The XOLO Q600 is currently the cheapest quad-core Android 4.2 handset in India. The phone has a decent build quality and is available only in white color. But the phone has just 512MB of RAM, does it hamper everyday usage, should you go for the costlier XOLO Q800. Here's the PhoneBunch in-depth review of the XOLO Q600 to answer all your questions.
- Good Build Quality (Other than the backcover issue)
- Almost Stock Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
- Decent Camera
- Small for a 4.5-inch device
- Clear speakerphone
- Backcover makes a hollow sound.
- Terrible backlighting of the front capacitive buttons.
- Fit issue with the micro-USB port.
- Slightly bluish display.
- Apps close themselves out of no apparent reason.
- No USB OTG
The XOLO Q600 is powered by a 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 processor on a MediaTek MT6589M chipset with 512MB RAM and runs Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean. Apart from that the phoen has a dual-mettalic finish on the sides including the volume rocker and the power button.
The entire front of the device is the moderately large 4.5-inch FWVGA (854 x 480 pixels) display along with the 3 capacitive buttons at the bottom which have terrible backlighting, you can't see them except when its quite dark. Most of the times you won't even know if they are on. Just below the three capacitive buttons you have the microphone. There is no notification LED, which we really missed. Then there's the main earpiece and the VGA front-facing camera at the top of the display, along with the light and proximity sensors.
At the top of the phone you have the 3.5mm headphone jack as well as the micro-USB data-syncing/charging port, which has issues of its own. You can't straight away fit a cable into the port as you are supposed to, instead you'd need to wriggle it in, but once inside then there's no issue. On the left you have a very sturdy volume rocker and the power button on the right, both of which don't make any clicking noises and provide decent feedback. At the bottom you just have a small opening to get the backcover off. The XOLO Q600 comes with a 5-megapixel Auto Focus camera with a single LED flash, which is very bright. There's also a VGA front-facing camera for video calls which seems a bit hay at times.
There are three sensors available in the XOLO Q600:
- 3-axis Accelerometer
- Proximity Sensor
- Light Sensor
The light and proximity sensors work fine, and the 3-axis accelerometer is a delight to use in games. The GPS on the XOLO Q600 works fine when you are outdoors, and picks up your location almost instantaneously. You can also check our unboxing of the XOLO Q600 to see what all accessories you get in the box.
The front of the device is entirely covered by hardened glass, with the display a bit deep-set. You have a silver metallic trim that runs around the entire device, alongwith a matte finished metallic trim over the sides. This dual-metallic finish gives a premium look to the phone.
The backcover is very solid, its not flimsy at all, and has a glossy finish to it. But once closed it still leaves a hollow spot inside, which makes a clicking sound when you pick-up your phone. But it can be an issue with our review device only, since we have not heard about it from anywhere else. Othe than that the fit and finish of the device is quite good, and unexpected for a Rs. 8,400 smartphone.
The plastics used in the phone are of good quality, and being ivory white in color the phone does look a lot more expensive than it really is.
Network and Call Quality
We didn't have any network issues with the XOLO Q600, it maintained proper signal both indoors and outdoors. The primary earpiece is loud and clear, and our voice was clear to the listener on the other end as well.
Sometimes we did see a network drop, but that was when we entered our office building which is surrounded by other tall buildings on either side.
The phone has a 4.5-inch FWVGA (854 x 480 pixels) TFT display, which is very bright and has good color saturation levels. But it does tend to favor the blue color every so often, which is evident in video playback but not much anywhere else. The viewing angles aren't that great and moving even a little bit from the front of the device distorts the colors. The display does seem to be a bit deep-set within the front frame, which adds to the somewhat bad viewing angles.
There was no ghosting, freezing or framerate issues with the display on the XOLO Q600 in any of our tests as well as during gaming. The display performed adequately and colors popped while playing games. The display is quite sharp and bright, due to which colors look extremely vibrant. But sometimes that made images look a tad bit over saturated. But that's true for most TFT displays out there. The touch response is smooth, there were no misses when single tapping, swiping or using using multi-touch gestures.
Camera and LED flash
The phone has a 5-megapixel primary camera and a 0.3-megapixel secondary front-facing camera. The primary camera has auto focus, which is able to focus quickly and the single LED flash is quite bright. Images taken both outdoors and indoors have decent color saturation, we'll have a detailed camera review soon.
The speakerphone on the XOLO Q600 is loud and clear. Although, there is no bass, but the sound is still fuller than some of the smartphones we've seen in this price range. It doesn't miss a beat but if it would have been just a little louder it would have won us over. The placement of the speakerphone is still wrong, and sound gets muffled when you place the phone on its back.
Manufacturers should take note when they design their smartphones, as they can either place the main speakerphone on the front or a little bit lower at the back so that it lands on the curve rather than on the flat back of the device.
Our gaming experience with the XOLO Q600 was a bit mixed. The phone was able to play various high-end games like Asphalt 7, Modern Combat 4, Need For Speed: Most Wanted and the like. But sometimes, games just stopped out of nowhere without any apparent reason or error message.
We figured it might be a low RAM issue, but that might have evoked an error message, say "Insufficient Memory." Which led us to the conclusion that it can very easily be a ROM issue as well which is applying some archaic Memory management policy and when games or apps require more memory than allocated they are garbage collected as if they didn't exist in the memory.
Music and Bundled Earphones
The bundled headset is of the in-ear style, which does tend to make low-frequency tones louder, but generally speaking they aren't any good. If you like listening to music I would recommend getting a good pair of Sennheisers, Sony or Philips earphones.
There are some equalizer settings which do work, and can be customized as well to suit your listening style and earphones that are plugged in. Then there's the BesAudEnh, Audio enhancer in Profiles, which you should disable as it distorts sound while trying to increase the volume of mid-tones.
FM Radio too works well, and as you can see in the review video it picks up channels very quickly and the reception is quite clear. It does need the headset to be plugged in to work, as do most smartphones but we would have liked the FM Radio antenna to be built in.
Video Playback was flawless on the XOLO Q600. 720p videos at 30 FPS work great, with no lag or sync issues, you can fast forward, seek around a video, even movies the size of 2GB or more. Even though 720p videos are scaled down to 480p resolution they look great, and colors do look vibrant. But sometimes the color balance of the display favors the blue color, which makes colors seem a bit over-saturated and unnatural.
You can directly play AVI, MP4 as well 3GP files from the default video player app, for more formats, you can choose from several video players available in the Play Store. 1080p videos can be played with MXPlayer in software mode only as the chipset cannot decode 1080p videos on its own.
Software & Apps
Lava has deciced to keep everything quite stock on the XOLO Q600 as well, like its other smartphones. The phone runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, with very little customization. You have notification toggles as well as DayDream (called Screen Candy), using which you can set a sort of screensaver for your phone when it idles. The lockscreen has been customized to show notifications for unread messages and missed calls, and dragging these notifications to get through the lockscreen opens their respective apps.
The phone comes with XOLO Secure and XOLO power apps, which are a great add on. Using the XOLO Power app you can change the sync frequency, set when to switch off the phone's internet connection at night. You can also choose the different services which should be closed when the phone has low battery to that it can run a bit longer till you find a charging source. Apart from that, the app also shows the current battery level and how much talk time you have till it runs out of juice.
XOLO Secure is another app that comes pre-installed on the XOLO Q600, which adds another layer of security to your XOLO smartphone. Using the app you can configure your phone to send you an email and SMS whenever its SIM card is changed. You can also sync your call logs and messages online with the app. Now for the security part, the app allows for real-time GPS tracking of your lost smartphone, along with the ability to remote wipe, remote lock and control your phone through an SMS. It prevents the phone from being reset, so that your XOLO Secure configuration remains intact. Another cool feature of the app is that it takes a photograph of the person trying to break your password on the lockscreen and sends it to your email address.
Now, some of the common apps that we generally use:
- Flipboard app and its widgets work great.
- Google Now comes pre-installed, works fine.
- WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook and all other major social networking apps work without any issues on the XOLO Q600.
- Google Chrome too works fine, but it too was suffered the sudden app closing issue we faced with games.
You have the option in storage to choose the Default Write Disk,
but it does not work (After resetting the device games started installing on the external SD card by default.) Apps/games downloaded on the internal storage can be moved to the External SD card, and can be directly installed on it as well. The issue we previously had with games not installing on the External SD Card does not seem like a general issue but a configuration issue with our review set.
Performance and Battery Life
We already have a detailed benchmarking review including comparison with the XOLO Q800, Canvas 2 Plus and the Canvas HD A116. You can read it here. All in all, the XOLO Q600 generally performed well given that it only has 512MB of RAM. But if the device would have had even 768MB RAM, it would have made for a far better proposition.
Battery life is decent, its not great. You can get about a day's worth with light usage, but moderate usage would require you to charge your phone atleast once before the day ends.
Alright, the major selling point of the XOLO Q600 is its price. At Rs. 8300, its currently the cheapest quad-core android handset in India. Its not aimed at people who like gaming, or want to enjoy 1080p videos on their smartphones but the average buyer who just wants a phone that would last long, have a decent camera and acceptable battery life and the XOLO Q600 does fit the bill somewhat.
The quad-core processor is a power-drain, plus its performance goes to waste due to just 512MB RAM, plus the display has poor viewing angles. Should we accommodate these issues given the price of the smartphone and good build quality with decent performance across the board. Well, that's a definite maybe.