Hands on: Mobiistar XQ Dual review

Not an easy to recommend proposition

What is a hands on review?
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Our Early Verdict

Other than its dual-lens selfie camera there's nothing in this phone that can place it aside the competitors like the Redmi 5, Zenfone Max Pro M1 or even Honor 9 Lite for that matter.

For

  • Good front camera

Against

  • Dated OS
  • Boring design
  • Old chipset

There's a new name that we've been hearing of, it's a smartphone company from Vietnam that's on a mission to fit themselves in the Indian smartphone market. Their name is Mobiistar.

The new entrant launched two smartphones in the country recently-- the XQ Dual and the cheaper CQ. The XQ Dual is the one in focus here, as its pitted against the likes of Redmi 5, Honor 7C, and similarly priced popular phones. 

The catch here's that the device is being touted as a selfie focused device with two cameras, sadly though, that's the only thing that stands parallel to the fierce competition. 

I spent some time with the phone at the day of its launch, and it seems like a hard to recommend device from what I saw in my hand. Here's why.

Mobiistar XQ Dual price and availability

The Mobiistar XQ Dual is priced at Rs. 7,999 and will be available exclusively from Flipkart starting from May 30. The smartphone comes with Flipkart mobile protection at Rs. 99 and Rs. 2,200 cashback offer from Reliance Jio.

What we like so far

Honestly, there's not a lot to be impressed by in the Mobiistar XQ Dual. If you're a selfie fanatic, this phone still has something for you. 

The dual camera on the front takes surprisingly good selfies. Surprisingly good because the results are much better than what you'll expect after judging the look and feel of the phone. 

I tried hard to find something praiseworthy about the phone, but there's nothing that's unique or worth attention.

5.5-inch display

5.5-inch display

Features that are yet to prove themselves

The Mobiistar XQ Dual has a design that's similar to plenty of budget phones. There's nothing interesting about the design, except for the fact that it's metal and can be considered durable. 

The display has a 16:9 aspect ratio, which isn't a con as even flagships like Nokia 8 Sirocco still have it but still, the bezels aren't very pretty to look at. They are thick and occupy a lot of real estate at the top and bottom.

The UI is customised and looks neat if compared to what we find on phones like Coolpad or even Honor for that matter. But it is stuttery, as it takes more than usual time for tasks like opening the gallery from the camera app, turning on/off WiFi and launching the camera.

It runs on Snapdragon 430, a chipset found on Redmi Note 4A launched last year at Rs 5K. It's an entry-level chipset that doesn't fare well when compared to the latest Snapdragon 450 found on phones in its range in 2018. 

It has Android Nougat out of the box, which is almost two generations old at this point . Moreover, there's no guarantee of getting the latest updates, specifically the upcoming Android P update.

The rear camera is also not up to the standards. It captures blurry pictures until your hand is perfectly still. Low-light performance is even more upsetting, but that's the case with most phones at these price points. 

Micro USB charging port

Micro USB charging port

Early verdict

Personally, I find it really tough to recognize the right audience for this phone. Would it have been an offline phone for Tier 3 cities, then it would have had a chance as the competition wouldn't have been that intense. But on Flipkart, there's a lot more you can avail at Rs 7,999. 

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.