Mobiistar, the Vietnamese brand has launched Mobiistar X1 Notch in India today. With a price tag of Rs. 9,499, this notch phone is directed towards offline market targetting the low & medium-end budget-end phones. I had a chance to explore the X1 Notch a few days ago, and here’s my hands-on review & first impressions of it.
Before we move forward, isn’t my rite to take you through the key specifications first?
Mobiistar X1 Notch – Key Specifications
- 5.7′ HD+ display with 283 PPI
- 3GB RAM | 32GB ROM, expandable up to 128GB
- Dual SIM slot with dedicated MicroSD slot
- Powered by 2.0GHz MediaTek Helio A22 Quad-core processor
- PowerVR Rogue GE8300 GPU
- Android v8.1.0 Oreo
- A 13MP f/2.2 main camera and a 13MP f/2.0 front-facing AI selfie camera
- 3,020mAh Li-Pol battery
- 3.5mm headphone jack
I know that the specifications are not quite impressive, but let’s not judge it right away. Let me share my first impressions of Mobiistar X1 Notch, and then we can decide.
Mobiistar X1 Notch Hands-on Review – First Impressions:
Gradient Color Scheme
The first thing that attracted me in the Mobiistar X1 Notch is its gradient color on the rear side. You’d have seen the same design quotient on Huawei, Vivo, and Oppo flagship devices and with the introduction in Mobiistar X1 Notch, I’m sure several other brands will incorporate it in the mid & budget-end smartphones. The variant I received is Gradient Shine, and it does emit two colors in different viewing angles. The glossy finish on the rear side is complimenting the overall design perfectly.
I felt a nice grip holding the phone, but as it’s glass on the rear, I started using the TPU case that came within the box. One other obvious reason for the protection is …dust.
Coming to the front-side, it’s a 720p ‘notch-display’ with 283 ppi. For the past two years, it’s started raining notch phones, and Mobiistar took it to the next level by naming the phone as ‘X1 Notch’. I know that the trend isn’t dead yet, but brands have already started the water-drop notch or just ‘O’ notch. Anyway, just like you noticed in Max Pro M2, the viewable portion of the display [while playing video] doesn’t cover the notch-edge parts and just gives you the 18:9 aspect ratio. I went inside the settings to see if there’s a way to change it, but there isn’t any.
To my eyes, the display looks quite dull. I did try watching the videos on 720p, but they’re not colorful. Maybe because of fewer pixels, I felt the details are not up to the mark.
In my usage, I did notice lag while switching between applications. Although the UI is Stock with little tweaks, it didn’t add up anything for the performance. I couldn’t use the ‘Star launcher’ as it’s very annoying, so I switched to Nova. The only advantage in terms of software is keeping the Stock UI, and there were little tweaks here and there. Overall, my user experience wasn’t smooth.
I’m yet to explore more on how I can optimize it, and will soon update more in my final review.
Besides the notch, Mobiistar is promoting the X1 Notch phone with AI Selfie Camera as the USP. I’ve also seen it in their ads, The selfie camera is indeed an asset in the X1 Notch, but can’t be a USP. I liked the sharpness in the selfies and even in the beauty mode [I mean it], but again, they are not up to my expectations.
Unless I apply external filters [more like color pop], the colors levels are quite saturated. Why don’t you see some samples below?
1. HDR Mode
4. Color pop
5. Beauty Mode
I don’t see any difference turning ON & OFF the ‘AI’, but the beauty mode smoothed my skin.
There’s a big delay when switching between the cameras. The camera UI is pretty basic with all the needful features, however, the HDR mode is quite sluggish. The shots taken with it doesn’t render for at least 5 seconds. Meanwhile, if there’s any change in the subject, the final shot will go wrong.
Despite the sluggish HDR mode, the shots taken on normal mode with and without AI are quite good. The only thing that’s lacking is the color levels. I did notice that the sharpness is also an issue in the shots taken on the rear camera. Anyway, let me take a few more shots before judging it.
As far as I noticed, the battery life is quite good. Nonetheless, I’ll share my view about battery life in the final review. For now, I’m quite satisfied.
As it’s just a couple of days of testing, I can’t give away my final judgment. But one thing is quite good on the phone, and it’s the selfie camera. Keep in mind that Mobiistar is launching the phone offline where people consider design as one of the reasons when choosing the phone. In terms of design, the X1 Notch is brilliant.