Intex Aqua Trend Review


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Intex launched Aqua Trend, the company’s second 4G smartphone back in August at a price of Rs. 9,444. There are several smartphones with 4G support in the similar price range in the Indian market. Can it compete with these phones? Is this worth the price? Let us find out in the complete review.

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Box Contents

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  • Intex Aqua Trend smartphone in Champagne color
  • 2-pin Charger (5V-1A)
  • Micro USB cable
  • Earphones with microphone
  • Scratch Guard
  • Flip cover
  • User manual and warranty information

Display, Hardware and Design

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The 5-inch screen at a resolution of 1280 by 720 at about 294 ppi pixel density is good. This display is bright, colors are vibrant and sunlight legibility is good too. The screen is glossy, hence it is and is prone to fingerprints. There is a black border around the display, which might not be comfortable for viewing for everyone. The company doesn’t say if the smartphone has a scratch resistant glass. But you can use the bundled scratch guard to prevent the phone from attracting fingerprints and scratches. It is 144.5mm tall, making it slightly taller than most other phones with a 5-inch display, mainly due to bezels on the top and the bottom of the phone. Since the width of the phone is 72.5mm, it is easy to hold.

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On the top there are the usual set of proximity and ambient light sensors, but it doesn’t have notification LED. The 5-megapixel front-facing camera with f/2.4 aperture can record videos only at VGA resolution. It is good in bright conditions for video chats and selfies, but images that are shot indoors have a lot of noise.

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You have the usual set of capacitive touch buttons for Back, Home and Menu. These are not backlit, neither offer haptic feedback when pressed. There is a tiny microphone hole on the edge.

The power button and volume rockers are awkwardly placed on the left side, so it is not easy to unlock the phone if you are a right-handed person. There is nothing on the right side. The 3.5mm audio jack is present on the top and the micro USB slot is present on the bottom. The sides have shiny finish that looks like metal, but it is actually plastic. It doesn’t attract fingerprints easily. We have the Champagne color and the phone comes in Black, Grey and Silver colors as well.

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The plastic back cover has shiny finish that doesn’t offer a premium look and feel, but it feels solid in hand. There is a 13-megapixel camera on the top part of the back along with LED flash. There is a Intex branding below the camera module and the loudspeaker grill is present on the bottom part. It weighs 152 grams, which is a bit heavy for a 5-inch phone, mainly due to huge battery.

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Opening the back cover reveals two micro SIM slots and a microSD card slot that is present between the SIM slots. It accepts cards up to 32GB. You have to remove the battery to use the SIM card or microSD slots.

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Coming to the battery, the phone has a 3000mAh battery. It is a good thing that Intex sticks to removable batteries. We will discuss about the battery life later.

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The phone also comes with a flip cover that has magnetic lock that lets the display go to sleep when the cover is closed and wake up when it is opened. It lets you perform several actions through the small window, similar to LG’s Quick Circle cover.

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The cover comes in White color with soft padding on the inside to protect the screen. As you can see, there are shortcuts inside the circular window to read text messages from the inbox, view call logs, capture images (In 5MP resolution) and also control music using a widget. You can also change audio profiles, clock style and also set screen time out from the settings.

Camera

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The smartphone has a 13-megapixel camera with single LED flash and f/2.0 aperture. Daylight images are decent, but the images are too sharp and doesn’t have much details. Macro shots are good, thanks to f/2.0 aperture. HDR shots are decent too, but enhanced sharpness is clearly visible in the shots. Low-light images doesn’t have much noise and images with flash look dull since it is not powerful enough. Overall the camera is just average for the price.

It has the MediaTek camera UI with options to select different scene modes, new PIP option to capture a small selfie image when capturing an image using the rear camera, face beauty option, live photo mode, motion tracking mode, panorama and multi angle view mode.

Check out some camera samples below (Click the images to view the full resolution sample)

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HDR OFF
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HDR ON

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The phone can record videos at 1080p full HD resolution at 30 fps. It also has EIS software image stabilization. It doesn’t have a secondary microphone, so the audio is not crisp. Video quality is decent, but it is not impressive. Check out the full HD video sample below.

Software

Intex Aqua Trend Home and About

Coming to the software, the Aqua Trend runs on Android 5.1 (Lollipop), which is almost stock with few visual changes. The company doesn’t say when the smartphone will get the Android 6.0 update. The homescreen looks almost similar to the Google Now screen, but it doesn’t launch Google Now on swiping from left to right. You can launch the dialer or camera directly from the lock screen. It also has several gesture options such as smart call to call a contact when you pick up the phone to your face, move photos in the gallery, capture images, move to next song, control FM Radio and control the clock using gesture. There are gesture options that lets you double tap to wake up the screen, draw up to lock, down to pause music, draw right to switch to next song, left to move to previous song and more. You can also draw letter letters on the lock screen to wake up respective app you have set.

Intex Aqua Trend Internal storage, RAM and Move to SD

Out of 2GB of RAM, you get 1.92GB of usable RAM. About 1.4GB of RAM is free when the phone is idle, with just the default apps running in the background. Out of 16GB of internal storage you get just 10.6GB of usable storage that can be used for installing apps and for mass storage. System storage takes up 5.2GB of space, mainly due to a lot of pre-installed apps. You also have option to move apps to the SD card and can also set microSD as the default write disk.

Apps

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The phone comes with a lot of pre-loaded apps that cannot be removed.  Other than the usual set of utility apps and Google apps, it comes with AppsGallery, Chaatz, Clean Master, InMobi Service, Intex Play, Intex Service, MX Player, Myntra, NewsHunt, Opera Mini, Quickoffice, Quikr and Skype.

Music Player and FM Radio

Intex Aqua Trend Music Player and FM Radio

The music player has a standard user interface and can play a range of audio formats. You can enable the equalizer for Bass boost and 3D effect features when you are listening using earphones. Audio from the bundled earphones is below average and doesn’t fit your ears comfortably. Loudspeaker output is decent but it’s not the best. FM Radio has a standard UI and comes with auto search and recording. The default video player can play full HD 1080p videos, which is smooth.

Dual SIM and Connectivity

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It has the usual set of connectivity features such as WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS. It also has USB on-the-go (OTG) support. It has 4G connectivity with support for TD-LTE 2300MHz (Band 40) and FDD-LTE 1800MHz (Band 3) for India. Both the SIMs support 4G, but you can enable 4G only in one SIM at a time, while the other goes to 2G.

Intex Aqua Trend Dialer and Messaging

Since the phone has dual SIM support, you can select either SIMs from the drop-down notification bar before calling someone or sending SMS. It has stock AOSP Lollipop keyboard, which is good.

Performance and Benchmarks

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Coming to the performance, the smartphone has a quad-core MediaTek MT6735 64-bit SoC with four ARM Cortex-A53 CPUs clocked at 1.30 GHz per core. The performance is good without any lags. 2GB of RAM is enough to run several apps in the background. It doesn’t get heated on 3G/4G use or intensive gaming. Check out some synthetic benchmarks.

AnTuTu Benchmark 5

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It scored 25866 points and topped the AnTuTu benchmark 5.

Geekbench 3 Single-Core

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It scored 627 points in the Geekbench 3 Single-Core benchmark.

Geekbench 3 Multi-Core

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It scored 1845 points and topped the Geekbench 3 Multi-Core benchmark too.

GFXBench 2.7 T-Rex (On screen)

Intex Aqua Trend GFXBench 2.7 T-Rex OnScreen

It clocked 772.1 frames or 12.86 fps in the GFXBench 2.7 T-Rex OnScreen GPU benchmark.

GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan (On screen)

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It clocked 356.3 frames or 5.93 fps in the GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan benchmark.

3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited

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It scored 4989 points in the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited GPU benchmark and topped it too. It has Mali-720 GPU. We tried several games, and some games were not completely smooth, but graphics was good.

Battery life

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The phone packs a 3000mAh battery, which looks like it will be more than enough to power the phone for the whole day, but it doesn’t last whole day even with average use. You get more than half a day of battery life with heavy use such as gaming, 4G, video playback, some calls and music. You have standby intelligent power saving mode that limits the CPU performance when the phone is idle. It achieved a One Charge Rating of 8 hours and 36 minutes, which is just average even though it has a huge 3000mAh battery.

Conclusion

Overall, the Intex Aqua Trend is just an average phone for the price, but it is not the best in the range considering the average camera and average battery life, even though the performance is better than most phones in this range. It retails for around Rs. 9000 now, but several manufactures offer better features in the range. To summarize, here are the pros and cons of the smartphone.

Pros

  • Decent display
  • Good performance
  • 4G support on both the SIMs

Cons

  • Average battery life
  • Average camera
  • Excessive bloatware

Author: Srivatsan Sridhar

Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He uses the phones he reviews as his main phone. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram