Xolo was the one of the first companies to launch an Android smartphone powered by Intel processor and now they have launched a gaming smartphone with NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 SoC – Xolo Play T1000. Micromax is one of the leading manufacturers in India right now and its Canvas series is one of the most expected ones in India and they have recently launched their Canvas 4.
Xolo Play and the Micromax Canvas 4 were launched at the starting of July. Coming at almost similar price points, these two devices are more different than similar. Xolo Play is targeted at the gamers looking for a mid-range Android smartphone while the Canvas 4 looks to continue Micromax’s domination of the mid-range smartphone market.
Lets see how both of them compete against each other.
Design, Build and Handling
Differences between the Xolo Play and Canvas 4 start right from the design. The Xolo Play has a solidly built plastic body with a matte finish back while Canvas 4 has a plastic body with brushed aluminum at the sides. Both the devices feel pretty solid in hand although we found that the Xolo Play was far easier to hold and grip because of the matte finish. The Canvas 4 is highly glossy and slippery and becomes smothered with fingerprints within minutes of using the device.
The Xolo Play is shorter, wider but thicker and heavier than the Canvas 4 despite a smaller screen. On the front, the Xolo Play has a 4.7inch display while the Canvas 4 has a 5inch display. Above the display, we have the 2MP camera and the ambient and proximity sensors on the Xolo Play and the earpiece is located along the top edge, while the Canvas has a 5MP camera at the right of the earpiece along with the proximity and ambient sensor. Below the display we have the capacitive touch keys on the both devices. The keys are visible on the Xolo Play, but they remain hidden in the Canvas 4 and are lit only when pressed.
On the right side, we have the power button and the volume rocker on the Xolo Play while there is only a power button on the Canvas 4.
On the bottom, we have just the microphone hole on the Xolo Play, while we have the mic along with the microUSB port on the Canvas 4.
The left side of Xolo Play is completely barren, but on the Canvas 4, we have the volume rocker.
At the top, we have the 3.5mm audio jack and the microUSB port on the Xolo Play, while there is only the 3.5mm Audio jack on the Canvas 4.
The materials used for the keys is quite different – Xolo Play is made of plastic, while the Canvas 4 has brushed aluminum keys. Keys are easier to access and press and has better feedback in the Canvas 4. On the back, we have the 8MP camera with LED flash at the top center and secondary mic on the Xolo Play, while we find a 13MP camera with LED flash at the top left corner and secondary mic on the Canvas 4.
Removing the back cover, we find different internals as Play supports only a single SIM card while Canvas has two SIM card slots. Both the devices have microSD card slot, but both of them are not hot-swappable. The Xolo Play have the power and volume rocker keys on the cover since it is connected to a contact.
On the whole, both the devices have very good build quality and both feel solid in the hand. The Xolo Play feels more solid and is easier to hold because of the matte back, but is slightly heavier and thicker. The Canvas is thinner and feels much more premium, but has a glossy back prone to fingerprints and is slippery to hold.
Both the devices have HD IPS displays, but the Xolo Play has a smaller 4.7inch display while the Canvas 4 has a 5inch display. The 4.7inch HD IPS display on the Xolo Play has a pixel density of 312ppi while the 5inch display on Canvas 4 has a pixel density of 294ppi.
We found that the display on the Xolo Play was better with more true colors, much better viewing angles and the slightly higher pixel density made things better, but the Canvas 4’s display was brighter, but there was a noticeable blue tint.
Hardware and Performance
The Xolo Play is powered by the 1.5GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 Quad-core processor, has 1GB of RAM and graphics is taken care by the ULP GeForce GPU. The Canvas 4 on the otherhand is powered by the 1.2GHz Quad Core processor MT6589 MediaTek processor, has 1GB of RAM and the graphics are taken care by the PowerVR SGX544 GPU.
Xolo Play has just 4GB internal storage while Canvas 4 has 16GB of internal storage. The user accessible memory in Xolo Play is just 1.7GB while in the Canvas 4 it is 10GB. Xolo Play allows apps to be installed on the external SD card, but in the Canvas 4, you can install only in 16GB internal storage.
Out of the 1GB RAM in both the phones, the available RAM when the devices are idle is same and is around 600MB.
In benchmarks, the Xolo Play was a clear winner as it leads the Canvas 4 in most of the benchmarks like Basemark X, GFX Bench (2.5 Egypt and 2.7 T-Rex), NenaMark 2, Linpack (Single thread and Multi thread), Sunspider, Vellamo (HTML5) and Quadrant while Canvas performed better only in AnTutu and Vellamo (Metal).
In terms of daily use, both the devices were fast and smooth, but opening apps was slightly better on the Xolo Play. When switching between the apps, the Xolo Play was again faster.
Xolo Play has a 8MP camera at the back and it can record 1080p videos at 30fps while the Canvas 4 has a 13MP camera at the back and it records 1080p videos at 30fps. The Xolo Play has a 2MP front facing camera while the Canvas 4 has a 5MP camera that can record 720p videos.
The camera UI is quite different on both the devices. The Xolo Play has a camera UI that is very much like stock camera app in the Android and has very few options and shooting modes when compared to the Canvas 4. Focussing on objects took some time in both the phones.
In terms of quality, the images shot in Canvas 4 were better in terms of details, colors and noise. The 1080p video of Canvas 4 was better in terms of sharpness but the video was over-saturated.
You can check out the camera comparison video below to get more insight.
The Xolo Play runs on Android 4.1,while the Canvas 4 runs on Android 4.2 and both the devices have very little customization over the stock UI. However, both the devices have some apps from their manufacturers. The Xolo Play has apps like Xolo Secure, Xolo Care while the Canvas 4 has features like Blow/Shake to unlock, Gesture features, Pop-up videos and pop-up browser.
Gaming is one of most important aspects of the Xolo Play and it lives up to it. Gaming on Xolo Play is definitely good. The NVidia Tegra 3 Chipset gets the job done quite well. Games come out good on the Xolo Play although there were some occasional lags. The Canvas 4 is left behind in terms of gaming, the games come out average lacking smoothness and the details that were there on the Xolo Play. However, the Xolo Play heats up much faster than the Canvas 4 when playing games.
Here are the gaming review videos of both the devices
Battery and Connectivity
Both the devices are powered by a user-replaceable 200mAh Li-ion battery. Battery life seemed better on the Canvas despite its dual SIM connectivity.
In terms of connectivity, both the smartphones have WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G and microUSB ports. The Canvas 4 has a HSDPA+ modem that is capable of download speeds upto 42Mbps, has Bluetooth 4.0 and microUSB v3.0 while the Xolo Play has just Bluetooth 3.0 and micro USB 2.0. Xolo Play doesn’t have USB OTG support and does not support PS3 controller while the Canvas 4 has USB OTG support and supports PS3 controller.
The Canvas 4 is better in terms of connectivity and battery life.
Overall, the Xolo Play has a solid grip when held in hand, better performance, better gaming experience, better display while the Canvas 4 has a more premium build with anodized aluminum, better connectivity, better pair of cameras and an aluminum flip cover.
Advantages of Xolo Play over Canvas 4
- Relatively Cheaper
- Better Gaming
- Better display
- Better grip
- Better daily-use performance
Advantages of Canvas 4 over Xolo Play
- Premium build quality
- Better connectivity
- Better cameras ( front and back )
- Comes with aluminum flip cover
- Device doesn’t get heated up on gaming
Contributed by Monish Kumar