QiKU, a brand born with the partnership of Qihoo 360 and Coolpad, you could say this is an ideal collaboration as former is the global internet giant with expertise’s in software technologies while the latter is a master in smartphone manufacturing. The newly formed brand launched its first set of handsets in China in the month of August. The venture that entered into India late last month with the handset, Q Terra 808, although, do make a note that company was supposed to announce additional handset, Q Terra 810 as well, but it wasn’t the case.
We have the Q Terra device with us and have been using it for quite a while now. Testing it as our daily driver, one of our team members used the phone for a week. And below you’ll find the detailed input on how good or bad the acclaimed phone from QiKU is. But let’s first talk about the pricing, the 808 variant launched at a price point of Rs 19,999 would be giving direct competition to handsets like OnePlus 2, Yu Yutopia, Honor 7 and Moto X Play. If you want to know more about its competition before you start reading this review, we suggest you head over to the review section on our website. Now without further ado, let’s start!
This is a handset that you would call a solid smartphone, sporting an all-metal built; it uses aluminium and magnesium alloy based metal, which is considered lightest and strongest, thus giving it the minimum weight possible for such large size. I would say that it is quite considerable weight; I mean you won’t feel like lifting a compact handset, but it should fit in your hand if they’re average in size. Trust me, I don’t have large hands. I don’t usually prefer using phablet, but for this, I could just ignore the fact that I don’t like overly-size smartphones. Although, it would have been nice if it was lighter in weight.
Coming to the talk of how thin its bezels are, you wouldn’t believe your eyes first, but when you switch on the display, it’s quite stunning, more on that later. The company claims that its back is a 165-degree curve and that’s why it fits on your one hand, despite the fact it is a 6-inch smartphone. It is said to be crafted from a high-precision five-axis CNC, which is basically the highest precision scale technology in the manufacturing industry. They’re also first to use the 360-degree diamond cutting and high-speed jet with the little zircon sand.
The silver color on the back and white/black mixture on the front just make it a more stylish premium smartphone. The upper parts of the edges are curved and a bit shinier, giving it a more reflective looks in a good sense. Now you can notice the antenna bands on these curves, particularly on the top and bottom edges. Everything is metal finished on this handset; edges, back panel, and the buttons. At first look, you’ll just admire the bezeless design it has.
On the bottom front, you see the capacitive buttons, in order; recent menu, home button, and back button. It’s not the usual order we see, but after spending time with the device, one can get used to it pretty easy. It does makes sense also since the device is large and if you’re right handed, as most of the population is, then it will be easier to press on the back button while operating using your right hand. This suggests that company didn’t blindly design its smartphone, they have done more intrinsic research and then only implemented it. On the top front, you can see the notification light, earpiece, camera module and another set of sensors installed. Both the areas don’t take much space and thus, respect the bezeless design.
Talking about the ports placements, the volume and power keys are present on the right edge, and they’re pretty solid just the frame of the smartphone. What we have noticed about affordable flagships since they first came into existence is that companies’ compromise on the quality of the materials used to reduce the costs of manufacturing the device. But with QiKU Q Terra, all the parts seems so intact that in can be said, the company hasn’t played with the emotion of its consumers by giving low-grade build quality since pricing is quite lower than premium brands. Moving forward with ports talk, there are two trays hidden on the left edge, one houses a micro-SIM while other can be used to place a nano SIM or either a microSD card. There is a microUSB 2.0 port placed on the bottom edge along with the loudspeaker and a microphone. On the top edge, you can find only an audio jack. Overall, the design of QiKU smartphone is brilliant, it is nothing shorter than a marvel, may you count it in any particular category, and it might be one of the best regarding the design aesthetics.
Surely one would expect a 2K Display on a 6-inch smartphone so that at least it have a pixel density of around 500PPI (Pixel Per Inch). But let me tell, what’s more, important than the pixel density, its the quality of the display. Does it have a good color reproduction, White balance, Saturation rate? All these matters and PPI is just a small part of having a good display. If you want that on a screen, then you can surely wait for Q Terra 810, which have this feature. But this 1080p display on Q Terra 808 is not a bad deal either. I recall recommending Oppo R7 Plus for its large display with 1080p resolution, and it is far better concerning qualities I’ve mentioned above. Although, we can surely debate who has the thinnest bezel in the world, as QiKU claims their handset has only 1.4mm bezels. Now that is something.
Moving on with the sunlight legibility, we used the device under the bright sunlight and was pretty satisfied with the visibility under those sunny rays. The company doesn’t claim anything related to how much degree does its display can showcase the correct color output. But I would take time and admire that it is one of the impressive displays that we have seen, well not because of the fact that it is large and bezeless but more because of the color brush, contrast, and saturation it offered. Although, the brand do state that their screen has a contrast ratio of 1500:1 and it that perfectly justify the quality. That and the smart screen technology that adjusts the GPU for the optimal effects.
It is also commendable that display is not that fingerprint prone as most of the handsets we have reviewed recently were. So, it means there is one less struggle that you wouldn’t have to go with, to view what’s on the display. Overall, it’s a display that one would enjoy watching movies not alone but with a friend or a family member, because it offers great viewing angles and a large real estate. These are the things that are a heaven for movie buffs as they can enjoy the media on-the-go.
We all have used a Chinese branded smartphones at least once, well not to brag, but we have used many, like a lot of. The point is, there is a perception that Chinese Android interface is nothing but a waste of time. It has been true if you were living in a time before MIUI. It is one of my favorite Android skins apart from a recent interest in the 360 OS on the QiKU handset, which is just increasing day-by-day. Based on the Android Lollipop 5.1.1 version this user interface on Q Terra 808 is anything but slow. I mean you can see the hints of iOS aesthetics that Apple had introduced to the world when the company launched its iPhone in 2007. Although, it does look more similar to iOS 8 interface where you have a notification center swiped from the top screen while a control center swiped from the bottom of the screen.
Once you press the power button, you’re welcomed with a lock screen, swiping right would open it, unless you’ve added a security like PIN, Pattern or Fingerprint. If you swipe up, it will directly lead you to the camera app; doing all this operation, you’ll see a glimpse of how effective this interface is. The animations in the system work swiftly; it doesn’t struggle a bit. Note that there is no app drawer, and if you’re the person who likes to have an app drawer rather than having all apps on your home screen. Well, I would suggest you give it a try because it is worth it. There are some interesting tweaks designed in such a way that they offer the most efficient way of accessing apps/ features. One such example is a folder, by default, there are three folders created on the three home screen, every folder on each screen. Now when you open a folder on the first screen, it opens in a new window, where you could just swipe right to access contents of the other two folders. It’s incredible how Qihoo the software partner in this venture managed to offer such feature. This is what you call intuitive designing.
The interface is not filled with bloatware, but rather selected apps that will be quite resourceful on its own way. First of many such apps is the 360 Security, which is Qihoo’s flagship app on the Google Play Store allowing users to boost performance on one-tap, as well as clean up the system of unnecessary files. Moreover, it can also scan the system of any kind of virus and then remove it. Other interesting apps include Anti-theft, Privacy Space, QiKU Cloud, Freezer and 360 Transfer. Where Anti-theft app works to find the location of your device when it’s lost/stolen, Privacy Space offers a private area on home screen where you can hide any icon from other users, it would be visible only when you open the app and go through security key you locked it with in the first place. It’s an ideal service for users who want to lock away apps, messages, images, videos or even contacts from snoopy eyes.
For the large screen, it would have been nice to have a dual window mode, which would have allowed multitasking at a pro level. But never mind, it does have a smooth multitasking system. Once you tap on the recent menu button, you see a window where all the recently launched apps are visible. It is quite similar to what you see on the iOS. Talking about the appearance, the company has made sure that you can customize the looks very quickly with apps like New Wall and Themes. While it’s obvious what Themes app houses, you can download tons of themes, wallpapers, ringtones as well as fonts. But what New Wall does it that it allows you to change the wallpaper randomly in just one-tap, i.e. tapping on the icon of New Wall would change the home screen wallpaper. A convenient way to change the scenario on your smartphone, wouldn’t you say.
Since, the device comes with quite a number of apps; you can’t be too much worried about internal storage being low. The Q Terra 808 comes with a 16GB of internal storage and out of that 10, GB would be available to users. Moreover, you can use the microSD card slot to expand the storage up to 128GB as well as it has the support of OTG, which we tested, and it easily detected the drive as well. So, I don’t think you need to worry about the storage space on this handset. And if you do worry, you can uninstall the pre-loaded apps without rooting the device. Yes, the company feels it should be user’s decision to whether keep the pre-installed apps or not.
Hardware & Performance
This year we have seen many phones opting out of offering the most powerful chipset of the year, the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810. The reason we all know, it was the overheating issue. Now many companies still think thought that they could manage the heating on their handsets like LG G Flex 2 and HTC One M9. But it wasn’t just worth it in the end. Thus, it was not the preferred chipset from the second half of this year. That’s why we saw many smartphone manufacturers jumping on the Snapdragon 808 processor or either opted with other vendors while some went on two use their in-house chipsets.
There are a couple of interesting handsets that was launched with SD 808 chipsets like LG G4, LG Nexus 5X, LG V10, Motorola Moto X Style and Xiaomi Mi 4c. We haven’t heard the heating issue on these handsets, and they seem to offer great performance as well. Such is the case with QiKU’s Q Terra 808 handset; now we haven’t yet got our hands on to the Q Terra 810, which runs on the controversial SD 810 processor. But we can certainly say, the 808 didn’t let us down. The device offers ideal performance even with just six cores working to power the giant screen of 1080p resolution.
The gaming experience on this handset was as good as it can get on any powerful processor. With a beautiful large screen on hands and the graphics processing unit support, it was a marvelous experience to play games such as Asphalt 8, Riptide GP 2 and Dead Trigger 2. I’m sure that you shouldn’t have an issue playing RPG games or games where you have to move a lot. We didn’t experience any considerable lags; it was just pure gameplay. For those, wondering about the heating, there was no considerable heating either. So, yeah, go ahead and play as much as a game you want on this handset.
Coming to the benchmark tests, the handset was a real deal in apps like Antutu and Vellamo, performing up to the standard of the chipset it houses. The Antutu benchmarking tool revealed the score of 58071 while Vellamo has three aspects to cover; metal, browser, and multi-core. For metal the score was 2181, browser score was 3818 and the multi-core test revealed a score of 2221. Of course, this is all potential processing power but not the real life usage. Although, I do say that it is quite the performer, we haven’t had any issue regarding the performance of the device; it didn’t stuck to us and certainly not froze at any critical moments. So, that’s something to be proud of this smartphone.
We did the browsing test on this handset and with the big real estate, it was quite the satisfying experience. The touch response of the display was quite interesting; we were able to perform Zoom-in and Zoom-out functions pretty easily. It was like browsing on a desktop, you could load websites in full length and just enjoy browsing like you do in desktops. Overall, I would say the Q Terra 808, is quite the wonderful handset in terms of the real world performance.
The camera quality on a smartphone has become a hot topic, whichever company has the best camera on their smartphone, it is likely that company would have good sales figure if their camera performs better than the rest of the devices in the segment. That is such a setup present on the QiKU handset. It offers world’s first Duoscopic Camera, where two 13-megapixel image sensors are combined to give the best output. Where one lens is known for its RGBW colors and mono sensors while the other sensor with similar resolution is designed to be a badass under low light conditions with a focus on more Black and White colors. Now imagine the wonders this setup would yield. Well, you can do more than imagination with us, we can show you how stunning the results are I our below gallery.
The Huawei P8 was the first smartphone to sport the Sony Exmor RS IMX278 image sensor; this camera module is considered to be the first 13MP RGBW sensor. It is stacked up with large 1.12 µm pixel pitch, which allows more light to enter and thus to give sharper and detailed output in low light condition. We certainly loved the captures in daylight and artificial lighting conditions, but for low light, we had to use the Night mode or either HDR mode since normal mode wasn’t revealing well-detailed captures. It’s not a bad thing; I guess we expected too much of it.
Talking about the camera interface, it was quite familiar as we have seen in many handsets like Honor 7 and Oppo R7 Plus. Of course, the design origins come from the Apple iPhone camera app, such as many elements as we covered that in the software section. And I would say, it’s the most intuitive camera interface design we have used so far, just swiping on the screen to change the modes. No clutter, nothing. Other than photo and video screens, it has Beauty, Pro Night and an SLR mode for bokeh effects like DSLR cameras. In pro mode, you can select White Balance, ISO, Exposure, Shutter time, Saturation, Contrast, and Focus according to your needs. But remember it is only for those understand the aspects of photography.
Coming to the talk of the video recording on the device, it is capable of recording up to 4K video resolution, which is the highest possible resolution in mobile photography. We recorded contents in 4K as well as 1080p and 720p resolutions; the video clarity was good as it looked sharp, but the absence of OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) was felt. But I do have to admire the fast autofocus, even there is no such specific technology like PDAF or Laser Focus is used for snapping quick captures. The camera is natural in taking quick captures, call it an effect of Duoscopic setup or not, it does lead to good results and that’s what matters.
With large smartphones come the possibilities of having a large capacity battery and thus the supposed good battery life. But does large mAh means a good battery life? For as surprising as it may sound to some people, it isn’t exactly the case. There are factors such as efficient processor and display required to fulfill the basic need of powering these aspects of the phone.
The battery capacity of QiKU Q Terra 808 is 3700mAh, and for a 6-inch 1080p display smartphone that is powered by a Hexa-core processor, it does seem to work pretty well. We have been using the device for about a week now; the only thing that many Android users are worried about is that battery capacity won’t be enough. I assure you, this handset as incredible standby time. I mean the number is not exactly the 600 hours that company claims too. But with the average usage you should get around two days of usage, although, we weren’t able to get that because our usage was quite heavy. We played games for more than an hour, watched one long movie Hollywood flick, made 4-5 calls that added up to 30 minutes, check our social streamlines for quite a number of times, and there was still quite the battery available to last a day, although, only on an ultra power saving mode.
Do make a note that device offers three kinds of power saving modes; Ultra, Smart power, and All-time Power saving mode. There was no way to find out the exact screen on time that we got as the battery detail section doesn’t allow that, it’s quite weird. Adding up our usage, we estimate it was around 4-5 hours, which is quite impressive for the heavy usage. The percentage drop during the idle time was not more than 5%, and that’s one of the great things favoring the long standby time.
The company didn’t provide us with a fast charging adapter, but we rather tried Asus’s 2A Adapter, which is also capable of rapid charging your device if it’s supported. And fortunately for Q Terra, the device supports the Quick Charge Technology built by Qualcomm. We device was getting fully charged within 90 minutes while the first 50% was quicker at 30 minutes pace. So, I guess, you could agree that with great standby time and fast charging facilities, it is quite recommended handset for its battery life.
The smartphones are getting better every day, may we talk about hardware or software, everybody now knows what they want on their smartphones. But having good connectivity options haven’t moved out of the list of most important things to any consumers. And it shouldn’t too. The foremost connectivity option is the 4G LTE network support. We have been using this device as our daily driver, which means we are using the active 4G SIM on this handset. Thus, we were able to test the signal strength during calls and data usage. I would like to say it was quite good, the quality during calls was clear on both the end. As for the mobile data, we tried downloading big games as well as send some large media files on WhatsApp and tried uploading media on couple other social services like Instagram and Twitter, it was quite fast. There was no delay at all.
The device comes with dual SIM support, where you can use nano as well as a micro SIM. There are two different SIM slots, separate for micro SIM while you have a choice to use a nano SIM or either a microSD card. I guess you can call it a hybrid SIM slot. Meanwhile, these two SIM can work simultaneously as the device support dual SIM standby. Another set of connectivity features includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and microUSB.
You can call it a best phablet device smartphone of the year 2015. Yes, it’s that good. This year we have tried many handsets particularly with a size of phablet (more than 5.5-inch size). The list includes the likes of Oppo R7 Plus, Gionee Elife E8, Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus. While it won’t be quite fair to compare QiKU handset with Samsung handsets, as they both have different price category. Now if we talk about the Oppo and Gionee phablets mentioned above, they’re no match to the quality, performance, let alone the pricing of the Q Terra 808 smartphone. If you’re looking to get an affordable flagship phone and moreover, you’re specifically looking for a large sized smartphone, then as of now consider your search finished. This is the handset that you should be getting. It has got everything you can ask for the pricing it comes.