Friday, August 16, 2013

Torque Mobile Droidz Quad Review: Momentum


INTRODUCTION:

Torque Mobile did not create any hype when they released their first Quad Core device - the Droidz Quad. It was announced last June and was not available until this August. Currently this is the second cheapest quad-core device with MediaTek MT6589 chipset next to Arc Mobile Nitro 450QD.

The Droidz Quad runs on Android Jelly Bean 4.2.1 out of the box and powered by 1.2GHz Quad-Core Cortex-A7 CPU, PowerVR SGX544MP GPU and has a 512MB of RAM similar to Nitro 450QD and Thunder 2.0.

Key Specs:
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • 4.5" capacitive FWVGA (854x480), 5-point multi-touch
  • Android Jelly Bean 4.2.1
  • 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 Quad Core CPU, PowerVR SGX544MP GPU MediaTek MT6589 chipset
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB of internal storage, expandable up to 32GB via micro SD
  • 8MP auto focus main camera with LED flash
  • 2MP secondary camera
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Stereo FM Radio
  • 3.5mm Audio Jack
  • Micro USB 2.0
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS with A-GPS support and EPO assistance.
  • 2000mAh Li-Ion Battery (Not yet confirmed since there is no label on the battery)

Main Disadvantages:
  • Low resolution screen
  • 512MB of RAM easily depleted


UNBOXING:

This is the first Torque phone I bought, and I am happy that the package includes a screen protector and a jelly case beside the usual contents of unit, battery, charger with detachable USB cable, wired headset, manual and warranty card. The free screen protector is not installed, so better ask their technician to install it for you.

Retail Package

The design is a typical bar phone with curves on all corners and has a plastic body that looks a bit cheap. I got a white unit and it tends to attract dirt especially if your hands are usually sweating. The front is mainly covered by the FWVGA  4.5-inch screen, above it are some hidden sensors, the earpiece, 2MP secondary camera and the Toque markings.

Torque markings, earpiece and secondary camera

The capacitive keys can be found below the display, it lighted when pressed. The secondary microphone has an awkward position, it is located in front and leaves a hole.

Capacitive keys and mic

The top is quite busy holding the power button, micro USB and the 3.5mm audio jack.

Power key, micro USB and 3.5mm audio jack at the top

You will find nothing at the bottom.

Nothing at the bottom

On the left side we will find the power key which feels a bit awkward at first since most Android phone uses the left side for volume rocker.

Volume rocker at the left

The volume rocker is on the left side while there is nothing on the right side.

None at the right

As mentioned the back is plastic.

Back
The 8MP main camera is in the upper portion and it is a bit embossed, so I suggest you use the free Jelly case to avoid it getting scratched.

Main camera and LED flash

The loudspeaker grills can be found below, it has two slots but when the cover is removed you will notice that the speaker is only on the left side.

Loudspeaker grill and Torque logo

The slots for the two SIM cards and for memory expansion can be found when the cover is removed. The battery does not show any mAh rating.

Battery, SIM and Micro SD slots


INTERFACE:

Almost every local branded and Chinese made phone currently runs on Android Jelly Bean and the Torque Quad is no exception.

The lockscreen features a padlock inside a circle which you can drag in any direction to unlock your device. If you have any notification like a missed call you can swipe it toward the lock icon to go there directly. In Android 4.2.1 there is lockscreen widget, swiping to the right will bring the camera interface while swiping left will reveal a vacant spot for calendar, clock, Gmail and message.

Lockscreen

Once unlocked, you will see the familiar homescreen that feature five shortcuts at the bottom. The middle always opens the app drawer while the remaining four can be customized depending on your needs. There are five panes (you cannot add or delete) to be filled with widgets and app shortcuts.

Homescreen

After selecting the app drawer it will reveal the factory installed applications and widgets. The apps are arranged in 5 rows and 4 columns. The apps and widgets are sorted alphabetically and there are no means to alter that.

Default Apps
Default Widgets


The notification panel features an expanded notification, for example a missed call will give you the option to call back or send a message. If you are in an application that involves the use of SIM, the SIM toggle will appear in the notification area. The key device settings like Airplane mode, Battery, Wi-Fi, BT, GPS, Data Connection, Data Usage, Audio Profile, Brightness, Timeout and Auto Rotation can be accessed by using two finger swipe from top to bottom. The owner information will be populated once you logged in into your Google+ account.

Notification

The recent applications can be accessed by pressing and holding the home button.
Recent Apps


BENCHMARKS:

The Droidz Quad has the same MediaTek MT6589 chipset that can be found in most local high-end phone, it packs a Quad Core CPU with each core clocked from 500MHz to 1.2GHZ quad core coupled with PowerVR SGX544MP GPU and 512B RAM.

Having a 512MB of RAM seems to be a bottleneck but the benchmarks say otherwise, it scored more than 14K in Antutu and 4010 in Quadrant.

Antutu, 14236


Quadrant, 4010

The Nenamark2 benchmark result is also impressive at 60.2 fps.

Nenamark2, 60.2fps

In outscored the Galaxy Nexus in Vellamo tests.

Vellamo, HTML 1379 and Metal 448




DUAL SIM FUNCTIONALITY:

You can configure its Dual SIM functionality under settings-wireless & networks. Each SIM can be turned on or off in order save battery, other settings are as follows:
  1. Voice Call - can be set to SIM 1, SIM 2 or Always ask
  2. Video Call - you can choose SIM 1 or SIM 2
  3. Messaging - can be set to SIM 1, SIM 2 or Always ask
  4. Data Connection - can be set to SIM 1, SIM 2 or off
SIM Management

Only SIM 1 is labeled with HSPA+ capability, but when you go to Mobile Network under 3G Service you can choose which SIM to use.

3G Service


TELEPHONY:

It is equipped with a sound sensor which is used for noise cancellation, it helps in making the in-call voice quality clear and crisp. The first tab will show the dial pad that has smart dialing feature, you can also set speed dial up to eight contacts. The second tab will list your recent calls and can be filtered by SIM used. The last tab will reveal all contacts with phone numbers.

Telephony


PHONEBOOK:

The phonebook is a stock Android app, the first tab is for groups, second for the contact while the third is for favorite. You can choose in which account you want to save a contact or a group and you can also import or export them.

Phonebook


You can also choose which contacts to display, each contact can contain multiple information and you can link contacts from different accounts.


MESSAGING:

The messaging app handles both SMS and MMS, composing a message starts with a single line and grows up to 4 lines. Adding a recipient can be done by several inputs, it detects number or name. If you want to add multiple persons just click the contact icon.

New Message

In a certain message thread, a handset icon appears on the upper right hand corner as option to call the person on that message. The thread is color coded, blue for your message and gray for the recipient. Clicking the green + icon will reveal the attachment options and selecting the smiley icon will show additional emoticon.

Messaging

The default keyboard leaves no other option aside from a qwerty type, it offers auto complete, spelling check and haptic feedback. The Droidz Quad has a pre-installed Viber which works without issue.

Viber


EMAIL:

The generic app can handle POP3, IMAP or Exchange, setting it up is quite easy just put your username and password then hit next. Attaching file is not a problem since it accepts any kind. While navigating from one message to another can be done by the greater or less than sign on the upper right.

Email

The Gmail app will automatically use the account you use in setting up the Play Store. Unlike the generic email app you can only attach pictures or videos. Swiping is useful in navigating between messages.

Gmail

Both email apps can handle multiple accounts, set-up email signature, reply to or reply all.


MULTIMEDIA:

Gallery:

In gallery you can arrange your photos and videos by Albums, Locations or Times, view them in either filmstrip or grid and the ability to share them via Bluetooth, Email or Social Media.

Gallery

The photo editor is an integral part of Android Jelly Bean, it offers several options such as adjusting exposure, brightness or adding effects like frame.

Photo Editor

Video Player:

The Video Player will list all the files associated with a video but not all of them are playable especially 1080p. It supports almost all kinds of containers, I played .avi, .3gp, .mp4 even .flv and .mkv.

Video Interface
The stock video player lacks any setting or option like subtitle, therefore it is better to download third party app to fulfill them.

Music Player:

Like the video player, the music player will also list all available songs on your device whether it is stored in internal or external memory and can be viewed by Artist, Albums, Songs or Playlist.

Music Interface

While playing songs  you have the option to shuffle them, loop a particular song or playlist and even use them as your ringtone. There is also available equalizer that can be turned on or off and has pre-loaded several adjustments like flat, rock, pop etc. Once minimized you will have a small interface on the notification panel for navigating you musics.


FM Radio:

The FM Radio app needs a wired headset that acts as antenna to be connected to the phone before it can work. The interface is quite simple, you can search available frequencies or manually set them. Navigating between channels can be done by the less and greater than sign below it. Additional options include recording a specific broadcast or play it on a loudspeaker.

FM

Camera/Video:

The Torque Quad offers an 8MP still image and 720p video capture, which can be done on a shared interface. The photo and video shutters are placed beside one another.

Camera Interface
Camera Settings
The camera includes HDR, Panorama and Photo-Sphere capture, it also offers rich settings that can be tweak according to your taste. The richness of options extends also to video capture and it is even capable of capturing 2MP picture while doing a 720p video recording which I can say quite a feat for a device with 512MB of RAM.

Simultaneous Video and Image Capture

Sample Shots

Night
Night_1
Day
Day_1
Zoom 4x
Zoom 4x_1
Macro
Macro_1
Panorama
Front
Sample Video, 720p - Main


Sample Video, VGA - Front

The images produced are quite usable but most of the shots tend to over exposed therefore there will be in-depth learning for the user to get a perfect shot. The focusing is good, it can detect the right target even in close-up shots. Like most of the other budget phones, the LED flash is unable to fill enough light on the background creating a darker shot during the night.

The video is stored in a .3gp format and there is no way to change it to .mp4 or other container. The video quality is fine and it offers continuous focus.

Browsing:

The browser is the generic Android app, it supports up to 16 tabs and incognito mode. It load webpages pretty quick even those with images. I installed Flash into it and it works fine on the browser. Due to low resolution, viewing pages need to zoom in for you to read them clearly therefore mobile version is  recommended.

Browser

Gaming:

I installed the usual games like candy crush, 4 pics 1 word and subway surfer and the Quad handle them perfectly well. I installed temple run 2 and set the video to highest setting and it still works fine. The dead trigger also works without a problem. Loading time can be long but still all games are playable. Due to 512MB of RAM you need to close the games you are currently into before moving to a different game to avoid hang-ups or crush.

Even though high graphic games are OK, you will be limited to install large files since you cannot transfer them to your external memory.

Candy Crush
4 pics 1 word
Subway Surfer
Temple Run 2
Dead Trigger


CONNECTIVITY:

The WiFi covers 802.11 a/b/g/n and supports Wi-Fi Direct, detecting the signal is no problem at all.

Wi-Fi

The device also supports dual band HSPA+ connection for fast internet on the go, which you can share either by USB tethering or via Wi-Fi Hotspot. Bluetooth is also present, the micro USB does NOT support OTG.

The 3.5mm audio jack completes the list, there is no TV out of any kind.


SENSORS:

There are a bunch of sensors when viewed via CPU-Z or Android Sensor Box, however when tested Gyro and Magnetic seems to be not working. I do not know if my unit is defective or it is a software issue, I will update this portion once confirmed.

Sensors


PRODUCTIVITY:

The Droidz Quad includes basic productivity tools such as Calendar, Clock, Calculator, Sound Recorder, To Do and File Manager which are all stock Android apps.

Calendar


Clock
Calc

Sound Recorder
ToDo

File Manager

GPS

I used the Google Navigation and it was able to get the correct coordinate, A-GPS and GPS EPO helps in getting a faster satellite lock.

GPS


BATTERY:

I watched a 45 minute anime series in it and almost 20% was reduced to its battery capacity. I am still not sure what is the capacity of it since it is nowhere to be found, I will update this post once confirmed.

Battery Status


OTHERS:

Movie Editor

The Movie Studio is a video editor that allows you to create a certain video from different clips or images. It can also trim or edit portion of an existing video.

Movie Studio

Google Apps

The usual set of Google Apps is also present, Google Now, Talk, Local, Navigation and Map.

Google Apps


CONCLUSION:

Having a 512MB of RAM seems to be a bottleneck, but if you do not overload the Torque Droidz Quad it can perform all the task given to it. It is not a perfect gadget but it can be your best companion in your daily activities. Torque Mobile seems to find the Momentum in a very stiff competition but it still needs to tackle great opponents with the likes of Arc Mobile Nitro 450QD, Cherry Mobile Thunder 2.0 and many others.
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4 comments:

  1. newly release cloudfone excite 450q is the cheapest to date quadcore, only 4,999, thanks sa review, nagbago pananaw ko sa 512mb + quadcore.. it can go as high as 14k sa antutu,., nice review! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks... Cloudfone 450Q has Qualcomm MSM8225Q SoC

      Hope you can visit my blog again.

      Delete
  2. Hi everyone,
    I bought this phone 2 days ago and found 1 issue,
    nung tine- test ko to sa store ng torque, may problem yung camera nya.
    nagma-malfunction yung autofocus ng camera. So I requested a new unit.

    Everything was ok with the unit they gave me and I bought it.
    2 days later, which is today, this morning, gagamitin ko sana yung camera,
    pero same thing happened, nag-malfunction yung autofocus, nagfofocus lang sya sa malapit, I had to restart my phone to fix the issue. Sa still photo lang naman nangyayari. Pag sa video, it works normally.

    Anyway, I'm a tech enthusiast and in my opinion, this is a great phone at this price range. Sana lang in future releases ng torque, wawla na ganitong issue.

    ReplyDelete

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