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Mobiistar X1 Notch: A good offering in the budget segment
Mobiistar X1 Notch brings a beautiful design to the table.
Vietnam-based smartphone maker Mobiistar, recently launched the X1 Notch smartphone for the Indian market. The device is priced at Rs 9,499 and can be purchased through offline stores. It comes in three color options: Gradient Shine, Midnight Black, and Sapphire Blue. And, we got the Gradient Shine variant for testing.
- Beautiful design
- Decent selfie camera
- Average performance
- Old software
- Bit overpriced
We used the device for a week and it's time we pass our judgment. So, if the X1 Notch managed to catch your attention, what follows will clear your doubt whether or not to shell out your money for this new offering.
- 5.7-inch IPS LCD display (720 x 1498p)
- 2GHz quad-core MediaTek Helio A22 chipset
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB ROM, expandable up to 128GB
- 13MP rear camera with LED flash
- 13MP front-facing camera
- Fingerprint sensor
- Dual-SIM support
- 4G VoLTE connectivity
- 3020mAh battery
- USB OTG support
Aesthetically, the Mobiistar X1 Notch will surely catch some eyes. It looks premium, thanks to glass finish on the rear panel which is actually plastic. But, the phone actually feels good to hold with rounded edges that make the gripping easy.
The front panel has a 5.7-inch display which also comprises of a notch that houses an earpiece, front camera, and the ambient light sensor. The bezels aren't slim and the chin is also pretty thick. The right side holds a power key along with the volume rockers, while the left side has a SIM card tray that can accommodate two SIM cards and one microSD card together.
On the top, we get a 3.5 mm audio jack, while the bottom side has the speaker grille, microUSB port, and primary microphone. Coming to the back panel, the device has a camera setup aligned vertically, and a fingerprint sensor in the middle which is quick and reliable, followed by the branding.
Overall, the X1 Notch is a well-designed smartphone with a dazzling rear panel that gives it a premium look and feel. The design is one of the strong points of this phone, given the asking price is pretty low.
The smartphone sports a 5.7-inch display with HD+ resolution and 292ppi. We were a bit disappointed by the thick bezels and a big notch, but that's forgivable considering this is a budget smartphone.
The display quality is decent and is bright enough to do the trick in direct sunlight. The touch is responsive most of the time and the color reproduction is also fine. The text is sharp and colors also look properly balanced.
Overall, the display quality is decent, but you might not want to watch high-definition videos on this screen. It would still be counted as one of the better displays in this segment.
On the software front, the Mobiistar X1 Notch runs on Android 8.1 Oreo with company's skin atop. The device gives a near-stock experience and works smoothly.
The touch sensitivity is also decent, however, we did notice that the device failed to register our touch gestures in more than a few instances. We also noticed some lag while launching some heavy apps or switching between applications on some occasions.
The software also gives users the option to use Face Unlock as their primary biometric authentication method. But, the device struggles to unlock the device in low light conditions, so we would suggest users opt for the fingerprint sensor to unlock the device.
Overall, the software of the device could have been better and smooth. But, if Mobiistar plans on rolling out updates on a regular basis, this wouldn't be a huge issue.
The X1 Notch comes equipped with a 13MP rear camera accompanied by an LED flash. The company claims that the camera is powered by artificial intelligence and will set the colors according to the scene in the frame.
The camera app offers a lot of filters and modes such as Facebeauty, Night, Panorama, HDR, and Pro mode. We clicked few pictures with X1 Notch and found out that the images taken in well-lit surroundings are clear with an ample amount of details. However, the camera fails to impress when it comes to taking pictures in the dark, even with the night mode on. The rear camera can also capture videos in full HD resolution which look decent with good detailing. The camera also supports electric image stabilization (EIS).
Speaking of the front camera, the device features a 13MP front-facing camera which is also powered by AI. It also supports the bokeh mode something that's missing from the primary camera. The front camera is also capable of taking full HD videos. The bokeh effect option is good but it would have made more sense on the rear panel compared to the selfie camera. The selfie camera is pretty much the same as the rear camera in terms of quality. Some shots look good but few show a lot of noise in low-lighting conditions.
Overall, the camera performance isn't something that would be the selling point of this phone. It takes decent images but disappoints at some points. We have seen better cameras in this price segment, and it would be hard to recommend the X1 Notch over its competition on the optics front.
Under the hood, the device is powered by a 2GHz quad-core MediaTek Helio A22 chipset paired with 3GB of RAM and 16GB/32GB internal storage which is expandable up to 128GB using a microSD card.
The device can take care of day-to-day tasks easily, but we did notice some stutter while navigating or switching between the apps at times. Also, you wouldn't want to play high-end games on the Mobiistar X1 Notch as the device wouldn't be able to do justice to such games. But you can mild games smoothly, and the device won't show any signs of heating as well.
The smartphone is fuelled by a 3020mAh battery which can keep the device running for a day of moderate usage, but you might need a charge by the end of the day. We managed to use the device for a day that included gaming, social media activity, playing multimedia. For a moderate user, the device wouldn't ask for a charge for a whole day.
Overall, the Mobiistar X1 Notch is a good smartphone for the much-crowded budget segment. You might feel that the device is a bit overpriced for the specifications, but since it's targetted to the offline market, it makes for a good value for money.
The smartphone comes with brilliant design, good display, an average set of cameras, and decent battery life. It surely lacks a good UI, but it wouldn't be a problem if the company pushes timely updates.
If you look beyond the flaws of the smartphone, the X1 Notch could be a good alternative. But, if you are open to buying a smartphone online, it would be hard to recommend the device over the likes of Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro and the Honor 9n which also fall in the same price segment.