Comio X1 Note review: Budget smartphone with premium design and looks

Here’s what we think about the Comio smartphone.

By Abhinaya Prabhu

    Comio debuted its operations in India in August 2017. Since its debut, the company has launched quite a few smartphones in the country's budget market segment. The latest one from the brand is the Comio X1 Note priced at Rs. 9,999. With this pricing, the Comio smartphone appears to be intended to take over the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, which is a bestseller among the other budget rivals in the price bracket.

    As seen before, the brand has teamed up with Reliance Jio in order to offer Rs. 2,200 cashback. It also comes with 100 more days of additional warranty. There are notable inclusions such as screen breakage warranty. I have spent a considerable time with the smartphone from Comio and here is my review of this new budget smartphone.

    Design

    Comio X1 Note takes over its rivals with its premium looks and rear panel design. The device has a striking design at its rear. As seen in the image above, the smartphone has a mirror finish at its back, which makes it reflective. The device uses a plastic build and not a metal body but this has contributed to its lightweight design. But I should mention that the rear panel is a fingerprint magnet.

    The camera arrangement at the rear reminds me of the Motorola smartphones. There is a dual-camera setup at the rear with the two lenses and LED flash positioned inside a circular module. Underneath this camera arrangement, there is a circular fingerprint sensor and the Comio logo.

    There is an 18:9 display that gives it a tall look but the bezels aren't too thin. The top edge of the smartphone has the 3.5mm headphone jack while the bottom has the micro USB charging port and speaker grills on either side of it. The right edge of the X1 Note has the SIM tray and power button while the volume rocker is positioned at the left. Notably, the device has a triple card slot supporting two nano SIM cards and a microSD card supporting up to 128GB of expandable storage space.

    Though I liked the lightweight design of the smartphone, the power button and volume controls seem to have a plastic feel. But that's not be blamed given the pricing of the smartphone.

    Display

    The smartphone bestows a 6-inch FHD+ 2.5D curved glass display with a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels. The screen has an aspect ratio of 18:9, which makes it appear taller. The screen is impressive with enough brightness. It is bright enough to be visible even in the outdoors. I liked the vibrant colors of the display given the pricing of the smartphone.

    Hardware and Battery

    The Comio smartphone gets the power from a 1.45GHz quad-core MediaTek MT8735 SoC paired with 3GB RAM and 32GB of default memory capacity. Notably, there is a dedicated microSD card slot supporting up to 128GB of additional storage as mentioned above. During my usage, I did not find the device to hang or lag on basic usage. It could handle multitasking smoothly when it comes to basic tasks. However, in between games, if I had to go to the home screen or open another app and return to the game, there was a considerable lag in displaying the menu options to resume the game.

    A 2900mAh battery powers the smartphone from within. The battery life is pretty decent given the pricing of the device. What was annoying is that it takes over 3 hours for the battery to be charged from 0% to 100%. But it makes sense as there is no fast charging support in this budget smartphone.

    The fingerprint sensor is pretty fast. It unlocks the smartphone quickly without any delay. However, I found difficulty with the Face Unlock feature. The facial recognition feature, which uses the selfie camera to unlock the device worked instantly in some cases and failed to recognize the registered face in many cases even under bright lighting conditions.

    Camera

    Comio X1 Note bestows a dual-camera setup at its rear with a 13MP primary camera with f/2.2 aperture and a 5MP secondary camera with f/2.4 aperture. As mentioned above, these cameras are housed in a circular enclosure. The camera interface has different modes such as panorama, portrait for bokeh effects, time lapse, light trace and social. I liked the social mode in both the front and rear camera interface as it lets instant sharing of the photo on social media platforms, email, Google Photos, Bluetooth and more.

    If you can see the camera samples in the image above, you can see that the rear camera renders average quality photos in decent light conditions. The portrait mode is something that didn't impress me as the bokeh effect was not uniform and natural. One of the camera samples shows the unrealistic bokeh effect with an artificial look. However, this is something that one can expect from a budget smartphone.

    The selfie camera is an 8MP sensor with f/2.4 aperture and LED flash. The selfie camera renders good results but it misses out on the latest trend - the AI selfie camera modes and software-based portrait effects due to its sub-Rs. 10,000 price point.

    Connectivity and Software

    The smartphone comes packed with standard connectivity aspects such as 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, USB and OTG. These are commonly seen features in smartphones. But the one interesting aspect is the presence of a triple card slot for an uncompromised dual SIM functionality.

    The device runs Android 8.0 Oreo with a customized interface. There are some interesting features such as Intruder Selfie and Dual Account. The interface lets users shuffle the navigation buttons as per the users' choice.

    Verdict

    Comio X1 Note is a good budget smartphone with a bright display and premium rear design. The device runs Android Oreo out of the box with attractive features and functionalities. It renders an average performance in terms of camera and battery life, which is acceptable given its pricing. Given that Xiaomi dominates the budget smartphone market segment, we are skeptical if the device can surpass the popularity of the Redmi Note 5 priced in the same range. If the company had implemented a better camera and an impressive battery backup, the device could have easily challenged the Redmi smartphone.

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