Xolo on Wednesday announced plans to unveil a new sub-brand called Black. Xolo Black smartphones will not be sold through traditional retail channels and will be available online via the company's yet-to-be-confirmed preferred e-commerce partner.
The first Xolo Black smartphone will launch in June and it will come with a dual rear camera setup with depth-sensing support, similar to the one seen in the HTC One (M8). This means, with the right software, you could point your smartphone's camera at real-life objects and find their dimensions in an instant, and do other cool things like refocussing pictures after you've clicked them. The phone will come with Hive 1.5, an update to the company's in-house UI, which is now built on top of Android Lollipop. It will also have 4G support and will be priced in the "sub-Rs. 15,000 segment."
Vishal Sehgal, Co-Founder and Director of Lava International Ltd., the company that owns the Xolo brand, said all Xolo Black phones - Xolo plans to release 5-6 Black smartphones every year, priced between Rs. 8,000 and Rs. 20,000 - will come with Hive 1.5 or above and will support 4G. Black is being positioned as "the premium end of Xolo."
While that pricing won't give sleepless nights to other online brands like Xiaomi and Micromax's Yu, Sehgal is convinced Black can find its space in what's starting to look like a really crowded market. He believes customers want the "best value" and not necessarily the cheapest product, which gives the him confidence they will opt for the Xolo experience over phones that aim to "offer the best specs/ price ratio."
Xolo believes there are four key features that consumers look for in a smartphone: camera, industrial design, battery, and audio performance. Sehgal said every Xolo Black smartphone will look at "maximising" one of these features while "optimising" the other three. With the first Black smartphone, Xolo is obviously focussing on camera performance.
When asked whether Xolo Black smartphones will be available via the infamous flash sale model, Sehgal said the company didn't believe in "gimmicks," but was otherwise non-committal, saying details will be shared when the first smartphone is launched. He added that the company is exploring a tie-up with a telecom operator for marketing, as well as in-store sales that will also allow customers to experience Xolo Black smartphones first-hand before making a buying decision.