By Stephen McBride
Indian devices vendor Lava rolls out handset range at Dubai venue
Indian devices vendor Lava on Tuesday introduced its sizeable Xolo range of smartphones to the Middle East market at a launch event in Atlantis The Palm, Dubai.
Lava International was founded in 2009 and introduced the Xolo brand in 2012. It claims to be the first South Asian smartphone maker to work with Intel on its device processors and also claims to be the first to have made a 4G handset.
While the company uses Microsoft Corp’s Windows Phone on its tablets, it opts for Google Inc’s Android on its phones. One handset, the Xolo Hive 8X-1000, uses a hub called Hive to offer artist-designed UI themes to users. By signing into the hub using Google credentials, themes can be downloaded for free.
Hive is collaborative, so users can upload their own themes. Each theme contains icon and animated wallpaper designs, but also interactive concepts on how to, for example, unlock phones, each of which are unique to the theme design.
The company has appointed Jumbo Electronics as its exclusive distributor in the region ahead of GITEX Shopper 2014, but Lava executives at the launch said other retail outlets would also be selling the product line at a later date. For now, Jumbo will manage distribution across all channels in the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Iraq markets.
Xolo has forged partnerships with a number of big industry names, such as Intel, NVIDIA, AMD and Qualcomm, in pursuit of a viable product mix.
“Our expansion into the Middle East region reinforces the trust and confidence that consumers in India have placed in our brand in a short time period,” said Vishal Sehgal, co-founder and director of Lava International Ltd, Xolo’s parent company.
“Our growth in India is attributed to the relentless effort of creating superior experiences for consumers who seek more from their devices, and we believe that we will be able to replicate the growth in this region as well. We have embarked on an ambitious journey of becoming the first global consumer brand from India. With this objective, we are investing heavily in product development and marketing, and are aiming to become a $1bn company by the end of financial year 2014-2015.”
Xolo Play 8X-1100 is powered by a 1.7 GHz Octa Core device and a 700 MHz Mali 450 GPU. It comes with a 5-inch HD IPS display and CORNING Gorilla Glass. It also includes 32GB RAM and a gyroscope for 6-axis motion sensing. It runs on Android 4.4 (KitKat). The handset will sell for AED1,099.
The Xolo Hive 8X-1000 at a glance is powered by a 1.4 GHz Octa-core processor, 2GB RAM and a 700 Mhz, Mali 450 GPU. It comes with a 5-inch HD IPS display and CORNING Gorilla Glass. It also includes a gyroscope; an 8MP AF rear camera with high-sensitivity Sony Exmor RS sensor; and a 2MP front-facing camera. It runs on Android 4.4 (KitKat). It will sell for AED899.
The Xolo Play-6X-1000 packs a 1.5GHz Hexa-core (6-core) processor with 2GB RAM and is aimed at dedicated gamers. It offers access to Xolo Play Zone. It comes with a 5-inch HD IPS display. It runs on Android 4.4 (KitKat). It will sell for AED 999.
The Xolo Q700S+ is a budget model with a 4.5-inch 480x854 (FWVGA) IPS display. It is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and RAM of 1GB. It will sell for AED499.
The Xolo A700s is another budget offering, with a 4.5-inch IPS qHD display, a 1.3 GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB RAM and a price tag of AED449.
The Xolo A550s comes in at the low end of the range, with a 4-inch IPS display, a 1GHz dual-core processor and RAM of 1GB. It will sell for AED 399.