Xolo Black 1X Express Review: Good specs, but Hive UI is still the differentiatorhttps://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-reviews/xolo-black-1x-review/

Xolo Black 1X Express Review: Good specs, but Hive UI is still the differentiator

The feature that really worked for me in Xolo Black 1X is the custom made user-interface, Hive.

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Xolo Black 1X is the second smartphone launched under the company’s online sub-brand Black.

For India’s potential smartphone buyers with a Rs 10,000 budget, the market is flooded with options like the Lenovo K3 Note and the Yu Yureka Plus that offer decent performance and user experience. These phones do not compromise on features and come at an affordable price.

Xolo Black 1X is the second smartphone launched under Lava’s new online sub-brand Black. The first in the series, the Xolo Black, had mid-range specs. Xolo Black 1X, just like its predecessor, comes with company’s custom UI called Hive. So is the new Xolo Black 1X worth your moolah? Here’s what an Android thought after using it.

Specs: 5-inch Full HD IPS display | MediaTek 6753 Octa-Core processor with 64-bit CPU | 3GB RAM | 32GB storage (expandable up to 32GB) | 13MP rear camera + 5MP front with flash | 2,400 mAh battery | Zen-UI Android 5.1 Lollipop

Price: Rs 9,999

What is good?

As I said, I am an avid Android user and the feature that really worked for me in Xolo Black 1X is the custom made user-interface, Hive. What it does is that it sorts out your apps category-wise rather than the traditional scrolling layout seen on other phones.

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Users can categorise the app drawer based on alphabetical order or on the basis of time of installation. The Hive UI also offers sub-divisions in the form of ‘recently-installed’, ‘previously-installed’ and ‘pre-installed’. Apps are broadly categorised under ‘Communication’, ‘Social’, ‘Shopping’, Games’ etc which worked for my usage pattern.

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Users can categorise the app drawer based on alphabetical order or on the basis of time of installation.

The MediaTek 6753 Octa-Core processor with 3GB RAM does well for the phone. Even if you have multiple tabs open, the transition from one to another is really smooth. I used it to watch videos, surf the Internet on multiple tabs and play a game, and the phone work fine. However, there were times when the screen would freeze when unlocking the phone.

The design of the Xolo Black 1X also impressed me, given the price. It is super-light and will not slip out of your hand easily, despite being big. But it comes with a plastic back, which is prone to scratches.

The 2,400 mAh battery lasts for up to one day and even longer if your usage is moderate.

What is not good?

The phone does not have the best camera in the under Rs 10,000 price range and at best does an an average job.

The colours don’t come out very well even for the pictures clicked in broad daylight. The 5MP selfie camera pictures look sharp on the screen, but zoom in and you can see the flaws. I feel that the company could have done a little better with the camera given that phones like Lenovo K3 Note have already set the camera standards high in the mid-budget range.

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The colours don’t come out very well even for the pictures clicked in broad daylight.

The phone also tends to heat up. Even if you play graphics heavy game on for just 2-3 minutes, the phone gets hot.

Verdict

This phone offers good specs in the price bracket with 3GB RAM, a 64-bit processor and a Full HD screen. But you will buy this phone primarily for the differentiated Android experience and highly customisable UI. Yes, the Hive UI provides its users a pretty good option to keep their apps organised. It works well for people who download a large number of apps. However, the  Xolo Black 1X will have to compete with some other good phones in the price range.