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Nokia XL Review

After a few years, Nokia has give in and it has officially joined the Android race with their Nokia X line. Unfortunately, there’s a catch on these devices. The Nokia X family lies between the Asha and Lumia. Yes, Don’t expect that the Nokia X phones would have flagship specifications. The first generation of Nokia X smartphones comes in two sizes, 4″ and 5″. Thankfully, I got a chance to review the Nokia XL, which is the biggest smartphone in the Nokia X Family.

Design and Construction

Just like the other Nokia phones, once you hold it, you’ll already feel how solid the Nokia XL is. The design and quality of the Nokia XL doesn’t disappoint and yes, it feels like the phone won’t broke even when you dropped the phone from two floors. Inside the Nokia XL is also a metal frame, which makes it stronger and solid than other smartphones. Although, I feel that the Nokia XL is a bit thick and heavy for its specifications.

The availability of many colors on the Nokia XL was one thing to love on this phone. The one that I got was bright green and it is very vivid and lively. The hardware buttons and the ports are well placed however you might find the Nokia XL odd because of its single capacitive button at the front which is just back button. Unfortunately, You can’t do all the Android functions because of that.


There’s a 5” display on this device and unfortunately it is at 800×480 only. In today’s standards, WVGA display isn’t really enticing and unlike other Nokia smartphones, the Nokia XL has a reflective display but I appreciate Nokia’s effort on putting Nokia Glance and double tap to wake. Nokia Glance is one of the minor features that you would probably love on this phone. Nokia Glance is a feature in where the display shows you the time even when the phone is lock.  Oh and despite having this hardware, the Nokia XL does have a 5 multi-touch points.
Software and performance

The Nokia XL runs on a customized version of Android OS. What does that mean? You could run Android apps on this device however, if they’re not available on the Nokia Store or 3rd party stores, you should manually install it on your device.  How? by using a file manager. There’s a built-in Nokia Store in the Nokia XL and there are 3rd party app stores that are available in the Nokia Store that’s why there are a lot of apps that you can install on this device. I tried sideloading an Android app on this device and it is very familiar and easy just like the one that we see on other Android smartphones.

The UI of this device is very similar to the Windows Phone and it is almost smooth as its Lumia brothers.  There are also tiles on this forked Android OS but unlike Windows phone, these tiles are more customizable. You can put tiles in groups, change their colors and their sizes however, I find it confusing at first but I got used to it after a while.

One of the main features of this smartphone is Fastlane. Basically, Fastlane lists all your recent apps and notifications on your phone. Fastlane is very useful when I’m texting to someone because it is much easier to navigate to the one I’m texting. All I need to do is swipe from the homescreen and I can see all the recent things that I’ve done in my phone.

Of course, this smartphone has Microsoft and Nokia services. But again, this is forked Android that’s why you can’t find Google Play Store or any Google services installed on this device. Since this is a smartphone made by Microsoft and Nokia, there are already apps that are already pre-installed on this device like OneDrive and Here Maps. Just like the Windows Phone counterpart, Here Maps was easy to use and it is one thing that you would surely love on Nokia devices.

Nokia XL isn’t really good in games because it only sports a Dual-Core Snapdragon 200 processor and a 768MB of RAM but thankfully, there are some high quality games that are optimized for the Nokia XL like Minion Rush and Asphalt 8. Of course, if you want to install your favorite Android games, you could try sideloading it on the Nokia XL however, don’t expect to run heavy games on this device. The battery life of the Nokia XL was able to reach up to 2 days of average use. That’s not actually bad for me. In Antutu, the Nokia XL got a score of 6696.

There’s a 5 Megapixel camera on unlike its smaller brother, there’s a front-facing camera on the Nokia XL. It can shoot images fast and the colors were not pinkish and most of the time, the images aren’t sharp. The images were also soft and warmer at some times. But again, I already expected that since the phone is placed between the Asha and the Lumia. Check out the sample shots below.

Nokia XL is not for the hardcore Android users but for first time Android users, they might like the Nokia XL. The specifications of the phone isn’t really made for heavy apps and games however, those people who is just looking for Android smartphone with the genes of Nokia, they should probably get this. Why? This is the best android smartphone in the Nokia X family but performance wise? you might not like it compared to other Android smartphones. The Nokia XL is now available for P8,990.

Jam Ancheta
Jam Ancheta
Jam Ancheta likes to create content about tech. But he also hates tech.


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