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Nokia XL Review

Nokia XL

Posted: , by Victor H.


Nokia XL Review

Nokia XL Review
Nokia XL Review
Nokia XL Review
Nokia XL Review
Nokia XL Review

The 5-inch Nokia XL is the largest in Nokia’s family of affordable Android-running phones, but just like all the rest in the X series, you’d find it hard to recognize it as an Android phone. This is because of Android Nokia X - the company’s own custom version of the platform that brings a Windows Phone-inspired interface and comes without all core Google apps. The Nokia XL does not even have the Google Play Store - instead it comes with Nokia’s own app catalog that lacks even very popular apps like Spotify and Netflix.

The Nokia XL also got quite a few things going on - the large and vivid display, a fairly well-optimized performance, dual-SIM connectivity, and it’s got both a 5-megapixel main camera and a secondary, front cam.

Can all these pros outweigh the cons of a weird Android experience and limited number of apps? Let’s find out.

In the box:

  • User Manual
  • Wall Charger with non-detachable USB cable
  • Headset


The Nokia XL deserves its name - it’s big and unwieldy, larger than most other 5-inch phones.

You can tell just by its name that the Nokia XL is a large device. Knowing that it’s a 5-inch phone actually does not tell too much about the phone - it does not reveal the fact the bezels on it are huge (especially the side ones), and that it all comes in a pretty thick and bulky package. It is the 0.43” (10.9mm) thickness, however, that really contributes to a feeling of a rather unwieldy phone. Not only is it thick, it's also very heavy, measuring 6.7 ounces (190g), more than even most phablets. It is solidly put together, though, and does not screak when you hold it tightly.

Design-wise, the XL follows Nokia’s signature design language with a plastic wrap-around shell. The back is made of matte plastic that feels very similar to the material used in the Moto G, maybe a bit softer, but also very prone to attract oily fingerprints. Up front, there is just one capacitive ‘back’ key, right below the display - an element that reminds of Asha feature phones.

All physical keys are on the right side - the power/lock key in the middle, and the volume rocker above it, and while both are decidedly plastic, they are comfortably within reach of your thumb, and very clicky and easy to press.

Nokia XL
5.57 x 3.06 x 0.43 inches
141.4 x 77.7 x 10.9 mm
6.70 oz (190 g)

Nokia XL

Motorola Moto G
5.11 x 2.59 x 0.46 inches
129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)

Motorola Moto G

Nokia Lumia 630
5.1 x 2.63 x 0.36 inches
129.5 x 66.7 x 9.2 mm
4.73 oz (134 g)

Nokia Lumia 630

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


The 5-inch screen is not sharp, but it more than makes up for this with its great and vivid colors. Outdoors, though, it’s hard to read the screen.

The big highlight of the Nokia XL and the reason it carries its (not so flattering in apparel design) name is the spacious 5-inch display. It’s not truly XL by today’s standards, but it’s still big for this class of affordable devices.

The screen comes with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels (WVGA), which works out to a pixel density of the very low 189ppi. This drawback is most obvious when you look at text, which looks pixelated, forcing you to zoom in to be able to read it.

If you don’t obsess over pixels, though, the 5” display of the Nokia XL will definitely make you happy with its lively, vivid colors. It’s among the best screens on an affordable phone we’ve seen so far - it’s not too cold, it’s got deep blacks, and while it’s just a bit off in terms of color, it looks great.

Using the display under the direct sunlight outdoors, however, is a bit problematic - the peak brightness of 358 nits is on the low side, and the high reflectivity of the screen will force you stare and shield the screen to make out what’s on it. Finally, while viewing angles are not terrible, they are not good either and color and luminance decrease noticeably when you tilt the screen a bit.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Nokia XL 358
Motorola Moto G 429
Nokia Lumia 630 398
View all

  • Options

posted on 30 Jun 2014, 06:40 1

1. carilotoz (Posts: 12; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)

Great Phone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
one of the best phones i have ever used
the only problem is the processor

posted on 30 Jun 2014, 07:05 2

3. sgodsell (Posts: 4858; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

Microsoft has stated that they are not going to update the OS on the current Nokia X series of devices. Only a fool would buy one now.

posted on 30 Jun 2014, 07:54

6. peace247 (Posts: 495; Member since: 26 Apr 2014)


posted on 30 Jun 2014, 07:55

7. peace247 (Posts: 495; Member since: 26 Apr 2014)

Comment 1

posted on 30 Jun 2014, 06:46 1

2. Duketytz (Posts: 534; Member since: 28 Nov 2013)

I really find the user interface revolting. Windows Phone is so much more beautiful. They should have just stick with it and not come up with a half hearted solution. Disappointed!

posted on 30 Jun 2014, 07:23 3

4. josephnero (Posts: 593; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)

Fugly.Moto G and Nexus 5 for a bit higher price destroy this

posted on 30 Jun 2014, 07:53

5. peace247 (Posts: 495; Member since: 26 Apr 2014)

This mobile is not worth even 4 score

posted on 30 Jun 2014, 09:03 2

8. moaning_bimbo (Posts: 13; Member since: 20 Jun 2014)

But android is open sourced so you can download any android launcher you want (including stock)

posted on 30 Jun 2014, 10:50 3

9. JDeus01 (Posts: 45; Member since: 07 May 2013)

"Android Nokia X platform is a design mess"
"No Google Play Store and crippled app selection"
so, we are back to the days when you lower lumias scores cause you didnt like WP and the fact than the store dont have 1000000 copies of the same apps full of ads

posted on 30 Jun 2014, 11:11 2

10. elitewolverine (Posts: 5192; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)

Yes yes they are, and not giving praise that 70% if not 90% of all apps can be sideloaded without to much effort or a rom flash

posted on 30 Jun 2014, 12:46

11. sgodsell (Posts: 4858; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

In order to get the apps on the device, then it has to be rooted. Not to mention the warranty will be void if you do that on any Nokia X devices. Definitely not worth the money. Not to mention these devices have a cortex-A5 CPU, which is a very low spec, low speed CPU.

posted on 30 Jun 2014, 13:57 3

12. elitewolverine (Posts: 5192; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)

so wait, rooting is ok...when it is google for launcher etc. But when another company other than google allows root its all of a sudden a bad thing?

funny, ill bookmark that claim, since the idea of root is droids claim to fame for reasons over ios and wp

posted on 30 Jun 2014, 14:02 2

13. elitewolverine (Posts: 5192; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)

This shows that it doesnt have to be rooted unless i missed a step...


posted on 02 Jul 2014, 01:37 1

14. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1583; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)

this is a good budget level smart phone However the New Nokia X2 has more Ram and a faster CPU. The X2 cost 135 dollars and has a smaller screen. and has front and rear cameras. these smart phones are made for selling to Folks who do not make as much money as Americans do who make minimum wage and these smart phones are for markets where the cell phone carriers do subsidize the price of a Persons smart phone. if you are dumb enough to think a 135 dollar smart phone will run as well as a flagship smart phone
you need Psychiatry. still though come on Microsoft put in the software so your X phones so they can access and run Google play sore apps. if you do these smart phones will sell OUT!

posted on 02 Jul 2014, 03:08

15. alumoyo (Posts: 369; Member since: 26 Aug 2013)

Was reading some user opinions about Nokia X and people have been having trouble running whatsapp. Go to youtube and there are several videos showing tips and tricks on how to get whatsapp working properly coz this Nokia X platform doesn't play well with whatsapp android. Pretty shocking, especially considering that the typical Nokia X buyer isn't gonna be the geeky type so they will be totally clueless. Also weird since Nokia went to all the trouble of woowing whatsapp onto their S40 and Asha phones - but now they let something like this happen? This whole Nokia X project looks like a half-hearted attempt and an EPIC FAIL!

posted on 11 Jul 2014, 00:37

16. iyerulan (Posts: 1; Member since: 11 Jul 2014)

what about whatsapp? when i'm testing i can't install whatsapp.

posted on 11 Jul 2014, 05:29

17. carilotoz (Posts: 12; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)

download whatsapp plus

posted on 30 Jul 2014, 04:25

18. Ashwath001 (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Jul 2014)

1. Operating system is not Android. it is nokia software.
2. won't install any apps from google play store. not even from ovi.nokia store.
3. You can install apps from Third party store. But message appears if you install apps from third party store then nokia company is not responsible for data theft of mobile damage other than nokia.com. Even after installing it it never works. I installed compass but it shown the message that magnetic field not available.
4. Bluetooth works only for nokia handsets Nokia care center themselves told to me.
5. Poor display
6. To connect to PC you need to install nokia suite. Even then it may or may not connect to PC.
7. Can't install whatsapp and so many other apps.
8. Only thing is camera is good. Rest everything is bad.
9. Overall even cheapest local brand smartphones are far better than nokia Smartphones.

posted on 05 Dec 2016, 02:09

19. shashankjain9719 (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Dec 2016)

yes great thanks for sharing

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PhoneArena rating:
Display5.0 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (187 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera5 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, Dual-core, 1000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A5 processor
0.75 GB RAM
Size5.57 x 3.06 x 0.43 inches
(141.4 x 77.7 x 10.9 mm)
6.70 oz  (190 g)
Battery2000 mAh, 16 hours talk time

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