The first Intel smartphone is here. After years of work, California
based Intel announced the first smartphones with its own Atom chips at
the Mobile World Congress earlier this year. Not able to secure the
support of popular smartphone manufacturers like HTC and Samsung,
company went ahead with Chinese tech giant Lenovo and relatively unknown
Indian manufacturer Lava to launch the initial smartphones.
name Lava doesn't inspire much confidence in Indian consumers. While the
company launched its first smartphone in India last year, it hasn't
been able to generate much buzz. Intel needed hardware partners, and
Lava needed a product that would help shed its image of a feature-phone
manufactuer. In many ways, XOLO is a partnership of convience for both
X900 is technically the first Intel powered smartphone to
ship worldwide; it is based on Intel's Medfield reference design and has
been priced at Rs. 21,999. In this review, we will be find out if the
first Intel smartphone is capable making a place for Intel in the
smartphone chip market.
We have seen quite a few
beautiful devices in the last few weeks. Coming from Sony's Xperia S,
Lava XOLO X900 is a tad less aesthetically pleasing but that shouldn't
be taken as a negative for the smartphone.
For a device that
mirrors the reference design, XOLO X900 looks polished and feels nice in
hand. The overall design isn't revolutionary but it is some fine work
and consumers won't be disappointed.
Featuring a rectangular
shape, XOLO X900 reminds of iPhone 4/4S , it is similar in looks with
the chrome ring, button placement and even the micro-SIM card slot,
which isn't really bad.
The front of the X900 houses a 4.03-inch
display with 1024x600p resolution, along with capacitive Android
buttons, 1.3MP front camera, earpiece, MIC and a bunch of sensors. The
micro-SIM card slot is present on the right side with two-stage
dedicated camera button, volume rocker and speaker.
second speaker for stereo sound is present on the left with HDMI-out
port. The company hasn't clubbed any HDMI cable in the box, which would
certainly have been a nice addition.
Bottom is pretty much clean
apart from the Micro-USB cum charging port, while top includes power
button and the 3.5mm headphone jack. On the rubberised back, consumers
will find the 8MP camera, LED Flash, regulatory symbols, Intel and XOLO
It might not be the thinnest or lightest phone around, but when it comes with real life usage, XOLO X900 works out pretty well.
the world of HTC One X and Apple iPhone 4S, manufacturers truly need
some great work to compete with some really awesome display panels. WVGA
no longer cuts and HD is the standard - anything less is simply a
dissapointment for a top of the line smartpone.
Intel and Lava
have opted something that falls in the middle - 1024x600p resolution; it
is not very common for smartphones, but we have seen it in quite a few
tablets including Kindle Fire and Samsung Galaxy Tab 620. It might not
be 720p HD, but it is not a disappointment either. At its price, X900
will be competing with Motorola Atrix 2, Samsung Galaxy S Plus, which
come with qHD and WVGA resolutions - thus X900 surely wins that race.
X900 features a 4.03-inch display, which is pretty decent and offers
nice colour output and viewing angles. Although in comparison with the
recent smartphones like HTC One X and Galaxy Nexus, we found it a tad
underwhelming. But then that's a battle no one was expecting the X900 to
As the display has 295 pixels-per-inch, consumers would
hardly notice any individual pixels on the device. Even the touch
experience is great and we never had any problems with touch accuracy.
X900's display is also sufficiently bright and consumers will not have
issues while operating the phone directly under the sun.
have become an integral part of smartphone experience these days,
manufacturers are spending considerable amount of time and effort in
bringing something unique and useful to the table. - The ImageSense
enhancements in HTC One series of smartphones or Pureview technology in
Nokia 808 are testament to the fact.
Intel and Lava have also tried to include their own set of improvements to the camera in X900 - let's see how they worked out.
houses an 8-megapixel camera sensor in the smartphone, which has been
clubbed with one of the most comprehensive camera apps we have seen in
recent times. It also comes with something called Burst Shot, last seen
in HTC One X, that allows consumers to click upto ten pictures in less
than a second.
Lava and Intel even had a dancer at the X900 launch
to clearly show how effective burst shots can be while taking shots of
something that is in motion. It was the first feature that we tried on
X900 and it work flawlessly. Overall, even in non-burst mode, the
quality of still captures was a tad disappointing. We found it sub-par
and looking at the cameras in other modern smartphones, it certainly
lacked a bit.
Shots taken from the 5MP camera of Galaxy Nexus were
better in colour output, vibrancy and details than shots the 8MP camera
of XOLO X900.
The camera app on the smartphone also offers
various colour filters like Sepia, BW, Negative, which can be applied
directly in the app itself.
The video recording interface on the
phone is similar to the still imaging UI and it allows you to shoot up
to 1080p video, which is pretty much a standard in high-end smartphones.
You can even apply the colour effects while recording a video or set
white balance or zoom. The recording output is decent and looks good.
Camera maintains auto-focus continuously, which helps in capturing long
videos with a lot of movement.
The 1.3MP front camera is decent and you can even record 720p videos with it.
us some Ice Cream Sandwich - consumers with old Android phones have
been shouting the same since November 2011, when ICS source code was
publically released. Even if we forgive manufacturers for being
super-late in providing updates for old smartphones, how can they launch
a new smartphone with old operating system version on-board?
and Lava have done the same with XOLO X900. When manufacturers like HTC
could launch their One series of devices with ICS and a comprehensive
UI on-board, there is no excuse for Intel or Lava to release X900 with
Having said that, as a Gingerbread smartphone, XOLO
X900 is quite decent as company has kept the interface as well the whole
Android experience pretty much stock. There are no extra applications
loaded on the smartphone apart from the XOLO Care app and the inclusion
Talking about the app compatibility, being the new
architecture for Android, there is a lot of confusion on which apps will
be compatible with the phone's Intel x86 platforms. While apps like
Facebook, Twitter, Barcode Scanner, Astro, Dropbox, and Instagram work
flawlessly, several games ,Shadowgun, Deer Hunter, Backstab, Temple
Run, and Asphalt 6 amongst them, aren't supported as of date.
We hope Intel is working proactively with developers to get such apps ready for the platform.
Performance /Battery Life
X900 recently became the first smartphone worldwide to ship with
Intel's Atom Z2460 32nm SoC with processor clocked at up to 1.6 GHz. It
also comes with a PowerVR SGX 540 GPU at 400 MHz, and a dual channel
Despite being powered a single-core processor,
XOLO X900 performs at par with other smartphones in the same
price-bracket, which are powered by dual-core processors. There is
no-sluggishness or lag while going through menus or working with the
Even before Intel entered the smartphone arena, a
lot of questions were raised around the battery life of any future
phones based on Intel processors. x86 has traditionally been seen as a
power hungry platform, not suitable for use in smartphones and other
devices where battery juice is at a premium.
The x86 power myth
also seems busted as X900's battery backup is inline with any other
competing high-end Android smartphone. Medium to heavy users will be
able to pass the day with the smartphone's 1460 mAh battery.
gaming performance in pretty good and most casual games worked
flawlessly; although, we did miss many popular gaming titles because of
incompatibility with the architecture.
Intel has clearly taken a
big step with the first smartphone and it is certainly a worthy
competitor, but there are few things that it needs work on - like app
While the Lava XOLO X900 performs
pretty well for its price, the positioning as well as the branding might
well end up hurting the phone. Although Lava has pitched it under the
name XOLO, Indian consumers are very brand conscious and a 'Lava-made
Rs. 22,000 phone' factor will surely play a lot of role in their buying
decision. But, if you can look beyond the brand, XOLO X900 is worthy of
Check out more images of Lava XOLO X900 in our picture gallery.
- Quality display
- Overall performance
- Dated Gingerbread on board
- Lack of compatibility with select apps
Battery Life: 3.5
Value for Money: 3