Recently, Hike has launched a smartphone in partnership with Airtel, which costs about the same as a feature phone. We tested this Intex Aqua Lions N1. With this low cost smartphone airtel plan effective price 1,649 is Rs. The key feature of the phone is Hike Total. This platform provides other facilities to the user like sending messages, getting news without internet. How does this work? We found out in detail.
How is the phone and what is in it, know…
Looking at the body and build quality, it is guessed that the phone will be low priced. This phone with black color and plastic body is quite small according to today. Its weight is just 112 grams. The quality of the plastic used is also average, but with a matte finish, it doesn’t look ‘too cheap’. The back has texture, which makes the phone easy to hold. In the compartment, the user gets a power adapter, data cable and a headphone. The company has tried to please the user by giving headphones at this price. The design of the phone could have been improved, plus the micro USB connector doesn’t fit snugly into the phone’s port. Such shortcomings should have been removed.
The phone has a 4-inch display, which is equipped with 480×800 pixels resolution. This makes the text appear blurry. Viewing angles are also not that good. By rotating the phone left and right, the screen appears black. The display and tempered glass are not connected to each other, the difference is clearly visible in the space. Along with this, fingerprints also come due to this. The sides of the phone are rough, the navigation buttons are not backlit. The phone does not have a notification LED or ambient light sensor but a front camera has been given. The volume and power buttons are on the right side of the phone. At the same time, the headphone socket and Micro-USB are present in the upper part of the phone.
The camera has been given in the middle part of the back of the phone, which is accompanied by LED flash, which is just below the camera. There is space for the speaker at the bottom. 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 in it. Overall, the Intex Aqua Lions N1 is a plain cheap Android phone.
Intex Aqua Lions N1 Specifications & Features
The hardware of the phone is also fine. It has a quad core MediaTek MT6737V processor. There is 1 GB RAM for Jugalbandi. Storage is of 8 GB. The phone also has FM radio, GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi but the handset does not support USB-OTG. It has only two sensors – accelerometer and proximity. On the other hand, the handset supports 4G VoLTE. The performance of the phone on the benchmark site was poor.
Now coming to the display of the phone. It runs on Hike Total, which is a custom version of Android. Just 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 internet connection.
The Hike hasn’t ‘mixed’ much with Android Nougat’s UI, it’s pretty much similar to stock Android. Offline apps are on the left-hand home screen. These also include some important 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 have to get the Airtel SIM verified by creating a total account.
You will be able to use the apps on which the star comes as an 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 postpaid airtel sim offline app and the experience was better. These apps have to be used as USSD codes. Exactly the same process, by which we will be able to check the balance from the phone.
In this, from the existing Hike Messenger app, users will be able to chat with friends on Hike. It also works like a normal SMS app. Before sending the message, it checks the presence of other users on hike. After that it switches to the chat interface. However, in our investigation it did not work, we sent only a regular SMS. If you want to take this service, then you have to download the Google Messenger app.
Hike Messenger also works offline. With this you can send text messages and stickers without internet connection. If you need to send pictures or a large file, you’ll need to buy a data pack. The data packs for the Hike Total phone are different and are quite 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 49 rupees. Its validity is for 28 days. However, it has not been clarified how long these data pack prices will be valid. There is a warning to buy a data pack as soon as you open the hike messenger. All other apps that don’t run without internet connection start showing error when used for free.
To buy these packs, only the option of Hike Wallet is left. You get a bonus of up to Rs 200 after completing the KYC process. You will have to submit Aadhar Card, Driving License or any government attested identity proof. Apart from this, you get pre-installed apps of My Airtel and Wink Music. Although they are not permanent, you can remove them. There are some changes in the Settings app, which we have seen earlier on budget smartphones with Media-Tek processors. Among them is Dura Speed, with the help of which the app keeps running in the background. Along with this, the SOS button can be configured with the help of this.
camera and battery
Generally, Android phones equipped with 1 GB RAM do not perform as well. The same problem occurs with Android Nougat. 80 percent RAM is used, you are left with 174 MB. Because of this Android gets stuck and apps also take time to open. Forget the better performance of 3D games. In some places the interface of the phone ran fast, but later again the same slowness was seen.
Fingers sometimes wobble on the keyboard due to poor touch response. Key response 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 delivering 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 fine, it would be dishonest to expect better.
The rear of the handset has a fixed focus 2 megapixel camera. The front camera is 0.3 megapixels. Photos taken during the day were getting overexposed. Picture clarity is missing and colors are not even better. 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. Quality so that can be used. The front camera is of VGA resolution, which enables the phone to take better pictures.
1400 mAh battery is given in the phone, which misses to last the whole day with normal use. After 11-12 hours you have to run towards the charger. We found that the battery drains very quickly once it reaches 15 per cent, so it is important to put it on battery saver mode. The phone took a long time to charge. In 3 hours only 80 percent could be charged. 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 of a better affordable phone in the market. With 1 GB of RAM, Android cannot do any wonders. Android Go phone like Jio phone or Micromax India is better at such a low price. The Hike Total platform is interesting, which will appeal to users who don’t have to carry a data pack. The phone is for those who like to ‘Take as much, give as much’. The advantage for Hike is that the number of users on its wallet and messaging platform will increase with the help of this phone.