Noir A2 Review: Android Smartphone From QMobile

Noir A2 Review: Android Smartphone From QMobile

QMobile entered the smartphone market few weeks ago by announcing couple of Android devices. These devices are shrewdly priced keeping in mind the mass market and are being advertised aggressively to further strengthen the brand and appeal of QMobile keeping in view the entry of the Chinese heavy weight, Huawei.

We got hold of the dual-SIM Android smartphone, QMobile Noir A2 before its official release on August 17, the phone is available for just Rs. 8,900 officially but few dealers are selling for Rs. 8,700 as well. Let’s take a look on specs before embarking on a detailed review:

  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 3.5” HVGA capacitive touch screen
  • 3.2 MP camera
  • VGA Front Camera
  • 1 GHz processor
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n
  • MicroSD card support up to 32 GB

Unboxing

QMobile Noir A2 is packed in the standard rectangular box, it contains the usual contents, which are:

  • Device
  • Hands free
  • Data cable
  • Charger

Build & Design

QMobile Noir A2 has a pretty reasonable built, Qmobile has done a wonderful job with the finish keeping in view its price range. The device looks really shiny and solid which is, really cool while the rounded edges and beautiful lines are almost non-existent in a device costing in four figures. Having looked at the positives, it must be mentioned that the device is slippery and thus very prone to slip from your hands, moreover, the touch screen is a thumbprint magnet and we never really saw a clean screen after the first time we got our hands on the device.

 QMobile Noir A2 features a 3.5” HVGA capacitive touch screen, which is, as said earlier, a magnet for thumb prints. It is just impossible to touch it with any part of your hand and not leave a huge print; these sometimes result in lesser clarity of screen especially in bright light conditions. The only way to clean such prints is by using a tissue or a cloth, which is very impractical. It should also be noted that the sunlight legibility of screen is poor and an effort is needed to view the screen when directly under the sun, lack of auto-brightness also adds to the woes.

The device has earpiece slit on the top of the front side of the phone with a couple of sensors and a front VGA camera to its left, a tiny notification LED is situated above one of the sensors. At the bottom of the screen are four customary Android touch-sensitive buttons i.e. Home, Settings, Back & Search. A tiny hole for mouth-piece lies at the bottom of the glassed part of the front side. The top of the phone features a 3.5mm audio slot and power button on the top-right, microUSB port for charging and data transfer lies between the two. The bottom and sides have been nicely curved while the front and back sides of the phone are separated by a silver strip. Volume rocker is present on the right side of the phone just below the silver strip.

The real estate at the back is occupied by the back cover which has an interesting pattern printed on it. On the top-centre of the cover is the 3.2 MP camera under which “3.2 MP” is written to make the fact clear. Three slits are present at the bottom-centre which work as speaker which are right under a QMobile logo with an Android symbol. As said earlier, the back side is pretty shiny and slippery which mean that the phone is slippery and an intentional effort is needed at times to prevent the device from slipping from one’s hands.

User Interface

The user interface featured in Noir A2 is just fine; the lock screen features a lock icon at the centre of the screen which when tapped activates three options in a circle; hence the lock can be dragged in three directions to unlock the phone. Dragging to left unlocks the phone and takes you straight to the messaging app, dragging the lock icon to the right unlocks the phone and takes you straight to the phone app for quick dialing and dragging it upwards unlocks the phone and takes you to the app being used or the home screen being viewed when the phone was locked. A sleek widget at the top of the lock screen shows date, time and battery status and the status bar also appears on top of everything else which is helpful in case of various notifications. The lock and three options related thereto, however, have a distinct low-quality feeling and it would have been better if default (Android) swipe to unlock had been used.

The UI on Noir A2 consists of five home screens which can be swiped sideways to be viewed. The central home screen has a date-time widget and eight icons by default. These icons are divided in two rows, the bottom row contains four shortcuts i.e. Phone, Contacts, Messages and Menu (app tray) and the upper row contains Music, Gallery, Email and Skype shortcuts. The shortcuts in the bottom row cannot be edited and is displayed on all five home screens.

Noir A2 Review: Android Smartphone From QMobile

Connectivity

QMobile Noir A2 has all the connectivity options a user in Pakistan needs. Wi-Fi (b/g/n), Bluetooth and GPRS are all there. Bluetooth performs perfectly, GPRS connects without any issue and the speed totally depends on the operator being used but the Wi-Fi reception is not up to the high standards set by other features of the phone. When comparing the Wi-Fi signals being picked by the phone with the signals being received by HTC Explorer and a Windows Phone device by Nokia by laying all three side-by-side, the signals beings picked by Noir were considerably lower than those being picked by both the HTC & Nokia devices, moreover the signals kept dropping resulting in discontinuation of browsing and downloading. The built-in browsers are just fine and can be counted on to browse the internet.

Multimedia

Noir A2 features a 3.2 megapixel camera with no flash, snaps are taken by tapping the on-screen button as there is no hardware camera button. The pictures taken during the day are pretty good but those taken in dim light are below par as expected. Noir has stock Android Gallery which offers features like sharing via Facebook, Messaging, Twitter, Mail, Bluetooth etc. and setting a picture as wallpaper or a contact picture. A hardware camera button would have been a nice addition.

The device performs reasonably well as far as sound quality is concerned, the sound is loud and clear and the hands free included in the package performs reasonably, hence listening to songs can be fun and you can get a branded hands free if you really love to listen songs on your phone.

Noir A2 Review: Android Smartphone From QMobile

Call &Messaging

The stock messaging app is nice but switching to an alternate solution like Handcent SMS or Go SMS Pro is recommended because features like pop-up incoming messages and blocking messages from unwanted numbers/ contacts are missing. The keyboard is nice and smooth and you can type quite accurately if you are used to typing on touch screen phones with capacitive screens.

The call quality is very good, QMobile Noir A2 offers a crisp and clear sound when performing the most basic function of the phone i.e. call which is altogether forgotten in some of the devices available n the market today. The stock dialer is nice and the soft keys well-spaced. You can dial a number or start punching keys as the phone automatically searches for contact names and numbers as you are punching the keys, this search is flawed as contact names are searched seamlessly but we were amazed to note that the smart search totally ignores the phone numbers stored while searching. We dialed a couple of phone numbers (which were already stored as contacts in the phone) but the smart search did not recognize the number unless we actually started the call, this is quite disgusting as an Android smart phone with Android 2.3 is expected to perform this basic function despite of its price range.

Contacts & SNS Integration

The stock contact app sticks to the basics but unfortunately does not allows joining of contacts and also does not suggest joining of contacts by searching the same phone numbers and names as many of the smartphones manufactured by other companies do. This only adds to the frustration when you are setting up your phone and have to manually join thousands of contacts, that’s why we did not sync it with our main Gmail account which has a contact book of over 1,000 contacts, we simply created another one and added a handful of contacts to avoid the hassle.

SNS integration is one of the core features attracting users toward a smart phone; unfortunately there is a sheer lack of SNS integration in the phone. Contacts from different sources i.e. phone, Google, Facebook cannot be joined and you cannot view the aggregated Social updates of the joined contact right from the contact itself, this feature must be present in a smart phone as the absence can turn-off a lot of potential customers who have used a smart phone before.

Apps

QMobile Noir A2 supports the Google Play Store completely and every app supported by its specifications can be installed. Fifteen apps have been pre-installed under QApps in the app drawer which is quite bizarre as none of the apps is a branded or special application limited to QMobile only, even the stock Android apps like Gmail, Maps, Talk, Local, Latitude & Play Store are included in this list. Other apps are:

  • Facebook
  • Opera Mini
  • Skype
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo! Messenger
  • Yahoo! Mail
  • Documents To Go
  • MSN Talk Pro
  • YouTube

Only the presence of Skype and Opera Mini makes sense in this list of extra apps as these have been used as in marketing the phone, but these too, including others (except Documents To Go) are free and in apps like Yahoo! are redundant. The users could have installed them easily if wanted. Other extra-apps preinstalled in Noir are:

  • Angry Birds
  • Saavn
  • File Manager
  • Talking Tom
  • Task Manager

One again, these apps are plain useless and could have been installed by users themselves. A lot of space has been taken by these in the internal memory and these cannot be uninstalled, hence a internal memory has just 43 MB free which is enough for only two to three reasonable apps, hence rendering the phone plain useless. The question we want to ask from QMobile is that:

Is a smartphone without apps any good?

Low Internal Storage

In continuation of the previously mentioned point about internal storage, we inadvertently installed Tweetdeck and Google Currents in our phone as part of setting up the phone for use as the primary device to assess the pros and cons of Noir A2. We realized the problem when all the installed apps had updates from Google Play Store and all the apps could not be updated due to lack of internal storage. Moving the two installed apps did not help either and hence the process of updating remained in limbo. Google Current failed to load anything due to the low internal storage and we could not sign-in to Skype. Uninstalling Google Currents freed up some space which enabled us to update Skype and then sign-in to check the quality of front-facing VGA camera which performed reasonably.

So, unfortunately, I personally cannot recommend a phone with such low internal storage and a plethora of useless free apps installed to anybody.

Noir A2 Review: Android Smartphone From QMobile

Misc

The settings menu has icons reminiscent of older versions of Android. It is interesting to note that information about the phone’s hardware is simply missing from this menu which poses a big question mark to QMobile’s claim of 1 GHz processor. The device did not disappoint as far as the battery is concerned and provided around two days of uptime when used with 5-6 hours of Wi-Fi connectivity per day. This is a real plus as other devices in the same price range fail to last longer than a day.

Conclusion

QMobile Noir A2 adds to the competition in the mass market Android smartphones range available in the Pakistani market as it is the cheapest smart phone being offered by a recognized brand in the local market. The build and design of the device is better to that provided by other Chinese-handset based companies but the low internal storage can come back to haunt the company if it appeals to the youth as the best low-priced smartphone.

Likes

  • Solid build and nice design
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 3.5” HVGA capacitive touch screen
  • 1 GHz processor
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n
  • 3.5 mm jack
  • 12 months warranty

Dislikes

  • Lack of solid grip
  • Extremely low internal storage
  • Skype does not work out of the box
  • Touch-screen is a thumb print magnet
  • Weak Wi-Fi antenna
  • Unimpressive UI
  • No SNS integration
  • Poor sunlight legibility
  • No Gorilla Glass protection
  • No dedicated camera key

Comments

  1. Imdad says

    i have Q mobile A2. but i have wifi problem :-(
    whenever i turn on my wifi………. the word error appears….
    what should i do?????? help me plz………..

  2. Umsha says

    I love this mobile I could do any thing in it yaar tum sub to bilavja boraiyaan kar rhe ho :) <3

    • Rayyan khan says

      I have qmobile noir A2 classic , but id dontlike this handset. it has low internal memory and we can’t upgrate it

  3. naveed ashfaqe says

    hi,
    I wanted to know that does this model has option for internet pass-through?

  4. aftab malik says

    Aslam-u-alikum to all frends koi mejhy bata sakta ha is main Android kesy update hoga hoga bhe ya nai ?

  5. touseef says

    how we can get back deleted sms. is here any solution to restore deleted sms in my mobile inbox?

  6. dragon says

    can anyone tell me that how we take a screen shot in QA2? plzz tell me hury. i nead it badly. i am trying but ni o ra…:(

    • Danyal Ahmed says

      press home button power button & Volume Down Button for 5 to 6 sec & Pop Up Of yewr Screen shoot saved in gallery..

  7. Tanveer ahmad says

    Aslam-u-alikum to all frends i want to sale my QMobile Noir A2 any one interested to call me ya text me in my number Malik Tanveer ahmad 03136400220,03027026392 Note Only Set with just data cable set condition 9/10 very cheep prize 5500 only

  8. abdullah says

    koi mejhy bata sakta ha is main Android kesy update hoga …. hoga bhe ya nai … aur is main temple run chalta ha kya????

      • Rayyan khan says

        yaar bhai qmobile noir a2 classic ko update karny ka tareeka tum thk se bta sakty ho step by step pls?

  9. says

    mera mobile main main ne windows 7 ki thi wo subha tak to shi chali thi magar rat ko main ne of kar ke on kia to mobile per bar bar yeh opption ata hy force close andrioad window 7

  10. antrix says

    I want to install google play store on my qmobile noir A2. Any link there for download? Mine is not working.

  11. MUskkkki says

    Muje apny mbl ko laptop se connect krna hai kse kron srf memry card hota hai srf q k jo bhi picx hoti hai mbl memry main save hoti hai card m nhi or data cabl se mbl ki memry show nhi hoti ..
    plz heelp me :(

  12. Taha Siddiqui says

    people … my contact list suddenly got disappeared .. anyone knowing the reason … soo plz share and let me know if i should refresh it or what to do … :) thank u

  13. farman says

    QA2 me flash player install nahe hota. ho jata hai magar setting tak, s se agay nahe jata, plz solve my problem

  14. Zaishy says

    yrrrr 4 din hoyw hain me ny new QA@ lia ha msla ye ha k ye betry bht use krta ha sirf 1 din hi nikalta ha
    plz mjy btao me kia kron.?

  15. laraib says

    hey ! i bought q mobile noir a2 .. i had a prob that it shuts down automatically n then restarts so i send it to company :'( please tell me when will it be back its almost 20 days now :'(

  16. Tahir Rasheed Joyia says

    hi, koi bata sakta hai ke mara phone A2 ghalat lock code ziada martaba mulane ki waja se lock ho gaya hay kaisay unlock karoon.
    wo user name aur password mang raha hai to sign in.
    please tell me about this problem.
    jabke main ne log in kia hi nahin tha.

    • Babar says

      After turning off the cell, press the these three buttons together Vol UP+Vol DOWN + Power Button.
      Then a menu will appear use Vol Buttons to select “Factory Restore Mode”and press second touch button from left.Wait for few minutes.
      The Cell will reboot and it will be as good as new!!
      ENJOY!
      GO & KILL THE WAVES!!!!!!!

  17. Arsalan ali says

    Please tell me…. agar hum nay pattern lock lagaya ho or hum woh pattern bhool gaye hon to mobile ko kaisay unlock kiya jaasakta hai……..

    • Adil says

      tu phone ko off karo aur battery nikal lo again battery dalo aur power key ko hold karne k bad both volume key hold kar ke rakho after some time Android system recovery menu display hoga us mein se volume key ki help se android recovery option select karo (wipe/fatorey reset)…

      • osama says

        yar jab lock kholte hen tu vibrate hota hai wo vibration kese off hogi har tarha se dekhliya mainne …

  18. Barbie Here says

    salam may koi mjy bata sakta hai k es mai wi.fi ki settng kasy hoti hai yarrrrrrrrr thak gai hu kr kr k bt ths cel fon is realy mast

    • Rayyan khan says

      kia prob karrha hy wifi?? may i know ?? agr kuch nhi hota to restore setting kardo maybe hojaye :)

  19. Qadir Ali says

    hello!!!plzzz friends help me I have bought QMobile Noor Q2 and I logged my gmail id into my mobile flail application now I don’t know how to logout it.If anyone knows then plz tell me.

  20. faisal says

    i have q noir a2 and i have 4 gb external memory but its shows low disk space in installation

  21. hafsa says

    i have just bought noir A2 but the internet is not working on it.i went to the ufone call center and they told me it had been done and i could use internet on my fone but nothing happened,can anybody help?

    • says

      Ask the Ufone Customer care to send you the configuration message on your number again. The message will appear in CM list of your smartphone, click it and it will ask you if you want to install the configurations.
      Your internet should work after that. If still you face any problem then contact us again

  22. ambreen says

    Hi,I am in southafrica I wanted to no if I buy qmobile A10 it will work in southafrica plz if anyone no help me or send me email I jst confused if I buy or not

  23. Ali Akbar says

    i also bought Noir A2 . its look is very awsome .. but its major fault is its internal memory and also till not yet any proper working rooting method is not explored for Noir A2 so that we can root it and its internal memory can boost a little bit
    but in this price its best smart phone guys dil chota mat karo :) ;)

    • Fazil says

      it was the first android phone from qmobile and it was like an experiment so i lacked many things. Their latest A10 is much better than this and its price has also come down from 19K to 16K which means there will another latest model of Noir very soon. :)

  24. ali says

    guys if it is saled in india for 4500 INR then look at up the currency rate and difference and 4500 is bout 8254.08 and i fink its good……..

  25. Haris says

    I want to buy this set… But after reading all of your comments, i m scared of buying it.,…. :(
    I want an Android set which is cheap in rate…… So i decided to buy it….. Would anybody help me?

    • Rayyan khan says

      bro iski built-in 500mb tak hy its too low memory. android version gingerbread hua hy is me kaafi games nhi chalty is per.. baaki set bht acha hy

    • says

      It is not recommended to upgrade from Android 2.3 Gingerbread to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich because the specifications of the handset are compatible with the pre-installed operating system.
      Skype is compatible with most of the popular smartphones and the version of Skype that comes pre installed will surely work

  26. Fahad says

    Karachi. yar main buht pareshan hun mere pas Q Mobile Noir A2 hay. Main installation ki waja se pareshan hun koi b app install karta hun to wo khud ba khud Phone Memori main chali jati hy or phr low Disc ka “Error” aata hy. kiya koi mujhe ye bata sakta hy k is Phone main koi Aesi Satting ka Rasta ho k ham “Memori Card” main apps intall kar saken apni marzi sy

    • says

      FAHAD ;;; AP APNE MOBILE ME APP TO SD INSTALL KARLO AP KOI BHI SOFTWARE DOWNLOAD KARO OR YE APPS TO SD OPEN KARO US ME MOVE TO SD CARD KA OPTION HOGA WO PHIR SD CARD ME JAE GI DIRECT

  27. Syed Mansoor Ahmed says

    Bs ab purchase kr leya hai tou nibha na hai, kion k haram k paisy tou nahi han. jo is ki jaga doosra mobile ly lon.

  28. says

    but main to glaxy s3 b use kiya hai beshak out class hai bt jitni price main yeh cell hai utni main out class hai,bt agr app chohay se shair ban’ny ki ki tovaqo kro ge to ghalt hai mere bhai.bt app k apna opinion hai :)

  29. Faizan says

    Its completly useless for game lovers !
    I myself hate it for un installable appear that have been. D Already installed ! What a smartphone!

  30. says

    I recently bought this phone and I like it very much. This is the very first “smartphone” I have ever used.

    I just use this phone to check my emails, Facebook, Twitter and browsing websites. I don’t download many apps because my nature of usage is different, maybe that’s why I don’t see any negative thing in it as you guys see.

    But yes one thing I just HATE about this phone is that whenever you turn the phone ON you find the screen “locked” and you have to unlock it (it vibrates). I hate that vibration and seeing it locked. I have turned off all kind of vibrations and locks but this home screen lock is not going away :(

    • Salahuddin says

      Hey i have solved this problem ,,1st ov all go to android market hen search magic locker and download it in your phone then Install this application your problem will be solved :) and you can many screen lock from market and best screen lock jelly bean its working perfect :) ASSALAMUALAIKUM :)

  31. hanii says

    manii said
    “hahahahaha same here … went greedy and bought it for 1ghz processor… screen flickers bad internal storage huh … we are being fooled :@ … it is actually micromax a45 which is being sold in india … for just 4500 rupee”

    Well the problem is that one Indian rupee is equal to 1.793 Pakistani Rupees, so that mobile which is sold in India for 4500 will cost 8000 Rupees in Pakistan.

  32. Munaza says

    I liked the commercial and bought this phone but it is very less in performance as compared to explorer and galaxy y. I feel befooled.

    • Fakhir says

      Munaza you are right. A friend of mine had bought the She Mobile following the attractive TVC of Q. But later she repented on her decision. Interestingly both TVCs have Iman Ali. I think they have found this face for making fun of people.

    • manii says

      hahahahaha same here … went greedy and bought it for 1ghz processor… screen flickers bad internal storage huh … we are being fooled :@ … it is actually micromax a45 which is being sold in india … for just 4500 rupe

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