Today’s society is always on the look out for the bigger and better in the technological world and this trend has also been seen in the telecommunications world. It wasn’t that long ago when a 5 inch screen was considered too big and today it’s the standard size for most brands, while many others begin to turn their focus to the phablet market.
Today I bring you a review of a great phablet, at least in size. I’m talking about the BQ Aquaris E6 with a 6 inches screen. As for its performance… Well, I’ll let you think about that throughout this review and, by the end of it, we’ll be able to exchange opinions. Please follow me as we go through the details of this device gently provided by BQ.
In this day and age it’s very rare to find a person that hasn’t succumbed to the smartphone world (although I do know two such survivors) and more and more we’ve come to depend on our “little friends” for just about everything. Whether for work or leisure, we turn to our smartphones to read e-mails or give a final touch to a presentation. The world is constantly changing and it seems that the trend is for screens to grow bigger as a consequence of the demand for bigger terminals. So, BQ tries to answer its clients demands for bigger screens with its new Aquaris E6 that not only works for a daily use, but also allows them to watch shows our play games with the quality that can only come from a bigger screen.
The BQ Aquaris E6 is a 6’ phablet that combines the experience and versatility of a smartphone with the quality and screen size of a tablet. BQ has dabbled in the phablet market with its Aquaris 5.7 but the E6 is undoubtedly better in performance and design.
The Aquaris 5.7 was big, had a good battery performance, a good camera but its processor didn’t deliver and therefore it became a disappointment in many regards. BQ now has an ongoing improvement attitude and presents us with a slightly bigger screen, better materials, a new design and a better Octa Core processor.
So far I’ve only mentioned the screen size but this phablet is 16,3 mm high, 83 mm wide and 9mm thick. The space between the screen and the phablets sides is very narrow and its material, albeit plastic, has a surprisingly nice feel to the touch.
The screen is not only big, it also has great quality. The Aquaris E6 comes equipped with a IPS Full HD screen with a 1080X1920 resolution and has a DragonTrail screen protection that prevents it from being damaged if it comes in contact with your keys or coins, for instance. This screen has a sharp and fluid image with bright colours.
You’ll notice that you’re constantly wiping your screen as it can get messy pretty easily.
The Aquaris E6 comes equipped with a MediaTek MT 6592 2.0GHz octa-core processor and the GPU Mali 450-MP4 of up to 700MHz, both of which enable a very fluid and pleasant user experience in any situation.
Its 2GB RAM memory also allows this terminal to run everything smoothly. You’ll have a generous 16GB memory space in it that will allow you to have a tremendous amount of apps and files stored in your device. However, if you store too much info or songs, you can always expand the storage with a microSD card of up to 32GB of storage.
To equip the Aquaris E6 with all the above mentioned hardware, BQ had to install it with a matching battery. Therefore this device has a 4000 mAh Li-Po battery.
You may think that even with that battery, this phablet will suffer to survive an entire day of usage without a thorough management of its autonomy. However even with a very demanding usage, such as using a GPS system, I still got to the end of the day with 10% of battery.
When it comes to the OS, BQ sells the Aquaris E6 with the Android 4.4 KitKat but has announced that they will make an update to Android 5.0 Lollipop available for its E series – to which this device belongs. BQ makes an effort to give its users the purest Google OS experience there is, it this sense it is only surpassed by Nexus.
The Aquaris E6 enables both MHL and USB-OTG connections. It also comes with Bluetooth 4.0, a marvellous GPS system that didn’t disappoint and finds our exact location very fast, a compass, gyroscope and light sensor. However, I believe they could’ve incorporated a 4G connection or maybe a NFC connection.
Hopefully it will be available on the upcoming devices.
The main advantage for those who buy a BQ equipment is that it is able to have two SIM cards in it, which is ideal for people that need more than one phone. However, since the Aquaris E6 only has one antenna, the user can only be reached through one of the SIM cards at a time. Therefore, when you’re on a call through your SIM-1 and someone tries to contact you through your SIM-2, that person will get a busy signal.
BQ was kind enough to integrate a simple yet useful system, the double touch to unlock the screen, since the device is so big that it has to be operated with both hands. This feature is even more useful because the power button is located at the top of the device.
I believe this change doesn’t quite make sense since it renders the use of the device that much more complicated. The ideal location, I believe, would be right below the sound control on the right hand side of the device.
Another useful and interesting feature is the notification LED light. As soon as there’s some new notification, a new email, new IM message or even when you’re battery is fully charged,the LED light will light up and you can always customize it.
In the sound department, this device has only one speaker that “runs” through the backside and the right hand sides of the phablet. In a 6’ device and given that it will mainly be used for video viewing and game playing, the spanish company would’ve come out winning had they incorporated two speakers onto the Aquaris E6. Had they done so, its users would’ve had an awesome experience. However, despite this epic fail, and like all BQ devices, it is also equipped with a Dolby sound system that gives it great sound quality, even outdoors.
The rear view camera on the Aquaris E6 has 13 megapixels that is able to capture images, through an interpolation algorithm, that rival in quality with 18 megapixels cameras. The front camera is perfect for selfies with its 5 megapixels. And since it isn’t all about the megapixels, both cameras come with high quality Largan Lenses, like those used in high end smartphones.
The BQ Aquaris E6 has a fabulous performance given the demands it fulfills, whether in a multimedia ou daily usage. Many times I relied on this device to log in a bike ride or even use the navigation system for a trip and it has always worked seamlessly and with great precision. For a better understanding of this BQ device’s performance, you should read our article on the benchmark tests I performed on the Aquaris E6.
With this device, BQ aims to please those people who like phablets and make an adequate usage out of them with its large screen and processing performance, whether it is viewing HD contents or playing games that demand a lot from the hardware.
The gaming experience on such a big screen is excellent because you get to see tablet worthy images without having to be bothered to hold one. Also the quality of the screen, graphics and processor speed are amazing. I’ve spent many hours playing one of the most visually demanding games (Asphalt 8: Airborne) on this BQ without ever feeling tired.
I’ve had some issues with the double touch feature that decides upon itself to shutdown, this is something that shouldn’t fail on such a big device, so it’s something for BQ to look into and improve on. Even more so when the power button is located on the top of this fairly big device.
The lack of a keyboard adjustment option, so you’re able to use it with only one hand, is a disadvantage on this device since it is virtually impossible to use this phablet with only one hand, not only because of what I’ve mentioned above but also because the materials and ergonomics of this Aquaris E6 don’t do it any favours.
Maybe a protective case will make easier to handle, although it will add to its size. Nevertheless, for the period of time I had to test this device I couldn’t get used to use it with only one hand.
Despite its faults, I believe this well equipped device is worth its retail price of 309.90€. Although its design and ergonomy could do with an update, the Aquaris E6 follows through the demands one may have for a phablet within this price range.
Note: Review made by Bruno Silva in android-emotions.pt and translated by Filipa Cerqueira