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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.

color wheel
Although you can't tell in this photo, the X4's screen does a good job at displaying accurate color.

Nuu’s designers placed a black border around the screen itself, which makes the screen look larger when it’s off, but wake the phone and the black border makes itself known. As a result, using the X4 feels a little like using an old-school CRT monitor, and it looks, for lack of a better word, chintzy. Nuu isn’t fooling anyone here.

A camera that gets the job done

x4 sample lombard
The camera will work for selfies, but photos appear flat and washed out.

Flip over the phone, and you’ll find a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. The camera app includes all the customary features, like HDR and panorama modes, but the camera itself is of middling quality.

x4 low studio lights
The Nuu X4 takes decent photos where there's plenty of light available.

x4 floor lamp no flash
It's somewhat decent in low light, too—for a low-end phone.

Photos lack the detail of those taken with the OnePlus X, but they’re less grainy than those taken by the Moto G. Colors appeared washed-out and muted and there was often a delay after pressing the shutter button. There's also no option to use the volume rocker as a shutter button. 

nuu x4 camera app
A fairly standard interface greets you when you pop open the Camera app.

The Camera app includes all the basic features you’d expect, including a panorama mode and a selection of filters. Overall, the X4’s camera will do the job just fine if you’re looking to share photos of your cat on Facebook, but don’t expect super-crisp shots.

Not a high-performance phone

You don’t typically expect a low-end smartphone to blow you away with its performance, and the X4 lives up to that decidedly low expectation. Benchmark scores lagged behind many of the smartphones we’ve tested over the past year, but more troubling is the fact that the X4 failed to complete some of the benchmark tests we ran.

Unlike the bulk of smartphones out there, which typically feature processors from Qualcomm, the X4 is built around a quad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek processor. You’ll also find 16GB of storage and 1GB of RAM. The storage and memory specs are on the low end as far as current smartphones go, but the X4 includes a microSD slot, which enables you to add up to 32GB of removable storage.

In the PCMark Work Performance test—a benchmark that tests how well a phone can handle common productivity tasks—the X4 achieved a score of 3519, which puts it behind the similarly-priced Moto G and OnePlus X.


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