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BW Businessworld

With Love From China

The Q Terra works pretty well. Fast, fluid, hiccup-free. Whether this will hold out over the months, is difficult to say but at least when it's a fresh start-out, the device is pretty snappy.

Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma

The chinese are invading India. At least with their smartphones. The latest Oriental sensation is the Q Terra and it comes from a two-company tie up called Qiku — pronounced cheeku.

You wouldn't be wrong to ask why yet another Chinese phone should be of particular interest. But there's a bunch of reasons why the Q Terra should arrest your attention.

First: It has a head-turning screen. Stretching from absolute end to absolute end, it gives that wide television look. It helps that it's a 6-inch vivid, bright 1080x1920 sharp display. The wallpapers you can access on this device really make that screen come alive. In fact, the display is one of the reasons to get this phone.

The second reason it's a sensation is that it's giving flagship specs for just Rs 21,999. In fact, there's an introductory discounted price of Rs 19,999 if you can get an invite. It's selling through NDTV's Gadget 360 site. Many sites are rating it as the best phone available in its price bracket. The Q Terra’s all metal and glass. I find the gadget really cold, right now in the Delhi winter, because of the expanse of metal. A rubberised back cover can protect it and make it easier to hold. You can't open the back panel and will find the two SIM slots and micro SD slot on the left edge. On the right, of course, are the power and volume buttons and though they're very neat, they have the same feel as the edge itself and you end up having to hunt for them with your finger. What you don't have to hunt for very much is the fingerprint sensor on the back — it works pretty well.

The Q Terra has something else that's distinctive. Duo-scopic cameras with their own Sony sensors. Two 13MP cameras take a colour shot and a black-and-white one and then merge the two for better clarity and contrast. This is widely considered to be an interesting innovation that will contribute to the improvement of phone photography.

You can certainly see more colour depth with the use of the two cameras. Otherwise, most good phone cameras hold their own in good light and this one did too, with good colour accuracy and shadows. Indoors is another story. You have to be very very still to avoid blurred images. If you have to go about using a tripod indoors, why would you want to use a phone camera at all? Set up a nice DSLR. I really think phone cameras should be well and truly point and shoot, countering some inevitable handshake. If you're with a bunch of friends or family indoors, you would want to grab the moment, not concentrate on standing tree-trunk-still. The camera app seems to be still in China and has some Chinese naming. But even without that, it's not as intuitive as it could have been.

The front camera is an 8MP and results in really great selfies, light-filled and beautified.

The Q Terra works pretty well. Fast, fluid, hiccup-free. Whether this will hold out over the months, is difficult to say but at least when it's a fresh start-out, the device is pretty snappy. On top of Android 5.1.1, Qiku has its own 360 OS interface. As is usual for Chinese phone companies that means getting rid of the separate app section. There are other customisations and extras when you look into the Settings menu. There's an annoying set of controls that swipe up from the bottom of the screen, reminiscent of Apple's control centre. It's not only unnecessary, it gets activated whenever there are apps for which you need to swipe up from the bottom for other features.

Still, the whole package is quite something for the relatively low price it's asking. Now one has to see whether stocks really exist.

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 25-01-2016)