“The XonPhone 5 is a good all-rounder while its 16GB storage makes it a competition-killer at the price”
The year 2014 has seen a flurry of low-cost performance-oriented smartphones coming into the market with even the bigger brands like Motorola also trying to capture their share with devices such as the Moto E (review | first impressions). Talking about recent launches, the Xiaomi Redmi 1S (review | first impressions) is currently the most popular low-cost performance smartphone available in the market today. However, device maker Oplus, with its second Android product for the Indian market, the Oplus XonPhone 5, has offered a good looking, feature rich Android smartphone, and has managed to price it quite competitively as well. The brand’s first offering was the XonPad 7 slate, so this is actually its very first smartphone. So let’s find out more about the device and the capabilities it offers, with its detailed review. You can also take a look at the unboxing and first impressions of the device to catch a glimpse of the XonPhone 5.
Looks sleek, feels premium
The XonPhone 5 is the company’s first ever effort at making an impressive Android-powered smartphone and that shows with the kind of quality the device has to offer. We wouldn’t say that the device is flawless, but we would definitely like to point out that it offers striking looks and classy appeal.
The smartphone is fashioned out of metal, glass and plastics in the right proportions to make it durable, while at the same time not making it too bulky. The overall weight is on the higher side, but only by a fraction and done not hamper the utility of this smartphone in any way.
The front features a glass-based scratch protection surface but not Gorilla Glass. A plastic rear panel, adorned with a dimple pattern similar to the Samsung Galaxy S5 and sporting a matte finish offers further protection against scratches.
At 7.8mm, it is definitely not the slimmest smartphones around, but the designers deserve kudos for the way it has been designed. On the sides, it gets laser cut keys and just to increase the aesthetic appeal, there are metallic strips running from top to bottom, fastened on to the device using steel screws. All in all, the design works and imparts a classy look-and-feel.
A bright and vibrant display with a precise touch
The XonPhone 5 comes with a 5-inch IPS LCD display offering a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels. Interestingly, the device offers a pixel density of close to 290 ppi, but Snapdeal, the only store where the device is selling presently mentions the pixel density as 320 ppi, which could just be an error on its part.
Anyhow, the display offers ample resolution and there is no pixelation visible to the naked eye, which is great. In addition to IPS, the device also makes use of OGS (One Glass Solution). An OGS solution basically combines the display and the touch surface and offers them as one unit, so as a result the display becomes brighter and more vibrant. Moreover, true to the technology, the device offers a higher contrast ratio and vibrant colour reproduction, be it games, documents, web browsing and multimedia use.
The device feature five-point multi-touch input system, which is quite accurate. All the actions and gestures made on the device result in corresponding actions without any delay and through the course of the review, we didn’t face any issues with the touch input system. It gets full marks from us.
Android KitKat 4.4 with a custom flavour
Android KitKat 4.4 is fast spreading to even the cheapest of Android smartphones available today. Likewise, the Opus XonPhone 5 also comes loaded with KitKat as its platform, and since the latest version of the OS is already there, users can rest assured that they will get the maximum compatibility with apps and utilities with this device.
The company has chosen to alter the barebones Android experience and has added a number of customisations. However, despite the fact that the OS is changed from the stock Android in terms of looks, the experienced offered is more or less similar to stock, and the customisations are only limited to a few cosmetic changes. In addition, applications such as the Snapdeal app and quite interestingly, Asphalt 8, the full 1.5GB game comes preloaded on the device. Clearly, the manufacturer is not afraid of the storage running out and clearly, that’s because of the 16GB internal storage it offers.
Nevertheless, the XonPhone 5 works well and offers a smooth experience, which is not just limited to fluid navigation but also offers faster app access and response times as well.
Powerful hardware at a budget price
Quad-core processors are not just found in the more expensive Android smartphones, and even the sub-Rs 10,000 category is seeing many devices rocking these as well. The Opus XonPhone 5 is no different, and features a 1.3GHz quad-core processor from MediaTek taking care of its processing needs. Along with this processor, the device features a 1GB RAM and a generous 16GB onboard storage to go with it.
Additionally, if users wish to add more storage, they can do so by inserting a microSD card of up to 32GB capacity. For cellular connectivity, the smartphone relies on dual SIMs and offers 3G data connectivity via both. It houses one micro- and one regular-sized SIM slot, so if you have either of them you can use the device right out of the box.
Generally, at lower price points, devices makers tend to rob devices of sensors like the ambient light sensor or the proximity sensor. However, Oplus has generously loaded the phone with all necessary sensors including proximity, ambient light, accelerometer, compass and even a gravity sensor.
As a result, it offers comparatively good performance compared to others available in the same price band. We have experienced devices from Micromax, Motorola and even Xiaomi… and the latter’s Redmi 1S is the only one that we feel is more powerful than the XonPhone 5 and at a lower price point.
Multimedia experience is great, but not the battery
So far, the XonPhone 5 has managed to impress in most aspects, but the multimedia use is where this device really excels. The display is great for gaming and multimedia use, and the wide viewing angles of this HD display makes all the difference. In addition, the 16GB onboard storage is a boon for those who love to carry their favourite videos and tunes with them at all times and having more internal memory allows users to install games like Asphalt 8 on this device, which are not possible on devices like the Micromax Unite 2 because there is hardly any memory left after installing the game.
At the back, the XonPhone flaunts an 8-megapixel autofocus camera supplemented by an LED flash. The quality of the images captured is good outdoors, but despite the presence of an LED flash, low-light shots are grainy. However they do not miss out on the detail. Please click on the thumbnails below for full-resolution images.
On the front, there is a 2-megapixel fixed focus camera provided and it works well in most cases, provided the light is in abundance.
Everything looks good, except for the battery life, which really tends to take away all the fun away from this device. The XonPhone flaunts a 2,000 mAh battery pack which managed to return a total run time of close to six hours in our battery drain test. Even with frugal usage, it barely manages to get through the day.
The Oplus XonPhone 5 is a spectacular looking device, which offers some great hardware and an incredible amount of storage for the price of Rs 7,999. It offers a brilliant display, a good camera and a mediocre battery. So among the competition, the XonPhone 5 is a better bet than the Micromax Unite 2 (review) because of storage, display and the camera capabilities. It also beats the Moto E in almost every department and even roughs up some powerful competition against the Xiaomi Redmi 1S, which offer similar specs but is better in processing power while loses out in display size, storage and Android version.
Price: Rs 7,999
Editor’s rating: 8 / 10
- Brilliant display
- Powerful performance
- Huge storage for the price
- Premium design and appeal
- Mediocre battery
- Relatively unknown brand