Xolo has been right in the middle of Indian smartphone market and since its inception, this New Delhi-based firm has been trying to establish itself as a premium Indian smartphone brand. While it hasn’t tried attacking the absolute top-end of flagship devices, it has concentrated on the lower mid-range where most of the action is. The company has come up with two new phones under the name of Omega that experiments with its Android-based Hive platform as a way to offer more customisation for users. The new platform first appeared in the Xolo 8X-1000. The octa-core enabled smartphones come in two screen sizes—5 and 5.5-inch. We got our hands on the Omega 5.
Design: At the first look, the Xolo Omega 5.0 looks like a well-made smartphone, though nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to design. It has a pretty bland look, with a black plastic finishing coupled with a metallic silver trim running along the edges. The power and the volume rocker keys are housed within these metallic strips, with the power button on the right and the volume rockers on the left. The bottom of the device is empty as both the micro-USB port and 3.5 mm headset jacks are housed on top. Meanwhile, the three capacitive physical buttons are
located below the display, which are not backlit but would suffice in low light conditions as the icons are shiny enough. The back of the phone is made out of a smooth glossy plastic, apparently making it a fingerprint magnet. The primary camera unit is housed at the back with the Xolo logo housed right below the camera unit. The rear speaker cutout is made almost at the bottom.
Display & multimedia: Omega 5 features a 5-inch screen with a pixel resolution of 1280 x 720p, which has a pixel density of 294ppi. Viewing angles are fairly good, presence of an IPS on-board panel is clearly evident. Meanwhile, the multimedia capabilities of the phone are quite satisfactory. It supports all video formats, though HD videos were experiencing a few hiccups. That being said; the audio quality of the phone does pack some punch, with almost minimal distortion as it comes with a Yamaha amplifier and DTS support. Overall, the phone’s multimedia capabilities are fairly satisfactory given the price of the device.
Software: Xolo has marketed this phone on its custom user interface (UI) and thus it is the most important feature of the phone. The Omega 5.0 runs on the Android 4.4 KitKat OS with Xolo’s proprietary UI Hive on top. The Hive UI has more of a streamlined and minimalistic approach to the stock Android. The first thing the user will notice is the lock screen, which is interesting as one can jump to different apps from the lock screen. It allows users to jump directly into the most used apps directly, which is quite a nifty feature. The second
major difference being how all apps are housed; they are arranged chronologically in three different ways—alphabetical, recently used and categorically. In addition, there are a few interesting improvements. The contacts application features block colours and rounded icons; an aesthetically pleasing choice.
Camera: The Omega 5.0 sports an 8 MP AF primary camera with Exmor R sensor along with a 2 MP front-facing camera. The primary camera unit can take fairly good quality pictures with good detailing and colour reproduction. Daylight images are rather more than satisfactory though one might have trouble at night. Meanwhile, the camera app comes preloaded with an array of shooting modes including HDR, Panorama, Gesture Shot to name a few.
Performance: With an octa-core chipset bundled with 1 GB of RAM, the Omega 5.0 can handle multitasking and normal daily usage without any hassles. Popular gaming titles like Subway Surfer and Temple Run run flawlessly though one might experience a few lags on cranked up settings playing high-end titles like Asphalt. However, it’s still a delightful experience and those slight hiccups do not alter the overall experience of the game.
The phone’s signal quality is rather good indoors as well as outdoors, while audio on call is pretty crisp and clear on incoming as well as outgoing calls. Meanwhile, Wi-Fi connectivity is quite strong, it detects and latches onto networks within range at ease, thanks to the plastic body which significantly improves Wi-Fi connectivity. The battery life should suffice for one whole day of usage with the included 2100mAh
battery, which is quite standard in this price bracket.
Given the price, the Xolo Omega 5.0 is a rather solid entry level performer and at the same time is easily available.