- Good battery life
- Sturdy build
- Large screen size
- Poor screen resolution
- Overall slow performance
- No Google Play store
- Poor user interface/experience
As the XL in its name suggests, the Nokia XL is the largest handset in the Finnish company's Android lineup. Measuring in at 5.6 x 3.1 x 0.4 inches, it is just slightly larger than the Lumia 630 but even this slight size increase made it difficult for reviewers to handle comfortably. India Times describes it as, "big, bulky and quite a bother…" Other critics agree with the assessment noting that the sharp edges and weight of 190 grams makes it bulkier than they prefer. Still, they add that it is well-built and solid.
The XL's 5-inch WVGA display might be the largest among Nokia Android phones, but it certainly isn't the best. It only supports a resolution of 800x480 pixels and 187ppi pixel density. This can't even compete with other phones in the same price range such as the Moto G or even the smaller Nokia X. Experts noticed issues with pixilation immediately and were able to see individual pixels while reading or watching a video. They also had issues with bright light legibility as the low peak brightness combined with the high reflectivity of the screen made it difficult to see anything. The only bright side that critics found was its vivid colors and deep blacks. Phone Arena states, "It's among the best screens on an affordable phone we've seen so far – it's not too cold…and while it's just a bit off in terms of color, it looks great."
In terms of specs, the XL is no powerhouse with only a 1GHz dual-core processor and 768MB of RAM. As to be expected, critics experienced delays when swiping through the home screen and when launching apps. On occasion, they even experienced some crashes when using apps due to memory errors. It also has a disappointing 4GB of internal storage, though only 1.2GB is available to users. Luckily, users can expand upon this via microSD cards of up to 32GB. Battery life is one of the phone's few saving graces as the 2,000mAh battery lasted reviewers well over a day of moderate usage. Besides the internal specs, the phone also comes with a rear and front camera, both of which reviewers experts describe as average.
Like the Nokia X, the XL presents Nokia's "forked" version of Android. This means that the phone runs on Google's code but with a Windows phone interface. Instead of the standard Google apps, the X offers their own apps like Bing search. Users that want to download Google APKs will have to root their device. These small changes had a drastic impact on critics' user experience. They could not automatically sync their music, calendar and contacts nor could they download any Google Play purchases they made in the past as the X does not have Google Play store access.
In general, experts were unimpressed with what the Nokia XL had to offer. CNET states, "…while it's the best Nokia phone on the X platform, that's not good enough…if you need an affordable Android phone, you're better off with a rival device." Phone Arena adds, "…our recommendation at the moment is to look at slightly pricier devices that deliver a full and satisfying Android experience."
What the Critics Are Saying...
- Sofian Nouira, Digital Versus
Although we weren't expecting much after the clunky Nokia X, the XL managed to win us round. At this price, it obviously isn't the best out there, but it has a decent screen, nice photo capture and a much better set-up than the Nokia X. However, the handset isn't without fault, and it's certainly no...
- Dhruv Bhutani, Fone Arena
The Nokia XL is the best of the bunch when it comes to Nokia / Microsoft’s Android offerings but it isn’t enough to be a threat to their Lumia line. Is this what the company intended? Hard to say but looking at competing Android devices, it is quite difficult to recommend the device.The...
- Victor H., PhoneArena
With an off-contract price of around $165 (€140 in Europe), the Nokia XL is an affordable device that stands out with a display larger than most of its competitors in this price range. Needless to say, this large and also gorgeous display is its biggest advantage. The 5-megapixel camera is also...
- Juan Garzon, Cnet
Despite having the best specs of Nokia's Android phones, the XL's poor performance and confusing OS denies users Android's' full potential and a true Windows Phone experience.
- Alvin Wong, UnleashThePhones
It’s fair to say that I’ve been rather critical of the Nokia XL throughout this review. I really, really wish this was not the case; I really, really wish the Nokia XL was a credible budget alternative for someone who likes Nokia hardware and wants something colourful, fun and durable bu...
Prices (Where to Buy)
Nokia backs up the XL with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your XL has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Nokia support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Nokia's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
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