Monsters from Asia: the aluminum Qiku Q Terra phablet with its 2K display, 4GB RAM, and dual 13MP camera


A third wave of sorts, recently we've seen some intriguing developments within the smartphone startup ecosystem in China. The last to pique our interest? LeTV's new trio of devices, which is now being followed by a new entrant on the market, offering a surprisingly similar blend. Called Qiku, the company is a joint venture between internet security behemoth Qihoo 360 and one of the largest smartphone vendors in the Middle Kingdom, Coolpad.

Just yesterday, Qiku presented three new devices on a stage in Beijing, one for every pocket — a low-end, a mid-ranger, and a flagship. Naturally, we're most taken aback with the flagship, dubbed Q Terra. 

Now, the Q Terra is a top-of-the-crop device through and through, sporting a massive, 6-inch, 2.5D Sharp display with a Quad HD (1440 x 2560) resolution, good for 490 pixels per inch. Qiku claims that it's managed to fit this otherwise beastly panel within a very compact, aluminum-magnesium alloy body, managing an excellent screen-to-body ratio of 83% (6.2 x 3.14 x 0.35 in / 157.6 x 79.8 x 8.6 mm). Our own calculations, however, indicate that the Q Terra is closer to 79%, though we don't take rounded corners into account, as Qiku is sure to have done.

Moving on, we're looking at Qualcomm's top-of-the-line, 64-bit Snapdragon 810 processor with four by four Cortex-A57/A53 cores and an Adreno 430 GPU, coupled with generous 4 gigs of RAM. While the Snapdragon 810 is reason enough nowadays to cause some anxiousness, Qiku claims that it's paid a lot of attention to thermal dissipation during design QA, so the chip will hopefully behave itself. Onto imaging, Qiku has a little surprise for would-be buyers: a dual 13MP camera setup, courtesy of Sony.

The idea behind the camera config is for the first sensor — a 1/3.06" Exmor RS IMX278 unit — is to capture most of the light and color of the composition, while the secondary IMX214 sensor is of the MONO type (black & white). The idea here is that the two should, according to Qiku, allow for some wicked low-light photography, though we wouldn't get excited before testing this out and putting that claim to the test. In any case, you're getting a super-wide, f/1.8, 6-piece lens, and a ton of camera shooting modes including 4K video, bokeh, a full-blown manual mode with shutter controls, and others. As for the selfie snapper up front, we've got a respectable, 8-megapixel shooter with 1.4μm pixels.

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We're also happy to see that the Q Terra will be backed up by a strong battery — a 3,600 mAh unit is on board, complete with quick charging. Qiku has also included a touch-type fingerprint scanner on the top, and a supposedly very safe (Qihoo 360 is a security company, after all) 360 OS based on Android 5.1 Lollipop. Finally, it's worth mentioning that the Q Terra packs a number of dedicated audio chips, among which an ESS ES9018K2M DAC, which should ensure high fidelity of sound.

So how much? ¥3,599 for folks in China, or the equivalent of ~$562. The device will be sold through Qiku's online platform, and, at a later date, Chinese telecoms. The phablet will make its presence known beyond China, too, and eventually reach India, Indonesia, Russia, Brazil, and Turkey. Unfortunately, the exact release date remains unclear.

What do you think of the Qiku Q Terra? 

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