Nokia XL Review
Call quality is a bit of a mixed bag on the Nokia XL. On one hand, voices in the earpiece sound very clear and natural (though, a bit quiet), while on the other end of the line, sound is muffled and not all that clear, plus it is also on the quiet side.
The Nokia XL comes with a 2000mAh battery with an above-average talk time of some 16 hours (13 hours on 3G), and stand-by time of 30 days. In real-life use, you can expect it to last a bit more than a full day, and that’s not a bad achievement at all.
You can also easily remove the wrap-around back cover and change the battery, an option that would be useful for, say, travelers that don’t have access to a charger for longer periods of time.
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 a good one for the class, and while it runs on a dated processor, the XL is well optimized and does not lag, at least for most basic tasks.
And while these are important advantages, the limitations of the Nokia X platform are no less important. The poorly stocked Nokia app catalog would force users to try and sideload apps, while most non-tech-savvy users would simply be left with greatly crippled app choice. On top of this, the interface of the Nokia XL is not appealing.
Those are compromises that budget-limited consumers might be willing to deal with as the Nokia XL is not a bad value for its money. It is a crippled experience at the end of the day, though, so our recommendation at the moment is to look at slightly pricier device that deliver a full and satisfying Android experience.
Luckily, there’s no shortage of such phones: the Motorola Moto G is the most talked about affordable phone and for a good reason - it’s got a great 4.5” screen, zippy chip, the full Google Play Store and decent camera, all enough to make it our top recommendation in the affordable phone class. The Huawei Honor 3C is a bit more expensive, but it gets even closer to that flagship experience with a 5” display, a fast chip and a good camera (it’s also a dual-SIM phone). The Nokia Lumia 630 also seems like a great alternative - even though it’s running on the app-constrained Windows Phone, it still feels better equipped with applications than the app-crippled Nokia XL.