BQ has decided to invest in France and has just launched no less than two mobile terminals on the French market, including a mobile phone. Her name ? The Aquaris E5 4G and it has been accompanying me for two weeks now. Yes, and if you want to know what's in his stomach, then you've come to the right place since this article will review his strengths, but also his weaknesses.
First of all, it should be noted that this test will not fall into pure technique and so do not expect hyper sharp readings. Rest assured, however, because you will still be entitled to some benchmarks , eh.
The BQ Aquaris E5 4G is positioned on the mid-range and its technical sheet is obviously far from equaling that of the flagships of other manufacturers. The good part is that it will also cost you less since it is offered from € 229.90 . Pretty, isn't it?
Certainly, and for this price, you will be entitled to:
- A 5 inch IPS screen.
- HD 720p (720 × 1280) definition in 16: 9.
- 178 ° viewing angle, 450 nits.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor consisting of four cores.
- Adreno 306 GPU + 1 GB of RAM.
- 16 GB of storage + micro SD (32 GB max).
- 13 million pixel sensor.
- 5 million pixel front camera.
- WFi 802.11 b / g / n, Bluetooth 4.0 HS, 4G.
- 2850 mAh battery.
- Dimensions: 143.15 x 72.15 x 8.7mm.
- Weight: 139 grams.
Not bad is not it ? Admittedly, the configuration is rather correct, and it should also be noted that the terminal has no less than two ports for micro SIM cards . It will therefore be possible to have no less than two separate telephone lines coexist, which will make life easier for those who have to juggle their personal line and their professional line on a daily basis.
If you want to know more about the Aquaris E5 4G, just go to its manufacturer's website, by clicking on this link .
Packaging, Design & Ergonomics
The box of the BQ Aquaris E5 4G is both sober and elegant. All dressed in black, it has no visual and it is finally content to recall the name of the phone and some of its technical characteristics.
Inside, we will find a lot of different things:
- The terminal (necessarily).
- An accessory to open your hatches.
- The quick start guide.
- The sync cable.
- The charger.
And that's about it. As strange as it may sound, the phone is sold without headphones and therefore without a hands-free kit. You will therefore have to recycle an existing kit or invest in a headset or headset.
The terminal is very light in the hand. This is not surprising because its shell is made entirely of plastic. The finishes are exemplary, and ultimately they are very reminiscent of what Microsoft offers with the Lumia range. Fun fact, BQ chose to cover only part of the slices of the device and they are like cut in the middle.
It is however a simple coquetry which has no impact on the handling or on the resistance of the device to shocks.
The screen occupies a good part of the case. It is surmounted by the grille concealing the speaker and the front camera. At the bottom, we will find no less than three sensitive buttons giving access to the usual functions: opening options , returning to the home screen and returning to the previous screen . I would have preferred that the manufacturer opts for tactile buttons.
Three more controls are placed on the right border. They refer to waking up and controlling the volume.
On the other side, we will find two hatches giving access to the ports for the SIM cards. You will need to use the supplied accessory (or a paper clip, or a pinhead) to open them. More surprisingly, the access to the micro SD port works exactly the same way and therefore there will still be a hatch to open. A hatch this time placed on the upper edge, next to the headphone jack.
Unsurprisingly, the micro SD port is on the lower border, framed by two other grilles.
BQ chose to cover the back of the device with a matte plastic piece. It's a smart choice, even if the latter is quite sensitive to fingerprints. The photo module is placed in the upper left corner, and it surmounts a dual LED flash.
I was afraid of being disappointed with the lines of the Aquaris E5 4G but this is not the case at all. It is obviously less impressive than an HTC M8 or even a Sony Xperia Z3, but this is not really surprising given its price positioning. Either way, you can flaunt it without shame and that's ultimately all that matters.
Screen, Power & Autonomy
If there is one point to take into account when buying a phone, it is undoubtedly its screen. After all, we'll be spending our days with our noses glued to it and it had better be as comfortable as possible, right?
In this area, the BQ Aquaris E5 4G is doing with all the honors for everyday use. After all, do we really need a QHD definition to collect emails and do some research online? I am not sure.
However, it is not perfect, far from it. Its biggest problem is its lack of brightness. There, it is a hair below its competitors, there is no doubt. As a direct consequence, it will also be less readable in direct sunlight. The colors are also too saturated, and unnatural.
I can reassure you all the same, these little flaws are hardly annoying and you will still be able to enjoy your films and your series in good conditions.
Now let's move on to the raw computing power of the terminal. As usual, I ran several benchmarking solutions on BQ's little phone, and here are the results:
- BenchmarkPi: 318.
- Quadrant: 11908.
- Linpack: 194,541 .
- An3DBench: 7829.
- Geekbench 3: 484/1468 .
- AnTuTu: 21 541.
It might not be the fastest on the market, but it's still doing very well. The Snapdragon 415 is a nice surprise, then.
But in everyday life, what does it look like? I did not encounter any particular problem during these two weeks of testing. The applications are running well, and the terminal has remained fairly responsive. Finally except on the most greedy games. There, he quickly showed his limits but I think that it is more the RAM that is to blame than his chip.
On the other hand, if there is one point where the Aquaris E5 is excellent, it is in terms of its autonomy. Everything obviously depends on the use that is made of it but it can last more than a day without too much problem. You can therefore leave the charger at home before leaving for work.
Photos, Videos & Sound
The time has come to tackle the photo and multimedia part. I did not specify it in the part devoted to the technical characteristics of the device but BQ has equipped its phone with a sensor produced by Sony, and more precisely with an Exmor RS IMX214 . The icing on the cake, above, there is also a lens capable of opening at f / 1.8.
This is not a surprise since many manufacturers are supplied by the Japanese giant, but it is still good news because the Aquaris E5 4G is capable of real feats on this part.
Focusing, for starters, is both reliable and fast, including indoors and when ambient light is poor. The color rendering is faithful and we even have the right to a nice dynamic behind even if it is more comfortable in the shadows than in the highlights.
Be careful, however, because that does not mean that it is free from defects either. In reality, the big problem with the Aquaris E5 4G is that it lacks optical stabilization. This is obviously very problematic in video, but also when you want to take a photo of a fast subject.
The terminal is also comfortable on the audio part, even if its speakers often tend to go in the treble. Well, afterwards, with good headphones behind, you can enjoy your music in the best possible conditions.
As usual, I took some pictures and made a little video to give us a better idea of what the phone is capable of. The photos are also availablein my Dropbox in their original format.
Platform & Ecosystem
I don't know if I mentioned it above, but the BQ Aquaris E5 4G has a rather interesting feature: it is completely devoid of overlay . In other words, under the hood, we will find a “pure” version of Android. Also be aware that if the terminal comes with KitKat, it should be updated to Lollipop in the coming weeks.
Still, we find the same comfort as that provided by the terminals of the Nexus range. Without overlay, Android is extremely fast and it is really very pleasant on a daily basis.
Notice, on this side, the builders have made a lot of efforts over the last few years. I am thinking in particular of Sony, which seeks less and less to distort the platform, and which is finally content to sublimate it by adding useful and well thought out functions. Functions like Remote Play, for example, or these famous mini-apps capable of opening in windowed mode.
This being the case, BQ nevertheless took the initiative to deliver its terminal with a house application allowing the user to subscribe to an optional guarantee. It is even the most “plus” of Spanish since the latter protects the terminal against falls, theft and even all water-related damage.
If you subscribe to the offer – it is billed € 29.90 per year – you will not need to provide the necessary with your insurer, and everything will then go through the manufacturer.
Otherwise, well know that we will also find more shortcuts in the notification center, and some applications such as a file explorer that is not included with the Nexus. At least not from my distant memories.
As always, I recorded a small video to introduce you to the software part. Hope you like it, naturally.
I will not lie to you. I did not know BQ at all before receiving the press release announcing his arrival in France. Despite my origins (my father is Spanish), I am not very familiar with what is happening in Spain and I do not have a thorough knowledge of the market. I was suddenly very afraid to find myself with a basic terminal and badly finished in my hands.
And then, I received the package sent by BQ, I opened it and I found myself in front of a nice black box. There, I immediately said to myself that the manufacturer had put the package on the packaging and I was not disappointed because the inside of the box is also very well done with lots of nice compartments hiding the main accessories of the box. 'apparatus.
After walking around the owner, I lingered on the terminal and it was finally at this precise moment that I started to feel some excitement.
The Aquaris E5 4G is obviously very far from offering what we find on the side of the flagships of our manufacturers. It is not entitled to an aluminum shell and it does not ship the latest fashionable chip. This being the case, it is nonetheless very pretty to look at , with a shell very reminiscent of Microsoft's Lumia, and its technical sheet is frankly the most correct given its price positioning.