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Nokia XL Android Phablet Unboxing, Initial Review, Complete Specs, Antutu Benchmark Score, Accessories Check,

Last week, Nokia Philippines sent me a retail package of their new Android phablet, Nokia XL, which is now officially available at all Nokia Stores and authorized retail partners across the country. 

As I've shared, my Nokia XL posts are doing really well in terms of page views -- so I know that many of you have been waiting to see these unboxing shots.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet
Nokia XL along with Nokia Lumia 630 are the first handsets to come with this redesigned white paper carton packaging that's a clear departure from the blue Nokia box that the company started using in 2010.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet
Interestingly, this change in package design was implemented right around the time when Microsoft's acquisition of the Finnish finally saw completion.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet
Pulling the inner tray out, I was pleasantly surprised with how large the handset is in the flesh. I mean, I've always expected Nokia XL to be bigger than my Nokia X but I have other 5-inch smartphones and this one really has a far larger footprint compared to most of them.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet
That's the entire package.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet
Nokia XL has a pre-installed screen protector, which I appreciate since I don't have to buy one separately. On that of that film, though, there's this sticker  that looks like it could have been more carefully set in place.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet
Nokia XL features a swappable back case that's available in six colors, namely, White, Black, Bright Green, Cyan, Orange, and - what I have here - Yellow.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet
Joining Nokia XL in its box: The Quick Guide and Nokia Care Card...

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet
The microUSB travel charger. Oddly enough, Nokia opted to combine the microUSB cable and the charger into just one accessory. So if you need to connect the phone to your laptop, you'd have to borrow a microUSB to USB connector cable from your devices.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet
Standard earphones with microphone so you can use them during calls.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet
The removable 2,000 mAh Li-Ion battery pack, which - I find - delivers around a whole day of uptime with mixed usage.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet
It's easy to remove the polycarbonate back cover if you know where to start prying it out: Any of the four corners in front. As you can see in this photo, Nokia XL has two microSIM card slots -- unfortunately, they are not hot swappable as the user would have to remove the battery to access them. And if you're wondering, in terms of mobile connectivity, SIM 1 slot supports 3G while SIM 2 does not.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet
Nokia XL is built like a tank -- just like all of the Finnish Giant's handsets from the very start. It has a reassuring heft and solid feel in the hand telling you that it can actually take a beating or at least the knocks and bumps of daily use. In terms of the ergonomics, my only complain is that the phone is too wide -- heck, it's almost as wide as my Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which has a far larger 5.7-inch display.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet
Apart from the bigger screen and more RAM, one major advantage of Nokia XL over Nokia X is that it has a 2 MegaPixel front cam for selfies and - this - a 5 MegaPixel autofocus camera at the back with LED flash versus just a 3MP fixed focus shooter sans flash on the smaller release. The main cam's specs are a welcome improvement but frankly, its imaging capabilities are still nowhere near that of Carl Zeiss powered cameras on the company's midrange to high-end Lumia releases.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet
The power button and volume rocker are conveniently located on the phone's right panel for easy and quick access using your thumb when holding the phone. I like that.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet
The microUSB port is located at the rear...

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet
And the 3.5mm audio jack can be found on the top panel. I would have preferred to see it at the bottom but almost all Android phones have it on top anyway so I guess it's alright.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet
Set-up is quick; Just choose the language and you're good to go.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet
Nokia XL runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean operating system that's heavily skinned - almost beyond recognition - by the tile-laden and Fastlane-flaunting Nokia Software Platform interface. You can experience that on the phone's 5-inch WVGA IPS display, which - while not outstandingly crisp - is nonetheless vibrant regardless of the viewing angle. You get deep blacks and the colors really pop.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet
Under Display settings, you can turn on Screen Double Tap to be able to wake the screen up with just two taps on the touchscreen, which is a lot easier than clicking on the power button.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet

From the get go, I've made no secret of the fact that internal hardware is hardly the strongest suit of this release. Nokia XL runs on a Dual Core 1 GHz ARM Cortex A5 CPU and Adreno 203 GPU based Qualcomm MSM8225 Snapdragon S4 Play SoC, handles multitasking with 768 MB of RAM and has 4 GB of ROM that's expandable via microSD card slot. In this price echelon (and especially when you look at the specs of similarly priced Android handsets by local brands), these innards are mediocre at best and that's well reflected in Nokia XL's rather lackluster Antutu Benchmark Score in the area of 7,565. This score aside, however, I find that the phone is capable of running some popular not-too-specs-intensive games really smoothly like Temple Run 2, Jetpack Joyride, and Raging Thunder 2.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet

Priced at Php 8,990, Nokia XL is a thousand bucks more expensive than quad-core Nokia Lumia 630 running Windows Phone 8.1 operating system but lacking a front-facing camera and LED flash for the main cam, and having a smaller 4.5-inch display.

Nokia XL Philippines, Nokia XL Android Smartphone, Nokia XL, Nokia Android Phablet

So am I recommending this phone? To be honest, there are many phones available in the local market currently with far, far better technical specifications that you can buy for the same price and even less. I've said it and I'll say it again, specs-wise, Nokia XL is not the best in its price category -- but when it comes to build, design, and the unique Android user experience that it delivers, I think it's one of the phones to beat.

If you're a big Nokia fan (like me) and you want to experience Android on a durable and beautiful device made by the Finnish Giant, I would recommend that you choose Nokia XL over Nokia X. I'm not sure if all the additional features and improvements that you'll get on the former could justify the Php 3,000 price difference between the two phones -- but trust me, if you absolutely must have a Nokia Android phone for daily use, just go with Nokia XL.

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name Nokia XL
Type Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen), Dual SIM Dual Standby
Price Category Entry Level
Dimensions141.4 x 77.7 x 10.9 mm, 109 cc
Weight 190 grams
Available Colors White, Black, Bright Green, Cyan, Orange, Yellow
Operating System Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
Display 5.0 inches (~187 ppi pixel density), 480 x 800 pixels, IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Processor Dual Core 1 GHz ARM Cortex A5 CPU, Adreno 203 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8225 Snapdragon S4 Play chipset
RAM 768 MB
Internal Storage 4 GB, expandable via microSD card slot, supports up to 32 GB
Camera Main: 5 MegaPixels, 2592 х 1944 pixels, Autofocus, LED Flash
Features: 1/4'' Sensor Size, Panorama, Face Detection
Front: 2 MegaPixels front camera
Video Capture 480p 30 frames per second for main camera, VGA for front camera (TBC)
Audio and Video Playback MP3, WAV, eAAC+, Flac, MP4, H.264, H.263 player
Ports microUSB v2.0, 3.5 mm audio jack
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP, HS, 3G HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
GPS Yes, with A-GPS
Sensors Accelerometer, Proximity
Network 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G Network HSDPA 900 / 2100
SIM Card Type Dual microSIM
Battery Removable Li-Ion 2000 mAh battery (BN-02) pack
Uptime Up to 720 hours of Standby, 16 hours of Talk Time, 37 hours of Music Play
Value-Added Features First Android Phablet by Nokia, 2 MegaPixel front cam, Hybrid UI
Announcement Global: February 24, 2014
Availability Philippines: May 30, 2014
Price Official SRP: Php 8,990

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