Review: Xolo Hive (8X-1000)

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Review: Xolo Hive (8X-1000)

The regional smartphone market is getting overcrowded day by day. Last week, all through GITEX Shopper 2014, we witnessed around seven new smartphone brands enter the market. One of that was Xolo, a subsidiary of Lava, an Indian company that focuses on premium Android-based smartphones and tablets. Following the launch of the new devices on the market, the company sent us the Xolo Hive (8X-1000) for review at Review Central Labs.

The Xolo Hive is a device that runs on Android KitKat with a custom Hive UI (more on that later) on top of it. One look at the phone and you will realise that it looks a bit like the Sony Xperia range of smartphones. The build quality of the Xolo Hive is surprisingly good for the price point it is available on the market.

It feels nice and solid to hold, and the overall finishing of the device is quite good. The Xolo Hive’s body is built using a bit of plastic and more of glass. Both the front and the back are topped with a layer of tough glass. Due to this, the phone proves to be a fingerprint magnet – but it isn’t a biggie, unless you have OCD.

You will find the dual SIM slots and the microSD slot on the right and left edges of the phone. In addition, the power and volume buttons are on the right, while the ports for data cable and headphones are on the top. We think that putting the data cable port on the top was not a wise decision. It feels a bit awkward using the phone, when it is connected to your PC or laptop.

Xolo Hive 1

Under the 5-inch IPS LCD display, you will find the touch-sensitive home, menu and back buttons. The Xolo Hive’s display offers resolution of 720P and we found the quality to be better than most phones in the price bracket it is available at.

Inside, the phone runs on Mediatek’s 1.4-Ghz Octa core processor MT6592M chipset. It also packs in 2GB of RAM and 16GB built-in storage. Inside the box, the Xolo Hive comes with a micro-USB data cable, a USB Charger, two screen protectors with one pre-installed on the phone, in-ear headphones with extra ear buds, and warranty card.

Hive UI

Hive UI with customised theme downloaded through the Edge app.

One of the biggest plus points of the Xolo Hive is its customised Hive UI. The user interface on the Xolo Hive is completely different from the stock Android UI you find on most similar-priced phones. With the Hive, Xolo has managed to completely customise Android, including the lockscreen, the notification area, the way apps are displayed and so much more.


AnTuTu Benchmark Results.

Xolo also adds an app that allows you to perform power management in a couple of clicks. In addition, the phone also comes with a security app, that lets you lock the phone remotely, encrypt the device and manage how and what data is accessed by apps on the phone. With the Hive UI, you can also change UI animations and effects in addition to changing the wallpapers.

There’s a app that achieves all of the above customisation, called Edge. This app allows you to connect to Xolo servers and download new themes, ringtones and wallpapers. Having said all of that, the Hive UI works pretty well, without slowing down the device.

The camera functionality of the Xolo Hive is quite good. The rear 8-megpapixel camera was able to consistently shoot good pictures, even under low light settings. Th front 2-megapixel camera works well with video calls and selfies.

At a price tag of AED 899, the Xolo Hive is a good phone that packs in some good features and performance. If you are on the market for a new smartphone, have budget constraints and do not mind buying a smartphone from a new brand, the Xolo Hive could be it.

Price: AED 899

Processor: 1.4 GHz Octa Core MediaTek MT6592M
RAM: 2 Gb
Display Size: 5 inch IPS LCD capacitive touch screen with 720 x 1280 HD resolution
Operating System: Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat) OS
Primary Camera: 8 MP AF camera
Secondary Camera: 2 MP front-facing camera FF [Fixed Focus]
Internal Storage: 16 GB with 12 Gb approx user available
External Storage: Expandable up to 32GB
Battery: 2000 mAh battery Lithium Ion
Connectivity: 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, aGPS, 3.5mm audio jack, FM Radio
Dual SIM: Yes

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