Late last year, Indian handset company Xolo made a comeback of sorts with three new smartphones — the Xolo Era 3X, Era 2V and Era 3. Targeted at the selfie-obsessed younger generation, these phones come with higher resolution front-facing cameras and front-facing flash for brighter photos in low-light.
We have been using Xolo Era 3X as our primary smartphone for over a week. Xolo Era 3X, priced at Rs 6,999, ticks all the boxes for an entry-level smartphone. The smartphone features a 5-inch HD display, 16GB built-in storage, quad-core MediaTek processor and 3,000mAh battery. The highlight of the phone is a 13-megapixel front-facing camera with LED flash and a 13-megapixel rear camera. It also has a fingerprint scanner on the back.
The Xolo Era 3X faces very stiff competition from the likes of Xiaomi Redmi 5A and Xiaomi Redmi Y1, both popular smartphones in the budget category.
What we liked
Xolo Era 3X takes excellent selfies, especially in daylight. It features a now-standard dedicated beauty mode to enhance your selfies. The smartphone allows you to control a few elements such as colour effect, white balance, ISO levels, and GPS location information.
It also lets you take burst mode photos (up to 40 at one go) and assign volume keys for taking photos. While some of these are pretty much standard camera features, a few additional customisation options make it more compelling. The rear camera is also pretty good, considering the price point. The quality degrades when taken in low-light, but so do a lot of entry-level smartphones.
Unlike other players, Xolo hasn’t heavily customised the software. The UI seems pretty close to the stock Android experience. There are a few pre-loaded apps such as Facebook, Hike Messenger and Newspoint. Fortunately, they can be uninstalled by the user if they choose to.
What we didn’t like
The Xolo Era 3X’s body is a bit of bummer. It’s thick and feels heavier. At a time when most smartphone companies are looking beyond existing design moulds by implementing bezel-less screens and curvier bodies, Xolo’s phone seems like one from an older era (pun intended). Of late, we’ve seen even under-Rs 10,000 phones coming with bezel-less displays.
While the fingerprint scanner is zippy, adjusting to the shallow button on the back does take a little time.
Our overall experience with Xolo Era 3X was a mixed bag. While we certainly liked the selfie camera capabilities, the performance and overall design leave a lot to be desired. Rival Xiaomi’s Redmi 5A seems like a better proposition as it delivers a better balance of performance and camera. The price of Redmi 5A starts at Rs 5,999. You can also consider Xiaomi’s Redmi Y1 if you are looking for a phone that has a good front-facing camera and does not compromise on performance and battery life.