Intex recently launched three new Aqua-Series smartphones named the Aqua 4.0 4G, the Aqua Crystal, and Aqua Supreme+. We received all of these devices to review (wait for it), and I was pleasantly surprised to get the Aqua Supreme+, the premium device among these. Well, that grin on my face quickly faded once I unboxed it and got hold of the phone. It took me no time to realise that I was fooled, once again, and the device wasn’t as premium as I was expecting it to be.
Design and Display:
Intex Aqua Supreme+ gets a plastic unibody design which doesn’t look or feel premium. The device is a bit slippery to hold and is prone to smudges. The back panel of the phone looks like it came straight from a toy factory in China. It gets three non-backlit capacitive buttons beneath the display with the power button and volume rockers positioned on the side. The compact size of the device makes it is easy to hold, and the buttons are well within reach of your thumb. It also gets a rather unusually placed notification LED which sits bang in the middle of the top bezel, underneath the earpiece.
Coming to the display, it is a 5-inch HD OnCell panel with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, and there’s no mention of screen protection whatsoever. If you’re among the clumsy types, a screen protector is highly recommended. The color reproduction is acceptable, and the display is bright enough under direct sunlight. However, the smudges are a hindrance while viewing the display under sunlight, an oleophobic coating would have helped in this case.
The phone runs on Indus OS built on the top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It offers a completely different (a bit clunky) UI which comes without an app drawer. Indus OS has also replaced default messaging app with Indus Messaging and has its own app store called App Bazaar. It also comes with Indus Swipe feature which allows you to translate or transliterate text from English to your native language. There was also something strange with the phone when we received it. The phone didn’t have the Google Play Store app on it, and we had to factory reset the device multiple times to get a glimpse of Google Play Store.
The phone also comes with a tonne of unwanted pre-installed apps some of which can’t even be uninstalled. It also shows a notification asking to register for an app called “miFon” which can’t be disabled.
Overall, Indus OS does make sense with multi-language support and translate features but it could have done a better job in providing a smooth UI.
The Intex Aqua Supreme+ features a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash. While clicking some photos with that camera, we soon realised that 13MP is just a number and doesn’t really matter here. The images clicked from the camera lack sharpness, and the sensor occasionally fails to focus on subjects in close shots. The output also turned out to be less saturated, but that was the case with outdoor photography only. It records The front camera is decent enough, but it lacks the beautify mode which is nowadays being offered by most smartphone makers.
The company claim the phone features EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) in video recording. However, on testing the same, we found it to be ineffective. The rear camera records video up to 720p while the selfie camera is restricted to 480p.
The default camera app also comes integrated with Intex’s fashion discovery app Fashin. This app allows users to search for clothes, simply by uploading its image and compares prices for that clothing from multiple online fashion stores. It is also integrated with Vistoso app which allows you to click pictures, edit them and buy customised gears (Tshirt, Mug, Hoodie, etc.) with that picture on.
The Intex Aqua Supreme+ is powered by a quad-core MediaTek MTK6737 processor clocked at 1.3GHz and coupled with 2GB of RAM. In day-to-day usage the phone performs decently with multitasking being seamless. Though, the app startup time considerably increases depending on the apps running in the background. Also, the phone gets only 9.42GB user available storage out of 16GB. So, if you download lots of apps, your phone will quickly run out of storage. Thankfully, the storage is expandable via MicroSDsd card up to 128GB.
We also ran some benchmarking tests on the device to see where it stands among its competitors. On Antutu benchmarking, it scored 29,846 which is way behind the almost equally priced Redmi Note 4 (Scored 80,000). On Geekbench 4 rating, it doesn’t even stand half as tall as Redmi Note 4. On single-core process, it scored 541 whereas the Redmi Note 4 scores around 1500 for the same. Overall, the Intex Aqua Supreme+ bites the dust at the hands of its competitors when it comes to processing power and performance.
Well, not everything is wrong with this phone. The one good thing about it, i.e., there were no signs of heating while running these tests which could also be the result of an underclocked processor.
Battery & Sound:
Intex Aqua Supreme+ packs in a 3000mAh non-removable battery. The battery life is decent enough and could easily last a day with normal usage. The 5V/ 1.5A charger which comes with the phone takes around 2 Hrs to fully charge the device which is good enough for this battery size.
The phone gets a speaker on the back panel which is quite loud for its size. Well, it could be unpleasing too, especially when the phone boots up with a loud piercing tone. It is a dual SIM phone with Hybrid SIM slot which supports two Nano SIM cards and a MicroSD card, but only two at a time. The phone supports 4G VoLTE in both the SIM slots (one at a time) and works flawlessly with Jio. The audio quality was also crisp and fine.
One more thing I would like to explicitly point out that, on using the OnePlus Bullets V2 earphones with the device, the phone really surprised us. The audio output driven through the headphones was brilliant and up to the mark.
Intex Aqua Supreme+ falls short of justifying its name “Supreme”. The phone is priced around Rs 9800 which doesn’t help it either. Currently, all the phones in this price segment offer metal unibody design, and it’s very odd to see a phone with a plastic body. Including the build quality, it also falls short in places such as camera quality, software and performance. There are tonnes of phones available in the market priced in the same segment and offer much more features than this one. Lenovo K6 Power, Redmi 3s Prime and Redmi Note 4 also come with the same price tag, but Redmi Note 4 is certainly the best buy among all of these.
But with offline reach and its regional language support, the Intex Aqua Supreme+ does have its own unique audience.