Noida based smartphone firm Xolo has had an eventful history since it was initiated back in 2012. The company has been accredited to bringing India's first smartphone with an Intel processor in the form of the XOLO X900. Xolo was also amongst one of the first smartphone manufacturers to launch a dual camera smartphone in India with its Xolo Black, launched in July 2015. A similar such offering was brought out by the company back in October last year as the successor to its Era series. The Xolo Era 3X, priced at Rs 7,499, caters to the budget segment market and comes with features like a 13-megapixel sensor for its selfie camera along with a Moonlight feature. Just how good is the smartphone for its price tag, let us find out in this review.
What is likeable about the Xolo Era 3X in the first glance is the simplicity with which the smartphone has been built. Everything has been placed right to make its use as simple as it gets for an Android beginner. The metal frame of the Era 3X has been rounded off the edges for easy handling. The not so protruding power button and the volume rockers have been placed on the right and can easily be operated by the thumb for a right-handed user. Capacitive touch keys on the bottom bezel, fingerprint sensor at the back and the speakers and the USB port on the chin are accurately placed to offer easy operations on all fronts.
The built of the smartphone guarantees a durable stance to the device, thanks to the metal frame and a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on top of its 5-inch display. Combining the ease of operation and the rough and tough build, the Era 3X promises a good and tension free handling for any user.
Another feature that adds to the ease of operating the Xolo Era 3X is the stock Android experience. Navigating around the smartphone for any task is not much simpler than this in any of the smartphones. The Era 3X still runs the Android 7.0 Nougat (out-of-the-box) though and there is no news on when the company will provide the Android Oreo update.
Xolo Era 3X offers a 3GB RAM along with a 16G internal storage which is further expandable up to 64GB using an external microSD. This memory offering makes it capable enough to handle everyday tasks easily. But again, this performance can cater to a limited user group.
The Era 3X comes with a fingerprint sensor that is quite fast and can unlock the phone without any noticeable lag, a feature that not many smartphones offer at this price range. The capacitive keys act similarly and the phone is able to give a quick response up on their use.
The 13-megapixel primary camera of the smartphone is better than average and is able to deliver good quality pictures with the right focus and apt detailing. The colour, contrast and sharpness of the image is good too.
What’s Not so Cool?
Design-wise the smartphone is simple and elegant. But that simplicity makes it compromise on a refreshing look, as the Xolo Era 3X has nothing new or trending to offer. It is way different than the slim, bezel-less smartphones which most of the other OEMs are opting for these days. So Era 3X becomes a prominent choice for a buyer only if one is going for a smartphone with good handling and basic design, instead of a new or a unique look.
The Era 3X is powered by a 1.25 Ghz Quad Core MT6737 SoC which, as mentioned before, makes the smartphone capable enough to perform your everyday tasks. This includes playing games, multitasking and even more. But in case a power user would want to push the smartphone’s performance any further by playing a graphics intensive game or perform any such operation, the user might not be able to get too much out of it. Essentially, there is an upper cap to the smartphone’s performance, after which lags are noticeable in the form of larger app loading times and other such hiccups.
Although Xolo promotes its Era 3X mostly on the basis of its selfie capabilities, in our use we did not find the selfie camera of the Era 3X to be so appealing. The images delivered by it start pixelating even after very little zooming into the picture. The images are also overexposed and mostly carry washed out colours. Even the camera app on the smartphone is quite slower than usual and takes much time to detect the right focus. The Moonlight Selfie flash does help in low-light conditions though.
The battery backup that Xolo has provided on the Era 3X is just about right, neither too much, nor too bad. One can pull off a day’s usage from the smartphone’s 3000 mAh battery, thanks to its limited display resolution of 1280x720 pixels. The battery does take ample amount of time to charge though.
Xolo has not tried at all to make its smartphone anything like the competing new-age smartphones in its segment. There is no bezel-less display, slim form factor or a dual camera setup. The Era 3X does rank on its simplicity and ease-of-use though.
So as for the question of going for the Xolo Era 3X as your next device, the smartphone is advised to be a preferable choice strictly for those who are new to the Android smartphone ecosystem or one who would not want too much out of their smartphone and would like a simple interface and handling for the tasks they perform.
For any heavy user or those seeking a great camera capability, there are other smartphones in the market with a bit better quality.
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