Nokia XL first impressions: bigger, better and faster [updated with video]

“Despite the average hardware, Nokia XL offers definite improvements in performance over the X”

Nokia X, the not-so Android smartphone from Nokia managed to create quite a buzz in the Indian market owing to its sturdy build and affordable price. Add a host of Nokia apps and you have a compelling budget Android smartphone offering a ton of features. Even though it has its shortcomings such as non-availability of the Play store and Google services, the device has been able to generate a fair bit of interest among consumers.

Building upon that, the brand which just became part of Microsoft showcased the biggest member of the Nokia X family, the Nokia XL in Delhi today. We got a chance to go hands on with the device. While the price of the device has not yet been disclosed by Nokia, going by what the company said during the unveiling of the Nokia X range of devices at Mobile Word Congress, we strongly believe that it could be priced cheaper than the Nokia Lumia 525, which costs roughly Rs 10,000 in India.

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Built upon signature Nokia quality, the Nokia XL is constructed using high-density polycarbonate plastic that adds strength to the device. Due to the budget nature of the product, it seems Nokia had to cut a few corners.

For instance, the Nokia XL uses an LCD display which has its affect both in terms of increasing the thickness as well as the weight of the device. The smartphone weighs close to 190 grams, making it one of the heavier Android smartphones available in the market today.

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However, sticking to typical Nokia style, the XL will be available in a variety of hues including orange and green apart from conventional black and white. Unlike the bright shades the Nokia X comes in, the colours of the XL look more pleasing to the eye. The device features a design quite similar to the Nokia X, only bigger due to its 5-inch display, which is also its USP.

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The hardware department comprises of a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Play processor clocked at 1GHz, which is supported by 768MB of RAM and 4GB onboard storage. The internal storage can be expanded up to 32GB with the use of a microSD card. This hardware combination gives the XL reasonable power and performance muscle, and hence the device feels faster as compared to its younger sibling. Prying open the rear cover will reveal a 2,000mAh battery along with a pair of micro-SIM slots and a microSD card slot.

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The software is the same as the Nokia X with a custom tile-based user interface based upon Android 4.1 AOSP, along with Nokia’s signature FastLane interface allowing users to quickly access apps and notifications with just a flick of the screen.

Camera quality is one thing where Nokia has gone full throttle with the Nokia XL by offering a 5-megapixel autofocus camera at the back and a 2-megapixel fixed focus camera at the front for video calling. In terms of the quality, both cameras produces decent images, though we would reserve our judgment for the full review in the coming days.

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Despite the fact that the Nokia XL is the top product in the Nokia X range, it still belongs to budget smartphone category and for the expected price, Nokia has done a good job by offering a big-screen Android smartphone loaded with Nokia’s signature apps such as HERE Maps and MixRadio along with Microsoft’s services like OneDrive and Outlook.

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We should have more on the Nokia XL, including its official pricing closer to the launch date, followed thereafter by an in-depth analysis of its capabilities and performance.

Nitansh Rastogi contributed to this article

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