4G LTE, Reliance Jio and value for money are perhaps the most talked about terms in India right now. The Era 2X, launched by Lava subsidiary Xolo on Thursday, combines all the three into one package. It’s a 4G LTE-capable phone; it is VoLTE-enabled and is therefore compatible with all Jio SIM cards; and it costs just Rs 6,666.
It starts at Rs 6,666 that is, for the base 2 gig RAM model and goes all the way to Rs 7,499 for the top-end 3 gig RAM model.
The Era 2X, like the Era 1X that came before it is an entry-level phone based on Android, that doesn’t really boast of a handsome spec-sheet. It doesn’t boast of a handsome spec-sheet because that’s really not what it is gunning for, at the end of the day. What is it gunning for then, you ask? The Xolo Era 2X aspires to become your first Android smartphone.
At its low price, specs don’t matter. What matters is, it’s a Xolo phone and it’s relatively easy to use. And that’s what it is here for. To be your first feature phone replacement, or perhaps, even a secondary phone that you can use to manage your Facebook account, or maybe WhatsApp someone. The Era 2X comes pre-bundled with Reliance Jio 4G Preview scheme apps out-of-the-box which means, you can get yourself a free Jio 4G SIM with free unlimited access to Jio’s Digital Life — HD voice call, HD video call, apps, data and SMS – and start using it instantly.
The Era 2X is among the cheapest 4G LTE-capable smartphones in the Indian market right now. It is also VoLTE-ready. If that wasn’t enough, the Era 2X also comes with a fingerprint scanner on-board for added security
Speaking of which, the Era 2X is among the cheapest 4G LTE-capable smartphones in the Indian market right now. It is also VoLTE-ready. If that wasn’t enough, the Era 2X also comes with a fingerprint scanner on-board for added security. In fact, it is easily among the cheapest fingerprint scanner-toting smartphones that you can buy in the Indian market right now.
The presence of a fingerprint scanner in itself (at its price point) is being touted as a USP of the Era 2X. The fingerprint scanner onboard the phone will enable security as well as serve a couple of more functions including tap to talk and tap to capture a photo. It can also be used to lock and unlock select apps. The phone is capable of registering up to five fingers to make all this possible. Each finger can then be assigned to perform each of the aforementioned tasks.
If you haven’t noticed already, it checks quite a few value-for-money boxes, the Era 2X. The fact that it is a Xolo phone — an Indian brand — is just the icing on the cake. Why I keep stressing on this fact, is that for a first-time smartphone buyer, brand value and brand recall are two very important parameters. It helps, a lot, if it’s a known brand, like Xolo.
The phone is based on Android Marshmallow, and on an almost stock version, at that. The under Rs 10,000 price bracket is home to a number of exciting phones, but none apart from the Moto E3 Power and the Moto G4 Play (and Moto G3 Turbo) can boast of a near Vanilla Android experience. Not that having stock Android means a big deal for most budget conscious buyers, but, for someone who is looking to switch from a feature phone to a smartphone, simplicity of software can be really very helpful. Third-party skins that companies like Xiaomi and Lenovo employ can be overwhelming for many.
The Era 2X may run a near stock version of Android, but, it isn’t free of bloat or unwanted apps like the Moto phones. The phone, in fact, comes with many unwanted apps that consume space and can make the phone slow over time, courtesy frequent updates. It is therefore advised that you uninstall everything that you’re likely not to use ASAP, if you’re looking to buy the 2X that is.
Xolo’s Era 2X phone is an all-plastic phone with a smooth matte finish on the back. It comes with a 5-inch display with a 720p resolution and is powered by a 1.25Ghz quad-core MediaTek MTK6737 processor. It comes with 16GB of internal memory which is further expandable by up to 32GB via microSD card. It sports an 8-megapixel shooter on the rear with LED flash along with a 5-megapixel front-shooter. The phone is backed by a 2,500mAh battery which is rated to deliver up to 14 days of standby on single charge. The battery is user-replaceable which is a big plus since it would allow buyers to carry a spare one in case of emergency. Also, it helps a lot if the battery is removable in case the phone goes berserk (or hangs) out of the blue.
Not long ago, I did a similar piece (like this) on the Samsung Z2, a Tizen-based phone that had similar ambitions (like the Era 2X) but unlike Xolo’s phone, the Z2 had very uninspiring specs. The Era 2X has a better spec-sheet. The fingerprint scanner, meanwhile, is just another icing on the cake.
The Era 2X, still, doesn’t have groundbreaking specs especially when you consider phones like the Xiaomi Redmi 3S that retails at around a similar price. And the phone also does not exactly dazzle from a looks point of view. Note that Xiaomi’s phone is all-metal. Having said that, the Era 2X is very practical and utilitarian. It is also easier to buy. No, it won’t kill Xiaomi’s top-selling phone (the Redmi 3S), but for a first-time smartphone buyer, the phone definitely offers many useful prospects.