The latest Android smartphone with “Intel Inside” comes in the form of the slick looking XOLO X1000. This is XOLO's third handset to feature Intel’s mobile processor and we were curious to see just how fast this device was in comparison to its predecessors. The X900 didn’t make much of an impact and fared poorly in the battery department while the smaller X500 did quite well on all fronts. We’re here to tell you if the X1000 manages to do just as well, worse or exceeds expectations. So read on to find out.
There’s just something to love about the design of the X1000. The superb curved glass 4.7-inch display sports a 1280 x 720p resolution with 314 ppi. It’s vibrant, sharp and quite easily legible in direct sunlight if the brightness is proportionately balanced. The surface of the display manages to keep smudges and fingerprints at bay so much so that the screen always looks quite pristine. Even after a few days of using it as a primary device, in and out of pockets, the screen remained unscathed to a large extent. The earpiece is flushed neatly into the outer moulding of the handset, so all you’ll see in front with the screen off is a glowing notification LED (when applicable) and the forward facing 1.3MP camera.
A comfortable device in your hand
There are no visible keys on the front as XOLO has gone with a completely touch-based option for all Android buttons, which will only show up when the display is on. All of this combined gives the X1000 a sublimely cool balanced look from the front.
The X1000 is 9.1 mm in depth, so it’s not the slimmest device out there. However, combined with the weight of 140 g, the handset is well-designed for portability and comfort of use. The only buttons to be found are the volume rocker on the top left and the power/sleep button on the top, near the 3.5 mm handsfree socket. The bottom portion of the handset slips out (push down and out lever located at the rear bottom of the device) to reveal a “hidden” compartment that houses the SIM (standard size) and microSD cards. A space is open for the microUSB port here as well.
Push out the lower part of the handset to reveal the SIM and memory card slots
The rear panel of this unibody handset is slightly rubberised, which helps with the grip in your hand and on smooth surfaces. Just above the metallic strip indicating the 8MP HD camera is an LED for the flash and the camera’s lens. The metal strip could be a bit much but adds a little character to the rear of the handset.
To sum it up, the X1000 is a very sophisticated-looking handset, as we said before.
Features and Performance
The XOLO X1000 runs Android 4.0, i.e. ICS (with an update hopefully just around the corner) off of an Intel X86-based 2GHz processor with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard memory. It also comes with a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. This doesn’t quite make it the smartest smartphone out there nor the fastest in its price bracket, as our benchmark scores proved. While using the handset, there were no lag issues visible; however, playing games like Subway Surfers on the X1000 and on lower-priced devices as well as those in the same price range with dual-cores, we found a visible difference in gameplay—not in favour of the XOLO. Flipping through menus and accessing apps didn’t seem to be an issue at all and, hopefully, the performance could be significantly boosted with a Jelly Bean update. The handset uses Google’s Stock ICS UI, so it’s relatively easy to deal with minimal bloatware.
Simple stock ICS with no frills
Take a look at how the XOLO X1000 stood up against the competition in our benchmarking tests:
Linpak scores showed the X1000 at 113 MFLOPS in a single thread run and 103 in multi thread.
You have the option of using either of the two music players, viz. XOLO’s native offering or Google Play Music app. The former offers a few extras as well, like downloading Lyrics for tracks and a Shake to skip option, while both feature the same EQ options – Presets, Bass Boost, 3D effect and a 5 band user customisable option. Audio quality in general was good. Bass levels were grounded and higher frequencies, when controlled, were well balanced. Call quality was also clear. The quality of the bundled earphones was far below par than what one expects from a mobile handset these days and felt a little low in quality. They were not capable of supporting the handset's audio, so we had to test the players with our own pair of earphones.
Quite decent in the media department
The built-in FM radio had a slightly gauche UI that could easily have been more refined. Reception was just about fair in most places. Full HD videos in MP4 played reasonably well, but there was nevertheless a slight lag via the native player. By default, the X1000 comes with a scant few codecs to play some files in AVI and MP4. You’ll get much more with third party options, including lag free viewing even for HD content.
The X1000 is a 3G device with Wi-Fi capabilities and includes features like Wi-Fi Direct and Hot Spot creation. Bluetooth is staged at v2.1 with A2DP and USB 2.0 for PC interfacing. There’s no NFC though. It’s quite average on the connectivity front; nothing out of the ordinary. Other than the standard Google Apps – Mail, Gtalk, Maps and corresponding apps, G+ et al and Dropbox, there’s not much else. GPS with AGPS support will help fuel Google Maps for location.
Could have used a few built-in connectivity features and apps
Here too, other than the basic smartphone apps, which include a Calculator, Calendar, File Manager, News and Weather reader, voice dialler, voice memos etc., the only extra app is the Wireless Display option and XOLO Care that connects you to the companies service centre for assistance.
The X1000’s 8MP shooter has features that include quite a few scene modes, Exposure control, White Balance, Panorama mode etc. The camera also comes equipped with a burst mode that captures up to 10 images in succession with maximum frame rate of 15fps. It’s not really as good as some of the others out there.
Outdoor images look good
In normal outdoor conditions, images appeared to be quite good. Colours looked accurate for most part and details were also reasonably sharp.
Indoor images are grainy but fair
In low light conditions, the photos looked a bit unfocused in some areas and were heavy on the grain, but not too shabby.
Depth of field could have been stronger
With close-ups in normal lighting, the images appeared a little dull but quite sharp. The depth of field was not as prominent as some other devices in this range.
Strapped with a 1900 mAh non-removable battery, the XOLO X1000 really didn’t seem like it would fare too well. In our video standalone test, the handset ran for a total of 5 hours and 45 minutes with Airplane mode active. This is just a little better than the X900. In our tech2 Loop Test, the X1000 successfully went through the first loop of 2 hours of video, 2 hours of audio, 2 hours of media streaming (1 hour video, 1 hour audio) and 1 hour of talktime. There was just 9 percent of battery power remaining, which took no more than about 6 minutes to dissipate once we started the second loop with video.
Compared to the iPhone 5 and Z10, the X1000 stands out thanks to its curvy looks
The Bottom Line
The price tag on the XOLO X1000 is Rs 19,999, which makes it a hard product to consider. In this range, you have choices like the Galaxy Grand with a larger display, better camera and battery life along with plenty of extras. There are also quite a few options in the Rs 15,000 range as well that will more than measure up to the X1000 in terms of performance. So while the X900 failed to wow in the overall sense and especially with the battery, the X500 did a great job on the whole. Unfortunately, other than its uber-cool looks, decent camera and swift but basic UI and performance, the X1000 doesn’t really have too much to offer. Also, Intel and Xolo need to seriously fix the battery problems on their high-end devices. Let's hope the next attempt focuses less on looks and more on overall performance.
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Oct 28, 2016