Recently, Hike partnered with Airtel to launch a smartphone that costs as much as a feature phone. We took a look at the Intex Aqua Lions N1. With the Airtel plan of this low-cost smartphone effective price 1,649 is Rs. The key feature of the phone is Hike Total. This platform provides users with other facilities like sending messages, receiving news without internet. How does this work? We found out in detail.
How is the phone and what’s in it, know…
Seeing the body and build quality, it is estimated that the phone will be of low cost. This phone with black color and plastic body is quite small according to today’s standards. Its weight is just 112 grams. The quality of the plastic used is also average, but the matte finish doesn’t make it look ‘cheap’ either. The back has texture, which makes the phone comfortable to hold. The user gets a power adapter, data cable and a headphone in the box. By giving headphones at this price, the company has tried to please the user. The design of the phone could have been better, as well as the micro USB connector does not fit properly in the port of the phone. Such shortcomings should have been removed.
The phone has a 4-inch display, which is equipped with 480×800 pixel resolution. This makes the text appear blurred. Viewing angles are also not that good. Moving the phone left and right turns the screen black. The display and tempered glass are not connected to each other, the difference is clearly visible in terms of space. Also fingerprints also come due to this. The sides of the phone are thick, the navigation buttons are not backlit. There is no notification LED or ambient light sensor in the phone but the front camera has been given. The volume and power buttons are on the right side of the phone. Whereas, the headphone socket and Micro-USB are present on the top of the phone.
The camera is given in the middle part of the back of the phone, which is supported by the LED flash, which is just below the camera. At the bottom is the place for the speaker. The back cover of the phone can be removed. Also the battery can be removed. Inside there are 2 Micro SIM slots, a microSD card slot. It is possible to use a card up to 128 GB. Overall, the Intex Aqua Lions N1 is a plain cheap Android phone.
Intex Aqua Lions N1 Specification and Features
The hardware of the phone is also fine. It has a quad core MediaTek MT6737V processor. 1 GB RAM is available for Jugalbandi. Storage is of 8 GB. FM radio, GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are also present in the phone but the handset does not support USB-OTG. There are only two sensors in it – accelerometer and proximity. On the other hand the handset supports 4G VoLTE. The performance of the phone was poor on the benchmark site.
Now coming to the performance of the phone. It runs on Hike Total, which is a custom version of Android. Exactly like Indus OS. Hike Total is a platform specially designed for the Indian market. It supports 8 Indian languages and is capable of providing some services without an internet connection.
Hike hasn’t ‘mingled’ much with Android Nougat’s UI, it’s pretty much stock Android. There are offline apps on the left-home screen. These include some essential apps like Bus Tickets and Game of the Day. You can also try the app by selecting it from the rising bubble. To use the offline app, you need to create a Total account and get the Airtel SIM verified.
You will be able to use the apps on which it appears as a star offline. Currently apps like Cricket, Recharge, Hike Wallet, Rail Info, News, Messaging, Offline UPI, Total Data Pack are available for offline use. We tried the app offline with a postpaid Airtel SIM and the experience was great. These apps have to be used like USSD codes. Exactly the same process, by which we will be able to check the balance from the phone.
In this, users will be able to chat with friends on Hike from the Hike Messenger app. It also works like a normal SMS app. Before sending the message, it checks the presence of the other user on Hike. After that it switches to the chat interface. However, in our investigation it did not work, we just sent a regular SMS. If you want to take this service, then you have to download the Google Messenger app.
Hike Messenger also works offline. This allows you to send text messages and stickers without an internet connection. If you want to send pictures or any large files, you will have to buy data packs. The data packs for Hike Total phones are different and are heavily discounted but are valid only for Airtel users. There is a Rs 1 plan for 20 MB, which runs for 1 day. At the same time, for 1 GB data, you will have to spend Rs 49. Its validity is for 28 days. However, nothing has been clarified as to how long these prices of data packs will be valid. On opening Hike Messenger, a warning to buy a data pack is displayed. All other apps that do not run without internet connection start showing error when used for free.
Hike Wallet is the only option left to buy these packs. You get a bonus of up to Rs.200 after completing the KYC process. You will have to submit Aadhaar Card, Driving License or any Government Attested Identity Card. Apart from this, you get pre-installed apps of My Airtel and Wynk Music. Although, they are not permanent, you can also remove them. There are some changes in the Settings app, which we have previously seen in budget smartphones with MediaTek processors. Among them is Dura Speed, with the help of which the app keeps running in the background. Also, the SOS button can be configured with its help.
camera and battery
Generally, Android phones equipped with 1 GB of RAM do not perform that well. The same problem occurs with Android Nougat. 80% of RAM is used, you are left with 174MB. Because of this Android gets stuck and apps also take time to open. Forget better 3D game performance. In some places the interface of the phone ran fast but later again the same slowness was seen.
Due to poor touch response, fingers stumble on the keyboard many times. The response of the keys is also slow. However, we did not face any problem with 4G VoLTE support in the phone. Also, the call quality was better on the earphones as well. The phone is capable of 1080p video but the small screen’s viewing angles and poor contrast make things worse. The speaker is also not loud. Alert feature is fine. The headphones are decent, it would be dishonest to expect better.
There is a fixed focus 2 megapixel camera in the rear of the handset. The front camera is of 0.3 megapixels. Photos taken during the day were getting overexposed. The clarity of the picture is missing and the colors are not good either. In low light the picture remains grainy and unclear. You will find common shooting modes like panorama and face beautification features in it. The phone supports video recording up to a maximum of 720 pixels. The quality is good enough to be used. The front camera is of VGA resolution, which enables the phone to take better pictures.
The phone has a 1400 mAh battery, which fails to last a whole day even with normal usage. After 11-12 hours you will have to run towards the charger. We found that the battery drains very quickly once it reaches 15 per cent, so keeping it on battery saver mode is a must. The phone took a long time to charge. Only 80% charge could be done in 3 hours. The phone lasted 5 hours 28 minutes in our HD video loop test, which is a very poor performance.
The Intex Aqua Lions N1 is proof that there is a dire need for a better low-cost phone in the market. Android can’t perform well with 1 GB of RAM. Android Go phones like Jio phone or Micromax Bharat are better at such a low price. Hike Total is an interesting platform that will appeal to users who don’t want to carry a data pack. The phone is for those who like ‘Jitna Do, Utna Lo’. The advantage for Hike is that the number of users on its wallet and messaging platform will increase with the help of this phone.