The Moto G has some flaws, but despite those, it is still the best mid-range smartphone for most people today. Can the Xolo Q1100 be the first handset that poses a good alternative to the Moto G? Yes, but it depends on what you are looking for.
Specs: 5-inch IPS One Glass Solution touchscreen (1280×720 pixels, 294 ppi) | 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor | 1GB RAM | 8GB internal memory, microSD up to 32GB | Dual-SIM (standard SIM + standard SIM) | 8-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera, 720p HD video recording | 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, GPS | 2000mAh battery | Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
Price: Rs 14,999
Design: The Xolo Q1100 isn’t far different from most smartphones you’d see today, but certain design elements do make it look nice, like the stylish curved chin at the bottom. However, it’s the poor build quality that is the most noticeable aspect of the phone. The plastic back creaks with every grip and it isn’t flush with the edges of the phone. Every time you press the volume buttons, all the plastic around your thumb recesses with the button. It just feels cheap.
Screen: The high-def screen is sharp and the colours are perfect, so no complaints there. It’s not that clear when under direct sunlight, even with brightness set to full. The thing that irks the user, though, is how the screen is a scratch and fingerprint magnet. After carefully using it for only a week, it was already riddled with ugly scratches.
Performance: The Moto G and the Q1100 have the same processor and the same amount of RAM, so it’s little wonder that their performances are similar. If anything, the Moto G is slightly smoother in daily usage. But just like the Moto G, the Q1100 suffers in resource-heavy apps and multi-tasking. Playing high-def games isn’t a smooth experience and when you quickly multi-task between apps, an app like Swype will have you tracing a few words before even one of them appears on the screen. That said, the performance is better than rivals like the Micromax Canvas 4.
Camera: Where the Q1100 comfortably outscores the Moto G—and in fact, most of its rivals—is the camera. In daylight, the photos are a winner and you won’t want anything more. Indoors shots in the day are also sharp and noise-free. At night, the Q1100 is better than any rivals priced in this range, but you will still get artifacts in the edges and autofocus becomes quite slow. There’s nothing good nor bad about the videos and they should be fine for any casual shooter. The front camera is good enough for the odd selfie. If you are looking for the best camera-phone in this range, the Q1100 is the current winner in our books. One thing to note though: you’re better off downloading a third-party camera app instead of the preloaded one, which is a nightmare to use.
Storage: It’s a good thing that Xolo has packed in 8GB of internal memory because that’s not something to compromise on. And while the Moto G has the same amount too, the Q1100 packs a microSD slot to expand the memory to 32GB. A huge plus in its favour.
Software: The Android 4.3 Jelly Bean interface of the Q1100 is not that different from what you get in stock Android. Xolo has thrown in a few apps that enhance Indian language use, like a contacts app that shows your phonebook in other languages, and TransPic, which claims to translate photos of Hindi language into English. Without beating around the bush, these just don’t work that well and you’re better off not using them.
Battery: The Q1100 would be an easy recommendation were it not for the battery. On an average day, you can expect between 10 and 12 hours of usage, so you will be charging this phone at least twice a day. On heavy usage, the phone lasted for just 6 hours. And on our continuous video playback test, it died before hitting the 3 hour mark. If you’re considering the Q1100, either buy a second battery for it or a good power bank.
Verdict: So is the Xolo Q1100 better than the Moto G? Like we said, yes and no. The Moto G is still a better choice for someone who wants “a phone that just works”. And its battery life is one of the best around, plus it comes with Gorilla Glass protection for the screen. The Q1100 has several quirks and flaws, but it scores over the Moto G in two areas: the camera and the expandable memory. If the camera is the most important part or if you absolutely want a microSD card, then yes, the Q1100 is a better phone to buy. But as an overall package, the Moto G still scores higher.