Xolo has added a new member to its affordable smartphone portfolio by introducing Xolo Era 2X. This is company’s first affordable device that comes with a fingerprint sensor and is also one of the cheapest smartphones that support 4G LTE, VoLTE and a fingerprint sensor. The base model comes with 2GB of RAM and a price tag of Rs 6,999, while the higher model sport a 3GB of RAM and is priced at Rs 7,499. The smartphone will be exclusively available through Flipkart starting 9th January. Though the company is banking heavily on the smartphone, but will it be able to succeed in this heavily competitive market? Let’s take a closer look.
Speaking of a smartphone in a budget segment, people tend to believe that one cannot get a good-looking device under a tight budget. But thanks to the likes of Xiaomi, Coolpad and Lenovo, we now have some good-looking devices available in the market. And Xolo’s latest offering is no different. The device does give a compact look and feel. We got the black variant for review and the back comes with a smooth plastic, which doesn’t look cheap at any angle and the symmetrical rear camera module and fingerprint sensor surrounded by a silver ring is attractive. But the problem arises when you see the front of the device. The first thing you notice are thick size bezels, which kind of spoils the mood. And if this is not enough, the top and bottom bezels are even more broad which is a bit eyesore. The home button, recent menu and back buttons are on-screen, which further shrinks the usable display space.
On the right, you will find volume rocker and power on/off buttons, which are soft in nature and comfortable to press, while the left is bare. The top edge houses an audio jack, while at the base you will see the micro-USB port. Moving to the back, the device comes with a removable panel and underneath it are the dual-SIM slot along with a microSD card slot and a removable battery. Overall, the thick bezels spoil the party and have a very generic design language as compared to Xiaomi Redmi 3s, Lenovo K5 Plus, which are designed more elegantly.
The Xolo Era 2X comes with a 5-inch HD IPS On cell display with a screen resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The display comes with 480 lumens which the brand claims will deliver bright display. The display, is indeed, bright but it lacks in giving some good colour output. The display is a bit reflective in nature and when viewed from a different angle, one can find a change of colours, which is not a good thing, especially if the product comes from a reputable brand like Xolo. Also, the colour temperature is on the warmer side, which tends to give a yellowish hue sometimes.
On the hardware front, the Xolo Era 2X is powered by a 1.25GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6737 processor along with 2GB/3GB of RAM and for graphics, there is Mali-T720MP1 GPU. The smartphone has 16GB of internal storage and an expandable storage slot for up to a 32GB micro SD card. On the connectivity front, the device support Dual SIM, 4G with VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi Hotspot, Bluetooth, GPS, and a micro USB port. The company is giving basic specs which one will find in this price bracket. This means that the device is able to handle most of the basic tasks like surfing, streaming, listing to music, but during multi-tasking, we saw that the device shimmers a bit. On the gaming front, the device runs most of the casual games well, thanks to the 3GB of RAM, but it is not meant for some intense gaming sessions. The device seriously faces a stiff competition with Xiaomi Redmi 3s, which offers some exceptional performance at similar price point. Even Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus or Coolpad Mega 2.5D gives you much better performance as compared to this one.
Coming to its major USP, the fingerprint sensor, it works fine if not fast. I noticed that the phone took relatively more time to unlock the smartphone as compared to other phones in this range. And then there are some issues with the accuracy, as sometimes it unlocks the phone in few attempts. But the fingerprint sensor comes with some interesting features through which you can open the camera, take a photograph, answer calls and even stop alarms.
Other than this, call connectivity is good and not to mention that the device is 4G-enabled and comes with VoLTE support, which is a luxury at this price point. The speaker output is decent if not loud.
The Xolo Era 2X is equipped with an 8-megapixel autofocus rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, LED Flash and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies and video calling. The performance of the camera came out as a mixed bag one. The rear camera delivers some above average performance in the broad daylight as it the photo lacked detailing. Also, the device takes some time to process the image. Under the low-lighting condition, the device performance is weak as it is not able to focus well and lags a bit while clicking a photo which causes the final image to be blurred. But the front-facing camera was good enough to take good selfies in broad daylight and passable ones in low lights.
Software and Battery
On the software front, the device runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system. The user interface is close to stock Android, which is a welcome move and like any other stock Android, you have the app drawer which saves you home screen from those cluttered apps. But still, it comes with many bloat or unwanted apps that consume space and eventually slows down the phone over a period of time. The device comes most of the Reliance Jio apps pre-installed, which is helpful for Jio users, but for other, it is just another piece of bloat. The transition between different home screen is also a bit slow, which is not at an alarming level but is quite noticeable.
On the battery front, the device its power from a 2500 mAh removable Li-Po battery, which claims to offer 14 days of standby time. During the testing period, the device almost makes it to a day under conservative usage. But if stretched the device gives a battery backup close to 4 hours.