One at a time, but in recent months few good things have happened in the affordable smartphone segment in the country — Panasonic has introduced 3,500mAh battery, iBall has incorporated 8-megapixel front camera, and Coolpad and Xolo have come out with 3 GB RAM. And, the new one, to be part of this group is Intex; it recently launched Aqua Ace offers 3 GB RAM with pretty decent specifications. Priced at Rs 13,900, this budget smartphone has been able to impress me with its smooth performance, and for this credit goes to New Delhi headquartered, Intex Technologies, which has put together a powerful Mediatek quad core processor and 3 GB RAM. However, the question remains, is it the phone that you should buy? Let us look into other key areas, what it has to offer.
Out of the box, the first thing that really impressed me about this phone is its look and feel that is premium and stylish. At times, even I got confused between the back and the front as both are similar in design. The front is dominated by a 5-inch super Amoled HD display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and it offers deep black and good viewing angles. The front is also home to a 3.5 mm headset jack and front camera on the top, while three capacitive touch keys are part of on-screen Android buttons, leaving a large black bezel on the bottom which could have been utilised innovatively.
The undetachable rear panel is home to Intex branding along with rear camera and LED flash at the top and a speaker grille at the edge of the bottom. The power button, slot for memory card and volume rocker keys are placed at the right edge while left has space for SIM slot. The slim frame of 6.7 mm and weight of about 121.5 grams with double sided Gorilla Glass 3 for protection beats convincingly any device in this range. One of the good things that Intex has done is that despite the Aqua Ace body being really slim, they have been able to manage a non-protruding camera—it sits flush with the body. Although, the phone is comfortable to hold and operate, but I must admit, it is little slippery and does attract a lot of smudges and fingerprints everywhere.
The Intex Aqua Ace runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop and its entrails are powered by 1.3 GHz quad core processor coupled with 3G RAM. During the review period, the device worked without any hiccup. While doing multitasking or switching between the apps, there was no serious lag to write about. In fact, the device handled some of the graphics intensive games quite smoothly. Also, the phone has a customised user interface which allows a user to smoothly access vivid icons, gesture support and a built-in SOS rescue function along with smart answer functions such as raise to accept call and flip to silent. The phone has 16 GB of internal memory for storage and this can be further expanded up to 128 GB with the help of a microSD card.
On the camera front, Aqua Ace comes with a 13-megapixel auto focus LED flash rear camera and a 8-megapixel front camera. Both the cameras offer average quality. Some of the test pictures that we clicked, the rear camera could capture fine details in regular light but same could not be repeated in low light condition and also when you viewed the pictures at full resolution, you could easily spot the noise throughout the image. As far as front camera is concern, the less said, the better. Whatever way you click, the final output are over-saturated colours and highly visible noise.
The device is packed with a non-replaceable 2,300mAh battery. The overall performance of the battery has not been really impressive, it is at par with any other Android device in this price range. It offers decent standby time and could last between 5-7 hours with multitasking and continuous data usage. The device supports 2G, 3G, 4G Wi-Fi, Bluetooth.
Overall, Intex Aqua Ace is a decent phone with an attracting design and body, smooth performance and impressive specs but camera quality and battery life could have been better.
* Display: 5 inch, 1280 x 720 pixels
* Processor: 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735 processor
* Operating system: Android 5.1 Lollipop
* Memory & storage: 3 GB RAM + 16 GB internal storage
* Camera: 5 MP front; 13 MP rear
* SIM type: Dual SIM
* Battery: 2300mAh, non-replaceable
* Estimated street price: Rs 13,900