Xolo Q700 Review
Xolo launched the Q700, the company’s latest Android smartphone in the QCORE series last week. We brought you the unboxing and the benchmarks of the device last week. Here we have the complete review of the device. The Xolo Q800 was the first quad-core smartphone from Xolo that was launched earlier this year and the Q1000, the company’s latest flagship with 5-inch HD display went on sale recently. Let’s dive into the review.
- Xolo Q700 handset
- 2400 mAh battery
- 2-pin charger
- micro USB cable
- in-ear earphone
- Screen guard
- Quick start guide
- Safety, Warranty and Legal guide
The phone has a 4.5-inch qHD (960 x 540 pixels) 16M color capacitive touch screen IPS display based on one-glass solution (OGS) technology that would reduce the phone’s thickness by reducing the air gap between the touch sensor, display and the cover glass. The display is bright and has great viewing angles. Since it is glossy, it becomes a finger print magnet. You get a screen guard in the box which you can use to avoid smudges on the screen.
There is an ear piece on top along with a 0.3-megapixel (VGA) font-facing camera. There are the usual Proximity and Ambient light sensors next to the camera. In addition there is also a LED notification light. The phone Accelerometer and a Magnetometer sensor. It lacks the Gyroscope that was present in the Q800.
Below the display the capacitive touch buttons for Menu, Home and Back are present on a bezel. These light up and offers haptic feedback when pressed. There is a tiny microphone below that.
The phone has curved corners, giving the phone a premium look. It has shiny plastic rim running on the sides. Volume rocker is present on the left side.
The sides button are actually present on the back panel. There is a power button on the right, which is easy to access when you holding a phone on a single hand.
The micro USB slot and the 3.5mm audio jack are on the top. There is nothing on the bottom.
The back has matte finish similar to the Xolo A700. It is easy to remove dust just by wiping, but if your hands are oily it sticks to the back easily.
On the back there is a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash. It has BSI sensor for better low-light imaging. The secondary microphone is present below the LED flash and a Xolo branding below it.
There is a loudspeaker grill on the bottom. Let’s discuss about the audio quality later.
When you open the back cover, you get to see the large 2400 mAh Lithium-Polymer battery. Xolo used a cell with similar tech in the B700 that we reviewed recently, but that had a 3450 mAh battery.
There are two SIM card slots below the camera module. There is a microSD card slot between them that would let you expand the memory up to 32GB.
The 5-megapixel camera takes decent shots. Even low-light shots came out pretty good, thanks to the Back Side Illumination (BSI) sensor. But it is not impressive. Since this is runs on Android 4.2, it support lockscreen widgets that lets you launch the camera directly from the lockscreen. The camera is quite different from the stock. It gives you instructions on how to use the camera UI when you launch it for the first time. There is a navigation bar on the left pane that lets you change the different camera modes including HDR, Panorama, Smile shutter and more. There is a Flash toggle and option to switch between either cameras on the top. You can just swipe to the left to view previously shot images or videos. The settings menu lets you enable GPS location, adjust exposure, white balance, add color effects, change the scene mode and adjust anti-flicker mode. The Face Detection option spots the face inside the frame clearly. Even though this runs on Android 4.2, you don’t get Google Photo Sphere that is present in the stock version.
Here are some photo samples.
It can record videos at 720p HD resolution. Since the phone has secondary microphone the audio is crisp. The Electronic image stabilization (EIS) uses software enhancements to minimize blurring and device shake.
Here is a 720p HD video sample.
The phone runs on Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean. So you get a lot of features that are not available on the Android 4.1, including lockscreen widgets, Day dream, Quick Settings, Photo filters in the gallery and lots more. There are 5 homescreen, you can’t add or remove the number of homescreen.
When you swipe from the top with a single finger, you get the notification screen. You get the Quick Settings when you pull down from the top with two fingers. This lets you control Brightness, WiFi, Airplane mode and Bluetooth. In addition there shortcuts for Data Connection, Data usage, Audio Profiles, Timeout and Auto rotation that are not available in stock android. You can hold some of these quick toggle buttons to get to the advanced settings.
The lock screen lets you add widgets. You can add a range of widgets including Gmail, Clock, Messaging, Sound Search and more. Even if your device is pass word protected, you can view the widgets, but can’t access them. You can swipe to the right to launch the camera. There is Google Now, but you can’t access it from the lock screen by swiping up or by holding the home button. You have to go to search app if you want to access it. If you have configured it, you get notifications which takes you to the app.
In addition to the Slide, Face Unlock, Pattern, PIN and Password this one has Voice Unlock that lets you record a command and say it to unlock the device. There is a sound enhancement option in the profile settings for better audio through the earphone on voice calls. The Daydream option in the display settings acts as a screensaver when the phone is charging or docked.
Out of 4GB of internal storage you get 2.70 GB of user storage. Out of 1GB of RAM, you get 977MB of usable RAM.
Even though these is an option to switch the default storage to SD Card, it doesn’t install the apps or games in the external storage. We got an error that said “insufficient space on external storage” even though these was 29GB of space left in the memory card.
The phone comes with some pre-installed apps. There are several tabs in the Menu such as Main, Apps, Games and Widgets. The Main tab has all the pre-installed apps, Apps tabs shows the app that you have installed and some Google Apps. The Games tab shows the games you have installed and the Widgets tab lets you add widgets. Utility apps include, Calculator, Clock, File Manager, Sound Recorder. The Google apps include, Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Talk and YouTube.
You can select groups option for Apps and Games tab. This groups them into folders automatically so that you can access them easily.
In addition to these apps Xolo offers their own apps calling it Xolo Unlimited. The Xolo Switch app lets users create multiple profiles and switch between profiles easily. This compensates for the multiple user mode that is only available for Android Tablets running 4.2. This lets you create a user and select certain apps for them to access it. The Kid’s Mode lets your kids use the apps that you choose. The Kids Tube offers curated YouTube content suitable for Kids. You can also restrict the Kid’s Mode for limited period by setting a time out.
The Xolo Secure app keeps the phone protected by locking and also lets you track it remotely. You need an active SIM card and a Gmail account to configure the Xolo Secure for the first time. You can set two number to which the alerts would be sent when the SIM card is swapped. You can send commands from these numbers to wipe the data remotely, sound a Siren, Lock the phone and track it. You can enable ADB lock to prevent anyone to install apps on the device and enable factory reset lock that doesn’t let anyone to lock the device. It also backs up call-history and messages to the registered Gmail account.
The Xolo Power optimizes battery usage. This lets you set data sync frequency, night mode and low battery mode to conserve battery life. The battery tab shows the battery percentage, temperature and estimated amount of calling, browsing etc. The profiler offers background CPU consumption, and also shows how many cores are in use. It also offers warnings if an app consumes more CPU so that you can kill them immediately.
Xolo has developed all these apps especially for this device. Hope the company would bring these apps to other Xolo phones.
Music Player and FM Radio
The Music Player is stock, which lets you play audio from different formats, including MP3, MIDI, WAV, 3GPP,AAC,AAC+, AMR-NB. You can enable equalizer from the settings and use Bass boost and 3D effect features when you are listening using earphones. The phone has FM Radio with auto tune, RDS and recording. Audio from the loudspeaker is loud and the in-ear earphones are decent. It can play 720p HD videos but you can download external players like the MX Player and use software decoding to play 1080p videos.
Calls and Messaging
All the calls went through fine without any dropped calls. Since this is a dual SIM phone, you get options to switch to either SIM cards from the notification bar. The keyboard is stock, but it doesn’t come with gesture typing like the stock Android 4.2.
There is a SIM manager option in the settings, similar to other dual SIM Android smartphones in the market. You can set a default SIM for several operations including voice call, video call, Messaging and Data connection. You can also choose ‘Always ask’ option for voice calls and Messaging that gives you option to complete the operation after you choose either SIM cards.
The connectivity features include, 3G (HSDPA: 21 Mbps, HSUPA: 11Mbps) since it uses 481MHz CR4+FD216 240MHz DSP modem, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v 3.0 with A2DP and GPS. It has support for wireless display. You can share content from the phone to a HDTV by connecting a wireless display adapter to a HDMI-enabled TV. This option comes default in the Android 4.2. We didn’t test this feature.
Performance and Benchmarks
The phone is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core MediaTek 6589M processor with PowerVR SGX544 GPU which is clocked at 238 MHz. The performance is decent. We tested some games on the device. We could not test high-end games since it could not be installed due to less internal memory.
Here is the gaming performance overview video
The Q700 scores 3947 points in the Quadrant Benchmark.
AnTuTu Benchmark 3.3
In the AnTuTu Benchmark 3.3, the phone scores 13050 points and grabs the second spot just behind the Panasonic P51.
In the NenaMark 2 GPU benchmark it clocks 39.7 FPS. Check out the complete Xolo Q700 Benchmarks here.
The 2400 mAh battery lasts a whole day with average use with few hours of 3G data usage, few calls, SMS, music and some video play back. This uses Lithium Polymer battery similar to the Xolo B700 that we reviewed recently. You can use the bundled Xolo Power app that improves the battery life to make it last more than a day.
Overall, the Xolo Q700 is definitely one of the best mid-range smartphone if you are on a tight budget. It has good display, powered by a quad-core processor and runs on the latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS. The 5MP camera is decent, but it’s not the best one. One of the main drawback is the lack of option to install apps on the SD card. At a price tag of Rs. 9,999, if you are looking for a smartphone under 10k with the latest Android OS, quad-core processor and good display, but can live with the less internal memory and an average camera, go for it. If you can spend more there are other quad-core smartphones from Xolo including the Q800 and Q1000.
- Competitive price tag
- Good display
- Runs on Android 4.2 out of the box
- Average camera
- Cannot install apps in the SD card