Xolo Black Review: A Decent Smartphone With a Dual-Camera Setup

xolo-5inch-127cms-android-gorilla-glass-phone-q1200-black-large_c49560e568ad6fd00f551816e961a607The smartphone makers are trying their best to deploy a best-featured smartphone in the market and the competition in the budget smartphone is heating up. Smartphone companies like Xiaomi, Motorola, Yu Televentures, Micromax and a handful of small-name upstarts are battling furiously to withstand in the bout.

Recently, Lava mobiles have launched its flagship smartphone, Xolo Black, in the market and is making is its presence felt with a price tag of Rs 12, 999. The smartphone comes in one colour and is available in Flipkart now.

We have tried our best to test the handset and made an analysis that what makes the smartphone unique and what the smartphone has to offer. Will the smartphone be abe to withstand in the highly competitive market? Read the review to know about it:

The look and feel

The Xolo Black looks similar to Sony Xperia Z3 and the handset has curved edges and matte finished frame. Xolo Black has a toughened Corning Gorilla Glass both on front and back panel, which helps the device scratch-free.

The device has a 5.5-inch full-HD screen which makes up a little over 69 percent of the front of the Xolo Black, with narrow side bezels and a bit more space on the top and bottom. Below the screen, there are off-screen soft keys that seems too small and too widely spaced. The earpiece occupies a small portion of the top-middle space of the phone, while, the front camera and its dedicated flash are in the two top corners of the front.

There are two lenses on this phone and are placed symmetrically on either side of the rear flash, which are wrapped by the metallic edge around the device smoothly.The charging port and speakers at the bottom, while at the top is the 3.5mm headset socket.

On the left side of the phone has an SIM tray that holds SIM cards, while the volume and power buttons are placed on the right side of the phone. Xolo has completely wasted the status light purpose, where the power button doubles up as a status light. We were unable to see any notification light unless the phone is placed on the particular angle.

Software and specifications

The handset is powered by the popular Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (Gen 2) SoC and has a 5.5-inch display full-HD resolution, with a pixels-per-inch count of 401. The Xolo Black features 2GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage (with support for up to 32GB microSD cards). The handset is backed by a 3,200mAh Lithium-polymer battery and the rear camera setup bear two sensors, while, the device has a primary camera of 13-megapixel and a 2-megapixel secondary unit. The front camera uses a 5-megapixel sensor, and both the front and back have their own flashes.

The Xolo Black runs on Android Lollipop 5.02 along with the company’s proprietary Hive user interface layered on top. Hive is a UI, for the most part, with a handful of features and tweaks which is an added advantage that are not offered by devices in the same price range. The handset has typically different app drawer from the traditional one that sorts apps horizontally by category. The app helps the users to sort by alphabet, time of installation or app category. However, the app itself is a bit slow sometimes.

The smartphone has some useful preinstalled apps such as McAfee, Comet Browser and a few Hive-branded security and privacy tools.

Camera

The Xolo Black uses a dual-camera setup on the rear which comprises of a 13MP primary sensor and a 2-megapixel secondary sensor. The setup helps to improve autofocus speed and allows the users to refocus on different parts of the image after clicked, very similar to the HTC One (M8)‘s dual-camera feature. Apart from that, a couple of other camera features of worth to note are OptiZoom and ChromaFlash. OptiZoom is aimed to improve the quality of zoomed in images, but little effective as digitally zoomed images are grainy as always. ChromaFlash involves capturing two images in quick succession; one with the flash and one without. The software then combines the two frames to create a single image that tone down the effect of the flash for improved realism. The result was better than the other smartphones in terms of colour and brightness.

The camera of the device is pretty decent in clicking pictures that produce sharp, detailed and fairly vibrant images. The front camera is a standard 5-megapixel shooter; unlike other smartphones it has its own flash. The software of the camera is user-friendly and features all the settings and modes that are prerequisite from any smartphones.

Performance

The performance of the Xolo Black is decent and the device handles most tasks efficiently. Hive UI is a bit slow at times but, doesn’t have any effect on apps and games. Voice call quality was satisfactory. The device plays all the video formats at ease.Sonic Runners on the phone played songs efficiently with no lag, but Multitasking would tend to slow the phone down a little bit. The display, while full-HD and suitably sharp, is a little weak in terms of colour and contrast and certainly isn’t the cleanest full-HD display.

The benchmark scores of the Xolo Black were 2,519 in AnTuTu, 20,996 in Quadrant, 5427 in 3D Mark Ice Storm Extreme and 14fps in GFXBench. The battery lasted for 9 hours, 41 minutes during our video loop battery test, which is a bit low for a device with a 3,200mAh battery. In day to day use, the battery lasted a whole day with ease.

Verdict

The Xolo Black has slightly above-average capabilities and performs neck to neck with its peers. The phone has a couple of unique features and its dual rear cameras, front flash and generally pleasing performance with photography do help distinguish it in a way.

The smartphone certainly impressed us. A decent phone with a unique feature which is economical compared to other smartphones in the market with the same features. It’s available on Flipkart now.

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