The budget to mid-range segment is completely dominated by up and comers like Micromax, Karbonn, iBall and now XOLO. The A800 is XOLO’s latest addition to its product line and is a replacement to the A700. The new handset boasts of an impressive list of features considering its price point and will compete directly with the iBall Andi 4.5h. It looked very promising in our specifications review and now it’s time to see if it really delivers in our real world tests.
Design and build
XOLO has nailed the design and aesthetics of the A800 very well. The handset looks and feels balanced and we love the choice of plastics used. The glossy front tends to attract fingerprints and reflections can be an issue. It doesn’t fare very well when it comes to sunlight legibility too. We have three capacitive buttons at the bottom along with the front facing camera and sensors on the top. It’s a fairly slim handset with the volume rocker placed neatly on the left and the microUSB port below that. The power/sleep button and 3.5 mm headphone jack take their place on the top, leaving the right side bare.
IPS display produces bright and vivid colours
This is a dual SIM handset, but only one SIM supports 3G. Right beside it is the hot-swap microSD card slot; the A800 comes bundled with an 8GB microSD card. The A800 does not look like your typical budget Android handset. In fact, it has a premium feel to it and that’s not easy to find in phones in this price range.
Easy to reach ports
XOLO delivers stock Android Ice Cream Sandwich with the A800 with some tweaks to the settings and the notification bar. Just like most budget droids, there are scrollable toggle switches in the notifications area; however they aren’t customisable. The settings menu is also quite different with new icons and additional sub-menus for dual SIM management, sound profiles and an option to automate tasks like shutdown and restart the phone. The UI is left pretty much untainted and the functioning is smooth and fluid. This is possible thanks to the snappy dual-core MediaTek MT6577 SoC and 512MB of RAM. There is a minute lag and stutter that creeps in when swiping across homescreens, but that could just be ICS.
UI is quick and fluid
The 4.5-inch IPS display manages to produce sharp text and vivid colours. The viewing angles are also very good. The qHD resolution (540 x 960) helps in keeping a decently high pixel count, so icons and text don’t appear pixelated. There’s also no visible banding seen in wallpapers and in video. The A800 also features an ambient light sensor for automatic brightness adjustment, a feature many choose to omit in the budget section.
For media playback, we have the stock audio and video player. Audio quality is decent as long as you use a good pair of IEMs. The volume of the speaker is not very loud. It’s just enough for alerts, but dialogues in movies are not very clear. File format support is the same as you would get with stock ICS, so for added support for MKV, AVI etc., you’ll have to turn to third party players. There’s also FM radio.
Decent media playback
Video playback is not the best on the stock player as even SD videos tend to stutter. This is fixed by installing MX Player and switching the decoder from hardware to software. The handset has 4GB of internal memory, but this can be easily expanded via a microSD card. MX Player also managed to easily play back our 720p MKV, AVI and MOV files with hardware acceleration. Full HD 1080p videos are a no-go on the A800.