XOLO Black review – affordable smartphone with dual primary camera

The XOLO Black is the first handset launched by XOLO mobiles in the Black series. This smartphone supports 4G and is using the 2nd Gen qualcomm snapdragon 615 octa core processor clocked at 1.5GHz. The Black runs Hive UI based on android lollipop and is priced at ₹ 12,999.

Black Unboxing
Inside the attractive box you will find the XOLO Black handset, user guide, warranty card, data cable, travel charger (5V ~ 2A) and a free screen guard. There is the SAR compliance logo on the box but the SAR values are not mentioned. Earphone is not included.

Design, Display and OS
The XOLO Black looks really cool, design wise it does compete with bigger brands. The grey coloured brushed metal finishing plastic frame not only looks tough, but also gives a beautiful look. The sides are nicely curved for a better and comfortable grip. There are no sharp edges.

XOLO Black review and unboxing

Handset front as well as the back is completely flat, even the dual camera module is in line with the back panel. The back panel is black colour and has got a glass layer on it. Both the front as well as the rear glass comes with corning gorilla glass 3 protection.

XOLO Black 5.5 inch IPS OGS screen with 1920 x 1080p resolution + corning gorilla glass 3 protected

Power button and volume rocker are placed on the right side, SIM tray on the left, audio jack / mic on the top and micro USB port plus speaker out vent at the bottom. Weight with built in 3200 mAh battery is 165 grams and dimensions are 76.71mm x 153.67mm x 7.13mm.

XOLO Black back glass

Black sports a 5.5 inch screen with full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. Colour reproduction, touch and viewing angles are pretty good.

This is a dual SIM handset – SIM 1 is micro SIM that supports 4G/3G/2G and SIM 2 is a hybrid SIM that supports 2G only. On SIM slot 2 you can either use a micro SD card or a nano SIM.

XOLO Black sim tray with ejector pin

The LED notification is underneath the power button (check video review) and there are accelerometer, light, proximity, gyro and magnetic sensors.

XOLO Black is running customized HIVE UI based on 64 bit Android 5.0.2.

Memory and Storage
The Black comes loaded with 16GB ROM (Internal Space) and 2GB RAM. Of the 2GB RAM you will get about 1.1GB free RAM and of the 16GB storage about 12GB space for apps. OTG is supported. There is micro SD card support (up to 32GB). Apps are getting installed on internal storage, but there is an option to move to external SD card (gaming data however will be stored on the internal storage).

Performance
The Black is using the MSM8939 qualcomm snapdragon 615 2nd gen octa core chipset clocked at 1.5GHz (4x Arm cortex A53 @ 1.5GHz + 4x Arm Cortex A53 @ 1.1 GHz) coupled with Adreno 405 GPU. This is the same hardware that powers up the Xiaomi Mi 4i.

XOLO Black review

XOLO has optimized the Hive UI to control the heat buildup, and to a certain extent they have been succeeded, however when playing Asphalt 8 game the handset was lagging occasionally. But for general operation the performance was smooth. Maximum temperature I encountered was 41 degrees.

Benchmark

Benchmark App Score
Quadrant 23017
Antutu (64 bit) 1st – 30807 , 2nd – 29971
Nenamark 2 54.1fps
Multi touch 5 point

When running Antutu Benchmark for the 2nd time the handset restarted itself.

Gaming
As usual the Asphalt 8 game-play, this game got installed on the internal storage. I tried playing in high visual quality mode – game was playable but with occasional lags. In medium mode it was better but not very smooth. The game play is much better and smoother in low quality mode.

Camera
XOLO Black comes with dual cameras a 13MP (Purecel) + 2MP placed on the rear with LED flash. The front camera is of 5MP (BSI sensor) resolution and it also comes with LED flash support. Rear camera can shoot FHD videos. Native video calling is not supported.

While recording FHD videos you can tap screen to capture images, however once you tap the screen it loses the ability to auto focus, so better avoid clicking images while video is being recorded.

XOLO Black dual cameras (13MP + 2MP) with LED flash

To use dual cameras you need to use the dual camera app. There are two camera apps the general one and the dual camera app. Dual camera app supports UBIFocus wherein you can shoot first and focus later. It is a good option but individual image size is over 20MB.

You need to use another app called photo studio – wherein you can load the image shot using dual camera mode and then you can use various options including focus mode, you can change the focus point, give more importance to a subject and blur out the surrounding – output is almost like as if it was shot using a DSLR. Once you make changes you need to apply the changes / save it – a new file will be created with the changes you made; the new processed file size is less than 1MB.

The camera also supports ChromeFlash for better output using flash and optizoom for better zoom. It would have been better if the camera app, dual camera app and the photo studio (dual camera) was integrated into a single app.

Camera quality is above average, the dual camera output looks stunning – do check the sample images and videos at the end of the review.

There is UbiFocus mode that lets you focus any object on the screen (calculates the depth) and also lets you control the blurriness. Check the video and sample images at the end.

Others
Sound is loud and clear. No issues with in-call speaker – the sound is also pretty good. In sound settings you will find the configure headsets option wherein you will find some premium headphones listed – these are specially optimized for Black, to give a much better audio experience.

There is a new feature called ‘underground’, you can activate it by swiping 3 fingers from mid screen to top. The underground is a hidden area where you can place any files or apps. For example if you move the YouTube app to the underground section, the app will only be visible and usable when using underground mode.

4G worked, I am using Airtel 4G in Mumbai (2300 band). No issues with Wi-Fi, GPS (GLONASS) fast lock and Bluetooth 4.0.

Battery
This handset comes with 3200 mAh non-removable battery. You can expect about 4 to 6 hours of continuous moderate to heavy usage.

Performance Time Battery drop % Battery Max Temp
Benchmark 18 Minutes 7% 41 degree
Gaming (Asphalt 8) 22 Minutes 6% 39 degree
FHD movie play with full brightness + Wi-Fi on 24 minutes 6% 37 degree
Wall Charge (on standby) 2 hours 36 minutes 18% to 100% (charge) 34 degree

Verdict
XOLO Black is powerful, looks beautiful, its eye catchy and the dual cameras is an added advantage. Performance is smooth though the handset does lag while playing high end games in high graphics mode. Temperature is well controlled. Camera quality is above average and battery backup is also pretty good.

4G supported XOLO Black is a very good option with a very good price tag.

XOLO Black is listed on Flipkart for ₹ 12,999.

Image Gallery


Rear Camera Sample


Rear Dual Camera Sample

UbiFocus sample


Front Camera Sample

XOLO Black video review