Xolo has experimented 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. A few months on, the company has become confident enough of the product to load it in its new lineup of octa-core smartphones called the Omega. The Omega comes in two screen sizes — 5 and 5.5-inch. We test Omega 5.0.
Specs: 5-inch HD IPS screen (720x1280p, ~ 320dpi) | MediaTek MT6592 1.4 GHz octa-core processor with Mali-450 MP4 graphics engine | 1GB RAM | 8GB internal memory expandable up to 32GB | 8.0 MP front camera with Sony Exmor R sensor; 2MP front camera | 2100mAh Battery | HIVE on Android Kitkat v4.4
Price: Rs 8,999
Design: For a phone that costs Rs 8,999, the Omega 5 has a neat design. The design is by no means radical, but I liked how they have pushed the power and volume buttons behind the steel frame that goes round the phone. The design is very curved right from the edged to the rear flap. However, the body is super smooth and you will have to take some extra care to ensure it does not slip from your finders.
Display: Looking at the price point the display is good too. You get HD at a very decent dpi. The visuals appear sharp, even though the viewing angles appear a bit limited. Given the size of the screen you will be able to enjoy YouTube videos. The audio is clear but with the Yamaha amplifier and DTS support I would have liked it to be louder.
Performance: The Omega 5, thanks to the octacore processor, gives you a fluid experience. I did not find any lag while moving between apps. You also don’t have to wait for stuff to open up. If you believe in benchmarks then this phone is around the Xiaomi Redmi Note in performance. That is not a surprise given that both have the same price point. Multi-tab browsing also presented no issues. So an average user should be happy with this phone.
Software: The entire Hive experience is a crucial part of this phone… you either like it or you don’t. So i suggest all of you understand Hive a bit better before buying this phone. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Hive, which tries to give you a lot more control on the OS, but for old Android users there could be some initial fumbling as it is not similar to pure Android. I think Hive is closer to Cyanogenmod when it comes to theme experiences, though this might put of people who like to keep it simple. So, at least for now, Hive is not for those who like pure Android and similar experiences.
Camera: The 8MP rear camera is surprisingly fast and clicks pictures in a jiffy. The results are what you would expect from a camera in a phone priced this much – nothing spectacular. However, there is nothing bad with the camera either and it does reasonably well in low light. However, low-light selfies shot with the 5MP front camera were a bit too grainy for my liking.
Storage: Users get roughly 5.6GB of storage free. So you will need to invest in a SD card right away.
Battery: The battery life is about 12 hours with regular use. Reduce the screen brightness on days when you will need to squeeze more out of the phone. However, if you don’t use the phone much the battery can last well over three days, even with the data on.
Verdict: The Xolo Omega offers a good option in the Rs 9,000 price range, especially for those who will now have to wait for the Xiaomi Redmi Note sales to restart. Like the Note, the Omega too is a middle path phone with nothing spectacular. But everything works well and that is what you are paying for.
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