Intex released a smartphone in Rs. 10,000 budget range with a beautiful appearance but not too impressive specs sheet. The smartphone features he same signature design as its brothers in Aqua series but with a beautiful 2.5D curved display. As there are lots of Chinese brands offering some of the best featured smartphone in the budget range, let’s see if this Indian brand can stand up against them.
Design and Build
All budget smartphones always borrow design from some modern flagship smartphone, but that’s not the situation here. Intex designed this smartphone to be as compact as possible and added a 5 inches display which is further covered with a 2.5D curvature glass protection which perfectly blends into the curves on the edges.
The front of the smartphone is simple and holds the 5 inches display encased in a thick black border to create an illusion of a bezel-less display. Above and below the screen is an equal white portion with earpiece and front facing camera above and nothing on below. The right edge got the power key and volume buttons, 3.5 mm audio jack is on the top edge, and bottom edge has the speaker, microphone, and the mini USB port.
The back panel of the phone is removable and made of plastic, removing which reveals the dual SIM slots, the SD card slot and a non removable 3200 mAh Li-ion battery. The 13 MP primary shooter, dual LED dual tone flash and fingerprint sensor are lined in the middle of the top half part and Intex branding toward the bottom half of the back panel. The hardware seems to be placed on a metal chassis which makes is a little lighter than other 5 inches smartphones.
Intex Aqua S7 is an 8.7m thick smartphone and weighs only 150 grams, thanks to the 5 inches display and the removable plastic back panel. The 5 inches 22.5D curved IPS display is Full HD and comes with a pixel density of 294 PPI. It comes with a 64 bit quad-core MediaTek processor and Mali-T720 MP2 GPU running with a frequency of 450 MHz.
The primary camera is 13 MP shooter with LED flash and f/2.2 aperture size, also features EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) to stabilize the videos a little bit. Front facing camera is 5 MP with HDR feature and 1080p video recording at 30 frames per second. And to power all this hardware, a 3200 mAh battery is sealed behind below the removable back panel.
Intex Aqua S7 comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow with pretty much stock user interface; the app drawer is a scrollable grid of installed apps with a transparent background. Other than this, Intex Aqua S7 features tons of apps which are bloatware including some games demo and some news apps. One of all those apps, one app is there which can be useful for some smartphone users is Auto Call Recorder, it automatically records the call and saves them into the phone memory.
There are some never seen features in settings like Turbo Download, enabling this increase the download speed by utilizing both cellular data and Wi-Fi network. Then there are Emergency rescue settings which are actually an SOS toggle which when activated can send your location to all the registered numbers. One more option is Scheduled power on and off; it functions exactly according to the tittle.
The camera is the only weak point of this smartphone, the 13 MP shooter at the back is captured pictures with barely any details. The camera app is also old school with an outdated user interface, from what we saw on Android 2.3 Gingerbread. This camera app and features are exactly similar to the one we saw on InFocus Epic1 with three capture modes; normal mode, picture in picture mode and panorama mode. HDR feature is there, but all it do is take longer than usual time to save the captured picture and add some brightness to it.
Video quality is mediocre too, Electronic Image Stabilization seems to work just right and won’t able to stabilize big shakes. One more feature which I saw in camera is Slow Motion Video capture which can capture 480p videos at 120 frames per second. Check the pictures we captured with its camera including most of the features.
The phone is well built, and the hardware is almost decent if you look at the price range, the back panel is plastic and removing it reveals the dual SIM slots and an SD card slot which supports 4G LTE SIM cards and features VoLTE. The signal strength is a level low than other smartphones hence degraded the 4G speed, but voice quality during a call is decent.
The fingerprint sensor located at the back of the phone and can easily be reached because of the size of the phone. Unlocking the phone with fingerprint takes approximately a second, but it does recognize the fingerprint well. Battery in Aqua S7 is 3200 mAh despite of the fact that the display is only 5 inches, charging the battery fully takes time but battery draining takes much more time. Aqua S7 stayed with me for two whole days with optimum usage and gaming. Overall the battery backup is impressive, probably it’s because of the small display.
From the beginning when I started the review, I was treating this phone as a budget smartphone because I was expecting an average performance. But the MediaTek processor and 3 GB RAM handles gaming and multitasking efficiently, I multitask several apps with a browser, some social apps, and a game. All the apps switch quickly with no delay, but the game reloads every time I switch to it. So, overall the performance is good and can help you multitask on several apps simultaneously.
- Decent design and built quality
- Good amount of RAM
- Fingerprint sensor
- Poor camera
- Plastic back panel
I’ve used a lot of budget smartphones from various brands but the design is really impressive in Aqua S7 and the 2.5D display is killing. The design is almost like an iPhone 6, removable back panel is an add-on and Aqua S7 is a little thicker. Performance is satisfactory and can be better if there is any update in future with more Android stock experience and less bloatware. Intex Aqua S7 is available for Rs. 9,540 on Flipkart and if you ask me, this smartphone is worth the money.