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Nuu X4 review: Low-end, even by low-end standards

Nick Mediati | April 13, 2016
The X4 will cover your basic smartphone needs, but little else.

It can be tough for a newcomer to make a name for itself in the U.S. smartphone market.

After all, we're talking about a market in which devices from two companies—Samsung and Apple—make up the bulk of all smartphones sold, with companies like LG and HTC fighting for whatever's left. So, if you're a newcomer like Nuu, you have to stand out.

At first glance, the Nuu X4 is nothing special. It looks like any other budget Android phone and it isn't especially powerful. Its feature set doesn’t offer anything particularly innovative, either, but at this price ($170 on Amazon), the X4 is one of the more affordable Android devices you'll find. Should that rock-bottom price sway you, though? If decent performance and battery life matter much to you, the answer is a solid no.

Solid as a (plastic) rock

nuu x4 back no smudges
The Nuu X4's glossy white rear shell somewhat resembles Samsung's recent devices.

I typically don’t expect much in terms of build quality when it comes to low-end devices. And while the X4’s build quality and design isn’t spectacular, it gets the job done. The X4, which measures 5.6 inches tall, 2.8 inches wide, and .31 inches thick, is a little bulky by current standards, but its tapered edges make the phone appear more streamlined than it is. This design detail also makes the X4 feel better in the hand than other phones in its price range.

nuu tapered edges
Tapered edges make this relatively bulky phone feel a little slimmer. They also make the X4 a little more comfortable to hold.

The X4’s display is also protected by the customary slab of glass, while the rest of its outer shell is plastic. The plastic back is a little slick, and it flexes a bit as you apply pressure to it, especially toward the top of the phone. However, the back cover is removable, allowing access to the battery—a feature that’s been gradually disappearing from other Android phones over the years.

Aside from the back cover, the X4 as a whole feels reasonably solid, without any significant flexing or creaking. There’s a single speaker on the bottom edge, too. It works, but it sounds like the speaker on an alarm clock radio.

A screen that’s good enough

The X4’s 5-inch, 1280 x 720 display draws your eye as soon as you turn on the phone. It’s bright, and with a pixel density of 294 pixels-per-inch (ppi), it’s reasonably sharp. Colors appear rich and accurate, with no noticeably faded colors, and its IPS LCD panel allows for good contrast levels and a wide viewing angle.

 

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