Nokia XL First Look and Hands On Review: The 'Other Big' Android Offering with Potential




Nokia is currently facing a situation in India that the company might not have guessed even 10 years ago. The company was ruling the roost with its dedicated feature phones, before it was effectively replaced by the age of smartphones, with the entry of the likes of Samsung and Apple.

Nevertheless, Nokia still boasts some market name due to its history with the country. The rest, however, Nokia is looking to take care of with its new age Windows Phone-powered handsets that still needs some time before coming to terms with the popularity of Android and iOS-based devices.

Nokia XL First Look and Hands On Review

But keeping aside the Windows Phone devices, Nokia has also invested a bit of its time on the new X range of handsets. And while the devices may not have that big a presence, in terms of features or specs, but still are the first set of Nokia devices running the Android operating system.

Now, before queries start popping up for the new device, it needs to be said that although Nokia is indeed offering the Android platform for its X range of devices, it's still not the kind of Android you are usually used to.

Nokia XL First Look and Hands On Review


In fact, the Android running in the phones is a part of the Android Open Source Project, and not the official Google-based Android offering. And such device in that range, running the same Android offering is the new Nokia XL.

The Nokia XL is the new and upcoming handset that will come in the same family as that of the previously released Nokia X and the yet-to-be-released Nokia X+. The XL is basically a bigget avatar of the X boasting more or less the same kind of specifications and features.

But is the device worth the money that you might want to spend knowing that the device is an Android-running Nokia handset? We have a piece just right in front of us and we have already gathered a few information about going by the first look. Here's what we found out.

Nokia XL First Look and Hands On Review

Nokia XL: Design and Display

The Nokia XL is basically the biggest of Nokia's all three X branded Android devices. The XL features a popular 5-inch display and measures 141x78x10.9 mm. But although the device is quite big, it won't really feel overly big in your hand. Moreover, Nokia has designed the phone with a thin bezel so as to avoid any kind of problems related to weight.

The handset's build quality, itself, is quite impressive. The handset features a unibody polycarbonate plastic design, and is quite comfortable in the hand, and even easier to operate with a single hand. However, in order to cut costs, Nokia will be offering the device with a low 480x800 resolution despite having a 5-inch display.

Nokia XL First Look and Hands On Review

And due to this low resolution, texts and images on the phone, apart from the usual tiled interface, may seem to appear a bit faded. The sharpness quotient of the device's display is to be neglected here, since you might not get what you are looking for.

However, if you can keep the sharpness quotient out of your mind for the time being, you will eventually realize that the brightness levels and viewing angles of the XL almost match those of Nokia's higher-end Lumia devices.

Nokia XL: OS and Interface

As we mentioned before, Nokia's XL is basically in the news for running the Android operarting system (although not the real thing). Nokia has heavily customized the Android inside the device to make it look a lot like Micrsoft's Windows Phone, while also adding a number of Microsoft-based app and services to the device.

And while users may not be able to access the Google Play store like all other Android-based devices, but Nokia has created its own Nokia Store, apart from offering a number of dedicated apps. We are guessing that as time goes, more and more additions will be made to the app selection.

Nokia XL First Look and Hands On Review

But will all that being said, once you fire up the device, you will know actually how easy it is to get used to this "forked" version of Android. The navigation will surely feel slick and intuitive, with apps firing up without any real lag.

The tiles that you will find gracing the home screen of the device can be moved around by holding and dragging. Users can also increase the size of their important apps from 1x1 to 4x4. Apart from that, some of the app will even pull and offer additional information.

On swiping the device sideways from the homescreen, it takes you to the "Fast Lane." In case you haven't got an idea, the Fast Lane is an always live feed of all the latest activity on the Nokia XL, ranging from the recently used apps, notifications, and even interacting via a social media.

The device's power/lock key resides on the right of the Nokia XL, below a volume rocker switch. However, unlike the Lumia range of devices, there's no dedicated shutter button here.

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