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As the likes of Samsung, Huawei, Apple and HTC are playing hardball at the upper end of the segment, more and more brands slowly creep into the lowest tier and Intex is no excuse. It’s been around for some good time though, but all its concerted efforts have been towards the crowded lowest price tier of the market which is a hard one to crack comparing the competition. (I imagine getting a thumbs up from the likes of Tecno, iDroid, Infinix et cetera but guess what? This is not your show!)
The Intex Aqua Star 5.0 much owes the numerical description to its 5-inch FWVGA screen, a size which is fast becoming an industry standard for smartphones. With it comes a lot on table especially for folks looking to upgrade to a smartphone for the first time. Here is the good, the bad and the meh in our hands on review.You can pick one from Jumia at an enticing price of 433,000 UGX.
- 5 Inch FWVGA screen.
- A Quad Core MediaTek MT6582M Processor.
- 1 GB of RAM & 8GB of storage.
- 8MP Auto Focus primary camera and 2 MP secondary camera.
- Android 4.4.2 KitKat.
- 2000mAh Battery.
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The phone’s screen — small as is– is actually 5-inches with a resolution of 854 x 480 (length x Width) large enough to allow you do all you multimedia activities at the front, with a large stereo speaker at the back and an 8MP Auto Focus rear camera with duo flash. The Power button is a stone’s throw away on the right with the volume rockers on the left, a 3.5mm headphone jack on top with a micro USB port all on the round edged metal rail. The rest of the build is plastic.
On removing the back plate reveals the 2,000 mAh removable battery, two SIM card trays (One standard while the other micro) and a micro SD expandable storage tray. Overall the phone felt light to hold compared to other smartphones I carry around for my everyday use.
The Aqua Star by default runs on Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat out of the box which we were able to upgrade to 5.0 Lollipop with a proprietary Intex skin running atop. Pre-installed apps included Intex Zone, LBI, OLX, Quick Office, Theme Manager, Saavn, World Cup cricket most of which are tailored towards the Indian audience. We suppose so owing to the fact that Intex is an Indian grown brand. These encroach on the internal storage and only leave you with 5.7 GB to play with of the said 8GB.
The Aqua Star 5.0 features an 8MP rear shooter with duo flash and a 2MP selfie cam at the front. Intex will need to up their camera game if they’re to take on the likes of the Tecno with their Y6 or Samsung Galaxy J1 since they both play on the same grounds.
Full light condition shots were more daring in comparison to those shot in low light conditions but the former isn’t something enthusiasts like myself can boost about, given other offerings at the same price point stretch a little further than what the Aqua 5.0 can offer. The front shooter shares the same story.
The Aqua Star 5.0 supports most GSM/WCDMA bands on both SIM cards with no support for 4G. It has WiFi, Bluetooth and an FM tuner. Overall call reception was on par except with heating issues once mobile data is turned on.
The software ran smoothly without lagging while receiving push notifications, browsing, texting, casual gaming, scrolling through Facebook, reading Tweets and endless emails. However results took a dive when it came to graphics heavy gaming. This was marred by slow processes and heating issues given the strain I afflicted on the 1.3 Quad-Core processor.
The 2,000 mAh battery juice wasn’t long enough to last me a day. It necessitated me carrying a charger on me to keep the phone running whenever it drained.