In Pakistan one specific brand has caught our eye. QMobile has differentiated itself with its refreshing focus on design and hardware quality. Handsets like QMOBILE A8 and A900 stood out from the competition being a device that both looked and also offered a very unique experience to the user. With the Q-Mobile Noir Quatro Z4 is kicking this up a notch. We’d previously done a preview of the device and here’s our review of the Q-Mobile Noir Quatro Z4 The company’s flagship device sets the benchmark very high for design in mid range handsets. The phone has a unibody form factor with sharp and clean lines. The material is polycarbonate and feels reassuringly solid. The handset weighs deceptively light.
The front of the phone is reminiscent of the iPhone. Indeed, the handset appears to be a much enlarged version of Apple’s popular smartphone. The screen is a 5 inch panel and is absolutely stunning but more on that later. Above the display is the speaker grille and next to it is a front facing camera. An RGB notification LED lies at the far right corner.
Over on the right side of the phone you spot the volume rocker that lies almost flush with the handset but still manages to provide decent feedback. On the left side you spot the iPhone style SIM card slot. You’ll need a pin to extract your micro SIM card from here. There are no slots for microSD cards on this phone so you’ll have to make do with the built in storage.
Over at the top is the the 3.5mm audio jack and the power switch. The power switch is slightly off center but not entirely to the right. While holding the phone, your finger rests naturally on top of the button. It is interesting to see this level of attention to detail that is not very common outside of the top smartphone brands. At the bottom is the micro USB slot with the two speaker grilles next to it.
The back of the handset is a swathe of pearly white plastic with a high gloss finish. Surprisingly, this does not look tacky at all. The high quality plastics used ensure that the handset in fact looks and feels just as good as a top end Lumia device that uses similar materials. To the top left corner is where you see the 13MP camera with a single LED flash. The Q-Mobile Noir Quatro Z4 is a stunning device with a slim 8mm profile that manages to slip into any pocket. Yes, the handset does have a fairly large footprint but that’s true for most phones with a 5 inch display.
The Q-Mobile Noir Quatro Z4 is part of a rare breed of phones that have a very design oriented bent. The handset has a design that can possibly be termed as an instant classic. Not only is it ergonomic but also genuinely beautiful though perhaps not the most original. However that’s where majority of the positivities end for the most part.
Moving on to performance, the handset is powered by a 1.5Ghz Quadcore MediaTek MT6589T processor paired with a PowerVR SGX 544MP GPU. There’s 2GB of RAM and 32GB of built in storage. Of this, about 23GB is available. While the specifications on paper sound quite adequate, the fact of the matter is that the interface layer on the phone is just a bit too heavy for the processor to handle. As it is, the MT6589T chip struggles with a stock Android build when paired with a Full HD display, here the added animations cause the phone to stutter through out the interface.
Applications on the other hand are smooth for the most part. Using an alternate launcher is a good way to hide the interface lag related problems. While not very indicative of real life performance, you can check out some of the synthetic benchmark results below.
quadrant benchmark 4927
Without a doubt, the screen on the Q-Mobile Noir Quatro Z4is gorgeous. In fact, it is one of the most beautiful displays we have seen on any phone. The resolution is 1920 x 1080 and pixel density amounts to ~ 441ppi. Color reproduction tends to be a bit oversaturated but brightness levels are top notch. The display also has some of the widest viewing angles we’ve experienced lately.
Sunlight visibility is good but not the best but that’s a formula that only Nokia seems to have perfected so far. Put next to Full HD display phones from the likes of HTC and Samsung, the panel on the E6 shines and gives them a stiff competition. The screen is of the One Glass Solution (OGS) variety that has a bonded glass and display panel. This ensures better viewing angles and brighter colors.
CAMERA SAMPLE Q-Mobile Noir Quatro Z4
qmobile is sourcing the 13MP camera modules from Sony and it has second generation BSI technology for better low light imaging. The camera module sourced from Sony has the Exmor R sensor. Despite that we weren’t too impressed by shots from the phone, images in anything but excellent lighting show grain and inaccurate white balance.
The limited dynamic range was visible here as the camera has completely overblown the highlights and has lost all details in the background.
Macro focussing on the camera is pretty decent and you can get close up shots quite easily. You’ll want to hold the phone very steady though as the shot to shot time isn’t the fastest and images tend to turn out blurry.
Video quality is decent though we noticed that framerate drops were fairly often. An EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) mode is also available that we found to be surprisingly effective in removing camera shake given the lack of optical image stabilization in the module.
Visually attractive interface
No expandable storage