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Gadget Inspector | Power without a high price

New smartphones from Indian companies are finally delivering quality, as well as value
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First Published: Wed, May 08 2013. 03 20 PM IST
The latest Indian company to release a smartphone with a powerful quad-core processor is Intex, which has just launched the Intex Aqua Wonder
The latest Indian company to release a smartphone with a powerful quad-core processor is Intex, which has just launched the Intex Aqua Wonder
Updated: Wed, May 08 2013. 05 27 PM IST
Just an year ago, Indian mobile makers were churning out low cost handsets which were best avoided. Today though, the local companies have worked hard to improve the quality of the user experience and the latest handsets from companies like Micromax and Lava have shown a marked improvement in build quality and experience.
The latest Indian company to release a smartphone with a powerful quad-core processor is Intex, which has just launched the Intex Aqua Wonder. It’s available now on Flipkart for Rs.9,499 and will be available at retail locations and other websites soon, the company said.
The phone is built around MediaTek’s MT6589 quad-core processor—this is the same processor that is being used in Micromax’s highly successful A116 Canvas HD phone. It has half the RAM (512MB) though, so it’s not got the same amount of absolute power available.
Since it is running a lower resolution screen at 540X960pixels compared to 1280X720 on the Micromax, the Aqua Wonder performs just as well. And since Intex went with a smaller screen size, of 4.5-inches, the images on-screen look crisp too.
In terms of design, there’s a sameness to many of these new midrange handsets that are flooding the market, and the Intex Aqua Wonder is no exception. Its looks are pleasing and inoffensive, but lack any flourish that will catch the eye either.
There’s 2GB of internal storage, which can be pushed to 32GB with a microSD card, which is also a standard feature, as is the 8 megapixel camera. The camera is not going to win any awards for its performance in low light, or speed of focus, but it’s definitely good enough for photos you’re going to share on Facebook.
The phone runs on the Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean operating system, the latest version of the operating system that’s currently available.
Intex also followed the trend of including two SIM card slots, and supports 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS connectivity. The phone also comes with a 1,800mAh battery, which sounds good on paper, but in daily use the battery life was a little disappointing, needing to be charged twice a day at least. If you make a lot of calls, then you might end up charging the phone every six hours or so, which is definitely a problem.
The phone is running a near-stock version Android with very minor modifications, and comes with apps such as Flipkart, Facebook, Google Maps and Nimbuzz chat preloaded. With these apps already loaded, and it’s pricing, the phone is a good option for a basic user who doesn’t want to have to spend too much time setting up their phone.
If you’re only interesting in email, social networking, and taking photos, then you can have everything up and running within around five minutes of switching the phone off, without having to spend too much money either.
Unlike the early Android handsets which were available at this price, the Intex Aqua Wonder (and other new devices) offer the user a smooth experience. Swiping through screens and launching apps happens quickly, and the touchscreens also seem more responsive and accurate today.
If you want the best camera, the fastest phone which will run the latest games, the best battery life or the sharpest screen, then this isn’t the phone for you. The design of the phone, like its hardware, is vanilla—it’s covering all the bases without trying to excel in any one area.
If you’re looking for a good phone, on a budget, then the Intex Aqua Wonder is offering good value. If you’re looking for a great phone though, then you’ll have to increase your budget for now.
A weekly look at the latest new tech-toys to hit the market, from phones and tablets to actual toys.
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First Published: Wed, May 08 2013. 03 20 PM IST
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