XOLO made a comeback recently to announce two new devices in New Delhi, targeting the budget segment of the smartphone market. The XOLO Era 4X which has an HD+ display and a front facing flash, along with some AI bokeh features, starts at Rs. 4,444 for the 1 GB RAM variant while the 2 GB RAM variant comes with an additional Face unlock feature. I had went hands on with it at the event and now the 2 GB RAM variant has arrived for testing and here are my first impressions.
Additional reading – What XOLO’s comeback tells us about Indian manufacturers
- 5.45-inch HD+ 18:9 FullView 2.5D curved glass display with Corning Gorilla Glass protection
- 1.5GHz Quad-Core MediaTek MT6739ww processor with PowerVR Rogue GE8100 GPU
- 1GB / 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, expandable memory up to 128GB
- Android 8.1 (Oreo Go Edition)
- Dual SIM
- 8MP rear camera with LED flash
- 5MP front-facing camera with LED flash
- Face unlock (only in 2GB RAM version)
- 3.5mm audio jack, FM Radio
- Dimensions: 146.47 x70.2×8.65mm; Weight: 139g
- Dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS
- 3000mAh built-in battery
Here’s what you get in the box –
Yes, the device comes with a removable back cover, so the battery comes separate in the box. How often do you see this these days, eh? Apart from that you have the usual assortment of accessories including a TPU case and a scratch guard.
Underneath the back cover you can see the two SIM slots, one is micro, the other is nano and of course you have a dedicated SD card slot. I find the construction of the back cover to be a bit cheap, but it is more convenient to have a removable cover if you’re considering carrying around spare batteries.
The body is almost entirely plastic but the there is a good grip thanks to the slightly curved back.
The 8 MP camera with the LED flash sits at the top. It’s a pretty decent camera setup, especially at this price range where we can’t expect much. What’s interesting is the feature set that they have enabled in software, like AI bokeh, separation of foreground colors. These features are almost non-existent in this price range, which is very commendable.
Another feature you won’t find in this price range is the front facing LED soft flash, which is paired with a capable 5 MP camera. The front facing camera too has the AI bokeh and color features that you find with the rear camera.
Not a big fan of the speakers placement, but hopefully the small dot that you see enables enough space to not muffle the output.
With the lack of a fingerprint sensor, XOLO has gone with the face unlock feature which ships only with the 2GB variant. In my experience, it works but don’t expect much in terms of security or reliability similar to ones which have IR sensors. It works.
I found the display to be particularly good. It’s really really bright and colorful and easily could be the best in its segment. It’s also not 16:9 but 18:9 which gives you the larger screen estate and taller apps with more content.
The phone runs on something called the Star OS 5.0 on top of 8.1 Oreo Android Go edition. The performance seems slick, with it being powered by a Mediatek 6739ww processor. It’s not the best processor to see in this segment, especially when the competition has the likes of the Snapdragon 450 or at least 430, but from what I have seen, the performance of the UI was smooth and fast, as the UI is mostly stock without much bloatware or features.
Overall, if you ask me how good the experience was, I’d say it is pretty alright! There are some features that you usually don’t see in this segment, like I had mentioned above. It seems like a dependable package, especially for selfie lovers. Considering the price, this will probably be the first smartphone for a lot of people and for a first timer, there is a great display, decent cameras and AI features and an almost stock Android experience. The pricing is very competitive and for now, it is better than its competition, but can XOLO regain the trust of the Indian consumer? That is something we will find out when the rest of their portfolio is released.