Nokia XL specifications review: A large-screen budget Android phone

 

The Finnish manufacturer has been well-known in the mobile phone market since pretty long, and the Nokia handsets are definitely claimed as ‘rugged’ and ‘long-lasting’ by many that have used them. After the recent burst of smartphones, Android and iOS smartphones have taken the front seat with Windows Phone catching up just behind them and Blackberry unfortunately falling behind. Recently, Nokia was acquired by Microsoft and the software giant along with the Finnish hardware manufacturer can make a promising smartphone soon.  Possibly, the Windows ECO system similar to what Apple has already done so far.

Well, while most of the handset manufacturers went along with the Google’s open source Android operating system, Nokia chose to go with Microsoft Windows Phone. However, Nokia had planned to get into the Android zone, and they did. Affordable Android handsets Nokia X and Nokia X+ was launched recently. Now Nokia has gone a step further to launch the large-screen (which seems to be the feature preference of most smartphone hunters) the Nokia XL.

The Nokia XL is a large-screen Android handset which sports the look of most Lumia phones out there. The design is great with attractive color variants. The phone looks good from any angle you look at it, but is a tad bulkier than usual 5-incher smartphones—thanks to the thick 10.9 mm bezel and a 190g chassis.

The display is a 5-incher LCD, but does not sport a great resolution, just 480×800 pixels. There is no information about the protection for the screen, so we assume it is a regular scratch-resistant protection. There are not physical buttons apart from a capacitive Home button on the bottom of the display. The earpiece, sensors and front camera are placed towards the top end. Towards the right, you will find the volume rocker and power button, while the audio jack and microUSB socket are placed on the top and bottom of the phone respectively. Sadly, there is no physical camera shutter-release button on this phone. A 5MP camera sits on the rear with an LED flash just above it. Towards the bottom is the speaker grill. Peel-off the rear panel and underneath you shall find a removable battery, with the two dual SIM slots and one micro SD card slot just beside it.

Under the hood, the Nokia XL seems to have a decent hardware, but don’t expect too much at this price point. The Nokia XL is built using Qualcomm MSM8225 Snapdragon S4 Play chipset. It features a 1GHz dual-core processor with 768MB of RAM and an Adreno 203 GPU. The display is a 5-incher LCD TFT with a resolution of 480×800 pixels and a pixel density of 187ppi. The internal storage is 4GB, which is shared between the firmware and app storage and rest of the available space is open for user data. This can be expanded to 32GB using the micro SD card slot.

The user interface on the Nokia XL is tiled, which makes it look like a mix between Android and Windows, but more resembling a Windows Phone feel. Sources from the internet state that the tiled interface has a tad jittery movement when swiped around, and the reason could be the low RAM.

The display is large, but the resolution is low. This reduces the overall pixel depth (187 ppi), which in turn affects the quality of the display. However, the display quality is not as bad as the way it sounds here, so you can be assured you shall have a pleasurable experience while gaming or watching movies.

 

Comparing the camera performances (Thanks to inputs from GSMArena), the Moto G has a better camera as compared to the one on the Nokia. The 5MP camera on the Nokia XL seems to artificially over-sharpen the images by default, which tends to ruin the overall quality.

To sum up the whole, the Nokia XL is one of the cheapest large-screen Android smartphones found in the market. The closest competitor in the same price range is the Motorola Moto G. The Nokia XL, though featuring a large screen, fails to impress on hardware grounds. As per online sources, the Moto G would be preferred over the Nokia XL for reasons such as higher RAM, better display quality, faster performance, higher internal storage, USB OTG, Android updates and Play store app availability.

However, if you prefer a larger screen with a rugged chassis, the Nokia XL is not a bad choice. The Nokia XL is available for a street price of Rs 11,500, which is short of around Rs 1,000 compared to the Moto G. If you want a better display quality, slightly better performance, latest Android updates, unlimited apps and higher internal storage, the Moto G should top your list.

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