MobiiStar XQ Dual Review : A Budget Selfie Winner

The budget smartphone segment has been very crowded lately and is dominated by brands coming mainly from China. Now this segment has a new entrant, MobiiStar. MobiiStar is one of the top selling smartphone brand in Vietnam and is entering in India to make a mark for itself. MobiiStar is taking the Selfie smartphone approach which we have seen in the past with Asus and at the same time is packing the smartphones with decent hardware at least on paper. The Vietnamese brand announced two selfie centric budget smartphone in India.

We have the XQ Dual with us for review which sports a dual camera setup on the front, which is a first at this price point. Along with the cameras it’s got some decent specs.

Let us now dive straight to the review.

Mobiistar XQ Dual Specifications

  • Display: 5.5-inch IPS display, Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels), 2.5D curved glass
  • Software: Android 7.1.2 Nougat
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes
  • CPU: 1.4 GHz octa-core Cortex-A53 processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, 28nm, 64-bit
  • GPU: Adreno 505
  • Memory: 3 GB RAM
  • Storage: 32 GB internal, microSD card support
  • Main Camera: 13 MP, dual-tone LED Flash
  • Selfie Camera: Dual cameras 13 MP + 8 MP, 120-degree wide angle lens, LED Flash
  • Connectivity: Micro USB, 3.5 mm, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Cellular: 4G LTE, dual nano SIM (GSM), microSD on SIM2, ViLTE + VoLTE
  • SAR Value: 0.398 W/kg (head), 1.301 W/kg (body)
  • Battery: 3,000 mAh, Li-ion Polymer, non-removable
  • Price: Rs 7,999

Box Contents

The box is fairly simple, with a sleeve on top containing the specifications. The box can be opened with a slide out sleeve, revealing the smartphone. Underneath lies the documentation followed by accessories.

A complete list of items you get inside the box:

  • MobiiStar XQ Dual
  • Sim Ejector Tool
  • Charging Brick
  • USB-A to micro USB Cable
  • Silicon case
  • Warranty and User Guide

Design

In terms of design, MobiiStar XQ Dual is no head turner. It’s got a design that you’d easily find in a bunch of smartphones currently in the market. The XQ Dual is available in two shades ‘Black’ and ‘Gold’. The back of the phone is made of metal, with plastic cut-outs on the top and bottom for better cellular reception. The front of the smartphone is dominated by the 5.5 inch full HD display. Now the display used here is of 16:9 aspect ratio which is very surprising to see, since majority of the smartphones have shifted towards the new taller 18:9 aspect ratio displays even for their budget offerings.

The display is covered by the 2.5D curved glass, along with navigation keys itched on the bottom. Now sadly these navigation keys are not backlit. The bottom of the smartphones houses the USB 2.0 port and speaker grills. The 3.5mm audio jack is placed on the top along with the secondary microphone. The power button is placed on the right while the volume buttons are on the left side.

XQ Dual being a selfie centric offering has two front cameras along with a LED flash. One of which is a 13MP shooter while the other one is an 8MP wide angle shooter. With the ‘Black’ color variant MobiiStar has gone with gold accents around the fingerprint sensor placed on the back and buttons, this might be good looking for some and not so for other and we’ll leave that upto you.

With a thickness of 7.9mm and 160 grams of weight, the XQ Dual feels fairly light weight in the hand and overall is a well-balanced smartphone.

Display

As previously stated in the section above, the XQ Dual uses a 5.5 inch Full HD IPS panel. Now this panel is certainly not the best one we’ve seen, but does a decent job overall. The colors are accurate and the display does gets bright enough for easy outdoors visibility.

We did notice vertical lines on the display when viewing light colors and at times under low brightness setting. We have a couple of theories for ranging from stress on the display to a faulty display unit.

Apart from this we didn’t notice any issues with the display as such.

Performance and Battery

The MobiiStar XQ Dual is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor coupled with Adreno 505 GPU.  The smartphone comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage which can be increased upto 128GB via microSD card. Talking about the general day to day performance, we didn’t find any noticeable lag or stutter, though the Snapdragon 430 is pretty outdated by now.

Multitasking is efficiently handled and you can do light gaming. This smartphone is not meant for serious gamers. The smartphone runs on Android 7.1.2 out of the box with a light skin on top. This skin is a mix between stock Android and iOS, with some elements like the icons directly lifted from the past iOS generations. Overall the skin is very aggressive towards background app activity and at times we didn’t app notifications as the app was killed in the background.

One thing to point out here is, MobiiStar is still stuck on the Android 7.1.2 Nougat while most of the newer launching smartphones are coming out with Android 8.0 Oreo. There is no word from MobiiStar on the update cycle for this product.

MobiiStar has packed the XQ Dual with a 3,000 mAh battery which is quite average. The smartphone will barely last you a full day if you are a medium user. Heavy users should consider carrying the charger with them. However, if you wish to use the device’s Smart Power Saving and Ultra Power Saving battery modes, you will see a tremendous increase in the backup, but at the cost of performance. The battery took around 2.5 hours to completely charge from 0 to 100%.

Cameras

The main USP of the XQ Dual is perhaps its dual front selfie shooters. The XQ Dual features a dual camera setup of 13-megapixel (f/2.0) + 8-megapixel (f/2.2, wide-angle) at the front and LED flash. While the rear has a single 13-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/2.0 and dual-tone LED flash. This all is bundled with a camera app that is simple to use and surprisingly has a Pro mode and the usual HDR, Night modes.

Coming to the camera performance, the rear camera performs well under bright lighting conditions and struggles in low light which is to be expected with smartphones at this price point. The day time shots have plenty detail in them and even colors come out balanced. We didn’t notice any over sharpening happening with the photos.

Now selfies are where things change, this is one of the best selfie centric smartphones you could get right now. The selfies clicked under good lighting conditions were sharp. Face detection in the camera app works like a charm, the added front LED flash helps in getting good selfies indoors or in low lighting conditions. The cherry on top is the 8MP wide angle selfie camera, which allows you to capture a wider area and eliminates the need of selfie sticks.

MobiiStar XQ Dual Pricing

  • 3GB/32GB – INR 7,999

Pros

  • Dual front cameras
  • Weight

Cons

  • Battery
  • Operating System

Verdict – Should you go for it?

MobiiStar XQ Dual is mainly aimed towards the Selfie lovers and casual users. This smartphone certainly has the best selfie shooter among its peers and the added Qualcomm processor is a bonus. We wish MobiiStar adds the Portrait mode for selfies in the coming software updates.

However, if you want to stay updated with the trend of the new taller displays, a little more performance and battery, then we would recommend to look towards Redmi 5. The nearest competitors to this smartphone are Infinix Hot 3, iVooMi i2.

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