Xolo X500 Review


The budget feature phone category is perhaps one of the hottest yet most saturated markets right now with multiple entries from most smartphone manufacturers. With similar specifications across the board, how do you differentiate from the crowd ? Xolo has placed its bet on Intel’s mobile chipset to set its latest device apart. Is it something that the average user should care about ? Read on the full review to find out.

Unboxing

Before we dive into the review, let’s take a quick look at what all is included in the retail package.

Box contents include :

  • Xolo X500
  • AC Adapter
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Earphones
  • Documents

Hardware

Compared to the giant sized phablets dominating the Android smartphone market, the Xolo A500 is refreshingly petite. With a 3.5 inch screen and rubberized finish all around, the Xolo X500 is particularly comfortable to hold.

The front of the phone has a 3.5inch screen with a resolution of 480×320. There’s no Gorilla Glass here so you’ll want to be extra careful with it. Four capacitive buttons are located below the display and correspond to standard functions like back and multitasking.

A lone power button is located on the right side of the phone. While easily accessible, tactile feedback is pretty bad making it hard to press.

On the left we have a volume rocker. Similar to the power key, the domed volume keys here are again surprisingly hard to press.

Over at the top we have a 3.5mm audio jack and micro USB port. There are no ports at the bottom of the device. The rubberized back of the phone showcases the 5MP camera on the top left corner. Logos for Xolo and Intel are silkscreened in the middle and lower half of the phone respectively. We can also spot a fairly large speaker grille here.

Over all the phone is very comfortable to hold and will slip into the tiniest of pockets thanks to the small footprint. Something worth mentioning is that the rubberized back is quite prone to picking up scratches during day to day use.

Display
The screen is small at just 3.5 inches and has a low resolution of 480×320. Being an IPS display it is quite vibrant and the viewing angles are good.

The size might be disappointing for those who are used to giant sized phones but it does help keep the footprint small and infact we quite liked it. The resolution however is quite noticeable resulting in jagged edges on text and graphic elements. We feel that the Xolo X500 would have been served well by a higher resolution display as the hardware is more than capable of driving said screen.

Camera
The Xolo X500 has a 5MP rear camera which produces strictly average results. Low light images are predictably grainy. The lack of an LED flash does not help either.

Given brightly lit conditions, you might be able to pull off some useable snaps however like for other devices in this category, it won’t replace your dedicated camera for sure.

Compression artifacts were quite clearly visible in images with details getting smudged. The phone struggled with white balance and more so while trying to focus on close up objects. We were consistently unable to get a proper focus lock on close up objects. The above samples should give you a better idea of this.

The Intel processor running behind the scenes is powerful enough to facilitate recording videos in Full HD. Quality again is strictly average and audio recording tends to be slightly harsh.

Performance
The Intel Atom Z2420 ‘Lexington’ and PowerVR SGX 540 combo runs circles around the competition that mainly sticks to MediaTek chipsets. Clocked at 1.2Ghz, the Intel chip has HyperThreading to assist multitasking.

The phone scores 3290 in Quadrant which is well ahead of the competition and comes close to much higher end devices.

Similarly with a score of 6028, it does very well in the AnTuTu benchmark. If performance is what you seek then the Xolo X500 should definitely rank high on your list of devices to consider. Talking about real life performance, the phone remains smooth all around with not even a hint of lag.

Software
The phone runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich without any custom skins over it. The phone is free of bloatware with the only extra addition being a self branded Xolo Care application. The application provides direct access to the support services via email, sms and phone calls.

Connectivity
The Xolo X500 is a dual SIM handset and can go up to 21Mbps over HSPA+. Additionally there is WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.0 support built in.

Battery
A 1500 mAh battery pack can be found under the rear cover of the Xolo X500. While it might sound less, the battery proves to be sufficient for a day and more of fairly active usage. Your mileage will however vary depending on the kind of usage.

The efficient Intel chipset and smallish display make it a surprisingly frugal handset.

Conclusion
There’s much to like about the Xolo X500 with its speedy processor and quality hardware. The smaller than usual screen is bound to be a polarising factor to be liked by some and not so much by others.

The stellar performance makes it a compelling buy in our opinion. The Xolo X500 is available for Rs. 8,999 in retail.

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Comfortable, well built hardware
  • Above average camera

Cons

  • Small screen
  • No LED flash
  • No front facing camera

 

 


Author: Dhruv Bhutani

Your friendly neighborhood techie. Currently using a Pixel 2 XL. Catch him on Twitter (@DhruvBhutani) / Facebook .