XOLO is one of the popular home-baked brands in India, a sub-brand of another popular brand of smartphones namely LAVA. They have been doing decently in the rural areas where e-Com is not the way people buy the phones. In the recent week, Xolo sent out some teasers indicating spinning off another sub-brand that will go the online-only route for sales, and here we are! BLACK it is! Yes, that is the name of the sub-brand of XOLO and is the name of its first smartphone that was launched yesterday for 12,999 INR. At the launch, we got our hands on the Xolo Black, so let us take you through its design and other key aspects.
BLACK, just like its name it’s an entirely black phone sporting a 5.5″ 1080p OGS IPS display with a pixel density of 403ppi that packs Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection on the front and back. Xolo has reportedly treated the glass with an oleophobic coating to make it smudge/ stain-free but sadly it attracts fingerprints and smudge easily. It has a candy bar form-factor with smooth rounded corners and both glasses neatly blend with the sides, thereby offering a nice grip. However, it might not be comfortable for one-handed usage as it’s quite big to hold measuring at 155.5×76.6×7.3 mm but being a lightweight device that’s just 7.3mm thick, it shouldn’t be a big concern.
On the front, the device houses a 5MP camera with flash, a few sensors, and 3 backlit capacitive keys for navigation that appear too tiny. There is a 3.5mm audio jack and secondary mic on the top whereas micro USB and dual-speaker grille are neatly placed at the bottom. On the right side are parted volume buttons and a power key surrounded by the soft light that also doubles up as a LED for notifications. Users have the option to personalize the color of the notification light as well. There is a Hybrid Dual SIM tray slot on the top left side that supports Micro+Nano SIM where the nano-SIM slot can be swapped with a microSD card up to 32GB.
On the back, Black features a Dual camera similar to HTC One M8 which is a combo of 13MP and 2MP rear camera with a flash in the middle. The rear camera work in tandem and Xolo claims that the duo can achieve autofocus of the subject within 0.15 sec with depth mapping. There is an interesting camera feature ‘UbiFocus’ that lets you selectively choose the object to focus on and set the desired depth of field post capturing the photo. To utilize this feature, a DualCamera app is included and the feature worked practically too. Chrome flash aims to retain natural colors and skin tones even in low light conditions. You can spot Xolo and Hive branding on the back that looks cool.
Hive Atlas OS as we’ve seen in the past was pretty basic but still had a unique skin. It has now been made to come in line with the material design concepts of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop. One of the special features highlighted here is the “reading” mode that renders the phone into a book reading mode thus extending the battery life! Out of 16GB storage, there is around 11.5GB of usable space and USB OTG functionality is supported. Upon closing all recent apps, there were 1GB of Free RAM available.
The handset is powered by a 2nd Gen Snapdragon 615 1.5GHz Octa-Core processor (1.5GHz Quad-Core + 1.0GHz Quad-Core), Adreno 405 GPU, and 2GB of RAM. Under the hood, it packs a big 3200mAh non-removable battery.
With other features up its sleeve like quick charge, underground for better privacy, and things, Black comes off as a very good offering considering the price – 12,999 INR that directly puts it next to the Xiaomi Mi4i. BLACK will go on sale exclusively on Flipkart starting 13th July without any registration.