IconBIT NetTAB Mercury Q7 review: the only 6.5-inch smartphone in Russia

IconBIT smartphones still haven’t come across my eyes. Although the brand’s portfolio contains eight models in the “smartphones” tab, including the subject of this review and the curious “trending” smartphone watch iconBIT Callisto 100. The iconBIT NetTAB Mercury Q7 model, which will be discussed, was first shown to the public at IFA 2013 in September. and in October there was news about the new items on sale.

First of all, the device is notable for its "spade" form factora phablet that combines with a 6.5-inch Full HD screen. A selection of offers on Yandex.Market for these two parameters (given diagonals from 6 to 7 inches) showed a total of four models. If you discard a couple of devices with doubtful chances of having the PCT mark, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra with a price tag in excess of 20,000 rubles (~ $ 625) remains in competition, versus 11,990 rubles (~ $ 375) for the iconBIT model. In general, a classic example of a blitzkrieg in a free price niche.



Contents of delivery


A smartphone is delivered (let's focus on this type of positioning) in a discreet box, which shows the model itself with a set of colored pencils on the screen. Such wallpapers, as I understand it, are an indispensable attribute of iconBIT devices. However, everything is logical: the brand knows how to choose displays and is not particularly shy about it.



We open the box and the first thing we notice is a protective film - a rare and very useful accessory for the device that is in daily use. Instruction, headset, charging unit (with LED indicator) - nothing special.





I liked the cable in two ways: massive rubberized ends and a fixed Velcro tape for twisting the wire. For me, this solution is not particularly relevant, I preferred to put together one and a half dozen cables together with an ordinary rubber band. But the “normal” consumer with one or two devices at home the “chip” iconBIT NetTAB Mercury Q7 should like.







Appearance and controls


The first thing I want to say is not about the dimensions. It turned out that on the front side "by default" a film is already pasted, which, if desired, can be removed at all - there is no label like "tear off here" on it. At the same time, we keep in mind an additional complete “overlay”. I still had to remove the film in order to better evaluate the screen, and the air bubbles somehow didn’t please the eye at all (if you wish, you can try to smooth them out, so that “plastic cards are in your hands”).



The model has dimensions of 178 x 92 x 9.8 mm, and these are normal parameters - with such a diagonal. Note that the frame on the sides of the screen and the space under it did not become very large. Despite this, the device is objectively very large, but this should be taken as a given. In the end, it would be foolish to blame any 10-inch tablet for large sizes. I won’t say anything bad about the weight of 272 grams; the smartphone doesn’t particularly burden the hand. Especially when you consider that most of the time you still use it with both hands. In a telephone conversation, I personally wanted to change hands after about 10 minutes of communication.



The design of the smartphone as such does not look “budgetary", which is already good. The slightly rounded upper and lower platforms, as well as the small space from them to the screen, personally caused associations with Samsung models. However, we are not talking about any complete borrowing - the iconBIT NetTAB Mercury Q7 "identifies" the ends, completely made "chrome". By the way, all sides are made at an angle, the largest slope is observed at the bottom. I don’t see any practicality here, therefore I will leave this moment without comment.









On the front side are the usual touch buttons, light / proximity sensors and a front camera. There is no such important element as an indicator of events - this is an unconditional omission.



The button illumination was just struck, for a long time (yes, what has been there for a long time - never) I have never seen one like this. Very bright light, and even with a large "area". Alas, I did not find the ability to adjust the brightness.



On the back cover is an LED flash, a camera and speaker slots. Pay attention to the raised strip between the slots, which prevents the sound from being muffled when the smartphone is lying on a flat surface. The sound is loud, the case at maximum does not rattle. The cover is glossy, but because of the white color, fingerprints do not rush into the eyes. Such a standard plus a combination of gloss with a white "backing", a similar effect is not observed in the first smartphone.







The power and volume buttons are located on the ends of the right and left, respectively. In my opinion, this is the best option for a smartphone of any diagonal. The keys do not play, they do not find difficulties in pressing.









The microUSB connector is on the bottom. Honestly, I'm pretty tired of the B-brands' irrational desire to install this connector on top. The disadvantage is specifically the iconBIT NetTAB Mercury Q7 - pay attention to the large angle of inclination of the side, because of this, far from every cable, the “plug” will fully enter the connector. For example, my spare wire from Nokia was out of work.



Upstairs is just a 3.5mm headset jack.



Under the cover are two slots for “full-sized” SIM cards and a slot for a microSD memory card.



Screen


Full HD resolution on smartphones and tablets is so widespread today that if the iconBIT NetTAB Mercury Q7 had “only” an HD screen, I would certainly mark this as a flaw. And so - 1080 x 1920 pixels at 6.5 inches and ... There is no exact PPI information, but it’s clear that the value of this parameter is not the lowest. It seems useless to me to evaluate the graininess of the display - and so it is clear that everything is in perfect order with clarity.



An IPS matrix is ​​used, the image quality without reservation is high - it was elementary for me to enjoy looking at colorful wallpapers or games with exuberant colors. The advantage of the screen turned out to be its own, in a sense, disadvantage. Brightness is my reverence, the question of the problems of readability in the sun is not at all worth it. But disappointed that the variation in brightness control is very small. That is, even at the very minimum in a number of situations, I would not mind cutting the level one more time in two.

Tempered glass protects the screen. Not Gorilla Glass, but a couple of gentle “strokes” with a sharp knife, the surface withstood. Plus heels of vigorous strokes with a screwdriver. I do not observe an oleophobic coating, but somehow I did not think about the screen soiled during use.

Camera


We won’t be able to say anything special about the front 2-megapixel camera, so let's move on to the 13-megapixel rear module. The maximum resolution of pictures is 4096 x 3072 pixels. It is clear that, according to the brand, even 13 megapixels will save the user “from the need to carry a soap box with you, since with this smartphone you will be able to access any kind of photo ...”. I would not rush into such serious words, because this is the third 13-megapixel smartphone of B-brands in my hands. And yet I can’t somehow say sincere “wow”. The camera produces medium quality pictures in a good sense of the word. That is, the elusive effect of the mobile camera (in the sense of pixelation) is still not observed, good detail is visible at medium and near distances. Even macro photography is the place to be. Overexposure, as well as a narrow color range, show themselves in places.









The shooting program is non-standard for stock Android, but it is found in almost every first smartphone with MediaTek MT6589. I don’t know who the author of the application is, but the development evokes purely positive emotions in me. I would even give the program the highest rating if the left panel were customizable.





Performance


In hardware specifications, the brand cites “Quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 1.5 GHz, PowerVR IMGSG 544”, without specifying a chip maker. I’ll try to maintain the intrigue and I won’t say which processor with the “T” index can have such a clock speed and a similar graphics accelerator. RAM - 1 GB, ROM - 8 GB (plus a slot for a memory card). I think this information is already enough for the prosperous Khabrahabrovites to figure out how the device behaves in games and what results it gives in benchmarks. I will give screenshots based on the results of synthetic tests.









It suddenly turned out that the smartphone categorically refuses to be friends with the games of the notorious GLU, which was a complete surprise for me. In any case, Eternity Warriors 2 and Contact Killer 2 unscrupulously demonstrated something like 5 FPS. What is the reason for this is not clear to me, but what I noticed certainly refers to some kind of error, and not to smartphone performance problems. For comfort, the graphically more attractive Riptide GP 2, Real Racing 3, and Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour were tested. The whole three shot back and drove off with a bang.







To study how the smartphone interacts with video files, I shamelessly borrowed the IXBT method - respect to the guys for putting the test files for free access. The check was carried out immediately in two directions: "omnivorous" in relation to video formats and playing files with different options for bitrate and resolution. As you can see, the regular player is good, but the "reserve" in the form of an alternative application will not hurt.



System and all-all-all


The smartphone uses Android 4.2, some software revelations are not observed. Additionally, a file manager, a non-standard video player are preinstalled, there is a scheduler, a text note program and a dedicated tool for Bluetooth connections. There is also a data backup program that does not want to work without a memory card. I have no complaints about the speed of the system, in this case the Full HD display did not add any “sores”. I also note that along with the desktop wallpaper, the background of the main menu also changes - and this is good, since in 99% of smartphones in the “bare” Android, the last stand is black.







Wireless standards, in addition to “telephone” (including 3G), are represented by Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b / g / n, Bluetooth and GPS. I did not begin to measure the GPS signal, since for almost a week using the smartphone as a navigator there were no problems with signal reception and stability. Although, after studying the forums, I had big concerns about the presence of MediaTek MT6589 (more precisely, MT6589T).

Two SIM cards are controlled by standard methods for Android 4.2, through the corresponding item in the settings. The call application is also left unchanged.

Offline work


2 800 mAh look very modest, given the fact that smartphones with a diagonal of 5 or less inches often already have indicators of 3,000 mAh and higher. In the AnTuTu autonomy test, the model gave 591 points, not the most outstanding, but not the most modest achievement. In Epic Citadel, when cycling the demo, the smartphone was discharged after five hours. An HD file (4 Mbps) with an average brightness and maximum volume landed the battery for 4 and a half hours. On average, in the "mixed" mode of operation, I charged the smartphone once a day, in the late evening.



Conclusion


So far I do not see the model in official retail, but we will proceed from the fact that the declared 11,990 rubles (~ $ 375) will not change. Regarding the price, I gave a mini-study in the introduction and I remind you that I’m not observing very close competitors to the iconBIT NetTAB Mercury Q7. If the budget for a new gadget is limited by the price of the considered model, I don’t see any special alternatives. If you missed it, correct it.

What I did not like: a small range of screen brightness adjustment, too bright buttons, incomprehensible problems with GLU games, an average (expected more) camera. Advantages - a luxurious (just like that) screen, support for two SIM-cards, 8 GB of internal memory (I was waiting for 4 GB), and in general there are no serious complaints about both the design and the hardware characteristics. It is clear that the product is purely niche. And all the more interesting is that in its set of parameters, the competition for iconBIT NetTAB Mercury Q7 is still “none”. Let's see how quickly other B-brands prepare their “response”.

PS Most likely, in the comments there will be a mention of the products of the Chinese company ThL, the devices of which “apparently, are not supplied anywhere except China,” according to IXBT. I am inclined to agree with this, since I do not see any evidence of certification of smartphones of this brand in Russia. And for me it remains an absolute mystery, on the basis of which the ThL models and a number of other purely local Chinese brands are added to the Yandex.Market catalog.

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