Indian smartphone player, Lava now has three brands under its roof, which are Lava, Xolo and Black. Xolo, the subsidiary of Lava, unveiled its own sub-brand called the Black at an event held on July 10 in Delhi. The first smartphone launched under the new co-brand is called as the Black.
Wondering what differs the Black from Xolo and Lava! Well, the company says that this specific brand has been created to follow the online-only sale model. As per Sunil Raina, MD Xolo, the Black is an online-centric range, and meant to cater to those who shop online. Black will be selling exclusively on Flipkart from July 13th through registered sales. Though the company will also sell this phone through Vodafone stores, in an offline model. Xolo has tied up with Vodafone to provide a bundled SIM offer with 1GB of free data/ month for two months. One can also go to select 100 Vodafone flagship stores to get a hands-on experience of the smartphone.
Talking of the Black, it is a feature-rich smartphone that has been priced aggressively at Rs 12,999. If you take a look at its specs on papers, and features highlighted by the company, the phone will seem nothing less than a brilliant offering for its price. It comes with dual-camera set up, smudge and stain-free panel, HIVE UI, and Snapdragon 615 chipset among other features, which as per company's claims make it better than its Chinese competitors in India.
We got hold of the device at the event for an hands-on experience, and here are our first impressions:
The Black's design combines glass-finished body with rubbery sides, and manages to look just about fine. The Corning Gorilla Glass 3 used on the front as well as rear panel does assure toughness, but the oleophobic coating on the back panel proved to be a major finger-print magnet. It should have ideally been stain- and smudge-free!
The front has a selfie camera, and three capacitive keys, and the back flaunts dual-camera set up with branding. Surprisingly though, it doesnot carry the Black branding anywhere, and instead flashes the Xolo and Hive monikers at the rear panel.
There are volume rocker and power/ lock key placed on the right. For ease of use, the power button on the phone lights up to alert users of notification.
At 155.5×76.6×7.3mm in dimensions, the phone is not very slim, but is good to fit well in hand.
As for its display, the 5.5-inch full-HD OGS IPS screen at a display resolution of 1080×1920 pixels offers 403ppi pixel density. It looks good in terms of colour reproduction and viewing angles, but we have seen better out there!
Processor and storage:
Under the hood, there is Qualcomm's second-generation Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) octa-core Cortex A53 chipset with 64-bit capabilities (quad-core ticking at 1.5GHz + quad-core ticking at 1.0GHz), and Adreno 405 GPU. This is the same chipset that powers the Xiaomi Mi 4i.
The chipset is paired with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage which is expandable up to 32GB on microSD card.
With this chipset, the phone should perform smoothly, though it might give heating issues.
The phone touts a dual-camera set up on rear panel. So, you get a 13-megapixel camera coupled with a 2-megapixel camera, and a flash light snadwiched between them on the rear panel. These cameras can work in tendem and allow user to refocus images after clicking them. The camera offers depth mapping, which should function similar to the HTC One M8, though was not impressing when tested. It also boasts superfast auto-focus which can focus on the subject in merely 0.15 sec.
Overall, the camera worked just about fine for us during our hand-on experinece, but considering factors like low-light conditions, and other, er would want to reserve our final take on camera for the review.
Also, there is a 5-megapixel front-facing snapper with LED flash up front.
The Black runs on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop wrappe under the overhauled HIVE UI. The new UI is called the HIVE Atlas which comes with a redesigned interface. Th einterface did not look very appealing in the first go but you might get a hang of it after using it for a while.
The Black phone does not look the best out there, but boasts of features and specs which do sound interesting. Also, its price does give it an edge over its competitiors in the market. However, if you ask whether it will fare well or not in the market, it all depends on its performance, which cant be judged untill we review the device.
Look out for our review of the Black in few days, to know about the phone in detail!