The Indian smartphone market has proven to be a profitable playground for international players and a new Vietnamese brand, Mobiistar, made its debut with the launch of two affordable smartphones – Mobiistar XQ Dual and CQ. Taking advantage of the popular demand for budget phones in India, these two phones are priced just about right to catch an eye.
Mobiistar CQ is the cheaper option buyers can get with the new brand in India. Priced at Rs 4,999, Mobiistar CQ has the potential to break into the tight competition led by giants like Samsung, Xiaomi, Itel Mobiles and others. At International Business Times India, we had the chance to test the CQ smartphone to see how far this new brand is willing to go in order to win customers.
Mobiistar CQ is available exclusively on Flipkart and comes in Gold and Black hues. The company is banking on the popularity of selfies in the country and placed the CQ smartphone as a "selfie star". Is it really though? Let's find out.
We haven't spent too long with the budget smartphone to give out a final verdict, but here are our first impressions of what the Mobiistar CQ is capable of.
Design and display
Budget smartphones don't really experiment with the design, and the CQ smartphone isn't going to make you fall in love with at first sight. The standard 16:9 aspect display ratio pronounces an ageing design, but the rear metallic-finish polycarbonate panel with curved sides make sure the user gets the right grip.
The Mobiistar branding is visible at the back, which is quite hard to miss, and a speaker is placed towards the bottom. On the front, there are capacitive navigation buttons, a thick chin and the front camera along with proximity sensor is seen above the display. The bezels on the sides are also visible, but it's quite expected from a smartphone its range.
A microUSB port sits at the bottom while the 3.5mm headphone jack is found at the top. The power button aligns with the volume controls on the right side, and the SIM card tray is on the left.
The 5-inch display of the Mobiistar CQ comes with HD resolution, which is well-lit for an indoor use. We will be testing the same under harsh lights to see if it hinders visibility, but we highly doubt it will.
Since Mobiistar is promoting CQ smartphone as a selfie star, it was natural to launch the camera to see if it's worth the hype. The front camera has a 13MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture and 7 level Beauty Mode.
Changing beauty levels from 1 through 7 did not show contrast difference. There's a much handy option of manually adjusting the beauty settings using buffing, whitening, enlarging eyes and slimming face.
We clicked a few selfies to see how this works. The details are lost, but the handset tries to retain as many natural colours as possible considering the low-lit testing area. The results were slightly better with HDR turned on.
The rear camera on the CQ smartphone comes with an 8MP sensor and it gets the job done. There are HDR, Night and Pro modes to get a better shot, but it can only get you so far despite the efforts. But it's worth pointing out that these features and options are offered in a smartphone priced under Rs 5,000, so it's unjust to criticize heavily. We will be testing the cameras in depth and share the results in the detailed review soon.
Mobiistar CQ packs a Snapdragon 425 chipset under the hood, paired with 2GB RAM and 16GB expandable storage via dedicated microSD card slot. The brief time we were using the handset, we did not encounter any lags or crashes, but we will reserve our final judgment until the full review.
The handset supports dual SIM cards, 4G VoLTE and ViLTE, which is a video call service, based on the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) core network. This is an interesting USP for a smartphone that's priced so low. The handset also packs a 3,020mAh battery, which we are hoping could last at least 6-7 hours with mixed usage.
Stay tuned for a full review of the handset in the coming days.