A 1.5GHz Quad-core processor powered dual-SIM phablet featuring a gigantic 5.7 full HD display and a 4000mAh battery that will easily last you for more than a day. Enter Xolo Q3000, the company’s new flagship which looks like it’s made to rival the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2. At a price tag of Rs. 20,990, the Q3000 seems quite a catch but let’s see if the phone manages to ace our tests.
The contents of the box contain the handset itself, a charger, battery, earphone, a USB cable for charging and data transfer, quick start guide, warranty information and surprisingly an OTG (On The Go) Cable and screen guard. The phone itself has no screen guard attached out of the box. The packing was neat and extremely well organized. There is a flip cover inside the box that can be used to protect the phone from scratches to the body but we did not like the quality of the cover even though we can’t complain much as it comes free with the device.
The build quality is neither great nor bad. The back panel is a removable lid with a smooth rubberized feel to it which makes it a bit difficult to hold in one hand as the phone is too large for one hand operation. The rear panel takes smudges and fingerprints quite easily which is annoying. The camera lens and the flash are surrounded by a metallic color cover which is not removable. The speaker is located right under the metallic cover. On removing the back cover, you are exposed to a huge battery with two SIM slots and the memory expansion slot above the battery slot. Both the USB charging slot and the headphone jack are located at the top.
The display is a glossy 5.7 inch Full HD IPS screen. The power button is located on the right and the volume rocker key is on the left side of the phone. Both keys are made of hard plastic which feel cheap and hard to press and the power button gives a delayed response when unlocking the phone. The bottom front features the regular Android keys with the menu button on the left, the home in the middle and the back key on the right. The front camera is located in the top right corner. The LED light is located right beside the speaker.
The Q3000 is powered by a 1.5GHz MediaTek MT6589T Quad Core Processor with an integrated PowerVR SGX544 GPU. The phone’s processor is definitely not the fastest in the market, but it still manages to do its job. It has a 2 GB LPDDR2 RAM with 16GB internal memory. There is also an option to add more memory through a memory card slot which supports 32 GB expandable memory. The display, which is one of the major attractions of the phone, is of the 5.7 inch Full HD IPS variety with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels, bringing its pixel density to 386 ppi, which helps the screen look quite sharp. The rear camera is 13MP while the front camera is 5MP. Both have BSI (Back Side Illumination) sensors with the only difference being their BSI versions. The rear is a BSI 2 sensor while the front is the standard BSI sensor. The quality of images was not as impressive as one would expect from a 13MP camera. The videos were quite good though.
The Full HD IPS display on the device feels smooth and the colors look natural. Due to the high pixel density, the screen is easy on the eye which makes it great for reading text and watching videos. It has good viewing angles and offers smooth touch but the responsiveness was not as expected and the phone seemed to ignore a few touch inputs at times. On the other hand, video playback was quite impressive. Full HD videos looked slightly grainy even though there was no lag (the slight redraw was easy to ignore). Color output on the videos looked natural as well.
What we didn’t like was that the display turned out to be a smudge magnet and you will have to clean the screen of fingerprints every few minutes.
The phone supports the ‘one hand operation’ Android feature, something we saw in the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 as well. The big issue was that the phone totally gave up in this mode and lagged so much that it was almost unusable. The reason that the phone came with such a mode is clearly due the size of the phone. The phone is so big that it can’t be used with just one hand, This even goes for people with large hands. If you are fine with using a phone with two hands then it shouldn’t be a problem.
Android version and user interface
The phone comes with Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean out of the box which is was a letdown. We would have expected Xolo to launch it with 4.3 Jelly Bean preloaded, at least. The OS is the stock version which gives pure Android experience without any unnecessary problems caused by custom UIs.
Every time you connect the phone to your computer, you have to enable the USB mass storage mode, something we found quite annoying. The phone supports OTG operation and comes with an OTG cable. This means you can connect your pen drives, gaming controllers and other supported USB devices to the phone.
We did some benchmark testing on the Q3000, here are the results:
If you are looking to play high end games on this device then look somewhere else because this phone is not built for intense gaming. We played Modern Combat on it and the phone couldn’t handle it well. The gameplay lagged a lot which made the game unplayable. The specs given are definitely outdated for such games. We played a casual game Beach Buggy Blitz which lagged if we increased the graphic quality, forcing us to play it on the lowest quality.
Music and Movie playback
Thanks to the impressive display, watching videos on the Q3000 was a pretty good experience. We played a few Full HD videos and there was a slight grain in the videos with a slight redraw but nothing that really spoiled the entire experience.
The music quality is nothing great with the provided earphones. The earphones are not the in-ear ones and feel quite cheap in built quality and audio clarity. The main speaker on the back has good sound clarity but quite a low output. One would have expected louder sound from the speaker.
The 13MP camera took decent photos in bright daylight but the letdown was its quality in low light. The photos are not as sharp as one would expect from a 13MP lens with BSI 2 sensor. The output is grainy on normal settings and the autofocus was pretty bad. The quality was better in HDR mode. The camera takes photos instantly and there is no operational lag. There is no dedicated camera key which would have been nice considering the size of the device which has ample space on the sides for additional keys. But we didn’t have any problems taking pictures or videos with the device.
Here are some camera sample shots (Click to enlarge):
The most impressive feature of this phone is its battery that has a 4000mAh rating and joins Huawei Ascend Mate in the 4k battery capacity league. But does the XOLO’s battery really perform as a mammoth 4000mAh battery should?
First of all the battery takes way too much time to charge. A normal phone usually takes an hour and a half to charge from 15% to 100%. But the Q3000 took …. hours for a full charge. We quickly found out that the problem lay with the provided charger since the phone charged faster when connected to a PC.
Furthermore, we played a full HD file on the device for an hour with full brightness, WiFi enabled and one SIM card. After an hour of playback the battery drained from 100% to 88% which was very impressive. Right after that, we played Beach Buggy Blitz for half an hour continuously, and that made the battery drop to 81% from 87%. Looking at those numbers, we can deduce that this device will easily last more than a day of regular use.
The Xolo Q3000 is available in black and white colors and comes with some preloaded Xolo apps like Xolo Care meant for warranty & support, Xolo Power which is a battery management software and Xolo Secure which is an anti-theft app that protects your data in case your device is stolen.
This phone is not just a phone and considering its size and can easily qualify as a phablet. Xolo Q3000 is quite an ambitious device from the Indian manufacturer. The only area it falls short is its performance which could be attributed to its outdated processor and GPU.
For Xolo, this is the most expensive device that they have ever released and it seems that the Indian manufacturer is daring to compete with other manufacturers in the high end category. However, we would have wanted Xolo to go with better hardware for such a phone.