Review: Quantum TITANO M1

Can the TITANO M1 stand out in a crowded entry-level smartphone market? We find out.

Tags: Quantum (www.quantum-q.com)United Arab Emirates
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Review: Quantum TITANO M1 Quantum offers a compelling case with the TITANO M1.
By  David Ndichu Published  April 17, 2016

In an earlier life, I got to review some of the first Quantum devices, when the brand entered the mobile space a few years back. The review of the Quantum TITANO M1 is a great opportunity to re-establish contact with the brand and see how much the company has built upon that initial foray.

A lot has changed in the mobile space since then, and apparently so has Quantum.

Design

The TITANO M1 unit in my possession was a five-inch screen affair wrapped in a metal casing. A brushed aluminium look at the back adding some character.

The M1 comes with a replaceable battery, a rarity these days. So used to sealed-in batteries that I plugged in the phone to the socket before I realized the battery was separate. Don’t make the same mistake and make sure you install the battery that comes with the package.

To do so, remove the back panel, made simple through a slot which you can eject the back from its mooring using some slender object or the other. Removing the cover will also reveal the dual-SIM slots, one standard SIM and the other one for a micro SIM as well as a slot for the SD card.  

The rest of the façade is pretty standard, with a power button and volume rocker in the right and a headset jack and charging port at the top. Capacitive buttons for navigation are at the bottom panel, which in my opinion lose some precious real estate.

The handset came with a silver case, in keeping with the hue of the rest of the phone. The M1 will also be available in variants of pink, champagne, and black when it hits the stores.

The M1 is quite hefty, noticeably so when compared to my iPhone almost of the same size.

Features

The screen is a 5.0” HD IPS display, at 720x1280 resolution.

The OS is Android Lollipop 5.1. Please note that the latest Android is Marshmallow which is being rolled out as we speak. No mention if M1 will allow for an upgrade.

The M1 is powered by a 1.0GHz Quad Core processor, which should allow for some high-powered multi-tasking (more of that later). Storage is at a decent 16 GB, expandable as mentioned earlier with 1GB of RAM.

The M1 supports 4G, for both SIM cards.

It was refreshing to see Quantum has not compromised on the camera front, with a 13MP main camera and 5MP at the front. The battery is at 2000mAh which for a five incher is quite reasonable.     

Performance

The quad-core processor, now industry standard, makes operations a breeze.  I faced no sluggishness on apps as with other entry-level devices, even with several apps open simultaneously. Basic gaming was also pretty smooth.   

The display is HD, at 720 X 1280 resolution or 294 PPI. Though not FullHD (1080p) of more expensive phones, the quality of the images and video were of good (not stunning) quality.

The camera offers several features including face detection, face beauty mode, and multi angle view mode. The later allows you to take and view photos from various viewpoints, great for rounded objects. You can share images directly from the photo app with the phone compressing the image to required specifications and then automatically converting the message to a multimedia message.

Pressing the volume rocker reveals a priority feature allowing you to set downtime when you entertain no interruptions. Set the required time and your set of notifications you want to prioritise and the phone will block calls, reminders or messages during the period.     

Verdict

The M1 will be launched at the end of April at an MSRP of AED499. It represents a very decent endeavour in an entry-level smartphone by Quantum, a brand that has grown in strength in the last few years as other struggled and exited the market.

Phones with removable batteries are becoming extinct and it’s refreshing to see a phone brand in this day and age keeping this tradition going. The advantage of a replicable battery is of course the fact that the battery is usually one of the first things to deteriorate in a phone. The ability to replace one without buying a new phone is a powerful incentive especially for the price-conscious entry level end of the market.

I also like the powerful camera and the solid metal surround. There’s also the choice of colours Quantum is offering unlike many other brands at the price range who tend to stick to simple black and white shades.

On the other hand, some design limitations are fairly apparent.

The phone is quite heavy for a five-inch device and quite bulky in an age when phones are becoming slimmer and slimmer.     

The SIM card slots are also hidden behind the back cover, so quite the task if you need to switch the SIM cards.

We are also getting used to videos in FullHD glory, so lack of 1080p credentials seem like a step behind.  

Overall, the TITANO M1 is a recommended buy, with some good value for money for the basket of quality features.

For: Great value for money; Multiple colour choices; Replaceable battery; Dual SIM
Against: Bulky; Low screen-to-body ratio
Verdict: TITANO M1 strikes the right balance between price and features

 

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