Take my word, domestic mobile firms have come of age, both in terms of R&D prowess as well as the marketing tricks to give the MNC brands a definite scare in the market. One quick glance at the Xolo 8X-1000 smartphone and youll change your opinion about devices from domestic mobile firms. With a glut of Android phones on the market at the moment, most of the device makers have tried to fork the Android and insert their own applications and services, in order to differentiate their offerings in the market place. But Xolo, the New Delhi-based smart devices brand, has come up with its own proprietary user interface platform, called HIVE in its octa-core smartphone 8X-1000. Basically these are an impressive set of features and enhancements to change the way users interact with their device. Personalisation is the key aspect here, but more on it later. First a look at the Rs 13,999 phone that I received for a product review.
Put simply, the Xolo 8X-1000 just feels great in your hands and is built to last. The phone has a decent heft to it, not heavy but just enough to make the device feel substantial. Somewhat similar to the Intel lingo, Xolo too advertises its new device as Tough Outside, HIVE Inside. The device comes housed in an attractive glass body with a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for a toughened exterior. The thin side bezels give you easy handling and let you stay in control irrespective of whether you are stationary or in motion. The power and volume buttons are on the right side and two Xolo logos are placed on the top and back side of the phone. The 3.5 mm audio jack as well as the micro USB port is located at the top of the phone while two speaker outlets can be seen at the bottom of the device.
Switched on, the 8X-1000 delivers vibrant visuals in full detail on a 12.7 cm (5-inch) wide screen that comes equipped with high definition display and Asahi Dragontrail glass to protect your device from any scratch and damage. The phone is powered by a octa-core processor; theres a 2 GB RAM with 16 GB onboard ROM memory that is further expandable up to 32 GB. An 8 megapixel Exmor R sensor camera in the rear, aids you in capturing low light images with amazing clarity. Theres a 2 megapixel front camera too, in an otherwise minimalistic design, in order to capture those perfect selfies and video chats.
Back to the HIVE. Built on an Android core, HIVE is, what company officials claim a Made in India, Made for India platform designed by Xolos software design team in Bangalore. This proprietary user interface platform has been built post extensive consumer research and usage patterns study across the country. Each feature of HIVE has been designed to provide ease of use and flexibility. It allows users to join in and become a part of the development team. CONNECT, for instance, is an exciting platform that fosters and encourages collaboration. Its where like-minded technology enthusiasts partner with the Xolo team, to make HIVE better by constantly connecting, collaborating and sharing new ideas.
EDGE, another core feature of HIVE, brings creative community closer to users. It provides a platform for the emerging artists in various genres to design exclusive content as themes, ringtones and wallpapers. Xolo has partnered with a set of niche Indian designers, each of them with their own areas of design expertise, to create a range of themes for consumers to choose from. Whether it is the lock screen, the apps, its icons, colours, system wide controls, widgets, or even the experience within individual apps, HIVE has a range of wholesome themes that blend themselves perfectly to the minutest detail.
HIVE comes equipped with Fusion X which combines the music player, video tracks and radio into one centralised core. Integrated with last.fm, Fusion X enables artist recommendations based on what youre listening to. Fusion X is also tightly integrated with YouTube, wherein you can access trending songs by your favourite artist. This entire
experience coupled with Dolby DTS, and an equaliser that comes with a lot of presets provides an auditory experience unlike any other.
I also checked out another interesting feature, HIVE Launcher, which makes management of applications a no brainer by means of distinct filters for categorisation. Launcher also comes equipped with one touch RAM cleaner that clears background applications to free precious RAM space for an uninterrupted experience. Another innovation is Gallery, which provides distinct album views by source and category, unique quilt view within albums, powerful editing tools and filters. Gallery supports sync with your online albums from various sources.
It goes without saying that Xolo has put in a lot of efforts to create a software platform that definitely offers something new. The HIVE user interface is a massive departure from stock Android. In my usage for over two weeks, the
Xolo 8X-1000 came across a nifty device thats powerful and versatile, with a great screen and access to a huge range of entertainment. Internet browsing is fast on the device and there is no lag whatsoever while switching between apps. Its high definition screen allows users to watch movies and play games in a manner that they have never seen before. Also, the Li-Ion 1920 mAh battery is pretty impressive and it will easily last you more than two days of heavy use.
In a nutshell, the Xolo 8X-1000 will make the right impression on you and everyone around you.
Dimensions: 140 x 70 x 7.9 mm
Display: 12.7 cm (5-inch)
HD IPS display
Processor: Octa-core 1.4 GHz processor
Operating system: Android 4.4.2 KitKat
Camera: 8 MP (rear); 2 MP (front)
SIM type: Dual SIM
Storage & memory: 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal memory (expandable memory with microSD)
Battery: Li-Ion 1920 mAh battery
* Estimated street price: R13,999