The XOLO A510s is a surprise entrant in this segment, as the company already has the A500, A500s, A500s IPS all available within a very small price difference. So, what differentiates the XOLO A510s from XOLO's own offerings and the rest of the crowd. The first part is superior build quality, a premium metallic design and 1 GB RAM. The A510s comes with the familiar dual-core MediaTek MT6572 chipset running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with a 4-inch WVGA IPS display all for about Rs. 7500. Sound too good to be true? Lets have a look at our Full Review of the XOLO A510s.
- Brilliant Display
- Excellent Build Quality
- Premium Design
- 1 GB RAM
- Ergonomic Design
- Fixed Focus Camera
- Useless Flash
- Poor Gaming Performance
- Sluggish Touch response
The XOLO A510s has a 4-inch IPS WVGA (480x800 pixels) display, which is wrongly mentioned on the box to be FWVGA and on the site as well. The ubiquitous 1.3 GHz dual-core MediaTek MT6572 chipset powers the A510s as well with its capable Mali-400MP GPU. There's 1 GB of RAM coupled with 4 GB ROM which is expandable upto 32 GB, running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. There's 1.27 GB available as internal storage and 1.50 GB as phone storage. Luckily apps as well as app-data are movable to the SD card. USB OTG is not supported.
3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS as well as FM Radio fulfill the connectivity requirements. The XOLO A510s is a dual-SIM device, where the primary SIM card slot uses micro-SIM cards which also handles the 3G network, the secondary SIM slot on the other hand uses regular SIM cards.
There's a fixed focus 5-megapixel camera at the back capable of recording 720p videos alongwith a LED flash and a VGA front-facing camera. We will be talking about the camera in detail later on in its section. You also have an accelerometer, proximity and light sensors on the device.
If we talk about hardware benchmarks, the XOLO A510s scored:
- Antutu: 10882
- Quadrant: 4234
- Vellamo HTML5: 1670
- Vellamo Metal: 524
- NenaMark2: 41.3 FPS
There are three capacitive buttons at the bottom of the display which do light-up, look sharp and have adequately backlit. There's no noise-cancellation microphone or notification LED, but it would be unrealistic to expect that in this price range.
You do have GPS with aGPS support which works fine when outdoors.
We have observed time and again, that XOLO smartphones have better build quality, no matter what price range they are available in. Be it the A500s or even the mid-range Q2500 all have better build quality comparable to the likes of Samsung and LG. Now, lets talk about the XOLO A510s. It comes with a metallic build, although almost entirely build out of plastic.
If you look at the device you will see that its quite slender but tall, definitely taller than other 4-inch devices in the segment. The top and bottom bezels seem huge compared to the thin side bezels. But the phone still feels great to hold. It has been designed with one-handed use in mind. You can easily reach the volume rocker on the left or the power button on the right. The side-trim of the phone is painted in brushed metal colors which add a sense of class. The side-trim juts out a little bit providing that extra bit of grip if you need it. The sides of the phone angle back to meet the backcover, making the phone look thinner.
The front-panel is raised slightly over the sides so the display is always protected when the phone is kept on a flat surface, face first. You have your earpiece, proximity and lights sensors alongwith the VGA front-camera just above the display. While the capacitive buttons for menu, home and back can be found just below it. The display itself is vibrant with excellent viewing angles, but more on that later. The microphone of the device can be found at the bottom lip of the front-panel.
At the top you have the microUSB data-syncing/charging port as well as the 3.5mm audio jack, both of which are easy to use and of sound quality. The bottom is just bare with an expanse of faux metal.
Moving to the back you have a metallic paint on the backcover, which although is a bit glossy doesn't attract fingerprints and is not slippery at all. Its bends a bit but there's no flex when the backcover is on the device. In all the build is very solid and the metallic colors make the device look really premium as well. The backcover fits into the side-frame leaving no gaps. It looks a bit like the Galaxy S Duos 2 in this respect.
At the back you have the 5 MP camera on the left with the LED flash, which is utterly useless. Then there's the sole XOLO branding in the middle while the speakerphone can be found at the bottom. The speakerphone grill is flush with the surface and has tiny holes which are easily muffled when the phone is put on its back.
On the inside you have 2 SIM card slots, the 1st slots or the primary slot takes in micro SIM cards while the 2G slot takes in your regular SIM cards. You also have a microSD card slot in there which can take upto 32 GB of storage and the battery compartment to house that 1400 mAh battery.
Overall the build quality of the device is better than expected and premium in design for the price. You get a screenguard pre-applied on the display and another one free within the box, you can check out everything you get inside the box in our unboxing of the XOLO A510s.
The A510s has a vibrant 4-inch WVGA IPS display, the viewing angles are wide, color reproduction is quite accurate and everything looks sharp. As I said earlier both the side and the box say that the display has a FWVGA resolution, but that's incorrect.
There's no ghosting or freezing even during high-framerate gameplay. But the touch response is a bit sluggish especially in gameplay. At other places its not that noticeable.
Network & Call Quality
Call quality is average. We didn't have any issues with Network connectivity or retention.
The speakerphone is loud enough for voice calls through it, and doesn't crackle at full volume. WiFi reception is average as well and Bluetooth works as advertised. Coming to settings, being a dual-SIM device you do get settings to manage which SIM card is to be used for voice calls, data and messages. There is also a roaming option which warns you while trying to make outgoing calls when on a roaming network.
The 5 MP camera has good color reproduction, but falters in most shots as it doesn't have autofocus. You can't take macro shots or even near focus shots, if your hands tremble or shake even a little bit you would get a blurry out of focus image. Low-light imaging is abysmal and the flash is utterly useless, all it can function is as a lousy torch.
The camera UI is pretty basic, just like most MediaTek powered handsets. There aren't any particular settings which can improve image quality but you do have some scene modes and image properties where you can alter saturation, brightness and contrast. There's face detection as well, which kinda works but gives false positives as well.
You can record 720p videos with the rear camera at a maximum framerate of 21 FPS.
Below is the embedded video sample of the XOLO A510s recorded in day-light at 720p resolution, 21 FPS.
The speakerphone is a bit low on volume, especially if you are considering listening to music. Its clear even though it sounds a bit tinny and doesn't crackle at full volume.
Being flush with the surface at back, sound from the speakerphone does get muffled when phone is put on its back.
Music Playback and Bundled Headset
Music playback is smooth, the default music player is pretty generic. You can install other music players as well. There are no issues with high-bitrate music. You can easily jump between tracks, shuffle and there would be no stuttering or freezing. You also have an equalizer to customize sound. It does work.
The speakerphone is just about loud enough, but mainly it doesn't crackle at full volume which is what annoys me the most. The bundled headset is rubbish for listening to music. They are fine for talking to someone or using as an FM Antenna. You should invest in a good pair of earphones or headphones if you want to listen to music for long duration.
FM Radio reception is clear and you do have the option to record FM as well in stereo. Recording are clear too. Headphones need to be plugged in for FM to work.
The XOLO A510s is able to play 720p videos flawlessly, there is no ghosting or freezing. There is no lag as well. Although the default player supports 1080p video playback natively, but high-bitrate playback is laggy and there are frame-drops, sound too goes out of sync. You should keep to 720p videos only.
Streaming playback on YouTube is also good and you are able to play in HQ mode or 480p quality only since it is restricted by the resolution of the display.
Software and Apps
A510s runs almost a stock build of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. The launcher is stock with 5 homescreens, there is no customization in the app-drawer or widget-drawer. You also get notification quick toggles as well as lockscreen widgets. Lockscreen notifications for missed calls and messages can also be enabled from Display settings.
Moreover, there is no bloatware installed. You just get the Google apps pre-installed as well as XOLO Power and XOLO Secure, both of which are welcome additions.
All the apps we tested work fine without any compatibility issues with the ROM. The UI is quite fluid and there is no lag anywhere. Apps as well as app-data are movable to the SD card.
Default options including Pin, Password and Pattern are present alongwith, Face Unlock and Voice Unlock which have now become customary in this segment.
You can also sideload apps, encrypt your device and choose a device administrator. XOLO Secure and Android Device Manager, both are available as device admins, you can choose either to locate, lock, erase or ring your device in case it is lost or stolen.
Gaming is a bit iffy, we didn't get the desired framerate in high-end games as a result they seemed to lag. Basic games works well, but as soon as you shift into high-gear the engine begins to stall. It seems that 1 GB RAM is not something this chipset can handle. We have seen phones using 512 MB RAM and the same chipset, like the Karbonn A12+ perform brilliantly but with 1 GB RAM the XOLO A510s, Canvas Juice A77 and the Canvas Elanza all three have poor gameplay.
We played several games including Asphalt 8, MC4, NOVA 3, Dead Trigger 2, FIFA 14, Real Racing 3 and several other games. You can read more in our Gaming Review.
Performance and Battery-life
General performance of the device is good. Scrolling is a bit slow, especially when it comes to the web browser. But the UI is fluid and there is no hint of lag anywhere. You can check out our benchmarking review for an in-depth comparison between similar handsets.
For the average user the phone would last more than a day. But with moderate usage you are looking at a day's worth of usage. Throwing a bit of gaming into the mix would reduce the battery-life.
The XOLO A510s comes with excellent build quality and a premium look which is certainly missing from this segment. Even though its a budget device performance is a bit lacking, especially factoring in that 1 GB RAM, which doesn't appear to be helping at all. But its simply not meant for gaming.
The display is bright and sharp, the speakerphone is loud enough, call quality is average and there are no issues with network connectivity. The XOLO A510s is made keeping the general user in mind, but lacks a good camera and performance to become so. Still its built well and might be a good option if you were looking to buy a phone for your mom.