Monday, 2 December 2013

Xolo Q900

Xolo is working hard to make a name for itself in the budget conscious market. The company is flooding the market with its mid-range smartphones in an attempt to offer a little something for everyone.

Xolo Q900 is the latest mid-range offering, powered by MTK6589 chipset with four Cortex A7 cores clocked at 1.2 GHz and the PowerVR SGX544 GPU.

The retail packaging of Xolo Q900 comes with the usual set of paperwork, USB cable, headset and an A/C adapter. Xolo has also bundled a screen guard to protect the display from scratches and nicks.

The Xolo Q900 features a simple design with the glossy plastic running all over the device. The aluminum frame of the front panel adds a dash of elegance and the smartphone looks a lot better than others in its price range. The front of the phone could have looked even better, had it not featured such large bezels. On the back is the 8 megapixel primary camera with LED flash. The camera has an unusual bump around it that might even cause scratches to the sensor when kept on a table. The speaker grille is at the bottom left. The SIM-card slots, micro SD slot and a 1,800mAh battery is located underneath the back panel. The power button is located on the right side of the device and the volume rockers are on the left. At the top are the 3.5mm audio jack and the USB port.

Xolo Q900 sports a 4.7-inch display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. The screen is quite sharp with a pixel density of 312ppi and its color rendering is quite pleasing. The brightness is also good, but the viewing angles are far from spectacular. There is just too much of contrast loss and color shift when viewing the display from different angles. The overall image quality is satisfactory.

The Q900 runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean OS and comes with a fair share of software customizations from Xolo. The device runs smoothly with the help of the quad-core CPU and 1 GB of RAM. Xolo has made an attempt to enhance the batter life of its smartphone with is Xolo Power app. The power management app has a very simple user interface and gives you the remaining battery level, temperature of the smartphone’s battery, estimation hours of usage left if for certain activities and data on the CPU usage.

The second bit of home-backed software comes in form of a security app. The Xolo Secure can be used to protect your device in case you misplace it or it gets stolen. The app also allows you to back up your personal data to the cloud. To activate the app, you would require to login with your Google account and provide the necessary permissions. You can then configure Anti-Theft options, which allows you to remotely track your device, wipe data, secure lock, secretly capture photo and a few other similar useful features.

There is also a Firewall option that offers to monitor your calls and SMS. You can add unwanted numbers to the black list and intercept all the spam calls.

The quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU is not exactly a benchmark champion, but it usually does more than reasonable for its price range. The camera interface is pretty simple and the settings menu has three tabs. All the general settings like the exposure bias, color effect, scene mode and white balance are in the first tab, while all the specific stills and video capturing options are organized under the other two.

You can also select different shooting modes like HDR, Panorama, multi angle view image, macro and many other such options from the bar running on the left side of the interface. The color rendering is good, which perhaps is the only good thing. The resolved detail is really low and the dynamic range of the images is very limited, while the noise levels are pretty high. A pretty dreadful shooter overall and you are better off browsing its images only on the display of the phone.

Xolo Q900 is currently available for a price tag of $200 and the handset is definitely one of the interesting offers at this price range. The MediaTek processor powering the smartphone is not the best in the market, but the chip ensures decent performance for the majority of the time, which is par for the course in the mid-range sector. Xolo has to up its game with upgrades and ensure that the device fulfills its potential. Overall, for a smartphone that comes with a sub $200 price tag, the Q900 is not a real stand out performer.

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