Feature phones still have the majority share in Indian mobile market. As smartphones continue to become intrinsic to connected living and a medium for accessing basic services like banking, bill payment, messaging, etc., many feature phone users want to upgrade without spending too much.

Addressing this surge in demand, several brands are now trying to muster up workable phones in the entry-level segment but it’s still very hard to come across anything reliable. The Vietnamese major, Mobiistar, recently launched one such phone, the CQ, that offers excellent value for its price. In India, the Mobiistar CQ will directly compete against the Redmi 5A, that’s slightly more expensive.

Now that we have had a chance to thoroughly examine the two, let’s stack the Mobiistar CQ against Redmi 5A to help you decide which one will be a better fit for your individual needs.

Mobiistar CQ Dual vs Redmi 5A Specifications

Model Mobiistar CQ Xiaomi Redmi 5A
Display 5-inch, 720 X 1280, 16:9 IPS LCD, 2.75D 5-inch, 720 X 1280, 16:9 IPS LCD, 2.5D glass
Processor 1.4 GHz Qualcomm MSM8917 Snapdragon 425 1.4 GHz Qualcomm MSM8917 Snapdragon 425
RAM 2GB 2GB
Internal Storage 16GB, expandable 16GB, expandable
Software Android 7.1.2 Nougat Android 7.1.2 Nougat
Primary Camera 8MP, f/2.0 and LED flash 13 MP, f/2.2, phase detection autofocus, LED flash
Selfie camera 13MP, f/2.0 aperture 5 MP, f/2.0
Battery 3020mAh 3000mAh
Others 4G VoLTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, micro USB, 3.5mm headphone jack 4G VoLTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, micro USB, 3.5mm headphone jack
Price Rs. 4,999 Rs. 5,999

Price and Availability

  • After the recent price hike, the Redmi 5A official India price is Rs. 5,999. If you buy from third-party sellers, the price will be higher.
  • The Mobiistar CQ costs Rs. 4,999 in India, which makes it cheaper. Consumers can also avail extra Rs. 1000 discount in exchange for old phones from Flipkart and Rs. 2200 Jio cashback vouchers.

Design and Display

The Redmi 5A and Mobiistar CQ are compact and ergonomic phones. Both phones have a polycarbonate body, curved back for comfortable handling, and a regular 16:9 display panel.

In terms of looks and feel, the two phones are evenly matched save for a few minor differences. The Redmi 5A has a triple layer back which feels a bit trite today. In comparison, the Mobiistar CQ has a neat and trendy full metal-finish back cover. The CQ also brandishes a curvier 2.75D glass layer on the display that adds a nice touch.

Speaking of the display, the 5-inch IPS LCD panel on both phones have 720p HD resolution. The color temperature and dynamic range of both screens are quite similar, but the Mobiistar CQ has higher contrast which makes watching multimedia content a more pleasant experience.

Selfies

We understand that it’s hard to expect much in terms of camera performance from affordable phones, but the Mobiistar CQ is all set to change that notion for good.

The Mobistar CQ selfie camera performance is exceptional for the price. The front camera gets a 13MP sensor, f/2.0 aperture, a subtle face beautify mode (7 level), Filters and HDR support. The metering and dynamic range in clicked images is surprising good. If Selfies are your thing, the Mobiistar CQ is the best option in its class.  And yes, it beats the minimal 5MP front camera on Redmi 5A hands down.

The 8MP rear camera on CQ also benefits from Beautify software and has a pro mode that comes in handy every now and then. The Redmi 5A can offer more details for the rear camera, but the overall image quality isn’t much better than what you get with the CQ.

Performance and Software

The Mobiistar CQ is the only phone under Rs. 5000 that offers Snapdragon 425 processor. The SD 425 is also the best mobile platform that you can ask for in this budget. The Redmi 5A employs the same chipset as well. Since we are comparing the base variants, you get 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage space, and a dedicated card slot to add secondary storage on both phones.

As far as performance hardware goes, you get the exact same configuration on both phones. The software, however, plays the differentiator.

The Redmi 5A and Mobiistar CQ run Android Nougat based custom interfaces. Of course, it’s subjective, but we find the CQ software better and more intuitive. You get all the handy options in the right places and better optimizations result in smoother overall experience.

Battery, Connectivity, and Audio

The Redmi 5A and Mobiistar CQ house 3000mAh and 3020mAh capacity batteries, respectively. We found that Redmi 5A battery depletes faster with heavy usage, but overall, you can consistently get one-day mileage with both phones with regular use.

The Redmi 5A and Mobiistar CQ house mono speakers with speaker grill present on the back. The Audio quality via headphones and the output through the loudspeaker is a tad clearer and cleaner on the Mobiistar CQ as compared to the Redmi 5A.

In terms of connectivity, the two are evenly matched. The Redmi 5A and Mobiistar CQ include 4G VoLTE, ViLTE, Bluetooth, micro USB charging port, and 3.5mm headphone jack.

Mobiistar CQ vs Redmi 5A  – Which one is better

Both of these phones have comparable specs and are quite close in terms of feature set. However, in practice, we found the Mobiistar CQ to be better than the Redmi 5A on several counts. The Mobiistar CQ has a lower price and offers a significantly better camera. It also has a more attractive full-metal finish and more optimized software.

What works for Mobiistar CQ

  • Excellent selfie camera
  • Lower price
  • Full-metal finish
  • Optimized software

What works for Redmi 5A

  • Relatively compact
  • Slightly better rear camera

 

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