Intex, the Indian smartphone manufacturer, launched the Aqua Lions 3 smartphone in India on July 20, 2017. It is among the company's budget lineup of 4G smartphones launched in India in 2017.
Intex has launched 19 smartphones in the year 2017 so far which is surprising enough since none of the handsets have been priced above Rs. 10,000. As a matter of fact, the most expensive smartphone- (which model) launched by Intex in 2017 retails for Rs. 8,050.
The big question on everyone's mind is, why so many smartphones! Officials from the company wouldn't say it out loud but Intex's strategy is quite pretentious. Intex relies on offline retailers for the sale of its products. The company also targets consumers who are not willing to spend too much on high-end smartphones from leading global brands.
Intex counts on it offline retailers for the sale of their smartphones. Intex smartphones do not offer high-end processors and offline marketing has given Intex a consumer base which sacks a considerable number of consumers who do not care much for the latest technology.
Well, let's talk about the Intex Aqua Lions 3. The 4G handset will cost you Rs. 6,499. The specifications are pretty decent for the price but don't just skip the rest of the review if by any chance you are actually going to spend on the device. Let's get started:
Specifications- Decent on papers!
The device boasts a 5-inch HD IPS display with Dragontrail Glass protection. Powered by none other than quad-core MediaTek MT6737 processor clocked at 1.25 GHz, this device boasts a 2GB RAM. It also has a Mali-T720 graphics chipset for smooth graphics rendering.
It has an internal storage of 16GB with microSD card support enabling users to expand the storage capacity to 128GB. The device has a 4,000 mAh battery.
The front and rear camera are 8MP snappers and both the cameras get a flash support. The device runs Android Nougat 7.0 sustaining the competition from peers of various brands.
Design- Mediocre for the price segment!
The device comes only in black color. It is 1.01 cm thick which is a bit too much and weighs nothing less displacing the scale to 167 grams.
The Intex Aqua Lions 3 has well groomed front panel with Dragontrail Glass giving it a shiny feel. The front camera that lies adjacent to the in-ear speakers, whereas the front flash takes the left corner. Display and bezels around it fuse into one when the screen lights are turned off. However, with the lights on one can notice that the bezels take up a substantial amount of space on the front panel.
The rear panel has removable battery cover which is quite flexible and doesn't feel like it is made to last. In fact, removing it is quite a task and slipping it back on is even more frenetic. The battery is not removable. The speakers of the smartphone are at the bottom of the rear panel while the camera lies on top in the center with flash beside it.
The battery cover has a 'paint' texture. The micro USB port and the headphone jack are at the top edge while the right edge sports the volume rockers and power lock/unlock toggle.
The design of the device has very plastic like feel to it. It feels heavy in hands and the noticeable thickness makes it a discomfort in ways more than one. The front panel looks good but the edge of the screen protection is prominently embossed.
The width and breadth of the device is quite proportionate.
Performance- Quite convincing!
The device runs on 2GB RAM powered by 1.25 GHz MT6737 quad-core processor from MediaTek. The handset is responsive enough. Apps open up quite quickly and there is an unsubstantial amount of lag while the apps are running. Mediocre games are easily run on the device although high-end games such as Asphalt 8 run with noticeable lag.
However, devices in the price range similar to Intex Aqua Lions 3 are not expected to offer a killer performance and Aqua Lions 3 is quite competing with its peer.
Camera- Not at par with competition!
The smartphone houses an unimpressive camera which is enough to kill Intex's plans for this device's sales.
There is nothing too good about it. It is slow, captures pictures with increased artificial sharpness even in bright daylight and the pictures are not at all soft with graduating transitions. The best thing about the camera is probably the fact that it has a LED flash support to allow users to click pictures even when it is completely dark.
There are smartphones with better camera performance than Aqua Lions 3 in the same price-point. For instance, Yu Yureka Black has an impressive form factor and has several camera features. The picture quality on the rival is also a lot better.
If you are looking for something in a subtle price range yet with a better performance you could give the Moto C Plus a try. It definitely beats the Aqua Lions 3 in camera performance.
Display- Too saturated!
The display on Aqua Lion 3 is HD IPS however, the quality is not at all challenging for its competition. Video playback fails to impress as well, the over saturation of the display simply takes away the quality from even the best of videos.
Daylight performance for the display is pretty impressive. Even in bright daylight, the screen was not too reflective and the content on display was fairly visible.
Speakers- Just alright!
If you love listening to music and use your smartphone's on board speakers to play songs you shouldn't consider buying this device.
The speakers perform at an optimum volume level with a balanced sound quality. However, the sound is not too impressive. The bass and treble are balanced well but the output is simply not soothing enough. It misses beats more than often.
While the quality isn't downright annoying it is not too impressive either. It is just good enough for normal usage.
Battery- Lasts for an entire day
The most impressive feature of this device is probably its battery backup. The 4,000 mAh powerhouse charges quickly. It took less than 2 hours for the device to get the battery ready and going. With moderate usage, the device can survive for more than 18 hours. Even on extensive usage, you can easily get a battery to last 12 hours or more.
Software and GUI- Clean layout with room for refinement!
Intex Aqua Lions 3 runs Android Nougat 7.0 which is a common offering even in the sub 10k price range. The GUI on the device is stock version and functions fluently. Intex has certainly added few elements here and there but they do not do much favor to the device. For example, Intex for some reason has added a 'bin' icon in the app switcher menu. The function of this icon is to dump all the open apps and empty the memory. The icon looks primitive and does not go well with the GUI.
Similarly, the keyboard on the device is too condensed and Intex has added all the possible keys on a single screen of the keyboard. Now, it is understandable that switching the keyboard panel from time to time to search just a single key can be irritating but what's even worse is not able to type quickly due to a condensed keyboard.
The device has a few pre-installed apps most of which are better left untouched.
Conclusion: Intex needs to think out of the box!
Intex has a set strategy to sell out its devices and it's quite a fulfilling one. I have no disregard for Intex's ways of running the business. However, it needs to develop a strategy to outgrow its current target audience. While we all know very well that online sales will certainly take over offline retailing in the coming decade, Intex for some reason does not wish to come out of its comfort zone.
The brand has been constantly developing mediocre smartphones with few tweaks here and there and has ended up with more than a dozen devices in its portfolio all priced closely. So, why not work on fewer devices that offer quality at par with international brands? Intex needs to shake off its disregard for online marketing strategies.
As for Intex Aqua Lions 3, there are certainly better devices in the price range. Moto C Plus is a serious contender although it retails online only. This gives Intex a breach to drill on and to drain out its supplies to the market.
As an all Indian brand, Intex has a lot of expectations to fulfill rather than simply taking advantage of unavailability of international brands in the offline sector.