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India is undoubtedly one of the most lucrative market for smartphone brands around the globe. China is already the biggest investor wherein brands like Lenovo, Huawei and OnePlus are among the most preferred ones. Besides, other countries have also started to invest in India's offline and online spaces to gain a market share in the crowded smartphone space.
This brings us to Nuu Mobiles, a US-based company that has officially marked its entry into the Indian market with the launch of four new Android smartphones. Nuu Mobile has launched budget and mid-range devices that will sell in the offline market across the country.
The company's product lineup comprises of Q500, Q626, M3, and X5 where Q500 is the entry-level handset priced at Rs. 9,999 and the X5 is the flagship smartphone launched at a price point of Rs. 15,999.
We were present at the launch event to find out what this new brand has in store for Indian smartphone users. Here's what we have found out.
Nuu Q500: Entry-level Specs but not an entry-level price-point
The 4G VoLTE-enabled Q500 is the company's most affordable offering. It's a compact 5-inch smartphone with a metal body and will be available in Matte Black and Silver colour variants.
I really liked the fact that Q500 is a perfect-fit for one-hand use due to its light weight and compact design. The handset is 6.9mm thin and features a 5-inch (720x1280 pixels) display, which is bright and responsive. However, it's not the most pixel-packed screen at its price-point.
The smartphone is powered by a quad-core MediaTek processor and has 2GB of RAM. There is 16GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable by up t 128GB via microSD card. The RAM and processor are also not the best combination you can get at Rs. 10k price-point.
Nuu Q500 features an 8MP rear camera and a 5MP front facing camera for selfies. The cameras are only good for basic level photography. As far as connectivity is concerned, the smartphone has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB 2.0, FM, GPS, etc.
And while Chinese companies are offering batteries in the range of 3,000 to 4,000 mAh, Q500 ships with a 2,000 mAh battery unit. Last but not the least, there's no fingerprint scanner on Q500 and the handset runs dated Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The only savior here is the stock Android experience which performed really well in our short time with the handset.
As you can read above, the smartphone fails to offer the latest hardware in its respective price-point, at-least on papers. But we would like to reserve our verdict for now as the real performance will be evaluated in our comprehensive review in the coming weeks.
Nuu M3: More or less same specs at higher price-point
Second in the list is Nuu M3, which is priced at Rs. 12,499 and offers more or less the same set of specifications at a higher price-point. The smartphone sports a 5.5-inch HD display and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MTK6737 SoC. Once again you get just 2GB of RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable by upto 128GB via a microSD card.
The metal-clad handset is ergonomic to use as it has a slim profile and rounded corners. For photography, you get the same 8MP sensor at the back and 5MP selfie camera. The performance is quite entry-level from both the shooters.
Unlike the smaller Q500, this handset gets a decently sized 3,200mAh battery unit and offers the same set of connectivity features. At Rs. 12,499, Nuu M3 also fails to impress with the specifications and features. We would recommend Lenovo K8 Note at this price.
Nuu Q626: Fingerprint Scanner is the only difference here
Next in the list is Nuu Q626. This one also sports a comparatively smaller 5-inch screen and a glass body that makes it quite appealing. The display worked fine even in outdoor lighting and was quite responsive. Moreover, the handset is also fit for one-hand operation.
The smartphone features a glass front and back and will be offered in Sapphire Blue and Jet Black colour options. There's no change in processing and multitasking department as the handset is powered by the same quad-core MediaTek processor coupled with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage. The major difference is the fingerprint scanner placed at the back of the smartphone.
Once again the camera is an 8MP affair at rear panel and a 5MP selfie shooter at front. The rear camera supports autofocus, live photo, panorama, etc.
It's really tough to recommend this handset to users as the specs and features seem quite dated considering the price-segment in which Q626 has been launched. The Q626 is priced at Rs. 12,999. The same price-point also offers you a couple of other handsets such as Lenovo K8 Note, Honor 6X, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, Nokia 5, etc.
Nuu X5: Flagship in the lot that also seems overpriced
Nuu X5 is the company's flagship handset for the Indian market. It seems overpriced as well considering the specs it brings to the table. However it's not always about the specs and the phone worked quite well in our brief usage. There's a 5.5-inch full HD screen which is bright and responsive and the premium looking metallic smartphone also has a fingerprint sensor on the back.
The smartphone is powered by a 1.5GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6750T processor coupled with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable via a microSD card by up to 128GB.
Finally we got to see the Android 7.0 Nougat on the Nuu mobile devices with the X5. And we were delighted to see the stock Android UI. The rear camera also gets a bump and you have a 13MP camera sensor with flash and features such as autofocus, panorama, burst, and live photo. Selfies and video-calling will be handled by the same 5MP camera. The cameras delivered acceptable results in daylight.
But then the battery department disappointed us as the handset only houses a 2,950mAh battery unit.
The US based Nuu Mobile has entered in one of the most crowded smartphone segment with products that seem overpriced for the hardware and other features they bring to table. The company's products seem inferior when compared to similarly priced handsets from already established players such as Lenovo, Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi and even the handsets from Indian smartphone makers.
The stock Android experience, the offline availability and the claimed service support might help to some extent, but we are still doubtful and cannot recommend the handsets as our first choice in their respective price-points. Once we get the products and give them a thorough testing, then we will be able to give a proper verdict on performance part of Nuu Mobile phones.
Wait for our detailed review of Nuu Mobile handsets on GIZBOT.com.