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Review: QiKU Q Terra

A new Chinese smartphone brand launches in the country

19,999 onwards

A new Chinese smartphone brand has entered India. QiKU (pronounced Cheeku) is a joint venture between Internet services company Qihoo 360 and smartphone maker Coolpad. And their first smartphone in India is actually impressive.

The Q Terra is made from a mixture of magnesium and aluminium, and has a unibody design. The back panel has received sand-blasting treatment, and the smooth matte finish doesn’t get scratched easily or catch fingerprints. The extremely thin bezels on the right and left of the screen mean that a genuinely big-screen phone doesn’t feel unusable.

QiKU has used a display sourced from Sharp for this phone. The 6-inch gets Full HD (1,920x 1,080) resolution. What stands out immediately is the colour reproduction; this screen is much better than all the rivals in the same price bracket. Couple that with good contrast levels, sharpness and visibility in sunlight, and we have a genuinely good display. It has an eye-protection mode which switches to warmer colours while reading something in low light.

It is a smart move to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 chip instead of the Snapdragon 810, which has had serious heating issues in various other smartphones. This is paired with 3 GB of RAM. The real world performance indicates that this phone can keep a dozen apps open in the background with ease. There are the occasional stutters, such as when opening the task manager, but that is more of an interface optimization issue than lack of under-the-hood grunt. It remains as cool as a cucumber even while gaming. The 3,700 mAh battery lasts a day and a half with moderate use.

The 360 operating system (OS) is based on Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop), but includes features that are similar to what Google introduced with the Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) OS. There is Standby+ (which saves battery), Authority Manager (limited access to apps) and a Freezer where you can lock less-used apps—this prevents them from running in the background, and saves battery.

The performance of the dual 13-megapixel camera depends a lot on the amount of lighting, and how close you can get to the subject. It pulls out really good colours and offers an adequate amount of detailing.

The Q Terra is a good mid-range Android phone, with specifications that more expensive phones pack in. We aren’t huge fans of the 360 OS interface, but the smooth performance makes up for it.

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