It is getting very crowded in the Rs 10-15K Android smartphone segment in India. Having seen so many such phones from Indian brands over the last few months, a feeling of numbness has set in. The latest phone from this category that I have been using for quite some time now is the Intex Aqua I-5 and it also couldn't provide any stimulus.
Whenever I mentioned or showed the phone to anyone, the first reaction was "Oh that Farhan Akhtar phone?" Yes, this is that phone that has Farhan Akhtar advertising for it. And that is perhaps the phone's biggest highlight. Now I can somewhat gauge why these brands bank on big star names.
This phone comes with Android 4.2.1 out of the box with some minor tweaks to the native Android UI. One tweak is changing the colour of the pull-down menu to white from black and that isn't too pleasing to the eye.
The phone isn't a head turner, but is no plain Jane either. What I liked about it was that because the phone's back gradually curves towards the edges, it looks and feels a lot slimmer than it actually is. But the glossy front and rear are prone to smudges.
5-inch phones don't seem to be as big as when the Samsung Galaxy Note first came in and the aforementioned curved back also makes the Intex Aqua I-5 comfortable to hold.
The 12 megapixel shooter in the rear wouldn't survive a shootout against the cameras in phones with similar specs (and cameras with a lower megapixel count) from the top-rung manufacturers but the photographs taken are good enough to flaunt on Instagram or Facebook.
Because I used the review unit for a longer period than other phones that come in for us to rave about or rip apart, some drawbacks that aren't obvious in a week of use got highlighted. In the first 10 days or so this 1.2 GHz quad-core phone with 1GB RAM was a breeze to use, but then it began to show signs of laggardness and it only got worse. There weren't also too many additional apps installed.
Quite like many phones in its range it comes with a modest 1.58 GB of user accessible internal memory, which in many cases might not seem to be enough even with a memory card inserted. Also the screen's viewing angles are unimpressive.
One quirky irritant was that the phone network always displayed that it was on roaming no matter which part of the city the phone was in. Not sure if this issue is unit specific or not.
Intex also includes a flip cover in the package. I am not a fan of phone covers, but have noticed that many users seem to have a preference for them because of the added security for a screen that doesn't have Gorilla Glass protection.
The Intex Aqua I-5 comes pre-loaded with crapware. Though some users may find a few useful, my problem with these pre-installed software is that users cannot easily uninstall them.
The 2000mAh battery is enough for a workday but not for a full day of regular usage. I found myself charging the phone twice a day.
At Rs 12,490 (available cheaper in some stores) the price tag may not seem to be too high, but then we should treat our phones as an investment that returns more than they consume. For me the ROI on the Intex Aqua I-5 is fraught with a little risk.
Full specifications: Intex Aqua I-5
OS: Android 4.2, Jelly Bean
2G / 3G: 3 G (HSPA)
Sim Support: Dual Sim (Normal SIM + Micro SIM Card)
Processor: 1.2 GHz quad-core
RAM: 1 GB
Colours available: Black / White
Dimensions ( L x W x D)(in mm): 144.1 x 73.5 x 8.8
Weight (gms): 155
Display size: 5.0" QHD Capacitive Touch Screen
Display type: QHD-IPS
Display colours: 126 K
Display resolution: 960 x 540
ROM: 4 GB
Memory in built: 1.58 GB
Memory extended: up to 32 GB
Camera (rear): 12.0 megapixel
Camera (front): 2.0 megapixel
Auto focus: Yes
Battery type: 2000 mAh
Talk time: up to 5 hrs
Standby time: up to 180 hrs
Operating frequency: GSM: GSM 900 \ 1800 \ 850 \ 1900 WCDMA: 2100MHz
Ports: Micro 5 Pin
HSDPA/HSUPA/ EDGE /GPRS / WAP: HSDPA / HSUPA / EDGE / GPRS / WAP
Tethering & Portable Hotstop: Wi-Fi / Bluetooth / USB
GPS/ AGPS: Yes
FM Radio: Yes
Assistant sensor: Environment Light Sensor, Motion Sensor, Proximity Sensor, G sensor