“The Obi Hornbill S551 is one of the best value-for-money phablets under Rs 10,000.”
Our smartphones have become ubiquitous… replacing several gadgets like cameras, music players, calculators, PDAs, etc. with a single device. And the new-and-booming category of phablets are taking it a step further by offering a pocketable gadget that also lets you enjoy watching movies or reading on a large screen. While the large-screen offerings are available across all price points, if you’re looking for a phablet in the affordable segment, the amount of choices can leave you flummoxed. That’s why we’re bringing you a handy comparison between the Obi Hornbill S551, Gionee GPad G5, and XOLO Q2100, to help you make a better choice.
All the three phablets are based around a display of 5.5-inches. What this means is that you have large screen real estate in front of you for accessing any kind of content. In terms of resolution, the displays on the phones throw 1,280 x 720 pixels, resulting in crisp images and sharp text.
While phablets are loved for their large screen sizes, they should still be portable enough to be carried around easily. The Obi Hornbill takes cares of this aspect with a chassis measuring just 7.9mm, and weight of 145g. Gionee’s GPad G5 is slightly thicker at 8.1mm, while the XOLO Q2100 is thickest of the three at 9mm. In terms of design, the Obi Hornbill takes the cake by offering premium looks with its metallic edges, along with a matte rear panel, as highlighted in our first impressions as well. The XOLO Q2100 also sports a chrome rim, but its smooth back cover attracts smudges, whereas the GPad G5 is crafted entirely out of plastic.
When it comes to their internals, the devices are quite similar, with both the Obi Hornbill S551 and XOLO Q2100 drawing power from a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6582 processor. The Gionee GPad G5 offers a slightly better processor, the MediaTek MT6592, which offers six cores ticking at 1.5GHz. The processors on these devices are paired with a gigabyte of RAM. While the trio should offer the same performance results, letting users open heavy apps and play games smoothly, the GPad G5 gets an added edge with a better chipset. For storage purposes, the smartphones offer 8GB of inbuilt memory. In case the need arises, the devices offer expansion slots, supporting microSD cards of up to 32GB.
In the software department, the trio of phablets run Android 4.4 KitKat. Apart from a few preloaded apps and custom icons, the devices have a stock interface. However, the GPad 5 does have some useful features on offer, such as boosting the phone’s speed, monitoring data consumption, etc. The connectivity options are fairly standard in these devices as well, with support for dual-SIM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. The Obi Hornbill S551 sips juice from a 2,200mAh battery, while the GPad G5 draws power from slightly bigger 2,400mAh battery. The XOLO Q2100 gets the biggest battery of the three, with a 2,800mAh unit.
It’s the camera department though, where there’s a clear difference between the phablets. The Obi Hornbill edges out the competition as it comes equipped with a 13-megapixel rear camera with an LED flash. For selfies, the device provides a 5MP front-facing snapper. Both the Gionee GPad G5 and XOLO Q2100 offer 8MP primary cameras with LED flash and 2MP cameras at the front.
The XOLO Q2100 has some tricks up its sleeve, such as a fingerprint scanner at the back and an IR emitter. With the fingerprint sensor, you can unlock the device or use an app like Lastpass to login directly to websites, however it isn’t extremely useful and the integration isn’t smooth like iOS either. The IR blaster is useful though, since you can use the phablet to control your TV.
While all the phablets are priced affordably, the Obi Hornbill is the most affordable of the three with its approximate price tag of Rs 8,500. Both the Gionee GPad G5 and XOLO Q2100 are priced higher at Rs 13,500 and Rs 11,500 respectively. While Gionee’s offering promises marginally better performance… if you consider all specs, then the Obi Hornbill S551 is a clear winner and comes across as the most value-for-money phablet.