make a decision on whether you should or should not buy it.

Xolo Q3000 Review: Worth your money?


Table of Contents

As I often end up writing really long reviews, I thought it would be nice to have a Table of Contents for easier navigation.

TopicOur Rating
Xolo Q3000 Specifications★★★★
Box Pack Contents★★★★
Design and Build Quality★★★
Display★★★★★
Benchmark Tests★★★
General Performance★★★★★
Gaming★★★★
Storage★★★★★
Camera★★★
Battery★★★★★
Connectivity★★★★★
SAR Rating★★★★★
Others★★★★
Xolo Q3000 Price★★★★★
Conclusion★★★★

Xolo Q3000 Specifications

Here are they key specifications of the Xolo Q3000. We shall test how good these specifications are in real life, in our review.
  • 5.7 inch IPS Full HD screen (1920x1080 pixels, 386 pixels per inch)
  • 1.5 GHz Mediatek MT6589 Quad-core Processor with PowerVR SGX544 GPU
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 13 MP Primary Camera with AutoFocus, HDR and LED Flash
  • 5 MP Front Camera for Video Caaling and Selfies
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, no updates available or promised at the time of writing
  • 16 GB internal storage (User available is 12.83 GB)
  • External micro sd support - upto 32 GB
  • 4000 mAh Battery. Claimed talktime of 33 hours.
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, WiFi Hotspot, OTG Support
  • Dual SIM, 3G support

Box Pack Contents

Owing to the humongous 5.7 inch screen, Xolo Q3000 comes neatly packed in a pretty large box. Inside the box, we find the Xolo Q3000 handset (duh), the 4000 mAh battery, charger, USB-cum-charging cable, 3.5 mm earphones with in-ear earbuds, flip cover, screen guard and warranty and getting started booklets.

We shall get to each of the main accessories in their separate sections. One thing that should be clear by now is that you don't need to run to your nearest mobile accessories shop in order to buy a screen guard and cover for the Xolo Q3000. That's pretty sweet on Xolo's part.

Design and Build Quality

Though there can be differing views on whether a particular smartphone looks good/premium or not, this is one of the very few things about Xolo Q3000 that disappointed me. The Xolo Q3000 is carved out of plastic, and though the placements of button, speakers and camera is functionally correct, the build quality of the Xolo Q3000 failed to impress me.


At 9.69 mm, this phone can neither be called really sleek or too thick. Sleekness is one of the critical factors that determine whether a phone this large is easily usable or not. The top, bottom and side bezels could've been reduced in size to make the phone more compact, the way we've recently seen in the LG Optimus G3, which manages to be as compact as Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2, even with a 5.5 inch screen.
If you're not six and a half feet tall and have giant(-ish) hands, you'll find it hard to operate the phone single handedly. Xolo understood that and has provided an "One-hand mode" which can be quickly toggled by long pressing the back button, but even that mode is not a perfect solution as the phone emulates a smaller screen but this slows things down drastically. You can understand what I mean if you've tried Bluestacks or Android SDK manager on your PC.
Talking about buttons and ports, the volume up and down buttons are present on the left while the power button is placed on the right side. The buttons are just a tad bit hard to press but I guess I'd have got accustomed to it if I had used the phone for more days. The 3.5 mm headphone jack and USB 2.0 port are present at the top of the device, while the bottom side sports nothing but a microphone near the right corner.

The front camera, proximity sensor and a notification led are present at the positions we normally expect them to be i.e. above the screen. The notification LED can't be distinguished unless it is blinking, which looks kinda cool. You can customize the notification led colors using free apps such as Light Manager. The rear camera is present on the top left of the phone. While holding the phone in landscape, you might end up covering the camera lens sometimes.

There are three physical capacitive buttons below the screen which light up when touched (or when volume keys are used). The glowing buttons look nice in the dark. But if you decide to use the Flip Cover that comes bundled with the phone, the cover blocks the notification LED, defeating the entire purpose of it.

Display

The 5.7 inch Full HD screen produces sharp, crisp pictures. At 386 ppi, you won't be able to distinguish between two adjacent pixels. If there were any downsides to the enormous size of the phone, the glorious 5.7 inch screen makes up for it - to an extent.

A screen as large as this one makes doing a lot of things - like watching movies and videos, editing documents, browsing the internet, viewing photographs - a real delight. I committed surprisingly less number of typos on the Xolo Q3000's keyboard, even in portrait mode, than I normally do on my regular 4 inch phone.

The display looks great from every viewing angle. The phone detects up to 5 touches at once. Though there are phones which can detect 10 touches at a time, I can't imagine a single real world scenario where you'd ever reach even the 5 touch limit.

Benchmark Tests

The phone is powered by a 1.5 GHz Mediatek MT6589T processor, which is slightly better than the MT6589 variant. The GPU is PowerVR SGX544. We've seen this CPU and GPU combination in Micromax Canvas Turbo, among other smartphones.

The benchmarks test shown below were after I had installed a few apps and as most of the results keep varying, I've used the averages of three tests, in most of the benchmark tests below.
  • Antutu: 14930
  • Quadrant: 5500
  • Nenamark: 34.0 fps
These scores aren't as impressive as some of the new Mediatek Octa Cores out there, but if you read a lot of smartphone reviews, you must be aware that you should not give much (if any) importance to these scores and judge by a phone by its real world performance instead.

General Performance

I installed all the apps I generally use on my go-to smartphone (about 70+) and the Xolo Q3000 ran each single one of them with ease. Thanks to the 2 GB RAM, multitasking between apps was equally good. Xolo hasn't added any modifications to the UI of the phone, thus RAM usage is pretty low. Most of the times, I had about 675 MB RAM used and 1.3 GB RAM free. The phone doesn't heat up on normal usage.

Gaming

I'm not an avid smartphone gamer anymore and keep myself to puzzle games like Cut The Rope, Shoot The Apple, They Need To Be Fed, Threes, 2048 and others. As expected, all of these run on the Xolo Q3000 without any hiccup. For the sake of testing, I tried heavy games like Dead Trigger 2, Iron Man 3, Modern Combat 4 among others, and keeping aside a random lag here and there, these games ran smooth as butter. I didn't try playing the heavy ones for hours, but for the 20-30 minutes I played them, the Xolo Q3000 didn't heat up noticeably.

Storage

With 12.87 GB of internal storage, most of the folks won't even need an external sd card. Though for those who like to keep HD videos, movies and their entire music collection on their smartphone, external micro sd card is also supported.

The read/write speed on the internal storage is pretty impressive - at over 16 MB per second. If you need to use an external micro sd card and don't want to get things slowed down, use a class 10 micro sd card.

1 GB space is available for app installation and applications can be installed on the internal storage/micro sd card by default. External game data can also be stored on the sd card, so that shouldn't be a problem either.

A great option I found under Settings > Storage is APK Installer, which lists down all the apk files you've on your phones, allowing you to manually install the apk files faster.

Camera

The Xolo Q3000 camera has its ups and downs. While the camera lives up to its megapixel count in daylight and artificial light (read tubelights and bulbs) at night, it is a real disaster in low light conditions. The LED Flash only adds to its woes in low light as it burns close range photographs. When you touch to focus with Flash on, you will see a nice preview, but when you capture a photograph, the flash messes it all at the last moment. This is the reason I believe that this problem is related to the software, and an update patch can potentially help things. Apart from its low light woes, the camera, at times, refuses to focus at things.

The 13 MP camera shoots videos in 1080p resolution. Optical Image Stabilization could've helped a lot in this department, but it would be really unfair for us to seek this feature at this price point. Xolo has tried to make up by providing EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization), which will try to compensate for the device shakes that occur while shooting a video.

The front camera does a great job in daylight. It isn't able to grasp as much light as it'd like to, when you're in a room with a tube light, or worse, no light at all. So make sure you satisfy your lust for selfies before it gets too dark.

I can't go into any more details as I'm not a pro photographer myself. Instead, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. The photos I've attached are mere thumbnails, click on them to see them in their full glory.

Photo Samples

The images below have been cropped or edited (only text has been added in some photos). To see the original untouched and uncropped photos, download this zip file.





Video Sample

This video has been shot with EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) turned on, though I fail to see any impact made by that.

Battery

Apart from the brilliant (and humongous) display, the second USP of this phone is its humongous 4000 mAh battery, which, going by Xolo's claims, provides up to 33 hours of talk-time. When I received the phone at first,  it was about 21% charged. That was at about 12:15 pm. I used and tested the phone continuously - using 3G, WiFi, playing music and videos at times, placing calls and browsing the internet - and the phone still lasted till 4 pm!

Moderate usage of the smartphone will give you 2 full days without having to look for your charger again. There is one downside to a battery this large though, it takes about 4 hours to charge the phone from 0 to 100%. But if 2 hours of charging can get you through the day, I'd prefer a battery this large even if it takes twice as long to charge.

Connectivity

The phone comes with every connectivity option you can think of in an high end smartphone - except NFC. WiFi, Bluetooth, WiFi Hotspot, GPS -  everything works as expected. OTG i.e. USB On-The-Go is also supported. You can use an OTG cable to attach a keyboard, mouse, pen drive, or even an external hard disk to your Xolo Q3000.

Phone calls are clear on both ends on the Xolo Q3000, though the weight of the phone - 200 grams - can be an issue if you love to talk for hours and hours on the trot.

SAR Rating

The phone has a SAR rating of 0.37 W/kg on the head and 0.53 W/kg on the body. Both these values are way below the maximum allowed SAR values in India (1.6 W/kg), or anywhere else in the world.

Others

Xolo Apps:
Xolo hasn't added any noticeable bloatware - except three apps, which shouldn't be categorized as bloatware as most users will find them useful.
Xolo Secure allows you to track your Xolo Q3000 in case of theft/misplacement. It allows you to lock the device remotely, prevent factory reset from recovery mode as well as from settings, display an alert message to the thief, snap a photo of the thief using the front camera and email it to you, ring a siren even if the phone is locked, among other things. All these options makes it a robust all-in-one anti-theft app.

Xolo Power, on the other hand allows you to switch to battery saving modes when you are running out of juice. Many users download third-party apps from the Play Store later on, so it makes sense to integrate this option in the phone itself.

The third app is the official Facebook app.

If any of the apps seem to be irrelevant to you, long press on the app's icon and drag it to App Info and select the disable option from there. Otherwise, if you are rooted, you can completely uninstall all three of them without impacting anything else on your phone.

Quick Boot:
A Quick Boot option can be toggled from Settings > Accessibility. Turning it on enables you to reboot your  phone a lot quicker than usual.

Rooting and other Development:

Xolo Q3000 can be rooted by using Framaroot application, without even needing a PC. But doing so might permanently void your warranty, as I spotted a Xolo Root application under Settings > Applications > All Apps. I think this app will detect root permissions and let Xolo know that your warranty has been voided.

There are a few custom ROMs available for Xolo Q3000, but none of them is as functional or feature-rich as Cyanogenmod, AOKP, Paranoid Android or any other famous third-party ROMs, all of which are not available for the device. We can't expect much development on a Mediatek based device anyways, as Mediatek doesn't release kernel source for its chipsets.

Xolo Q3000 Price

Though the Xolo Q3000 was initially launched for about Rs. 20k, at the time of writing, the phone is currently selling online for as low as Rs. 15,100. Check out the current best price for Xolo Q3000 here.

Conclusion

Though the Xolo Q3000 has its fair share of disappointments, but the brilliant 5.7 inch Full HD screen, 2 GB of RAM and 4000 mAh battery still makes it worth the price point it is currently available at. I've shared every positive and negative thing that I could notice about the phone in my 5 days usage of it, so I leave the decision up to you - if the negatives outweigh the positives, don't go for it, otherwise it should be a viable option.

Refer to the Table of Contents above to see what I think about the various aspects of the device in the ratings I have provided in the adjacent cells. Overall, I'll give this phone 4 stars out of 5.
★★★★☆

Note: If you appreciate the effort that has gone into writing this detailed Xolo Q3000 review and have decided to purchase this phone, please consider buying it from our affiliate link, which shall provide us a small commission fee and help us pay our bills.

If you have any questions, shoot'em asap in the comments as the device will be with me for a few more days only.
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