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XOLO Q800 Review

XOLO Q800 REVIEW – The Budget Android King?

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Where Samsung is consumed with manufacturing bigger-than-average phones (phablets?), XOLO has come up with the XOLO Q800 which – thankfully – still qualifies as a phone. Although it may look like your average phone at first sight, it has enough going for it. Is it, however, worth your hard earned money?

We find out in this Xolo Q800 Review!

KEY FEATURES

  • 4.5″ qHD IPS LCD display – 540×960 pixels
  • Mediatek MT6589 chipset
  • Quad-core ARM Cortex A7 – 1.2 GHz processor and PowerVR SGX544 graphics
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8 Megapixel Auto Focus camera with Full HD 1080p video recording.
  • LED flash
  • 1MP (HD) Front Facing Camera
  • Quad Band 2G and Single Band 3G with data speeds upto 21.1 Mbps DL and 14.4 Mbps UL – SIM 1 & Quad Band 2G – SIM 2
  • 4GB storage with microSD expansion slot
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n
  • Wi-Fi Direct
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS
  • Proximity Sensor, 3 axis Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Gyroscope, 3 Axis Magnetic Sensor and Gravity Sensor
  • 2100 mAh Battery
  • Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean) OS, Upgradeable to 4.2.1
  • SAR Value – <1.5 W/Kg

 UNBOXING THE XOLO Q800

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Xolo Q800 comes in a white box in which you will find the handset, battery, micro USB cable that doubles up as a charging cable for the A/C adaptor, single piece headset,  a screen guard, and warranty card with the list of authorised service centres in India.

There’s no microSD card bundled with the phone.

 

DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY

When you first hold the Q800 you immediately realize that the phone is pretty well constructed. While it may not look good pretty from the front, it does look graceful from the back. The phone houses a 4.5 inch qHD IPS TFT LCD Display. Above it sits the earpiece and on either side of  the earpiece lie the proximity sensor, light sensor and a front facing 1MP camera. The phone  does not feature a notification LED while the cheaper(well, in terms of price) Xolo Q700 does. Beneath the display there are 3 backlit capacitive keys – Menu, Home, and Back. The keys are haptic feedback enabled. A microphone sits below these keys.

The left side of the Q800 is completely bare. On the right side we find the volume rocker and the power button. On the top, we have the 3.5mm headset jack and next to it is the micro USB port.

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The back of the device houses an 8 MP BSI Auto Focus Camera with an LED Flash. Just below it, we find the XOLO insignia and the speakerphone grille is placed at the bottom left side.

_DSC0050editwmkd Underneath the battery cover, we find a fairly capable 2100 mAh battery, the micro SD card slot and the dual SIM card slots. SIM 1 supports both 2G and 3G networks while SIM 2 slot supports only 2G networks. The back cover feels like carbonized mix of plastic and rubber and although it does provide a fair amount of resistance to scratches, it does attract fingerprints. The display already has a plastic film applied to it which one can easily confuse with a screenguard.
Overall the handset looks decent, the build quality is quite good and you won’t really feel the handset’s weight despite it weighing 142g.

DISPLAY

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contrast-rich qHD display with decent blacks and good brightness levels!

With a 4.5 inch display, the XOLO Q800 classifies as a phone rather than a hybrid tablet-phone (or phablet, if you will). With a pixel density of 245 ppi, the display is considerably sharp and it is hard to find jagged edges around text despite the display not being retina-grade. Auto-brightness is available as the phone features an ambient light sensor.

The onscreen images are quite crisp albeit with relatively good colours. The blacks look very good for an LCD. Viewing angles are quite good too because of the IPS panel.

USER INTERFACE

The Q800 runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box. This review will however focus on one of the custom 4.2.1 Gionee GN708W ROMs. Xolo Q800 is infact a re-branded Gionee GN708W.

The phone has a five-pane homescreen configuration and a standard set of widgets are included.
The notification bar is split into 2 columns where the first one shows you the notifications and on the other one you’ll find 14 toggles which include Owner Profile Widget, Airplane Mode, Battery Status, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Data Connection, Data Usage, Audio Profiles, Brigtness, Display Timeout, Auto Rotation Lock, Guest Mode & Power Saving Mode.

The app drawer is pretty standard with 2 tabs. The first one is the apps tab which lists all the applications installed on the phone while widgets are listed under a separate tab.

PERFORMANCE

The XOLO Q800 is powered by a MediaTek MT6589 chipset which packs a 1.2GHz Quad Core ARM Cortex-A7 processor, 1GB of RAM and PowerVR SGX544 GPU. It comes with 4GB of internal space out of which a total of 1 GB is reserved for Apps while 1.75 GB is available to the user.

Out of the 1 GB RAM, a good 976 MB is usable, out of which ~390 MB is freely available to the user after you’ve installed all the necessary apps. . During my time with the phone, no lags were witnessed even on the power saving mode, which is a commendable job indeed.

The CPU performance is good. It does pull its weight while executing apps and games and also making the interface feel relatively fluid and is a relatively good performer especially on a qHD display.

Games like Temple Run, Temple Run 2, Angry Birds, etc. run lag free and so do more demanding titles like Dead Trigger, NFS Most Wanted.

Here are some benchmarks –

TELEPHONY & MESSAGING

This is one area where XOLO(or rather Gionee) could have done better. The earpiece does not output a loud volume. It is barely passable. However, callers on the other end were pleased with the call quality. The phone offers nice reception and no dropped calls were experienced during the testing period.
The dialer has been customized by Gionee which looks ridiculously kiddish. There is a single call button on the bottom pressing which, the option to select a SIM card pops up(if a SIM to make outgoing calls is not assigned as default already). To the left of the call button is a contacts icon that takes you to your contacts list. To the right of the call button, there’s a menu which has 3 options – Speed Dial, Batch Delete & Settings.

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The speaker phone’s output is neither too loud nor too quiet. You will have no troubles hearing your phone ring in most places except in extremely noisy outdoor surroundings.

There is nothing special about the messaging app. It may look different but it is essentially the stock android app with Gionee’s custom skin on top. It works like the stock Android messaging app. Fortunately, Auto rotation works here.

GALLERY, VIDEO & MUSIC PLAYERS

The default view of the gallery is Albums. It lists all the folders with Photos and Videos in the phone.  Getting inside an album displays all the photos or videos in a rectangular grid, which is horizontally scrollable.

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The Stock Video Player plays MP4 files upto 1080p resolution. A 3rd party player such as MX Player or Dice Player solves the limited codec support problem.

The processor handled 1080p videos like a champ.

The phone comes with Play Music as its default music app.

AUDIO QUALITY

XOLO Q800 sounded pretty mediocre on the stock XOLO 4.1.1 ROM. However, the audio quality improved a lot after installing the 4.2.1 ROM. The bundled earphones are average, if not poor. Companies do bundle these earphones for namesake. After using a better set of earphones, the sound quality was quite good though though the treble was bordering on harsh which you can correct with the help of an equalizer.

The XOLO Q800, as a musician, is still better than loads of handsets in the market even from the ones manufactured by the likes of Samsung and LG.

Overall, a more than satisfactory performance in this department.

CAMERA – IMAGE QUALITY

As far as image quality is concerned, the XOLO Q800 produces some pleasing photos in broad daylight which are not only more-than-passable for Social Networking but also good enough for your 5×7 prints. Low Light performance is pretty average to say the least and I suggest you to use the led flash as much as possible. Overall, it produces decent photos.
The flash is only helpful in close up photos. Being a single LED, it barely manages to provide enough lighting in pitch darkness.

Check out some of the camera samples :-

VIDEO CAMERA

Due to the fairly capable processor, the XOLO Q800 manages to shoot videos upto 1920×1080 pixels(1080p). It uses 3gp container at a low bitrate which reduces the quality of videos.

The interface is identical to the still camera interface. There are options to change the video resolution and toggle capture sound. The various other video resolutions in which the device can shoot are High(1280×720 pixels), Medium(640×480) and Low(176×144)..

The video quality is reminiscent of the still image quality. In broad daylight, it will suffice for framing memories and/or sharing on YouTube but indoors, in low lighting, it takes a hit and from being good, turns to be only passable.

Video samples will soon be uploaded on YouTube

CONNECTIVITY

The phone supports 2 SIM Cards. The 1st SIM Card slot supports 3G as well as 2G networks with 3G speeds maxing out at 21.1Mbps downlink. The 2nd SIM card slot supports only 2G networks. EDGE is supported on 2G networks for both the SIM slots.

We measured speeds averaging around 2.5 Mbps on an Airtel 3G network on a Friday evening.

The phone has no problems with receiving incoming calls even when data on the other SIM is being used.Local connectivity includes Wi-Fi b/g/n, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth. Wi-Fi reception is as good as a Samsung Galaxy S2.

WEB BROWSER

The stock web browser on an Android phone, lately, has mostly been brilliant and here due to the decent processing power the browsing experience is pretty pretty good. It is miles ahead of Symbian browsers and also browsers of the yester year’s Android phones. There are no lags when trying to browse a multimedia rich webpage.

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After having side-loaded Adobe’s Flash player from XDA-Forums, it worked just fine with YouTube videos.

BATTERY LIFE

So how long does a Dual SIM Quad Core phone with a moderately big 4.5″ display last on a 2100mAh battery? Well, it’ll certainly get you through a day with moderate usage (which includes a screen-on time of 2 hours and one of the SIMs always latched on to a 3G network). Be more brutal with your usage and you’ll hear the phone cry by evening.

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It is still one of the better phones in this department as well. Most users will definitely get through one full working day and some may even find enough juice for the next 12 hours.

If you plan to use only 1 SIM card on the phone, you can expect the battery life to improve by roughly 25%.

CONCLUSION

Having ticked most boxes it comes as little surprise that the XOLO Q800 is one of the best handsets available under INR 15,000. Its closest rival is the Micromax A116 Canvas HD which has a bigger 5″ 720p display going for it. The rest of the specifications are at par with Q800 besting A116 in the number of sensors installed.

Another alternative can be the Lenovo P770 which has a monsterous battery. On other grounds, it features a weaker processor, inferior camera but does bring along a notification LED. To know more about the phone, you can read our review of the Lenovo P770

There is also Gionee Dream D1 which one can consider. Although its a little more expensive than the Q800, it does feature a 720p HD 4.6″ Super AMOLED Display.

Among the more well known brands, you can pick up the Nokia Lumia 520 if you want to play with Windows Phone 8 instead.

At a price of INR 12500, XOLO Q800 comes easily recommended for its good performance, decent looks, crisp display and fairly good camera.

 [ezreview]

About Manpreet Singh

Hearty, Happy-go-lucky.. Casual singer, Amateur Photographer, Gadget-Consultant & Management Graduate..

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