Tecno Q1 Review – Elegant & Excellent Touch/Type Android

This is a full featured Android 4.0.4 (ICS) phone from Tecno. A Chinese company that has finally confirmed by their products that they can compete favorably with any major phone manufacturer. The performance of Tecno Q1 exceeds all expectations. This is a phone you definitely will be proud of. A beauty to behold yet does not compromise functionality.


Tecno Q1 belongs to the new crops of superbly built Tecno android phones that are not only beautiful but very functional as well. It is one of the few androids in the market with a hardware QWERTY keyboard combined with responsive capacitive touch screen. The hardware keyboard and the touch screen are so well blended you get a very smooth flow of operation when using the phone.




Android with Hardware QWERTY Keyboard + Touch Screen

OS:                   Android 4.0.4 ICS

Network:         3G/2G


Dimension:     68 x 114.5 x 11.8 mm

Display:           2.6″ Capacitive Touch Screen

Resolution:     480 x 320 (HVGA)

Processor:      1GHz

Memory:         512Mb RAM + 4Gb ROM

microSD up to 32Gb (8Gb included)

Camera:           5.0MP Auto focus Main Back Camera + led Flash

0.3MP Front Camera

Audio:               MP3, MIDI, AMR, WAV,ACC

Video:               3GP, MP4 (phone came bundled with MoboPlayer apk for optional installation)

SNS:                   Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Yahoo Messenger, G+ messenger, Palmchat

Connectivity:   Bluetooth3.0, Wi-Fi, GPS, USB

Battery:            1450mAh (with up to 3.5 Hrs talk time & 120 Hrs standby)

FM Radio:        Yes




The retail pack is very basic containing the following items:

20130411_142320 photo

n  The Phone

n  A Battery 1450mAh

n  The Charger

n  USB Cable that doubles as charging cord

n  A simple Earpiece for private listening

n  Protective Back Cover

n  Manual (You’ll need a magnifying lens to read this manual)

n  Warranty Card






The power button is situated on the top right side of the phone while the USB/charging slot is to the top left side and the audio 3.5 jack is in between. The right side has only the Camera key while the left side of the phone holds the volume up/down key. The bottom of the phone is bare. The back houses the 5mega pixel camera and the LED flash at the top right side and the speaker grill at the lower back. Back cover is removable revealing the 1450mAh battery.


The sim trays and the memory card slot are stacked one on top of the other as you have in the Tecno T1. The upper half of the phone is taken up by the very responsive capacitive touch screen with 2.6 inch diagonal size ans 480 by 320 pixel size. Under the screen, you have the soft buttons menu, home, return, and search. Then the hardware keys to answer and end calls are conspicuously placed on a shiny metal like band that separates the touch area on top from the hardware buttons bellow. The hardware buttons are in four rows with a large convenient spacebar key at the bottom.  The front top right side holds the front camera as well as the light and proximity sensors while the top centre region has the earpiece speaker. At the bottom right side almost hidden, is the microphone.



Internal memory for applications installation is 503Mb which is not bad considering the fact that in this version of android, apps can be installed and run from the memory card. Tecno Q1 comes with 2Gb user accessible internal memory for storage and comes bundled with 8Gb memory card which can be replaced by a 32Gb microSD card if the user finds the need for such. For a budget phone, this is really good.




Talking of the microphone, one cannot but mention that the audio quality of this phone is good. Your voice gets carried over very clear and you hear your caller very well when making calls. However, the ringing volume as well as the music volume when playing music is very low. This gives the tendency for one to looking for a good music with a loud volume when choosing ring tones. The music player is standard with all the features you would expect from a good android phone. You can group music into playlists and you can use the pre-set equalizers or set your own equalizer.

The phone comes with an FM player which is quite capable.




For a budget phone like this, a 5MP Auto focus camera is a pleasant surprise. The camera is quite good in good lighting situations and even tends to outshine those on some more costly phones. The auto focus works flawlessly. A tap on the screen focuses the camera on the particular spot. Top marks .Auto Exposure can be set to Spot, Centre Weighted, or Average while the ISO could be left in Auto or set from 100 to 1600 for those critical light situations. The video records in 3Gp. It could have been better in MP4. But it records in max 1280×720 resolution which is quite at par with the modern video recorders. The down side to these superb features is the LED flash which thankfully could also be used as a weak torchlight. The flash is really an afterthought. It is useless as a flash.

Lest we forget, the phone has a 0.3MP front facing camera which is useful for self-portrait, video calling, of Skype.


Proximity sensor on the phone turns off the display when the phone is placed near the body and the auto rotate feature of the phone which is commendable can be switched on or off.


Let us just mention here that while the default video player on the Q1 can play only 3GP and MP4 videos, there is Mobo player apk bundled with the phone that is capable of playing any video format thrown at it.





The display is 480×320 pixel crammed into 2.6 inch screen. This gives satisfactory display. The colours are vibrant and good for a phone in this price range. Sun legibility is another thing entirely. You have to shade the screen while in the sun to see it clearly. This is not a deal breaker considering the price bracket. You have five home screens to play with and the menu scrolls sideways with good animated transition. The notification area is typically android but manages to include a one tap button to switch on wifi hotspot.

Screenshot_2013-04-21-09-56-56 Screenshot_2013-04-21-08-35-06

For a 2.6 inch display, you don’t expect a full blown software keyboard, but Tecno bundled the Q1 with Go software keyboard that works flawlessly with the on board hardware keyboard enhancing performance tremendously. Typing a text or writing a story is a joy on this phone that comes with QuickOffice Pro 5.5 pre-installed.




Aside from voice calls, video calling is possible on the Q1. Like all androids, text messages are arranged in conversations. Setting up your e-mail is a breeze. The Gmail app comes as standard. The browser is also android standard and takes any site thrown at it. The landscape format of the screen is ideal for web browsing. The Q1 comes pre-installed with Opera Mini and UC Browser.


Connectivity is possible by Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi, USB, and it can share its internet by wifi hotspot to about five devices. Bluetooth Internet Sharing is also possible with compatible devices. One feature that sets the Q1 aside from the other previous Tecno androids is its ability to use either of the two sims on 3G network one at a time. Previous Tecno android phones confined 3G to sim 1 and 2G to sim 2. So here, there is no need to open the back of phone and remove battery to change the position of your sim to access 3G. You simply switch it in the settings.



The following Social Network software are Pre-installed on the phone:





Google+ messenger

Yahoo Messenger



Other bundled software include:

Carlcare (Tecno’s care centre info)

Af Market (which never opened in my unit)

Go Keyboard



Flash Share



Included Games are:

Asphalt 6

Little Big City

Shark Dash


APKs Included in Memory Card but not installed:

Angry Bird


Camera 360



ESPN Score Centre

Fruit Ninja Free


Some of these applications are paid versions but given free to owners of Q1 phones.

Many are no doubt very useful.




These include



QuickOffice Pro (full editor)

Voice Recorder






If you are thinking of buying a phone with stellar battery life, this one is not for you. The included Tecno BL 5D battery barely manages to carry you to the end of the day on a single charge with normal use. When i say normal use, i mean making & receiving calls, occassional SMS, light browsing and light SNS with alerts. It should be able to handle one or two songs and a short video or two.

Anything more than these, the battery will die on you before the day runs out and it is advisable to carry your charger on your person when anticipating heavy use especially gaming. I tried Gameloft’s Asphalt 6 on it after a full charge by 7am in the morning, and aside from the heat generated by the phone during play (which is very considerable), the battery passed out by about 3pm. It is just a 1450mAh battery. For an android with such functions as found in this phone, a more powerful battery would have been ideal.



With all these features, the Q1 is retailing for between NGN 17,500 – NGN 18,500. To my mind, there can be no better bargain. Few android phones are in this group in this part of the world and they include the Samsung Galaxy Y Pro Dous which sells for about NGN 29,500 and the newly introduced Infinix Buzz 260 which is in the same price range as the Tecno Q1. The Infinix Buzz is not a tested brand and no one can vouch for its durability though it runs ICS and has broadly the same specs as the Tecno Q1.

photo 1photo 2

The Samsung display is 320×240 pixels, same screen size of 2.6 inch. Its internal memory is only 160Mb storage, 290Mb RAM, 512Mb ROM. Primary Camera 3.15MP with no flash and no front facing camera. CPU is just 832Mhz and it runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread.


So what is your impression about this phone?

If you must buy a hardware QWERTY android phone, which one shall be your choice?

If you already own any of the mentioned phones, can we hear what you have to say?

Please feel free to add some details left out in this review so that readers can get comprehensive information.


Use the comment box below to make your comments







49 comments for “Tecno Q1 Review – Elegant & Excellent Touch/Type Android

  1. Afewgoodmen
    April 23, 2013 at 6:18 am

    Nice review. Well written. Tecno is a smartphone manufacturer to watch. The Q1 is a carefully crafted and featured phone in my opinion!

  2. April 23, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Absolutely brilliant review, concise and straight to the point. I was thinking about getting the Samsung Galaxy Y pro DUOS but it seems the Q1 trounces it. My main question is how is the battery life? Can it survive a whole day on a single charge?

  3. Andy Ameh
    April 23, 2013 at 9:21 am

    A very good job from tecno and an excellent review from you. Tecno is really putting up a fight against the big guys. it may be tough but sooner or later they will start feeling the punch from tecno. tecno is using a very deadly weapon against them, personally I will call it a weapon of mass destruction and that is the weapon of price.
    There is still one thing tecno need to really fight this fight and that is marketing. though they are very popular in Nigeria market, but they still have a kind of stigma attach to their name( for being a cheap and useless phone). once they are able to brake that yoke I think it will be a win win situation for them.
    There is no Nokia or Sammy phone less than 40k that can perform more than this phone . my first smartphone was Nokia E5. I bought it for 30k back then. this tecno Q1 which is less than 20k, is far better than t that E5 in every aspect.

  4. eye_bee_kay
    April 23, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Internal memory for applications installation is
    503Mb which is not bad considering the fact that in
    this version of android, apps can be installed and run
    from the memory card.

    There seems to be some incoherence regarding in which exact version of ICS, the ability to move apps toexternal sdCard, was disabled.

    For low end Androids, one is probably safer running pre ICS to be assured of the ability to store apps on an external memory card.

    Great that this one has that ability, despite running ICS, and this makes it even more attractive, given its paltry cost.

    A comprehensive review.

    A worthy ancillary device to own, or gift to someone.

  5. Harry Echemco
    April 23, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Excellent and exhaustive review here.

    The Tecno Q1 is truly impressive going by its specs alone and now this meticulously done has given credence to the listed specs sheet and at this price point, it becomes very difficult to beat the Tecno Q1 and with the confirmation of general improvement on previous Tecno devices, this is arguably the best value for money on devices in this range of features or price.

    I’m loving this “healthy” competition from different manufacturers. It sure guarantees that the qwerty addicts amongst us will still have their needs met while the touch freaks are immensely catered for with myriads of choice and the Tecno Q1 is bridge for both worlds.

    Once more, excellently done!

  6. April 23, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Pretty good review I must say. My problem with the phone are the low battery capacity for a dual SIM smartphone and the keyboard which doesn’t look tough enough from the pictures above.

    Having tried two qwerty phones after my Curve 3 experience, I’m of the opinion that if it ain’t blackberry qwerty, I’m sticking with full touchscreen

  7. Udegbunam Chukwudi
    April 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Pretty good review I must say. My problem with the phone are the low battery capacity for a dual SIM smartphone and the keyboard which doesn’t look tough enough from the pictures above.

    Having tried two qwerty phones after my Curve 3 experience, I’m of the opinion that if it ain’t blackberry qwerty, I’m sticking with full touchscreen

  8. abbe
    April 23, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    This is wonderful. I will surely try it out.

  9. April 23, 2013 at 10:44 pm


    The quoted texts refers to the ability of this phone and that of ICS androids in general, to allow users install apps into the internal or external memory. It has nothing to do with the ability to move installed apps between the memories. Under Settings, => Storage, under Prefered Installation Location, you can choose to install by default into either of the memories or allow the phone to decide. There are some apps like Launcher apps, as we all know, that will only install in internal memory for obvious reasons

  10. April 25, 2013 at 1:57 am

    My main question is how is the battery life? Can it survive a whole day on a single charge?

    @nelson, Thanks for this very important question.
    The post has been updated with a section on Battery Life of the phone which you and everyone will find informative.

  11. steve
    April 25, 2013 at 2:07 am

    @Udegbunam Chukwudi,
    Do you normally type on your keypads with a hammer? 😀 😀
    Jokes aside, the keypad looks ok to me compared at least with those on Nokia phones. However, we know the Blackberry phones for their legendary keypads that are durable as well as functional.
    Believe me, this one has my pass mark

    May 1, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    well in my own point of view i must say kudos to tecno for making us also to have access to a cheap but well built smart phone.Yuor product name is still remaining because of the battery life of ur phones so pls dont get carried away by the good jobs you guys have done to tarnish ur product name. since tecno smartphones are nw in africa and precisely in ghana i think is better to produce the phones to suit our weather conditions so that it can have a long life spun atleast 2yrs is good, because you knopw africans they will raise you and they are the same people that will bring you down so pls hold on tight and JAH GUIDE AND PROTECT ALL THE CREWS AND ENGINEERS.

  13. May 9, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I bought the phone about a month a go and was able to root it 5 days ago. The battery life is not interesting. To make it last I set all sims to 2G and only switch use 3G when I need fast browsing. Tethering/hotspot is great. lack of sunlight legibility is frustrating. I have not being able to install robin the siri challenger on it. But for price and functionality and performance a very good phone. My 1st driod and it makes me want to upgrade to Goinee Dream D1. When I make some cash. So need a cheap fast dual sim driod bye it.

    • Jeremiah
      May 17, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Nice phone but i need to root mine but all method so far failed. So i need a rooting process tecno Q1.

  14. Jeremiah
    May 17, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    please i need to root my nokia Q1 and solution please post it here

    • May 17, 2013 at 3:01 pm


      This post is a review of Tecno Q1.

      For instruction on rooting your phone, I suggest you visit the XDA forum or you google it. But I can tell you that Tecno Q1 can be successfully and easily rooted.

  15. Taiwo
    May 18, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Nice product from Tecno. Pls i have a little issue with my friend’s Q1. The pattern software for unlocking the phone was attempted several times by another person without knowing the unlocking pattern. That made the phone request for the gmail acct of the owner to unlock it.
    Unfortunately the phone is rejecting my friend’s gmail acct. Pls i need technical advice on what to do. Please

    • May 18, 2013 at 8:51 pm


      What the phone is requesting is the gmail account that was used when configuring the phone. The one used for the google play store. If your friend enters this the phone will unlock.

  16. Jeremiah
    May 18, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Thanks anyway

  17. Oldman Olos
    May 18, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    What a review and preview! Are you the marketing manager of Tecno? I wanted to go for Samsung Galaxy having used Nokia Asha 302 for some months,but now, I am convinced beyond doubt, that tec.q1 is all I need.

  18. May 26, 2013 at 6:01 am

    …xcellent review package…!!! Hwever, am nterested 2 knw whether d multitasking is d same as would a normal full-blown touchscreen… Pls if u can, posting a pix would do alot of good…Cheerz!!!

  19. May 26, 2013 at 6:04 am

    … Pls d multitasking , is it d same as on a normal touchscreen…?!!

    • May 26, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      Yes Jesse. Multitasking is the same as in other android phones. Long press on the home key brings out the apps and you can switch between them.

  20. Abd
    May 31, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Am abt buyin tecno Q1, jst wanted to knw d reason bhind rootin 1nc fone, i read a comment abt a guy dat rooted his tecno n3 nd d fone refused to come on. Jst wanted to knw d reason bhind rootin a fone nd is it good and safe to root a fone, tanx to all

  21. adeyemi
    June 1, 2013 at 1:01 am

    nice work by techno, i’m going to get one

  22. martins
    June 6, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    I still find it difficult to either browse or send and receive files on my tecno Q1 phone.

    • June 7, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      If you have been sending files, sending and receiving mails on other phones, then this shouldn’t be a problem here. In fact those functions are easier on android phones and Tecno Q1 is not an exception

  23. Steve
    June 7, 2013 at 10:04 pm


    Rooting of your android phone has a lot of advantages. It extends the functionality of the phone. Also, some factory installed unwanted applications could be deleted to create more space in the internal memory of the phone. You can also install custom ROM on a rooted phone. What cannot be done in uprooted phone may be possible when you root. However for normal day to day functions, there is absolutely no need to root your phone. The manufacturers of these phones keep them the way they are for a number of good reasons amongst which are stability and prevention of damage due to third part installations.

    If you are not a power user, it is best to avoid rooting and save yourself a lot of problems.

  24. jerry adams
    June 30, 2013 at 12:39 am

    the phone is really cool. my only problem s with the battery…. wish i can get a stronger battery….

  25. Dami
    July 13, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks for the review. I want to buy a tecno android phone but i’m stuck in making a decision between the Q1 and the D5. I would prefer the Q1 but i don’t know if the battery would last me and i’m also concerned about game graphics (i like a good high graphic game in my phone). So please, which (or what) would you advice?

    • July 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm


      The Tecno Q1 battery is good but not stellar. With the mobile data off, it will last you a little over 24hours.

      As for the games, you are better of with the D5 because of the large screen. The Q1 was not designed with game in mind but will manage you through less graphic/RAM demanding games.

  26. Nweke Michael
    July 15, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    To me d tecno q1 is d best . It is not only affordable, but also hihgly functional. d only issues I hav wit my brand new tecno q1 dat at times d screen becomes unresponsive and keeps displaying past commands. any solution will be apreciated.

    • July 17, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      We don’t have such problems on the Q1 at our end here. Could be your phone is low on RAM. Free more RAM by closing all opened applications. That should make your phone run better. You can also download and install DX Toolbox from Google Play Store and use it to get optimum performance from your phone.

  27. VanSolo
    July 24, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    pls since i bought my TECNO Q1, when i touch d camera to snap is only d front camera that will open… since i bough d phone my main camera hv not open… please what will i do for d camera(5.0) to open…???
    or call me on 08030964436

    • July 27, 2013 at 10:19 am

      There is a camera switch button on the screen when you launch the camera on your Q1. You click on that and you camera changes to front or back. See this link for the screenshot explaining it: http://db.tt/V1FTxlTr

  28. Ayoronke
    July 28, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Good work done on techno Q1. But i have an issue
    with the led light. its not coming up and i cant find where to switch it on on the settings menu. the led light only comes up when its charging only.

  29. Steve
    July 28, 2013 at 11:12 pm


    A girlfriend of mine who uses this phone has this same issue some two weeks ago when she just bought the phone. Will ask her how it was resolved.

  30. Temi
    July 30, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Dear Admin,i read online that the Android OS is 2.3.5 and you recorded 4.0.4 for us,pls clarify. And the QuickOffice Pro, can edit the word,excel, powerpoint on it,cos I read Document viewer on jumia.com

  31. Temi
    July 30, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    I am thinking if to get this fone,dear Admin,i read online that the Android OS is 2.3.5 and you recorded 4.0.4 for us,pls clarify. And the QuickOffice Pro, can edit the word,excel, powerpoint on it,cos I read Document viewer on jumia.com

    • July 30, 2013 at 6:12 pm


      The OS is 4.0.4 android version and the QuickOffice Pro included can edit documents. The article is based on hands-on experience with the phone. We still have and use the phone. What we write is accurate.

      • Temi
        July 31, 2013 at 2:05 pm

        Thanks,i will get mine soon and revert back.Good job

        • Temi
          August 2, 2013 at 9:03 am

          hello admin,i have bought my own tecnoQ1*pls where can i get d Quick office pro*thanks and can glo internet work with it too*the fone is stylish

  32. Steve
    August 2, 2013 at 9:26 am


    You don’t expect the writer of this article to be spoon feeding you. They are not Tecno seller or Tecno agents. They publish article based on relevance and help with few technical issues. They have. Their daily bread to cater for.

    Anyway, on your phone go to menu -> Files -> SD Card -> APK. then select QuickOffice and click on it to install. You will also find other useful app and games in the place to install. Hope that helps you.

  33. August 3, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    better battery should be sourced out.or wouldn’t things make whole without imparement,lapses at this age.my opinion please.nice job to commend.thanks! They call me ‘opprimo.’

  34. opylog
    August 19, 2013 at 1:07 am

    pls wat type of launcher came wit tecno Q1?

  35. AHMED
    August 27, 2013 at 5:06 am


  36. Biam Sylvanus
    September 4, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    I like to buy tecno Q1. But please can someone answer me: what does it mean to root a phone and what are merits and demerits?

    • September 15, 2013 at 8:06 am


      Your question will be answered in a post that will soon be published on this site.

      Be on the look out for it.

      But go ahead and buy your Tecno Q1 if a touch and type phone appeals to your fancy

  37. June 24, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Helo there, You’ve done a fantastic job. I’ll definitely ddigg it and personally recommeend to
    my friends. I am sure thdy will be benefited from this web site.

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