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
Dimension: 68 x 114.5 x 11.8 mm
Display: 2.6″ Capacitive Touch Screen
Resolution: 480 x 320 (HVGA)
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:
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
TOUR OF THE PHONE
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.
MEMORY FOR STORAGE & APPLICATIONS
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.
AUDIO QUALITY/MUSIC PLAYER/FM RADIO
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.
CAMERA, VIDEO PLAYER, AND SENSORS
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.
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.
CALLS & CONNECTIVITY/WEB BROWSING
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.
BUNDLED SOFTWARES & GAMES
The following Social Network software are Pre-installed on the phone:
Other bundled software include:
Carlcare (Tecno’s care centre info)
Af Market (which never opened in my unit)
Included Games are:
Little Big City
APKs Included in Memory Card but not installed:
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.
QuickOffice Pro (full editor)
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.
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