Xolo Black Review – Black is the new trend!

A few days ago, Xolo launched new series of android smartphones indicating a larger shift in their strategy across Indian market. The all new Xolo Black is the latest addition in this series which is subsequently owned by Lava International. It looks like it has become a trend in India to launch a new subsidiary under the parent company. We have seen it with Micromax launching Yu brand which eventually ended up in brand refreshment as well as better sales. Lava is following the same footsteps with Xolo being their child subsidiary. However, there’s more to it. Black is the new subsidiary or perhaps brand under Xolo. You see that? Lava-ception, probably. The second most important point that needs to be noted is selling model. Xolo has adopted online only model which means that the Xolo Black device would only be available through e-commerce portals, Flipkart to be precise. Now, after reading that the device would be available through Flipkart, you must be thinking that you’ll never get it since it could be put up on flash sale. Well, you’re wrong. Flipkart will be holding up open sale within which you’re not required to pre-register for sale.

Now, if you’re planning to buy this smartphone, it is perhaps wiser to read a review about it. So, here we go – Xolo Black review.

Unboxing Xolo Black

Unboxing Xolo Black

Unboxing Xolo Black

Inside the box, you’ll find usual suspects such as warranty card, user guide, data cable, 5V/2A travel charger, Xolo Black itself and a free screen guard. I was wondering about the SAR values but it seems that those aren’t mentioned anywhere on the box. The information on internet states that it has got SAR value of 0.13 W/Kg at head and 0.27 W/kg at body.

Please make a note that earphones aren’t included within the box. If you’re planning to buy them separately, you can have a look at these earphones at Flipkart and Amazon.

Xolo Black Review

Display and Design aspect

The Xolo Black has got grey colored brushed metal finish which is extremely tough and provides excellent grip over the phone. The looks are tremendous even after knowing that the material used here is plastic. In fact, it doesn’t feel like it is plastic. The edges are curved and provides good hold on the phone.

The back panel of this smartphone is colored black and has glass layer onto it. Don’t be skeptical as both front as well as back panel glass is corning gorilla 3. Off course it will break if you hit it on the ground with too much force but for most of the part, it will survive few unintended drops.

Xolo Black - Front

Xolo Black – Front

Starting with the back panel, my eyes stared continuously at dual camera setup. There are two cameras at the back along with an LED flash which lies in between these two lenses. Below it, you’ll find a Xolo logo written in silver white color.

On the right side of the device lies power button and volume rocker buttons. SIM tray and audio jack is present at the top edge while USB port and speaker vents are at the bottom.

The phone weights at around 165 kg with battery placed inside. The exact dimensions of this phone are 76.71mm x 153.67mm x 7.13mm.

Xolo Black features a 5.5 inch screen with full high definition resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. In my personal opinion, this is one of the best screen and the reason to that is its resolution. In Lehman’s terms, better resolution produces more crispiness along with the better color reproduction. I’m not very sure about the pixels per density but the screen looks gorgeous and viewing angles are pretty decent too.

Dual SIM? Are both SIMs 4G compatible?

To answer your question – No. One of these two SIM’s can be used for 4G connectivity while the other one is restricted to be used only on 2G networks. SIM slot 2 has the provision for putting up your micro SD card or nano SIM card.

The LED notification light is present below the power button key. The device is equipped with the sensors such as accelerometer, light sensor, magnetic sensor, proximity and gyro sensor. It runs on HIVE UI which is customized user interface by Xolo on top of 64 bit Android 5.0.2.

Storage Capacity and RAM performance

The all new Xolo Black carries 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of on-board storage. Out of this 16 GB of internal storage, you get about 12 GB storage free. For a normal user, this is more than enough. If you’re not satisfied with this storage, you can always buy a micro SD card of upto 32 GB to expand your storage. However, you must understand that all apps are now installed in internal memory and you’ll not be able to move them in your SD card. This excludes gaming data which can be moved in your memory card.

Talking about the RAM, you’ll generally get 1.1 GB of free RAM during initial days and it will decrease a little bit over the next few days.

Performance of Xolo Black

Xolo Black runs on 2nd generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 64 bit octa core processor which is clocked at 1.5 GHHz. It is further accompanied by dedicated Adreno 405 GPU. It feels rock solid on paper right? Well, it is the same configuration which is there in Xiaomi Mi4i.

Now, most of the Indian OEM providers such as Micromax and Karbonn are unable to deal with the heat that is developed during the medium to high usage. Xolo has done a tremendous job at optimizing their Hive user interface and thereby reducing the heat build up during the gameplay. I did experienced occasional lags while playing Asphalt 8, however the performance was quite up to the mark. Remember, this is not a gaming smartphone and you should perhaps look at it as a day to day driver.

Xolo Black Benchmark Results

Following are the benchmark results of Xolo Black which were conducted using various benchmark applications.

Name of the Benchmark AppScore
Antutu30779
Quadrant22997
Nenamark 254 frames per second
Multi touch support5 fingers

How is gaming on Xolo Black?

As I mentioned earlier, there were few lags while playing Asphalt 8 in high quality graphics mode. The game was somewhat playable in medium quality however it was still not as smooth as it should have been. May be, there was some loss of frames.

I was able to play some of the games such as Subway surfers and Temple Run which aren’t that graphics sensitive. So, if you’re planning to buy it to play some really intense graphics games, you should perhaps see another phone. For me, it seems a good deal because I don’t really play a lot of games and those which I play aren’t really that high graphics.

It is important that you understand about your needs here. My honest opinion about this aspect is –

  1. If you’re an occasional gamer  – You’re on the right path and you can read along this review ahead.
  2. If your answer to the above question is no and you like playing intense graphics games, you should perhaps check another smartphone

Xolo Black Camera – Extremely impressive

Xolo Black Dual Camera and Flash

Xolo Black Dual Camera and Flash

Xolo Black is loaded with dual camera i.e., 13 megapixel purecel and 2 megapixel along with an LED flash. There is this 5 megapixel front facing camera which is equipped with BSI sensor. In addition to it, there is an another LED flash beside front facing camera. The rear camera is capable of recording videos at full high definition. One of the hidden feature that can come very handy is – you can tap on the screen to capture an image while recording a video. Well, this hidden features comes with one con. After tapping on the screen, the rear camera looses focus and that means your videos will have recording with some out of focus shots.

Xolo Black Camera Application

Xolo Black Camera Application

In order to use the dual camera set up, you”ll have to make use of dedicated dual camera app provided by Xolo. It allows you to shoot first and focus later, a featured called UBIFocus. It is perhaps one of the features that grabbed my attention. Do note that the image size will be more than 20 MB in this case (after processing, it goes down to around 1 or 2 MB). A photo studio app provided by Xolo is extremely useful as it provides various options such as focus mode, defining focus point, blurring the background. This results in the images which are equally good such as those captured wit DSLR.

ChromeFlash – This feature is useful in capturing images in low light conditions. It optimizes the use of LED flash light and provides better results.

Optizoom is another feature which would be very handy if you would like to capture a photo of distant object with zoom.

There is another camera app that can be used to capture normal images with single camera. This app is provided separately and this what I didn’t like. There are almost three apps dedicated to capturing and editing photos. I would have preferred one app for single camera app an dual camera app. It would have been much better to have those things as in you have the image mode and video mode. Got the idea?

The camera performed extremely well and beyond my expectations. Frankly, this is for the first time that I’m impressed with the camera performance in this price range. The dual camera mode is absolutely stunning and you’ll enjoy it for sure.

Miscellaneous

In call sound – I tested it on Vodafone network and the in call sound and overall call quality was good. I was satisified with its performance.

If you’re using any one of the premium headsets which are listed under sound settings, you’ve the ability to optimize it in a better way. Xolo Black is the only smartphone which has got this feature. I’m sure the sound experience would be much better however I wasn’t able to test it because I didn’t posses any such premium headset.

Underground mode – If you want to hide any of your application from being used inappropriately, you can simply put it in underground mode and nobody will ever see it in app drawer or normal mode. You’ll only be able to access it after activating underground mode. Similarly, you can move your files and hide them from all others.

Others

GPS lock is fine and it was able to lock my position pretty quickly. There are absolutely no issues with the WiFi as well. I was unable to test 4G connectivity on this phone, however I might test it in near future if I get that opportunity.

Battery performance of Xolo Black

Xolo Black is coupled with 3200 mAh battery which is non removable. Few of our readers expressed concerns regarding this non removable battery. Let me tell you one thing. I have been using Nexus 5 from last 1 and half year and it also has a non removable battery . There hasn’t been a single issue with its battery to this day. Get over that myth that non removable battery is bad and it is cursed (pun intended).

Following are the results of the battery performance of Xolo Black

Usage patternBattery performance
1 hour of web browsing, 10 minutes of gaming, 10 minutes of calls15-16 hours
2 hours of web surfing, 1 hour of watching videos, 20 minutes calls, half hour gaming5-7 hours

Charging time – 

From 0 to 100 – It took 2 hours and 45 minutes to charge fully from zero to hundred.

Final verdict on Xolo Black Review

Xolo Black has its own pros and cons. Although gaming performance is bit below average, the dual camera, beautiful design and controlled processor temperature puts it way above my satisfaction level. It was pleasure using this smartphone because Hive UI is really well optimized and it is certainly not the one like TouchWiz which is burden on the phone’s processor. A really high quality camera, 4G connectivity and sturdy looks makes it worthy of each penny that you will be spending on it.

Where to buy Xolo Black?

After reading my final conclusion, if you’ve made up your mind about buying Xolo Black, you’ll have to keep Rs 12999 ready. It is available on Flipkart through open sale mode. I personally think that it is well worth the money spent and I recommend you guys to buy it. I”ll be covering an article about flip covers, cases and pouches that you can buy for Xolo black. You should perhaps stay connected with us either by subscribing or by following on social media. [Images are brought to you by fonearena.com]

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