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Mobiistar comes to India; launches two mobiles and shifts headquarters from Vietnam

Sahil Bhalla | Updated on: 23 May 2018, 19:35 IST
(Sahil Bhalla/Catch News)

Another day, another mobile phone manufacturer. Just the other day it was Tecno Mobile or Tambo Mobile or any of the other dozens of brands present in the Indian market. Today, it is by Mobiistar, a Vietnamese company founded in 2009.

On 23 May, Mobiistar announced its grand entry into the crowded Indian mobile market with two selfie-centric smartphones and the confirmation of a big bang announcement made to Economic Times two weeks ago.

The two smartphones - Mobiistar XQ Dual and Mobiistar CQ - are available starting 30 May at Rs 7,999 and Rs 4,999 respectively. The announcement made by Mobiistar founder and Group CEO Carl Ngo was that the company would now have its global headquarters in India.

"After looking at the number and size of the country and growth, I have decided to be based here. The idea is to run global operations by based out of here. I am here full time," Ngo said in an interview with the Economic Times. Mobiistar has tied up with V-Sun Technologies to ‘locally’ assemble handsets here in India.

Mobiistar is targeting the ever-increasing selfie-centric crowd in India. Oppo and Vivo and Xiaomi have captured a large part of this market and Mobiistar wants to disrupt the segment with cheap and quality mobile phones.

Sahil Bhalla/Catch News

While the company has already captured a large market share in the Vietnam market, they want to expand their wings starting with Dubai and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. Mobiistar had recently expanded to the South East Asian region with countries like Cambodia.

Budget range of smartphones

At the moment, the company is only focusing on the budget line of smartphones. That is, below Rs 10,000 and their only selling them online. The company does plan to go offline, but no timeline has been given as of now. The company wants to release a limited range - about five - of mobiles in the coming few months.

Doubling down on this, Mobiistar has signed a long-term strategic partnership with Flipkart. The partnership is two-fold: Flipkart will help Mobiistar understand the pressing needs of the consumer. In turn, Mobiistar will sell their smartphones exclusively on the e-commerce platform.

Furthermore, from day 1, the brand is launching with 1,000 service centres spread out across the country.

Mobiistar XQ Dual and Mobiistar CQ

Sahil Bhalla/Catch News

The company has kickstarted their journey with the Mobiistar XQ Dual and Mobiistar CQ both running a custom version of Android Nougat (no timeline on when we can expect an upgrade to Android Oreo). The highlight feature of the XQ Dual is the 13-megapixel plus 8-megapixel dual camera setup on the front with a 120-degrees wide angle lens.

The company has already announced a tie-up with leading telecom company Reliance Jio to offer free data and cashback to the consumer. Mobiistar hopes to tie-up with more such brands in the future.

First impressions

I’ve been using the Mobiistar XQ Dual for about two weeks now and whilst it has tough competition in the market, it isn’t a laggard. It may be running on a custom fork that is based on the older Android Nougat but I haven’t noticed it largely slowing down.

The smartphone design won’t stand out, the specifications on paper aren’t the greatest, but the smartphone is built well and holds up despite a couple of nasty drops. Selfies are among the best in the price bracket but don’t expect much out of the rear-camera.

For this price, one can’t expect much more, but for Mobiistar to succeed, they must create a positive brand image and keep on launching new products to keep the consumer interested. We know that another three or four mobile phones are coming out in the next couple of months and one hopes that they try and push the boundaries instead of playing it safe.

 

Specifications

For those of you that care about the full specifications sheet, here they are.

Mobiistar XQ Dual Specifications

  • Android 7.1.2 Nougat OS
  • 5.5-inch Full HD (1920x1080) display and 2.5D curved glass.
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor & Adreno 505 GPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB storage (expandable up to 128GB with microSD card)
  • 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-tone LED flash & f/2.0 aperture
  • 13-megapixel & 8-megapixel dual-camera and 120-degrees wide angle
  • 3,000mAh battery

Mobiistar CQ Specifications

  • Android 7.1.2 Nougat OS
  • 5-inch Full HD (1280 x 720) display and 2.75D curved glass
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor and Adreno 308 GPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB storage (expandable up to 128GB with microSD card)
  • 8-megapixel rear-camera with LED flash & f/2.0 aperture
  • 13-megapixel front-camera & f/2.2 aperture
  • 3,000mAh battery
First published: 23 May 2018, 19:35 IST
 
Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla

Sahil is a correspondent at Catch. A gadget freak, he loves offering free tech support to family and friends. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College, New York and worked previously for Scroll. He selectively boycotts fast food chains, worries about Arsenal, and travels whenever and wherever he can. Sahil is an unapologetic foodie and a film aficionado.

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