Intex Aqua Trend Review : Needs to be better

Budget 4G phones are available at the drop of a hat from every manufacturer now. Data suggests that this segment is getting overcrowded and there are too many handsets now. Brands now need to tread this segment very carefully now. The Intex Aqua Trend is a new entry here. There is huge scope to hold this space if done right! Has Intex done it? Read on!

Aqua Trend Back

Remember that the under 10000 Android 4G segment is where we have the Lenovo K3 Note and The Asus Zenfone 2 Laser. Both of these are brilliantly designed and have impressive specs. This is the ring into which Intex has thrown its hat into. The competition is tough and inspired! Intex has intentions and plans right. But the execution needs a bit of a re-orienting.

Let us get the specs listed out first. The processor a quad-core MediaTek MT6735 SoC with 2GB of RAM. The device is capable of a maximum speed of  1.3GHz per core. There is an integrated Mali-T720 GPU. It  is a Dual-SIM phone with support for dual 4G .  The phone supports Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, FM Radio, USB OTG and Wi-Fi Direct. There’s 16GB of onboard storage which you can expand upto 32GB with an external microSD card.

The Look and Feel department is a bit of a hit and a miss. The back cover that comes as default has a very tacky shape and color. It kind of spreads around the sides also in a very unattractive way. The color of the unit I got was a big letdown. Very jarring to look at. The front is decent and looks ok. The first thing that I did was to change the default cover and snap on the flip cover that comes in the package. It has a faux-leather finish and looks classy.  The cover is magnetic and comes with a circular interface that lets you access many phone functions without unlocking the device.

Aqua Trend Side View

The device has an accelerometer, proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor. The navigation buttons in the bottom are not backlit.  The display is 5 inches diagonally and supports a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. Color reproduction leaves a lot to be desired, I was shocked to see the even the wallpaper colors weren’t rendered correctly and look very different on other devices. There isn’t a notification light, that would have been nice to have. The phone has decent brightness levels and hence is readable and clear both indoors and outdoors. The surface of the display leaves a lot to be desired, it is not scratch proof and very easily gets smudged. This is an area where the competing handsets win hands down. The Zenfone 2 Laser has a brilliant scratch resistant screen!

I did not understand the logic behind putting the buttons on the left side and giving a flip cover that actually runs over them. The Flip cover is the saving grace in the design department and this design flaw makes it unusable I am afraid. That seems to be the running theme here, a lot of minor changes that could have been easily effected with a little bit of attention to detail. I am not expecting Nexus quality here, but then basics are not done well, and that is disappointing.

The back houses a 13-megapixel camera sensor, an LED flash and the customary positioning of the  speaker grille at the bottom. The headphone socket and the Micro-USB port are on the top and bottom respectively.

Top

Bottom

The phone is on the heavier side. Sometimes dicey to hold it in one hand. It is comparable in weight to my OnePlus 2 which is my primary phone.

It comes with Android 5.1 out of the box. It supports Hot Knot. I have a serious issue with the sheer number of default apps that are in the phone. There’s too many of them and they update first when one tries to set the phone up and that takes a while! A long while. The main problem is that you will not use many of them, ever! The whole experience is brought down because of this

Rear open view

Back with battery

Performance was decent, yet nothing to write home about. It was very smooth with Asphalt8 and  few other games. After a while there is a tad bit of lag that creeps in. The battery is adequate and lasts about a day with average use. Heavy video use tends to bring that down considerably and it comes down to around 7 hours. This is another area where the competitors have an edge.

Call quality is average, no noticeable drops. The earbuds are a bit uncomfortable, and when music is played, there is a noticeable amount of jarring or distortion.

The 13MP rear camera is satisfactory in good light conditions. The front camera is average! The macro and long shots are ok. Low light brings a lot of issues into the picture. Spotty and distorted intermittently. Video recording is decent. No complaints there!

Verdict

This phone is priced at INR 9700/- This is a clear indication that Intex is serious about getting into the game. But then they have not yet made it there fully. It would be great to see intent and execution match each other. The design elements and the other salient features are not up to par and need improvement. I would recommend that you give this one a miss! But I am impressed with Intex upping the game and I am waiting for the next increment that will definitely be a huge stride forward.

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