“The smartphone will be the first to run the company’s customisation layer referred to as HIVE”
Over the past few weeks, the Indian brand XOLO has been teasing its Android-based HIVE UI, feature by feature. Now, when all aspects of HIVE have been detailed, it seems that the brand is ready to take the covers off its first smartphone running the new interface. In a teaser posted on Facebook, the brand has confirmed the name of the device, which is tagged as the Play 8X-1000.
The XOLO Play 8X-1000 will be unveiled officially in the first week of August, and we’ll get more details about its specs then. However, based on rumours, the smartphone is expected to be the brand’s flagship, flaunting a 5-inch full HD display with Gorilla Glass 3. It will also be the first XOLO smartphone to rock an octa-core chipset from MediaTek, indicated by the ‘8’ in its moniker. Its sibling, the Play 6X-1000 is powered by MediaTek's hexa-core processor. The SoC will be accompanied by 2GB of RAM.
Along with the hardware configuration, the smartphone’s highlight is its software as well, which is optimised for the Indian audiences. The customisation has already piqued our interest, as it bakes in several useful functionalities. The lockscreen displays missed notifications, while the homescreen gets a Chameleon Widget to display weather info along with notifications. The customisation layer also comes with an all-in-one Media Centre which is integrated with last.fm to offer recommendations based on the music you’re listening at the moment, along with YouTube, showcasing trending songs by your favourite artists. The music player automatically finds the relevant album cover, in case it isn’t available, and also lets you edit the meta-data for organising your collection easily. Contacts Book makes it easier to connect with your contacts using a single app, and will soon be updated to integrate with social services like Twitter and LinkedIn.
The interface also gets a launcher which lists all the apps alphabetically, chronologically (recently installed first) or categorises them automatically. It also supports widgets and comes pre-loaded with some useful ones like a one-touch RAM cleaner and music player. There’s also a theme manager that allows you to change the smartphone’s look easily. XOLO has partnered with leading Indian designers for creating unique themes.
Following Chinese brand Xiaomi’s footsteps, which has built a strong community of fans for its devices and MIUI firmware, XOLO has preinstalled a Connect app in the phone. The app lets users report bugs and suggest new features for the UI. The UI certainly looks promising and so does the Play 8X-1000, but we’ll have to wait for the official announcement to know more, including pricing and availability details.
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