bq Aquaris C – Entry level smartphone with extras21. October 2018
The Aquaris C is the cheapest smartphone I’ve tested so far and with a price point of 170€ it is an entry level smartphone. But I don’t want to focus to much on the price and show you everything the Aquaris C can do.
Fits easily in one hand
What you notice right away is that the Aquaris C is a very compact phone, which easily fits in one hand with its 5.45 Inch LCD. The bezels on the sides are not as minimal as many other 2018 smartphone but still are pretty tiny. The top and bottom bezels are symmetrical and there is no notch.
At first I was a little confused, when is comes to the logo on the chin. It look to me like a frozen animation. And as I said in my last video, I don’t like logos on the front and wished the manufactures would get rid of them.
The side rails are made of metal and the back is made of plastic. It doesn’t feel premium but overall it is still build well and doesn’t feel cheap. And even with the plastic back there is no wireless charging, something that I didn’t expect in that price range. With the curved sides the Aquaris C feels comfortable to hold.
On the bottom we find the mono-speaker, an USB-C port and a headphone jack. The mono-speaker can easily be covered because it is down firing and even when it isn’t covered it does not have the greatest sound, but for the occasional game or video it is just fine.
If you still want better sound, you should use headphone which can easily be plugged into the headphone jack.
To top of the 3000 mAh battery you can use quick charge with the USB-C port. But I didn’t need to charge the phone very often. Most of the time I got more than 8 hour screen on time out of it and it easily lasted two days. The big battery combined with the hardware in the Aquaris C gives it fantastic battery life.
Low end hardware
Let’s take a look at that hardware. We got a snapdragon 425 with Adreno 308 and 2 GB of RAM. The 5,45 Inch LCDs resolution is pretty low at 720p but all these components result in that great battery life. But is should also be clear that the Aquaris C isn’t for high end users. It is more for the leisure kind of person.
The animation are quite slow throughout the system, it takes some time until an app opens and everything just feels a bit slow. A great example for that is the fingerprint scanner. The whole process is more on the slow side. Once you placed your finger on the sensor it feels like an eternity until the phone is unlocked. The screen gets bright, but the colors are a little faded and the viewing angles aren’t great either.
You will have a hard time recognizing pixels but you still gonna notice that this 720p screen only packs 295 pixels per inch.
Almost stock Android
The Aquaris C is running on Android 8.1 which is very close to stock android. There are only very few changes. The camera app is different and there is one bq app installed which tries to sell you a device insurance. And you do a a bq Launcher which looks a lot like to the Google-Now-Launcher.
BQ also promises an update to Android 9 Pie, but there is no date set yet.
Only for snapshots
The camera is important in every smartphone nowadays no matter what price segment we are talking about. Of course you can’t expect to much of these cameras.
The 13 MP main camera on the back has an aperture of f/2.0 and make usable photos. The dynamic range isn’t very good even with HDR turned on, but still I think this photos look okay. The camera app also doesn’t have a lot of modes so you are restricted to auto, panorama and manuell mode.
I think it is nice to have the opportunity to adjust white balance, ISO and shutter speed. Videos can be recorded in 1080p but without stabilization.
Something that is already included in the bq camera app is Google Lens on many other phones we are still waiting for this promised feature.
The front camera is a 5 MP camera that might make acceptable selfies in good light, but that’s about it. Don’t use it in low light. I think the front flash doesn’t help it very much. But having a front flash is an interesting details which you won’t find on many phones.
So the cameras aren’t anything good. It is okay to take a quick snapshot but that’s where I would leave it. And that is okay for a 170 € smartphone.
Not on every smartphone
Something that you are missing quite often, even on more expensive phones, is NFC. But not in the Aquaris C. Here you do have NFC so that you can use it for fast pairing or mobile payments. And there is even a fm radio build it. So if your data plan is limited you might wanna listen to music this way.
Because you probably won’t have too much music stored on the device, because it only comes with 16 GB internal storage. On the other hand you can expand that with an SD card or you could use two SIM cards.
Conclusion to the Aquaris C
The Aquaris C isn’t the phone for the sophisticated user, who needs a fast phone, wants to play games and uses the smartphone a primary camera.
The Aquaris C is for the person who doesn’t want to spend a lot for there phone, who doesn’t need a lot and demanding apps apps. But it is for the person who wants a long lasting battery and is more of the relaxed type, who can wait a moment until the phone performs what you asked it for.
And keep in mind this smartphone costs just 170 €.