Jumping on the bandwagon, Intex Technologies recently introduced its first smartphone with a fingerprint sensor - the Aqua Secure. While there is already a wide range of affordable phones with fingerprint sensor available in the market, the USP of the phone is that it is the cheapest phone with a fingerprint sensor available in India. Priced at Rs 6,499, the phone is one of the very few fingerprint-enabled phones available under Rs 7,000.
But does it deliver in the real life as much as it boasts on paper? Having played with the phone for quite some time, here’s our take on it.
Let’s begin with what is its key highlight - the fingerprint sensor. Positioned at the back, the fingerprint sensor on the phone works fine. It not only lets you unlock the phone, but also allows you to control a lot of apps including camera and music. Talking about the performance of the fingerprint sensor, it is both fast and accurate.
Given its price, the Aqua Secure offers a good build quality and features a nice design. Despite that the phone has a thickness of 9.4mm, the phone doesn’t feel heavy in hands. The 4.7-inch display with a screen resolution of 480x854 pixels is in line with expectations, but I think the company could have packed a 720p display on the phone for better viewing.
To my surprise, the 5 megapixel rear camera generated decent results. It not only captured good amount of light, but also produced true-to-life colours. While in low-light environments, it, as expected, generated noisy results. The 2 megapixel camera on the front is also satisfactory in bright-light conditions.
Another thing that helps the phone earn good points is the speaker. It’s rare to have a good speaker in a phone at this price point, and the Intex Aqua Secure is one of those rare phones. The speaker in the phone impresses both on the loudness and audio clarity fronts.
The phone is powered by 1 GHz quad-core Mediatek processor coupled with 1 GB of RAM. The Intex Aqua Secure worked seamlessly throughout the review period given that I put it to normal use, and didn’t even try to run heavy apps.
What’s not so cool?
There are things that are not cool and then there are goof-ups. The latter is what's in the Aqua Secure. Intex claims the phone to have a USB Type-C connector, but then it doesn’t. And the story doesn’t end here. The phone, instead, comes with a connector similar to Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector. Not only you can charge the phone with the cable and adapter that come with the phone, you can also use an iPhone charger to charge the phone. I could easily charge the phone with an iPhone 6s charger. The Intex Aqua Secure’s charger, however, couldn’t supply power to the iPhone.
We asked the company to explain as to how they managed to introduce the phone with a Lightning connector-lookalike charging port and why are they labelling it as USB Type-C? It’s been around a week since we reached out to Intex to explain us the reason behind including such a connector, but haven’t received a relevant response.
The company initially said that it could have been a unit-specific issue and sent us a fresh unit. But that didn’t change things. The second unit also had the same connector.
As a user there is more to lose with such a connector than to gain. While you can charge your phone with an iPhone charger, but then that’s it. As a user you are being mislead to believe that it is a Type-C that you are getting, and be in for a shock when you unpack it. This also means that the phone will be unable to make use of USB Type-C accessories and derive other benefits that the new standard brings in.
Coming to its storage, of the 8 GB internal storage space, the phone offers around 4 GB of user-accessible memory. While it supports a microSD card of up to 32 GB, the low internal storage on the phone wouldn’t suffice the user who uses a wide range of apps.
The phone competes with the Coolpad Note 3 Lite, which, on paper, offers better specifications than the Intex Aqua Secure. But having used both the phones, we would recommend the Aqua Secure over the Coolpad Note 3 Lite. That is if you don’t have an issue with the connector.
There are better phones available in this price segment. One such option is the Redmi 2 Prime, which offers great specs and experience (minus the fingerprint sensor) than the Intex Aqua Secure.
While the fingerprint sensor makes the Intex Aqua Secure stand out in the under-Rs 7K category, it shouldn’t be your major decision-making factor. We wouldn’t encourage you to go for this phone until you are really keen on having a low-cost device with a fingerprint sensor.
Also there’s the connector confusion.