Mobiles & Tablets

It is skins against stock

Sabyasachi Biswas | Updated on October 01, 2014

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The XOLO 8X-1000 has its own customised UI. Does this make it better than the competition?



We just can’t stress enough about how hot the sub-₹15,000 price segment in the smartphone market is, at the moment. Sure, we’ve got some brilliant new flagship smartphones and phablets and there’s the whole Android One hullabaloo, but sub-₹15,000 segment is where most of the action is.

Naturally, the customer is spoilt for choice, and it all comes down to the differentiating features. The XOLO 8X-1000 (not a lot of time was spent naming the device, we presume) differentiates itself from the crowd with good body materials and a customised UI, but there’s one more trick up its sleeve – the user is always in touch with the people who make the phone. We at Technophile dig deep into the 8X-1000’s hive.

Design and build

Early this year, the first generation of Moto G set the precedent in using premium materials in the construction of a budget phone. The other manufacturers have definitely picked up on that, because on the 8X-1000, XOLO has used toughened, scratch-resistant glass for both front and back surfaces (Asahi Dragontrail and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 respectively). This gives the device a rather classy look. The rest of the exterior too is of a high-grade plastic. In all, the fit and finish of the device is very good.



Performance and features

The XOLO 8X-1000 runs on an octa-core MediaTek MT6592M processor running at 1.4GHz with integrated Mali-450 MP4 graphics, with 2GB of RAM. While one may argue that the MediaTek chips may not have as much power as the Qualcomm ones, we found the 8X-1000’s performance to be quite good and lag-free. We confirmed it with the Quadrant Standard Benchmark test, and the device scored 11,300 points on an average, which is the standard for this segment.

You get 16GB of storage space and a very good 5-inch screen (1280x720 pixels). The 8-megapixel rear-facing camera does a good job of taking photos in all but the darkest conditions (it’s got an Exmor-R sensor) and 2-megapixel one on the front is good for selfies in well lit conditions and video calls. The speakers are a disappointment though.

However, it’s the XOLO Hive interface, overlaid on Android 4.4, that makes a world of difference. You can find similar icon placement and there’s no learning curve as such – if you’ve used Android before, you can just pick this up without any qualms about the UI.

Menus and notifications look more colourful, right from the lockscreen to the main screen, and it has a very fresh look overall. The animations do take time to execute, and feel pointless.

The Connect feature lets you participate in discussions with other users (you’ll need to create a Hive account) and the developers and designers at the company. The battery life, however, is a major spoilsport. We couldn’t get past the half-day mark under our standard usage patterns.

Verdict

The XOLO 8X-1000 is definitely a good phone with some unique features, but the bad battery life is a buzzkill. If XOLO can fix this with an update, it would make the 8X-1000 stand out in the crowded market, with its interactive features, custom UI and a solid build.

₹13,999

Love – Hive features; build quality

Hate – Battery life; speakers

Published on October 01, 2014

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