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BQ Aquaris U2 Smartphone Review

Marcus Herbrich (translated by Sabrina Hartmann), 08/09/2018

Stock Android experience for price-conscious users. The Spanish smartphone manufacturer BQ is known for a slim UI very similar to stock Android. The Aquaris U2 is no different in this regard. While utilizing only average hardware, the low-priced mid-range smartphone had a surprisingly good performance in our test - at least in some areas.

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In September last year, the latest U-series models of the Spanish smartphone manufacturer BQ were officially introduced for the German market. The Aquaris U2 is the Aquaris U2 Lite's big brother. Both smartphone models have a 5.2-inch IPS display with 1280x720 pixels, a 3100 mAh battery including Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0, as well as a main camera at the phone's rear with phase detection autofocus and a resolution of 13 megapixels for the Aquaris U2. Furthermore, a midrange SoC by Qualcomm is installed. The BQ smartphone utilizes a Snapdragon 435 with 2 or 3 GB of RAM and 16 or 32 GB of internal storage.

The current street price for the Aquaris U2 is between 160 and 170 Euros (~$184 and ~$196), so it has already dropped by about 30 Euros (~$34) in comparison to the recommended retail price (200 Euros, ~$230). This places the low-priced mid-range device in a price sector in which competition is particularly fierce, so there are numerous alternative devices. Possible rivals for the dual-SIM smartphone that we used as comparison devices for our test include the Motorola Moto G6 Play, Alcatel 3X, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime, Honor 7A, and the Gigaset GS180. Even BQ itself offers an interesting alternative with the BQ Aquaris VS.

BQ Aquaris U2 (Aquaris Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
Display
5.2 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel 282 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, LCD IPS, multi-touch, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, 24.1 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio port, Card Reader: microSD up to 256 GB (uses 2. SIM slot)., NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: proximity sensor, accelerometer, eCompass, gyroscope, USB OTG, MiraCast, status LED
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2, 4G: 1 (2100) / 2 (1900) / 3 (1800) / 4 (1700/2100) / 7 (2600) / 8 (900) / 20 (800) / 28 (700) 3G: I (2100) / II (1900) / V (850) / VIII (900) 2G: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 , Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.4 x 148.1 x 72.9 ( = 0.33 x 5.83 x 2.87 in)
Battery
3100 mAh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Android 7.1 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix Samsung S5K3L8, 13 MP aperture ƒ/2.2, 1.12 µm/pixel
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix Samsung S5K5E8, 5 MP aperture ƒ/2.0, 1.12 µm/pixel
Additional features
Speakers: mono speaker, Keyboard: onscreen, Keyboard Light: yes, micro-USB/USB cable Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 adapter brochures, BQ UI, inactivity display, double-tap-adjustable LED, 24 Months Warranty, SAR value: 0.657 W/kg (head), 1.410 W/kg (body), LTE Cat. 7, fanless
Weight
155 g ( = 5.47 oz / 0.34 pounds), Power Supply: 73 g ( = 2.58 oz / 0.16 pounds)
Price
200 Euro

 

The Aquaris U2 series is available in the color options Carbon Black and Sand Gold. The front of the Aquaris U2 is made of 2.5D Dinorex Glass that transitions into the metal frame in a slight curve and is protected against scratches.

The 5.2-inch IPS display is framed at the sides by 3-millimeter bezels. The bottom and top bezels are relatively broad as well, causing a ratio of only 69% between display and device front.

The curved rear of the BQ Aquaris smartphone is made of plastic, which gives it a good grip. It has a somewhat cheap surface feel to it, though. Even in the price range of around 200 Euros (~$230), other smartphone manufacturers manage to do better in this area, especially considering the fact that the BQ Aquaris U2's rear can be pushed inwards with only a small amount of force.

Still, the build quality is decent enough for the price range. The volume and power buttons on the right side of the case have a good pressure point and wiggle only minimally.

BQ Aquaris U2
BQ Aquaris U2
BQ Aquaris U2
BQ Aquaris U2
BQ Aquaris U2
BQ Aquaris U2
BQ Aquaris U2

Size Comparison

Features

The BQ smartphone's internal eMMC storage has a capacity of only 16 GB, 11 GB of which is available to the user out-of-the-box. To mitigate the lack of internal storage capacity, the user can utilize a microSD card in addition, provided that the dual-SIM functionality is not needed. The integrated microSD slot supports the current standards SDHC and SDXC, and it supports storage media up to a capacity of 256 GB. However, these cannot be mounted as internal storage.

The smartphone comes with a 3.5 mm audio port and an LED for notifications. The Aquaris U2 lacks a feature to unlock the phone via biometric identification, though.

Wi-Fi Direct and Miracast are available for wireless image transmission of the screen content. Peripherals, such as an external keyboard or a USB stick, can be connected with an OTG adapter via the micro USB port (2.0 standard).

Software - Not a Lot of Bloatware on the BQ Smartphone

The Aquaris U2 is delivered with Google's operating system Android in the version 7.1.2 Nougat. According to the manufacturer, an update to Android Oreo 8 is planned for 2018. The security patch layer on our test device is rather up to date with patches from June 2018.

The system software is very similar to vanilla Android. Overall, the Spanish manufacturer's user interface is strongly reminiscent of stock Android. Other than some minor visual adjustments, BQ equipped its mid-range smartphone with only very few additional software features, such as gesture control.

Software BQ Aquaris U2
Software BQ Aquaris U2
Software BQ Aquaris U2
Software BQ Aquaris U2
Software BQ Aquaris U2
Software BQ Aquaris U2

Communication and GPS - Fast Wi-Fi with the BQ Smartphone

The Aquaris U2's integrated WLAN module supports the IEEE 802.11 standards a/b/g/n/ac. The transfer speed of about 250 Mb/s we measured between the BQ smartphone and our reference router Linksys EA 8500 is really good for the price range and almost unrivaled. The reception is good in everyday use and the Wi-Fi signal is stable. The attenuation of -47 dBm within close proximity to the Router (Telekom Speedport, W921V) is relatively high, though.

The Aquaris U2 supports up to two nano-SIM cards at the same time. The BQ smartphone accesses the mobile Internet with up to 300 MB/s download speed, thanks to the X9 LTE modem - this applies to both SIM slots. Given the low price, the frequency coverage is acceptable.

Bluetooth in the current version 4.2 is available for wireless communication. An NFC chip for near field communication is installed as well.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HTC U12 Plus
Adreno 630, 845, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
579 MBit/s ∼100% +133%
BQ Aquaris VS
Adreno 505, 430, 64 GB eMMC Flash
280 MBit/s ∼48% +13%
BQ Aquaris U2
Adreno 505, 435, 32 GB eMMC Flash
248 MBit/s ∼43%
Average of class Smartphone
  (5.9 - 939, n=255)
185 MBit/s ∼32% -25%
Gigaset GS180
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
98.5 MBit/s ∼17% -60%
Alcatel 3X
PowerVR GE8100, MT6739, 32 GB eMMC Flash
54.7 MBit/s ∼9% -78%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
Adreno 505, 435, 32 GB eMMC Flash
53.8 MBit/s ∼9% -78%
Honor 7A
Adreno 505, 430, 16 GB eMMC Flash
45 MBit/s ∼8% -82%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
Adreno 505, 430, 32 GB eMMC Flash
44.7 MBit/s ∼8% -82%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HTC U12 Plus
Adreno 630, 845, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
573 MBit/s ∼100% +128%
BQ Aquaris U2
Adreno 505, 435, 32 GB eMMC Flash
251 MBit/s ∼44%
BQ Aquaris VS
Adreno 505, 430, 64 GB eMMC Flash
230 MBit/s ∼40% -8%
Average of class Smartphone
  (9.4 - 703, n=255)
181 MBit/s ∼32% -28%
Gigaset GS180
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
79.4 MBit/s ∼14% -68%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
Adreno 505, 435, 32 GB eMMC Flash
55.9 MBit/s ∼10% -78%
Alcatel 3X
PowerVR GE8100, MT6739, 32 GB eMMC Flash
55.1 MBit/s ∼10% -78%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
Adreno 505, 430, 32 GB eMMC Flash
46.8 MBit/s ∼8% -81%
Honor 7A
Adreno 505, 430, 16 GB eMMC Flash
46.7 MBit/s ∼8% -81%
GPS test outdoors
GPS test outdoors
GPS test indoors
GPS test indoors

The BQ smartphone supports the satellite systems GPS, GALILEO, and GLONASS to locate positions. Outdoors as well as indoors, the satfix happens after only a short delay of less than a minute with an accuracy of about three to four meters.

To assess our test device's location accuracy in practical use, we recorded a bike track with the smartphone and with the professional navigation system Garmin Edge 520 as comparison device simultaneously. The results of the low-priced mid-range device and the professional navigation device differ by about 240 meters, with an overall track length of over five kilometers. The deviations of the GPS module are relatively high but still acceptable for a device in this price range.

GPS Garmin Edge 520
GPS Garmin Edge 520
GPS Garmin Edge 520
GPS Garmin Edge 520
GPS Garmin Edge 520
GPS Garmin Edge 520
GPS BQ Aquaris U2
GPS BQ Aquaris U2
GPS BQ Aquaris U2
GPS BQ Aquaris U2
GPS BQ Aquaris U2
GPS BQ Aquaris U2

Telephone Functions and Voice Quality - Low-Priced Mid-range Device with Very Good Voice Quality

Software BQ Aquaris U2
Software BQ Aquaris U2

Our Aquaris X2 review has already shown that the Spanish manufacturer's smartphones have a very convincing voice quality. The Aquaris U2 is no exception. There were no disruptive dropouts or reception problems during our test. Voices had a clear sound.

The quality of the installed microphone is also very good for this price range. Our call partners characterized the sound of our voice as clear during video calls via speaker - this is rather rare for such a low-priced device.

Cameras

Front camera photo
Front camera photo

The image quality of the rear camera with phase detection autofocus is really good for a device of this price range. In bright lighting conditions, the 13-megapixel sensor Samsung S5K3L8 together with an open aperture of ƒ/2.2 delivers pictures with high details and good sharpness. The photos' dynamic range is okay as well, even though pictures often end up too dark.

Under bad lighting conditions, the total brightness in the pictures is poor, going so far that the subject of a photograph can be barely recognizable. This is where the device's low price is noticeable the most.

However, the low-priced mid-range smartphone has a lot to offer in terms of camera software. Photos can be taken in RAW format, and the phone has an integrated automatic HDR feature, a time lapse and a slow-motion feature (480p at 120 fps). The Aquaris U2 records videos up to 1080x1920 pixels (Full HD) at 30 fps.

The front camera's image sensor Samsung S5K5E8 has a resolution of 5 MP and an open aperture of f/2.0, as well as a front LED flash. Selfies taken with this camera have a good enough quality. However, the front camera often suffers from exposure problems.

HDR mode
HDR mode
Auto mode
Auto mode
Software BQ Aquaris U2
Software BQ Aquaris U2
Software BQ Aquaris U2
Software BQ Aquaris U2

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

Accessories and Warranty

Optional...
Optional...
...cover
...cover

The box of the BQ Aquaris U2 includes a black modular power supply (9.0 V, 2.0 A), a suitable USB cable, a SIM tool, a leaflet concerning security and warranty, as well as a quick-start guide. The manufacturer offers optional accessories in its online shop. Other than various covers, a protective foil is available there.

BQ offers a warranty of two years for its product.

Input Devices & Operation

Operation is performed via three unlit buttons for "Back", "Multitasking", and "Home". Inputs on the 5.2-inch multi-touch screen are precise and the response times are low. Fingers glide easily on the glass surface. Out-of-the-box, Google's keyboard layout is preinstalled as virtual input device.

Software BQ Aquaris U2
Software BQ Aquaris U2
Software BQ Aquaris U2

Display - Dark IPS Panel

Subpixel arrangement
Subpixel arrangement

The LCD of the BQ Aquaris U2 has a screen diagonal of 13.2 centimeters (5.2-inches) and a HD resolution of 1280x720 pixels. The IPS panel's relatively low resolution results in a pixel density below 300 ppi, so that the screen content still has a sufficient sharpness, but a direct comparison with a 1080p device shows a difference in sharpness during normal use at an average viewing distance.

When displaying a purely white area, the liquid-crystal display reaches a brightness of 420 cd/m², which is a significantly lower value than for some of the competitors. The result remains similar when the adaptive ambient light sensor for brightness control is activated. We also measured the brightness while the dark and bright areas were distributed evenly (APL 50). This led to a brightness result of 377 cd/m².

420
cd/m²
409
cd/m²
416
cd/m²
400
cd/m²
392
cd/m²
381
cd/m²
371
cd/m²
367
cd/m²
354
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 420 cd/m² Average: 390 cd/m² Minimum: 3.5 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 84 %
Contrast: 1059:1 (Black: 0.37 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.88 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 3.9 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
91.4% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.044
BQ Aquaris U2
LCD IPS, 1280x720, 5.2
BQ Aquaris VS
IPS, 1280x720, 5.2
Honor 7A
IPS, 1440x720, 5.7
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
IPS, 1280x720, 5.5
Gigaset GS180
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Alcatel 3X
IPS, 1440x720, 5.7
Motorola Moto G6 Play
IPS, 1440x720, 5.7
HTC U12 Plus
Super LCD 6, 2880x1440, 6
Screen
-3%
12%
8%
-46%
32%
23%
27%
Brightness middle
392
535
36%
417
6%
469
20%
478
22%
429
9%
614
57%
395
1%
Brightness
390
544
39%
395
1%
464
19%
510
31%
421
8%
593
52%
402
3%
Brightness Distribution
84
88
5%
88
5%
92
10%
87
4%
84
0%
90
7%
90
7%
Black Level *
0.37
0.61
-65%
0.18
51%
0.6
-62%
0.9
-143%
0.13
65%
0.29
22%
0.37
-0%
Contrast
1059
877
-17%
2317
119%
782
-26%
531
-50%
3300
212%
2117
100%
1068
1%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.88
5.3
-9%
6.46
-32%
3.31
32%
7.6
-56%
4.86
-0%
5.9
-21%
1.6
67%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
10.23
11.1
-9%
10.72
-5%
6.68
35%
13.9
-36%
8.83
14%
9.6
6%
3.4
67%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.9
4
-3%
5.8
-49%
2.4
38%
9.3
-138%
6
-54%
5.5
-41%
1.1
72%
Gamma
2.044 117%
1.95 123%
2.423 99%
2.155 111%
1.98 121%
2.231 108%
2.32 103%
2.14 112%
CCT
6819 95%
6800 96%
7839 83%
6626 98%
8003 81%
8103 80%
7822 83%
6536 99%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8836 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The IPS panel reached a black level of 0.37 cd/m² in our display measurements, which is acceptable for an LCD in this price range. The same is true for the resulting contrast ratio of about 1000:1. Our APL 50 measurement minimized the contrast because the black level increased slightly to 0.38 cd/m² when the bright and dark areas were distributed evenly (contrast 1:992).

We conducted a display analysis with a spectrophotometer and the CalMAN software. The deviations in the color- (4.8) and grayscale (3.9) representations are really low for a device of this price range. The display's color temperature is also calibrated rather well at 6800 Kelvin and is only slightly too cool - no tint was noticeable during practical use.

CalMAN color accuracy (target color space sRGB)
CalMAN color accuracy (target color space sRGB)
CalMAN color space (target color space sRGB)
CalMAN color space (target color space sRGB)
CalMAN grayscales (target color space sRGB)
CalMAN grayscales (target color space sRGB)
CalMAN saturation sweeps (target color space sRGB)
CalMAN saturation sweeps (target color space sRGB)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
14 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5 ms rise
↘ 9 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 10 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
34 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 17 ms rise
↘ 17 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 22 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41.4 ms).

Outdoors, our impression of the BQ smartphone was so-so. The average contrast and brightness deliver a legibility that is still sufficient in the shade, but the screen content is unrecognizable in direct sunlight.

Concerning the viewing angles, the legibility of the screen content is good even at very flat viewing angles. However, extremely flat viewing angles result in a decrease of brightness.

Shade
Shade
Sun
Sun
Viewing...
Viewing...
...angles
...angles

Performance - Snapdragon 435 on a Par with Competitors

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The Aquaris U2 is powered by an octa-core processor by Qualcomm that was introduced in 2016. The Snapdragon 435 is still manufactured in 28 nm and has eight ARM Cortex A53 cores with a clock speed of up to 1.4 GHz. The graphics solution integrated into the SoC is an Adreno 505 with support for Vulkan and OpenGL ES 3.1.

The Snapdragon is equal to the Android competition in our benchmarks, despite being supported by only 2 GB of RAM. The results of the Aquaris U2 in the processor-intensive tests mostly match those of the Aquaris VS with Snapdragon 430 – the MediaTek competition is in a different league beneath the Qualcomm chipsets. Graphics-intensive benchmarks show a similar result, but the differences between the Snapdragon SoCs are more obvious here.

The performance of the BQ smartphone in everyday use is not bad either. Navigation within the Android UI works fluently most of the time, but micro stutters occur sometimes. Multitasking results in longer delays and noticeably longer loading times.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
44219 Points ∼20%
BQ Aquaris VS
44022 Points ∼20% 0%
Honor 7A
46126 Points ∼21% +4%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
45762 Points ∼21% +3%
Gigaset GS180
30095 Points ∼14% -32%
Alcatel 3X
31718 Points ∼14% -28%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
46267 Points ∼21% +5%
HTC U12 Plus
221971 Points ∼100% +402%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (42643 - 46814, n=10)
44705 Points ∼20% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (23275 - 230642, n=347)
70029 Points ∼32% +58%
AnTuTu v7 - Total Score (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
56672 Points ∼22%
BQ Aquaris VS
56906 Points ∼22% 0%
Honor 7A
59990 Points ∼23% +6%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
57683 Points ∼23% +2%
Gigaset GS180
33984 Points ∼13% -40%
Alcatel 3X
42032 Points ∼16% -26%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
58511 Points ∼23% +3%
HTC U12 Plus
255739 Points ∼100% +351%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (56672 - 57683, n=2)
57178 Points ∼22% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (25692 - 290397, n=117)
101550 Points ∼40% +79%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
3744 Points ∼44%
BQ Aquaris VS
3648 Points ∼42% -3%
Honor 7A
3892 Points ∼45% +4%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
3702 Points ∼43% -1%
Gigaset GS180
2385 Points ∼28% -36%
Alcatel 3X
3210 Points ∼37% -14%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
3624 Points ∼42% -3%
HTC U12 Plus
8601 Points ∼100% +130%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (3606 - 3928, n=9)
3763 Points ∼44% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (2399 - 8601, n=205)
4434 Points ∼52% +18%
Work performance score (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
4786 Points ∼47%
BQ Aquaris VS
4751 Points ∼46% -1%
Honor 7A
5109 Points ∼50% +7%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
Points ∼0% -100%
Gigaset GS180
3247 Points ∼32% -32%
Alcatel 3X
4711 Points ∼46% -2%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
4590 Points ∼45% -4%
HTC U12 Plus
10264 Points ∼100% +114%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (4786 - 5438, n=9)
4407 Points ∼43% -8%
Average of class Smartphone (2516 - 10264, n=369)
4675 Points ∼46% -2%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
1782 Points ∼14%
BQ Aquaris VS
1808 Points ∼14% +1%
Honor 7A
2127 Points ∼17% +19%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
2204 Points ∼18% +24%
Alcatel 3X
Points ∼0% -100%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
2224 Points ∼18% +25%
HTC U12 Plus
12493 Points ∼100% +601%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (1782 - 2242, n=6)
2015 Points ∼16% +13%
Average of class Smartphone (836 - 14362, n=142)
3779 Points ∼30% +112%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
2407 Points ∼27%
BQ Aquaris VS
2400 Points ∼27% 0%
Honor 7A
2820 Points ∼32% +17%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
2576 Points ∼29% +7%
Gigaset GS180
1413 Points ∼16% -41%
Alcatel 3X
Points ∼0% -100%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
2322 Points ∼26% -4%
HTC U12 Plus
8812 Points ∼100% +266%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (2210 - 2889, n=8)
2617 Points ∼30% +9%
Average of class Smartphone (1099 - 10558, n=189)
3937 Points ∼45% +64%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
651 Points ∼27%
BQ Aquaris VS
657 Points ∼27% +1%
Honor 7A
675 Points ∼28% +4%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
678 Points ∼28% +4%
Gigaset GS180
531 Points ∼22% -18%
Alcatel 3X
Points ∼0% -100%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
643 Points ∼26% -1%
HTC U12 Plus
2429 Points ∼100% +273%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (637 - 678, n=8)
658 Points ∼27% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (394 - 4265, n=190)
1164 Points ∼48% +79%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
1150 Points ∼36%
BQ Aquaris VS
1129 Points ∼35% -2%
Honor 7A
1232 Points ∼39% +7%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
1148 Points ∼36% 0%
Gigaset GS180
716 Points ∼22% -38%
Alcatel 3X
546 Points ∼17% -53%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
1259 Points ∼39% +9%
HTC U12 Plus
3197 Points ∼100% +178%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (1016 - 1340, n=9)
1208 Points ∼38% +5%
Average of class Smartphone (585 - 3669, n=294)
1544 Points ∼48% +34%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
262 Points ∼8%
BQ Aquaris VS
264 Points ∼8% +1%
Honor 7A
254 Points ∼7% -3%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
265 Points ∼8% +1%
Gigaset GS180
75 Points ∼2% -71%
Alcatel 3X
76 Points ∼2% -71%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
254 Points ∼7% -3%
HTC U12 Plus
3488 Points ∼100% +1231%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (188 - 281, n=9)
257 Points ∼7% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (83 - 5220, n=294)
1045 Points ∼30% +299%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
316 Points ∼9%
BQ Aquaris VS
318 Points ∼9% +1%
Honor 7A
308 Points ∼9% -3%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
320 Points ∼9% +1%
Gigaset GS180
94 Points ∼3% -70%
Alcatel 3X
94 Points ∼3% -70%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
309 Points ∼9% -2%
HTC U12 Plus
3419 Points ∼100% +982%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (230 - 341, n=9)
311 Points ∼9% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (103 - 4732, n=302)
1002 Points ∼29% +217%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
1174 Points ∼42%
BQ Aquaris VS
1145 Points ∼41% -2%
Honor 7A
1259 Points ∼45% +7%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
1107 Points ∼40% -6%
Gigaset GS180
690 Points ∼25% -41%
Alcatel 3X
538 Points ∼19% -54%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
1254 Points ∼45% +7%
HTC U12 Plus
2774 Points ∼100% +136%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (995 - 1360, n=9)
1201 Points ∼43% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (524 - 3642, n=325)
1450 Points ∼52% +24%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
534 Points ∼9%
BQ Aquaris VS
533 Points ∼9% 0%
Honor 7A
535 Points ∼9% 0%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
533 Points ∼9% 0%
Gigaset GS180
77 Points ∼1% -86%
Alcatel 3X
125 Points ∼2% -77%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
522 Points ∼9% -2%
HTC U12 Plus
5637 Points ∼100% +956%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (404 - 542, n=9)
519 Points ∼9% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (125 - 8312, n=325)
1414 Points ∼25% +165%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
608 Points ∼13%
BQ Aquaris VS
605 Points ∼13% 0%
Honor 7A
613 Points ∼13% +1%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
602 Points ∼13% -1%
Gigaset GS180
96 Points ∼2% -84%
Alcatel 3X
151 Points ∼3% -75%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
600 Points ∼13% -1%
HTC U12 Plus
4585 Points ∼100% +654%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (465 - 620, n=9)
593 Points ∼13% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (151 - 6378, n=333)
1218 Points ∼27% +100%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
9004 Points ∼27%
BQ Aquaris VS
9067 Points ∼27% +1%
Honor 7A
9249 Points ∼27% +3%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
9027 Points ∼27% 0%
Gigaset GS180
5462 Points ∼16% -39%
Alcatel 3X
9188 Points ∼27% +2%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
9162 Points ∼27% +2%
HTC U12 Plus
33810 Points ∼100% +275%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (8905 - 9345, n=9)
9086 Points ∼27% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (735 - 36494, n=480)
12131 Points ∼36% +35%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
10261 Points ∼13%
BQ Aquaris VS
10271 Points ∼13% 0%
Honor 7A
9684 Points ∼12% -6%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
10202 Points ∼12% -1%
Gigaset GS180
3235 Points ∼4% -68%
Alcatel 3X
2898 Points ∼4% -72%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
9713 Points ∼12% -5%
HTC U12 Plus
81726 Points ∼100% +696%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (7924 - 10302, n=9)
9959 Points ∼12% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (2396 - 113380, n=480)
15529 Points ∼19% +51%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
9952 Points ∼16%
BQ Aquaris VS
9977 Points ∼16% 0%
Honor 7A
9584 Points ∼15% -4%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
9915 Points ∼16% 0%
Gigaset GS180
3657 Points ∼6% -63%
Alcatel 3X
3418 Points ∼5% -66%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
9585 Points ∼15% -4%
HTC U12 Plus
62152 Points ∼100% +525%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (8137 - 9961, n=9)
9741 Points ∼16% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (2841 - 64405, n=481)
13433 Points ∼22% +35%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
25 fps ∼26%
BQ Aquaris VS
18 fps ∼18% -28%
Honor 7A
16 fps ∼16% -36%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
17 fps ∼17% -32%
Gigaset GS180
6 fps ∼6% -76%
Alcatel 3X
4.9 fps ∼5% -80%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
16 fps ∼16% -36%
HTC U12 Plus
98 fps ∼100% +292%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (11 - 25, n=9)
16.9 fps ∼17% -32%
Average of class Smartphone (4.1 - 177, n=506)
26.9 fps ∼27% +8%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
18 fps ∼31%
BQ Aquaris VS
21 fps ∼36% +17%
Honor 7A
27 fps ∼46% +50%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
20 fps ∼34% +11%
Gigaset GS180
11 fps ∼19% -39%
Alcatel 3X
9 fps ∼15% -50%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
26 fps ∼44% +44%
HTC U12 Plus
59 fps ∼100% +228%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (9.7 - 27, n=9)
18.6 fps ∼32% +3%
Average of class Smartphone (6.9 - 120, n=509)
23.5 fps ∼40% +31%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
15 fps ∼21%
BQ Aquaris VS
7.7 fps ∼11% -49%
Honor 7A
7.1 fps ∼10% -53%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
7.6 fps ∼11% -49%
Gigaset GS180
2.3 fps ∼3% -85%
Alcatel 3X
2.2 fps ∼3% -85%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
7.1 fps ∼10% -53%
HTC U12 Plus
72 fps ∼100% +380%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (4.6 - 15, n=9)
7.5 fps ∼10% -50%
Average of class Smartphone (1.6 - 88.2, n=429)
14.3 fps ∼20% -5%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
7.6 fps ∼22%
BQ Aquaris VS
15 fps ∼43% +97%
Honor 7A
14 fps ∼40% +84%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
15 fps ∼43% +97%
Gigaset GS180
5 fps ∼14% -34%
Alcatel 3X
5 fps ∼14% -34%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
14 fps ∼40% +84%
HTC U12 Plus
35 fps ∼100% +361%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (4.5 - 16, n=9)
10.3 fps ∼29% +36%
Average of class Smartphone (4.1 - 115, n=431)
14.5 fps ∼41% +91%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
4.9 fps ∼13%
BQ Aquaris VS
4.9 fps ∼13% 0%
Honor 7A
4.6 fps ∼12% -6%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
4.9 fps ∼13% 0%
Gigaset GS180
1.4 fps ∼4% -71%
Alcatel 3X
1.3 fps ∼3% -73%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
4.6 fps ∼12% -6%
HTC U12 Plus
39 fps ∼100% +696%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (2.3 - 5, n=9)
3.93 fps ∼10% -20%
Average of class Smartphone (1.6 - 60, n=292)
12.4 fps ∼32% +153%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
11 fps ∼35%
BQ Aquaris VS
11 fps ∼35% 0%
Honor 7A
10 fps ∼32% -9%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
11 fps ∼35% 0%
Gigaset GS180
3.5 fps ∼11% -68%
Alcatel 3X
3.1 fps ∼10% -72%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
10 fps ∼32% -9%
HTC U12 Plus
31 fps ∼100% +182%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (3.5 - 12, n=9)
8.17 fps ∼26% -26%
Average of class Smartphone (3.4 - 110, n=294)
12.5 fps ∼40% +14%
GFXBench 4.0
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
2.4 fps ∼7%
BQ Aquaris VS
2.7 fps ∼8% +13%
Honor 7A
2.6 fps ∼7% +8%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
2.7 fps ∼8% +13%
Alcatel 3X
0.77 fps ∼2% -68%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
2.6 fps ∼7% +8%
HTC U12 Plus
35 fps ∼100% +1358%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (2.1 - 2.7, n=9)
2.5 fps ∼7% +4%
Average of class Smartphone (0.89 - 35, n=223)
8.39 fps ∼24% +250%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris U2
5.6 fps ∼28%
BQ Aquaris VS
5.9 fps ∼30% +5%
Honor 7A
5.4 fps ∼27% -4%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
5.6 fps ∼28% 0%
Alcatel 3X
1.6 fps ∼8% -71%
Motorola Moto G6 Play
5.3 fps ∼27% -5%
HTC U12 Plus
20 fps ∼100% +257%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (2.1 - 5.9, n=9)
3.9 fps ∼20% -30%
Average of class Smartphone (1.5 - 50, n=226)
7.74 fps ∼39% +38%

Legend

 
BQ Aquaris U2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 435, Qualcomm Adreno 505, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
BQ Aquaris VS Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937), Qualcomm Adreno 505, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Honor 7A Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937), Qualcomm Adreno 505, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime Qualcomm Snapdragon 435, Qualcomm Adreno 505, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Gigaset GS180 Mediatek MT6737, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Alcatel 3X Mediatek MT6739, PowerVR GE8100, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Motorola Moto G6 Play Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937), Qualcomm Adreno 505, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC U12 Plus Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm Adreno 630, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash

The Aquaris U2 also has a good placement within the comparison field for our browser benchmarks. Subjectively, browsing the web works rather fast for a mid-range smartphone.

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
HTC U12 Plus (Chrome 66)
87.036 Points ∼100% +386%
Average of class Smartphone (11 - 224, n=364)
33.5 Points ∼38% +87%
Honor 7A (Chrome 67)
18.394 Points ∼21% +3%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (16.5 - 20.6, n=9)
18.3 Points ∼21% +2%
Motorola Moto G6 Play (Chrome 66)
18.142 Points ∼21% +1%
BQ Aquaris VS (Chrome 65)
18.125 Points ∼21% +1%
BQ Aquaris U2 (Chrome 67)
17.895 Points ∼21%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime (Chrome 67)
17.549 Points ∼20% -2%
Alcatel 3X (Chrome 67)
15.406 Points ∼18% -14%
Gigaset GS180 (Chrome 67)
13.815 Points ∼16% -23%
Octane V2 - Total Score
HTC U12 Plus (Chrome 66)
16285 Points ∼100% +391%
Average of class Smartphone (1506 - 35255, n=500)
4998 Points ∼31% +51%
Honor 7A (Chrome 67)
3389 Points ∼21% +2%
BQ Aquaris U2 (Chrome 67)
3314 Points ∼20%
BQ Aquaris VS (Chrome 65)
3296 Points ∼20% -1%
Motorola Moto G6 Play (Chrome 66)
3296 Points ∼20% -1%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime (Chrome 67)
3293 Points ∼20% -1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (2689 - 3314, n=9)
3081 Points ∼19% -7%
Alcatel 3X (Chrome 67)
2838 Points ∼17% -14%
Gigaset GS180 (Chrome 67)
2426 Points ∼15% -27%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Gigaset GS180 (Chrome 67)
19297.4 ms * ∼100% -42%
Alcatel 3X (Chrome 67)
17274.5 ms * ∼90% -27%
Honor 7A (Chrome 67)
14709 ms * ∼76% -8%
Motorola Moto G6 Play (Chrome 66)
13730 ms * ∼71% -1%
BQ Aquaris VS (Chrome 65)
13612 ms * ∼71% -0%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime (Chrome 67)
13586.4 ms * ∼70% -0%
BQ Aquaris U2 (Chrome 67)
13564 ms * ∼70%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (11007 - 13586, n=9)
12498 ms * ∼65% +8%
Average of class Smartphone (718 - 59466, n=519)
11903 ms * ∼62% +12%
HTC U12 Plus (Chrome 66)
2409.6 ms * ∼12% +82%

* ... smaller is better

The read- and write values of the BQ phone's internal eMMC storage are no high flyers, but they are within the typical range for a mid-range smartphone. Overall, the speed for reading and writing small data blocks is rather slow.

Barely any differences are noticeable between the BQ Aquaris U2 and the other competitors concerning the access rates of the microSD slot, which we tested with our reference card Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 (max. 270 Mb/s for reading and max. 150 Mb/s for writing).

BQ Aquaris U2BQ Aquaris VSHonor 7A Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A PrimeGigaset GS180Alcatel 3XMotorola Moto G6 PlayHTC U12 PlusAverage 32 GB eMMC FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
2%
-7%
17%
-38%
-9%
106%
243%
-3%
-15%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
61.62 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
59.41 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-4%
65.4 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
6%
60.2 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-2%
51.5 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-16%
60.73 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-1%
63.64 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
3%
46.1 (3.4 - 87.1, n=99)
-25%
44 (3.4 - 87.1, n=280)
-29%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
79.38 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
83.32 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
5%
84.9 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
7%
84.4 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
6%
79.7 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
0%
83.23 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
5%
84.32 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
6%
65.5 (8.2 - 96.5, n=99)
-17%
62.3 (8.2 - 96.5, n=280)
-22%
Random Write 4KB
8.87
6.4
-28%
9.4
6%
17.15
93%
9.73
10%
9.62
8%
61.68
595%
104.24
1075%
17.4 (0.75 - 74.9, n=139)
96%
13.5 (0.14 - 164, n=557)
52%
Random Read 4KB
46.87
47.2
1%
39.2
-16%
47.87
2%
12.5
-73%
26.05
-44%
65.95
41%
118.14
152%
34.4 (3.59 - 117, n=139)
-27%
34.5 (1.59 - 173, n=557)
-26%
Sequential Write 256KB
137.7
185.9
35%
72.5
-47%
120.33
-13%
67.25
-51%
127.7
-7%
135.82
-1%
195.82
42%
93.2 (14.8 - 189, n=139)
-32%
72.5 (2.99 - 228, n=557)
-47%
Sequential Read 256KB
253.5
254.4
0%
254.8
1%
287.13
13%
154.12
-39%
260.55
3%
243.67
-4%
709.11
180%
226 (25.8 - 440, n=139)
-11%
212 (12.1 - 832, n=557)
-16%

Games

The Qualcomm Adreno 505 supports all modern APIs such as Vulkan, OpenGL ES 3.1, OpenCL 2.0, and Direct3D 12. Even more-demanding 3D games from the Android Play Store run almost free of stutters with the BQ smartphone's GPU, but drops in the refresh rate are noticeable from time to time. The Adreno 505 can display current game titles such as the racing game Asphalt and the first-person shooter Dead Trigger 2 at 26 and 39 fps, respectively, on high graphics settings.

Controls via touchscreen and position sensor both reacted promptly and exactly.

Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
Asphalt Xtreme
Asphalt Xtreme

Emissions

Temperature

The rear as well as the front of the smartphone warm up rather unevenly under load. Both show a maximum surface temperature of 39 °C. The temperatures under load are no problem for everyday use.

Max. Load
 39.1 °C
102 F
36.3 °C
97 F
36.7 °C
98 F
 
 38.2 °C
101 F
35.9 °C
97 F
37.3 °C
99 F
 
 38.2 °C
101 F
35.9 °C
97 F
36.3 °C
97 F
 
Maximum: 39.1 °C = 102 F
Average: 37.1 °C = 99 F
33.4 °C
92 F
35.3 °C
96 F
38.9 °C
102 F
33.6 °C
92 F
35.5 °C
96 F
36 °C
97 F
34 °C
93 F
36.1 °C
97 F
36.6 °C
98 F
Maximum: 38.9 °C = 102 F
Average: 35.5 °C = 96 F
Power Supply (max.)  39.2 °C = 103 F | Room Temperature 22 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-260

Speaker

Speaker test: Pink Noise

The mono speaker on the bottom of the case reached a maximum volume of only 79 dB(A) in our test. As was to be expected, the sound is mostly composed of medium and high frequencies. The pink noise graph shows that no bass is audible, but the mids and highs are not very linear. The mono speaker's sound is slightly distorted and tinny. We recommend using the 3.5 mm headphone jack or wireless headphones via Bluetooth for music playback, resulting in a clearer audio signal by far.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs202731.42525.932.13129.535.44031.430.55032.632.36324.124.28023.123.510024.121.612517.21816016.619.320016.830.925016.440.131514.149.540013.858.150013.659.463012.160.580011.562.1100011.562.2125011.261.9160011.262200011.262.5250011.264.1315011.165.2400011.267.7500011.273.1630011.471.9800011.466.71000011.360.91250011.453.31600011.441.8SPL57.96023.978.8N10.913.70.540.4median 11.4BQ Aquaris U2median 60.9Delta1.810.128.633.124.921.624.622.226.422.430.828.523.622.720.220.419.921.917.620.519.125.719.129.617.44216.952.416.860.315.162.416.564.815.665.41564.515.564.315.365.715.765.715.566.415.569.515.473.415.879.51679.115.876.516.17116.168.317.360.627.985.2155.5median 16BQ Aquaris VSmedian 64.80.69.3hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
BQ Aquaris U2 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (78.8 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 30.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 1.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (3.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.2% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (23.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 33% of all tested devices in this class were better, 13% similar, 54% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 62% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 30% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

BQ Aquaris VS audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (85.2 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 32.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 1.3% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (3.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 8.8% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (24.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 43% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 45% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 68% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 25% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Battery Runtime

Power Consumption

The BQ smartphone proves to be efficient in terms of power management. The power consumption in idle mode is at a very good level. Under load, it rises to the level of the competition.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.05 / 0.15 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.8 / 1.4 / 1.9 Watt
Load midlight 3.4 / 5.3 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
BQ Aquaris U2
3100 mAh
BQ Aquaris VS
3100 mAh
Honor 7A
3000 mAh
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
3080 mAh
Gigaset GS180
3000 mAh
Alcatel 3X
3000 mAh
Motorola Moto G6 Play
4000 mAh
HTC U12 Plus
3500 mAh
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 435
 
Average of class Smartphone
 
Power Consumption
5%
-32%
-57%
-10%
-74%
-3%
-49%
-49%
-11%
Idle Minimum *
0.8
0.61
24%
1.3
-63%
1.8
-125%
0.75
6%
2
-150%
0.68
15%
0.77
4%
1.384 (0.57 - 4.02, n=9)
-73%
0.871 (0.2 - 3.4, n=584)
-9%
Idle Average *
1.4
1.7
-21%
1.6
-14%
2.4
-71%
1.88
-34%
2.5
-79%
1.8
-29%
2.18
-56%
2.65 (1.4 - 6, n=9)
-89%
1.701 (0.6 - 6.2, n=583)
-22%
Idle Maximum *
1.9
1.71
10%
2.9
-53%
2.9
-53%
1.92
-1%
3.2
-68%
1.83
4%
2.21
-16%
2.87 (1.62 - 6.64, n=9)
-51%
1.961 (0.74 - 6.6, n=584)
-3%
Load Average *
3.4
3.02
11%
3.7
-9%
4
-18%
4.35
-28%
5.2
-53%
3.38
1%
6.25
-84%
4.15 (2.89 - 7.34, n=9)
-22%
3.99 (0.8 - 10.8, n=578)
-17%
Load Maximum *
5.3
5.31
-0%
6.4
-21%
6.3
-19%
5.02
5%
6.3
-19%
5.67
-7%
10.16
-92%
5.83 (4 - 9.6, n=9)
-10%
5.62 (1.2 - 14.2, n=578)
-6%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The permanently installed battery in the Aquaris U2 has a capacity of 3100 mAh and can be charged rather quickly (< 2h) with the fast charging feature (9V, 2A). With a very good result of 11.5 hours, the mid-range device was on a par with the competition in our practical Wi-Fi test at a brightness of 150 cd/m².

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
11h 26min
BQ Aquaris U2
3100 mAh
BQ Aquaris VS
3100 mAh
Honor 7A
3000 mAh
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A Prime
3080 mAh
Gigaset GS180
3000 mAh
Alcatel 3X
3000 mAh
Motorola Moto G6 Play
4000 mAh
HTC U12 Plus
3500 mAh
Battery Runtime
WiFi v1.3
686
681
-1%
657
-4%
647
-6%
500
-27%
675
-2%
887
29%
507
-26%

Pros

+ fast Wi-Fi
+ dual SIM
+ expandable storage
+ decent camera
+ barely any bloatware
+ NFC

Cons

- plastic rear
- broad display bezels
- dark 720p display
- slow SoC
- 2 GB of RAM (small version)
- unlit buttons

Verdict - Appealing on the Inside, Not so Much from the Outside

In review: BQ Aquaris U2. Review unit courtesy of notebooksbilliger.de.
In review: BQ Aquaris U2. Review unit courtesy of notebooksbilliger.de.

One can barely go wrong with buying the BQ Aquaris U2 for the current price of about 160 Euros (~$184). The installed hardware is able to keep up with the competition but has a rather low performance overall.

The Spanish manufacturer does many things right with this smartphone, but there is definitely room for improvement in terms of build quality.

The Wi-Fi transfer speeds of the low-priced mid-range smartphone are unrivaled, and it also offers a decent camera quality, a long battery life, and a very good voice quality. We are slightly puzzled by the fact that BQ included a chip for NFC in the Aquaris U2 among other extras but did not include a fingerprint sensor, which should be standard nowadays.

The front and rear of the Aquaris U2 also seem to suffer from budget cuts. The rear can be pushed in with only a small amount of force and gives a low-quality impression overall. The front has relatively broad bezels around the display, resulting in a rather bad ratio between the display and the overall front surface. The slightly too dark IPS panel also causes problems with the legibility of the screen content in very bright surroundings.

BQ Aquaris U2 - 08/06/2018 v6
Marcus Herbrich

Chassis
68%
Keyboard
65 / 75 → 87%
Pointing Device
87%
Connectivity
44 / 60 → 73%
Weight
92%
Battery
94%
Display
76%
Games Performance
25 / 63 → 39%
Application Performance
42 / 70 → 60%
Temperature
89%
Noise
100%
Audio
64 / 91 → 70%
Camera
68%
Average
70%
80%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > BQ Aquaris U2 Smartphone Review
Marcus Herbrich, 2018-08- 9 (Update: 2018-08-11)