Xolo’s Black smartphone is in many ways a leap of faith for the Lava-owned sub-brand. Xolo has given us some decent smartphones in the past, but none has left a lasting impression on the market.
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Just to shake things up (for the better), the company has decided to do a Micromax — remember Yu — by launching its own sub-brand called Black.
Can Xolo recreate the magic that Micromax seems to have achieved with Yu? It’s too early to know that. The company has only just launched the first smartphone under the new brand and named it Black. The Black smartphone has a very interesting specification sheet. More importantly, with the kind of credentials the Black boasts of on paper, its asking price of Rs.12,999 seems rather surprising.
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Yes, on first look, the whole package appears to be a premium one at an affordable price. But, there’s still more than meets the eye. If you’ve read our first impressions of the Xolo Black, you’d probably know how much we liked the design and overall build quality of the phone considering its relatively low asking price. Without a doubt, the Black carries the ‘tall, dark and handsome’ phrase so very effortlessly.
But there’s a catch. The design is very Xperia-like (Xperia Z3-like to be precise) with bits and pieces of the iPhone thrown in.However, both the Xperia Z3 and the iPhone (6/6 Plus) cost a fortune while the Black costs only peanuts in comparison.
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The bigger picture here is that Xolo (or rather, Black) has been able to bring a premium design at an affordable price to the masses. At the same time, it has not simply mimicked a popular design just for the heck of it. The Black looks and feels every bit a premium phone that does better justice to its price than some of the other handsets in this price range (even costlier ones).
Unlike majority of phones in its price range, the Black is all glass with a plastic frame. On first look, it passes off as an ‘almost’ premium handset (akin to the Z3). If it weren’t for the plastic frame, it would have passed off as a completely premium one. When compared with the rest of the body, the plastic frame does look cheap, especially when you combine it with its loose and tacky physical buttons for power and volume.
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It looks like the main body and the frame were designed by two very different persons, with two totally different outlooks on life. Also, we found the edges to be a little too edgy to our liking. Thankfully, the phone doesn’t weigh much, nor does it have epic proportions. Xolo has kept things sleek and slim here which is nice. The Black (7.3mm) is slimmer than the Xiaomi Mi 4i (7.8mm).
Still it’s a 5.5-inch phablet and one-handed operability isn’t expected from it. The company is heavily banking on the Black’s durability and smudge and strain resistance. The phone comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on both sides in addition to an extra layer of oleophobic coating (on the back) to protect the surface from stain and accidental spillage.
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Yes, small amounts of water won’t affect the phone (much like Motorola phones) but beware that it doesn’t have any IPX certification, so you might want to stay clear of testing your luck with this one. We found the back as well as the front of the device prone to scratches and fingerprints, a common problem in smartphones made of glass. At the same time, these are very reflective, another downside of having a glass surface.