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BQ Aquaris VS Smartphone Review

Florian Wimmer, 👁 Daniel Schmidt, Tanja Hinum (translated by Alex Alderson), 04/16/2018

More or less? The BQ Aquaris VS is only available directly from the manufacturer. There is the more widely available BQ Aquaris V though, which while looking practically identical, is priced differently and with different specifications. Find out in this review whether the BQ Aquaris VS is worth its limited availability.

BQ Aquaris VS

The BQ has sent us the Aquaris VS, a 5.2-inch lower mid-range smartphone that is only available either directly from BQ or from their Amazon store. Compared to the widely available Aquaris V, the Aquaris VS has more internal storage and RAM at the expense of a downgraded SoC. While the Aquaris V is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435, the Aquaris VS is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, which supports fewer LTE bands and a slower LTE speed. The Aquaris VS is €50 (~$62) cheaper than the Aquaris V, and the trade-offs seem manageable. We will be clarifying in this review whether you should pick up the bargain-priced BQ Aquaris VS.

We will be comparing the Aquaris VS with similarly priced and sized devices such as the Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos, the Motorola Moto G5s, the Nokia 5, and the Nubia Z17 Mini.

You can also find the reviews for other BQ devices, such as the BQ Aquaris X5, the BQ Aquaris X5 Plus, the BQ Aquaris M5 or the BQ Aquaris X in our database. 

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BQ Aquaris VS (Aquaris Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
4096 MB 
Display
5.2 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel 282 PPI, Capacitive touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
64 GB eMMC Flash, 64 GB 
, , 56 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio jack, Card Reader: microSD up to 256 GB, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity Sensor, Compass, USB-OTG
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM (850/​900/​1800/​1900), UMTS (850/​900/​1900/​2100), LTE (B1/​B3/​B7/​B20), Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.4 x 148.1 x 73 ( = 0.33 x 5.83 x 2.87 in)
Battery
11.78 Wh, 3100 mAh Lithium-Polymer, QuickCharge 3
Operating System
Android 7.1 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 12 MPix f/2.0, Phase Comparison AF, LED flash, Videos at up to 1080p/30 FPS
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix f/2.0, LED flash, Videos at up to 1080p/30 FPS
Additional features
Speakers: Mono speakers on the bottom of the device, Keyboard: Virtual keyboard, USB cable, SIM tool, 24 Months Warranty, Bandwidth (Download/Upload): 150 Mbps/50 Mbps (LTE); SAR value: 0.626 W/kg (Head), 1.49 W/kg (Body), fanless
Weight
165 g ( = 5.82 oz / 0.36 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
220 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The Aquaris VS looks identical to the Aquaris V. There are differences though. The Aquaris VS is only available in white with a gold back, and not black like the Aquaris V. Additionally, the Aquaris VS lacks the IP52 rating against dust and dripping water that the Aquaris V has. It is unclear whether this omission is to save on licensing costs or whether there really is no dust or water protection. The Aquaris VS is still quite heavy at 165 g (~5.8 oz), but stability and ergonomics are still good.

BQ Aquaris VS
BQ Aquaris VS
BQ Aquaris VS
BQ Aquaris VS
BQ Aquaris VS

Size Comparison

150 mm / 5.91 inch 73.5 mm / 2.89 inch 9.5 mm / 0.374 inch 157 g0.3461 lbs149.7 mm / 5.89 inch 72.5 mm / 2.85 inch 8.05 mm / 0.3169 inch 148 g0.3263 lbs148.1 mm / 5.83 inch 73 mm / 2.87 inch 8.4 mm / 0.3307 inch 165 g0.3638 lbs148.1 mm / 5.83 inch 73 mm / 2.87 inch 8.4 mm / 0.3307 inch 165 g0.3638 lbs146.2 mm / 5.76 inch 71.3 mm / 2.81 inch 8 mm / 0.315 inch 158 g0.3483 lbs146.7 mm / 5.78 inch 72.5 mm / 2.85 inch 7.5 mm / 0.2953 inch 155 g0.3417 lbs

Connectivity

Our test device is equipped with 64 GB of internal storage and 4 GB of RAM. At €220 (~$272), the Aquaris VS is just as expensive as the 16 GB / 2GB RAM variant of the Aquaris V. The 32 GB internal storage and 3 GB RAM Aquaris VS variant is only €20 (~$25) cheaper than our test device variant.

The Aquaris VS is a dual-SIM device with microSD card expansion. There is support for either two nano-SIMs or one nano-SIM and a microSD card. The Aquaris VS cannot be used with two nano-SIMs and a microSD card simultaneously. It is worth bearing in mind that while you can format a microSD card as internal storage, doing so prevents you from using the card in any other device until it is re-formatted.

Software

BQ list the Aquaris VS as shipping with Android 7.1.2 Nougat, but our test device received this update shortly after we set up the device. The Android security patches were slightly outdated at the time of testing being dated January 2018. While BQ has announced that the Aquaris VS will receive an update to Android 8 Oreo, there is currently no set date.

Android purists will be happy with the Aquaris VS as it runs practically stock Android. There is only one additional pre-installed app, which advertises BQ’s mobile phone insurance.

BQ Aquaris VS - Software
BQ Aquaris VS - Software
BQ Aquaris VS - Software
BQ Aquaris VS - Software
BQ Aquaris VS - Software
BQ Aquaris VS - Software

Communication and GPS

The Aquaris VS is as equally well equipped in terms of Wi-Fi connectivity as the Aquaris V. The Aquaris VS supports 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standards, which in practical terms means that the Aquaris VS can connect to 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi networks. The Aquaris VS performs well for a lower mid-range Android smartphone. We measured performance using our reference Linksys EA8500 router. The Aquaris VS has full Wi-Fi reception when next to the router, but websites still need some time to fully load. Signal strength reduces by half with our test device ten meters (~33 ft) and three walls from the router. Websites take longer to load too, which should be expected when in areas of weaker reception. The main difference between the Aquaris VS and Aquaris V in this respect is the degree of signal degradation when the devices are some way from the router.

The Aquaris VS and Aquaris V perform equally well in terms of maximum LTE speed. The Aquaris VS supports only four LTE bands, those that are necessary for coverage across Central Europe. This means that the Aquaris VS supports fewer LTE bands than its sibling, something which should be considered if you regularly travel outside of this relatively small area. The Aquaris VS had good reception on the D2 network in Germany, even in buildings.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Nubia Z17 mini
Adreno 510, 652 MSM8976, 128 GB eMMC Flash
341 MBit/s ∼100% +22%
BQ Aquaris V
Adreno 505, 435, 32 GB eMMC Flash
287 MBit/s ∼84% +3%
BQ Aquaris VS
Adreno 505, 430, 64 GB eMMC Flash
280 MBit/s ∼82%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
Mali-T830 MP1, 7870 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
278 MBit/s ∼82% -1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (5.9 - 939, n=456)
230 MBit/s ∼67% -18%
Nokia 5
Adreno 505, 430, 16 GB eMMC Flash
122 MBit/s ∼36% -56%
Motorola Moto G5s
Adreno 505, 430, 32 GB eMMC Flash
121 MBit/s ∼35% -57%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
Mali-T830 MP1, 7870 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
281 MBit/s ∼100% +22%
Nubia Z17 mini
Adreno 510, 652 MSM8976, 128 GB eMMC Flash
233 MBit/s ∼83% +1%
BQ Aquaris VS
Adreno 505, 430, 64 GB eMMC Flash
230 MBit/s ∼82%
BQ Aquaris V
Adreno 505, 435, 32 GB eMMC Flash
222 MBit/s ∼79% -3%
Average of class Smartphone
  (9.4 - 703, n=456)
218 MBit/s ∼78% -5%
Nokia 5
Adreno 505, 430, 16 GB eMMC Flash
112 MBit/s ∼40% -51%
Motorola Moto G5s
Adreno 505, 430, 32 GB eMMC Flash
111 MBit/s ∼40% -52%
GPS inside
GPS inside
GPS next to a window
GPS next to a window
GPS outside
GPS outside

The GPS module could not locate us indoors, even when next to a window. The Aquaris VS is accurate to within three meters (~10 ft) outside though, which is very impressive.

We pitted the Aquaris VS against the Garmin Edge 500, our reference professional navigation system, on a bike ride to test the Aquaris VS’ GPS accuracy in practical terms. We measured a forty-meter (~141 ft) difference between the two devices, which makes the Aquaris VS a very accurate device. The route around the lake demonstrates the Garmin Edge 500’s greater accuracy, but the Aquaris VS remained mostly accurate. Noticeably, when riding between tall buildings, the Aquaris VS was more accurate than the Garmin Edge 500. As a result, we recommend the Aquaris VS for those who need a smartphone suitable for navigation.

GPS BQ Aquaris VS – Overview
GPS BQ Aquaris VS – Overview
GPS BQ Aquaris VS – Lake
GPS BQ Aquaris VS – Lake
GPS BQ Aquaris VS – Loop
GPS BQ Aquaris VS – Loop
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Lake
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Lake
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Loop
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Loop

Phone Function and Call Quality

The Aquaris VS uses the Google Phone app as part of its near stock implementation of Android. The Google Phone app is easy to use with many features that are quick to access. The Aquaris VS lacks VoLTE support.

Unsurprisingly, call quality is like that of the Aquaris V. Calls sound clear on our test device, but the microphone distorts loud voices. This is the case on speaker too. This microphone distortion required us to speak softly so that the person on the other end of the call could clearly hear us.

Cameras

An example shot from the front-facing camera
An example shot from the front-facing camera

The Aquaris VS uses the same camera sensors as the Aquaris V. There is a 12 MP Sony IMX386 sensor on the rear and an 8 MP Samsung S5K4H8 front-facing camera sensor. The rear-facing camera performs poorly in low light and produces very dark results. The Aquaris VS performs well in daylight conditions, taking photographs with adequate details and color reproduction. These were all slightly underexposed for our liking though. Naturally, the Aquaris VS cannot match the performance of much more expensive devices like the iPhone X, but nor should it be expected to, considering the huge difference in price between the two devices.

The Aquaris VS can record videos at up 1080p and at 30 frames per second. In regular lighting conditions, videos are well exposed with good sharpness. There is significant blurriness in low-light conditions though.

Front-facing camera performance is ok. While shots are sharp when at the correct distance, there could be better dynamic range in bright and dark areas of images.

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

We then tested the Aquaris VS in our laboratory under standardized lighting conditions. Our test device performed admirably, with good colour accuracy and few visible artefacts. Text looked sharp against a colored background while overall, the main-camera made pictures look quite sharp.

A photo of the test chart
A photo of the test chart
Test chart detail
Test chart detail
ColorChecker: The target color is in the lower half of each area of color.
ColorChecker: The target color is in the lower half of each area of color.

Accessories and Warranty

We have not had a smartphone in for review without a power supply for a long time. Most devices still come with a USB power supply and are often interchangeable thanks to standards like QuickCharge. The Aquaris VS only comes with a USB cable and SIM tool in the box, presumably to save on costs. An official BQ charger costs around €15 (~$18) online. There are cases and screen protectors on the BQ online store too.

BQ provides a 24-month warranty for all its smartphones. Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices and Operation

Google’s GBoard is the default keyboard. There are many customization options and support within the keyboard for Google Assistant. The default keyboard is replaceable with others like those that are available in the Google Play Store. It is worth bearing in mind though that keyboard apps may tap into your personal data, so choosing a provider that you trust is paramount.

The touchscreen is sensitive to the corners of the display and has a good feel to it. There are white silver hardware touch buttons beneath the display that are visible against the white case at certain angles. The power and volume buttons are on the right-hand side of the case.

There is a fingerprint scanner on the back of the device that we found to be easily accessible with an index finger when using our test device. The fingerprint scanner reliably unlocks the device even from standby.

Using the keyboard in portrait mode
Using the keyboard in portrait mode
Using the keyboard in landscape mode
Using the keyboard in landscape mode

Display

Sub-pixel array
Sub-pixel array

The Aquaris VS has a 720p display, and one which is slightly darker than the one we reviewed in the Aquaris V. This is only a comparative drawback though as the Aquaris VS has a sufficiently bright display at an average of 544 cd/m². Brightness uniformity is slightly worse than the Aquaris V at 88%, but subjectively, areas of color look uniformly lit. We did not notice any PWM display flicker during our tests either.

563
cd/m²
541
cd/m²
536
cd/m²
560
cd/m²
535
cd/m²
577
cd/m²
552
cd/m²
509
cd/m²
519
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 577 cd/m² Average: 543.6 cd/m² Minimum: 4.04 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 535 cd/m²
Contrast: 877:1 (Black: 0.61 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.3 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 4 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
Gamma: 1.95
BQ Aquaris VS
IPS, 1280x720, 5.2
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
Super AMOLED, 1280x720, 5.2
Nokia 5
IPS, 1280x720, 5.2
Motorola Moto G5s
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
BQ Aquaris V
IPS, 1280x720, 5.2
Nubia Z17 mini
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
Screen
15%
3%
7%
10%
-20%
Brightness middle
535
448
-16%
630
18%
490
-8%
578
8%
405
-24%
Brightness
544
451
-17%
635
17%
502
-8%
583
7%
406
-25%
Brightness Distribution
88
91
3%
90
2%
92
5%
91
3%
91
3%
Black Level *
0.61
0.57
7%
0.43
30%
0.49
20%
0.61
-0%
Contrast
877
1105
26%
1140
30%
1180
35%
664
-24%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.3
2.7
49%
5
6%
5.7
-8%
5.4
-2%
6.5
-23%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
11.1
9.8
12%
8.7
22%
7.8
30%
9.1
18%
9.3
16%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4
1.6
60%
6.9
-73%
4.7
-18%
4.3
-8%
7.4
-85%
Gamma
1.95 113%
2.06 107%
2.37 93%
2.4 92%
2.13 103%
2 110%
CCT
6800 96%
6557 99%
8736 74%
7526 86%
7400 88%
8329 78%

* ... 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: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9347 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

We measured the Aquaris VS with a black level of 0.61 cd/m². This is significantly higher than what we measured on the Aquaris V. This high black level affects the contrast ration, which is a rather average 877:1. The display achieves 91% sRGB color space accuracy, but our spectrophotometer and CalMAN software picked out a slight blue tint. Our tests showed that the display has poor colour fidelity, particularly with shades of orange. So, despite the high sRGB color space accuracy, the results of the CalMAN software demonstrate that the Aquaris VS’ display is less than perfect.

CalMAN color accuracy - sRGB
CalMAN color accuracy - sRGB
CalMAN color space – sRGB
CalMAN color space – sRGB
CalMAN grayscale – sRGB
CalMAN grayscale – sRGB
CalMAN saturation – sRGB
CalMAN saturation – 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
20.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 8 ms rise
↘ 12.4 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. » 25 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (24.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
32.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19.2 ms rise
↘ 13.6 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. » 23 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (39.4 ms).

Thanks to its relatively high screen brightness, the Aquaris VS is usable outdoors even in bright sunlight. The brightness sensor reacts quickly and alters screen brightness to suit the conditions. The display has good viewing angles. We noticed minor color shifts at acute angles.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles
Using the Aquaris VS outside at maximum screen brightness
Using the Aquaris VS outside at maximum screen brightness

Performance

There are no major performance differences between the Aquaris VS and the Aquaris V. The two devices are powered by different SoCs, namely the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 in the Aquaris VS and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 in the Aquaris V. The Snapdragon 430 and Snapdragon 435 only differ in their LTE modems though so that is why the Aquaris VS and Aquaris V perform similarly.

The Aquaris VS performs marginally worse than most of our other comparison devices. The Nokia 5 and Moto G5s are powered by a Snapdragon 430 too, performing 3% and 5% better than the Aquaris VS respectively. The Samsung Exynos 7870 Octa powered Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos performed 4% better than the Aquaris VS. Likewise, Aquaris VS performed 2% worse than the average for Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 powered devices. This is all within a margin of error though, and not something that would be noticeable in daily use. The Nubia Z17 Mini is the only smartphone among our comparison devices that notably outperforms the Aquaris VS. This is down to the Nubia being powered by the much more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
44022 Points ∼50%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
45613 Points ∼52% +4%
Nokia 5
45274 Points ∼52% +3%
Motorola Moto G5s
46370 Points ∼53% +5%
BQ Aquaris V
44029 Points ∼50% 0%
Nubia Z17 mini
87232 Points ∼99% +98%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (42798 - 47066, n=16)
45027 Points ∼51% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (5600 - 293444, n=490)
87858 Points ∼100% +100%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
3648 Points ∼68%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
3889 Points ∼73% +7%
Nokia 5
3807 Points ∼71% +4%
Motorola Moto G5s
3604 Points ∼67% -1%
BQ Aquaris V
3687 Points ∼69% +1%
Nubia Z17 mini
4695 Points ∼88% +29%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (3408 - 3892, n=16)
3668 Points ∼68% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (2630 - 11690, n=396)
5356 Points ∼100% +47%
Work performance score (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
4751 Points ∼78%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
5006 Points ∼82% +5%
Nokia 5
5060 Points ∼83% +7%
Motorola Moto G5s
4669 Points ∼77% -2%
BQ Aquaris V
4694 Points ∼77% -1%
Nubia Z17 mini
6093 Points ∼100% +28%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (3347 - 5290, n=18)
4577 Points ∼75% -4%
Average of class Smartphone (1077 - 15193, n=563)
5817 Points ∼95% +22%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
680 Points ∼89%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
737 Points ∼97% +8%
Nokia 5
671 Points ∼88% -1%
Motorola Moto G5s
703 Points ∼92% +3%
BQ Aquaris V
676 Points ∼89% -1%
Nubia Z17 mini
10 Points ∼1% -99%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (10 - 866, n=17)
499 Points ∼65% -27%
Average of class Smartphone (7 - 1745, n=640)
763 Points ∼100% +12%
Graphics (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
786 Points ∼38%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
534 Points ∼26% -32%
Nokia 5
740 Points ∼35% -6%
Motorola Moto G5s
723 Points ∼35% -8%
BQ Aquaris V
779 Points ∼37% -1%
Nubia Z17 mini
1832 Points ∼87% +133%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (715 - 788, n=17)
738 Points ∼35% -6%
Average of class Smartphone (18 - 16996, n=640)
2094 Points ∼100% +166%
Memory (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
773 Points ∼36%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
1249 Points ∼58% +62%
Nokia 5
788 Points ∼37% +2%
Motorola Moto G5s
656 Points ∼31% -15%
BQ Aquaris V
557 Points ∼26% -28%
Nubia Z17 mini
2150 Points ∼100% +178%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (530 - 1209, n=17)
769 Points ∼36% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (21 - 7500, n=640)
1546 Points ∼72% +100%
System (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
1544 Points ∼40%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
2218 Points ∼58% +44%
Nokia 5
2154 Points ∼56% +40%
Motorola Moto G5s
1553 Points ∼41% +1%
BQ Aquaris V
1600 Points ∼42% +4%
Nubia Z17 mini
3829 Points ∼100% +148%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (1281 - 2154, n=17)
1726 Points ∼45% +12%
Average of class Smartphone (369 - 14189, n=640)
3022 Points ∼79% +96%
Overall (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
894 Points ∼59%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
1022 Points ∼67% +14%
Nokia 5
958 Points ∼63% +7%
Motorola Moto G5s
848 Points ∼56% -5%
BQ Aquaris V
828 Points ∼55% -7%
Nubia Z17 mini
621 Points ∼41% -31%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (263 - 1055, n=17)
737 Points ∼49% -18%
Average of class Smartphone (1 - 6097, n=640)
1515 Points ∼100% +69%
Geekbench 4.4
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
1808 Points ∼39%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
2332 Points ∼50% +29%
Motorola Moto G5s
1871 Points ∼40% +3%
BQ Aquaris V
1785 Points ∼38% -1%
Nubia Z17 mini
4465 Points ∼95% +147%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (1731 - 2461, n=13)
2118 Points ∼45% +17%
Average of class Smartphone (663 - 21070, n=326)
4680 Points ∼100% +159%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
2400 Points ∼51%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
3704 Points ∼79% +54%
Nokia 5
2849 Points ∼60% +19%
Motorola Moto G5s
2270 Points ∼48% -5%
BQ Aquaris V
2378 Points ∼50% -1%
Nubia Z17 mini
4612 Points ∼98% +92%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (2222 - 2889, n=16)
2553 Points ∼54% +6%
Average of class Smartphone (883 - 11598, n=385)
4718 Points ∼100% +97%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
657 Points ∼45%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
732 Points ∼50% +11%
Nokia 5
671 Points ∼46% +2%
Motorola Moto G5s
630 Points ∼43% -4%
BQ Aquaris V
637 Points ∼44% -3%
Nubia Z17 mini
1454 Points ∼100% +121%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (619 - 685, n=16)
657 Points ∼45% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (390 - 4824, n=385)
1424 Points ∼98% +117%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
1129 Points ∼49%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
1727 Points ∼74% +53%
Nokia 5
1227 Points ∼53% +9%
Motorola Moto G5s
1199 Points ∼52% +6%
BQ Aquaris V
1144 Points ∼49% +1%
Nubia Z17 mini
2322 Points ∼100% +106%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (1034 - 1360, n=18)
1178 Points ∼51% +4%
Average of class Smartphone (486 - 4519, n=483)
1896 Points ∼82% +68%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
264 Points ∼18%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
185 Points ∼12% -30%
Nokia 5
245 Points ∼16% -7%
Motorola Moto G5s
243 Points ∼16% -8%
BQ Aquaris V
263 Points ∼18% 0%
Nubia Z17 mini
827 Points ∼55% +213%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (234 - 271, n=18)
250 Points ∼17% -5%
Average of class Smartphone (53 - 7150, n=483)
1493 Points ∼100% +466%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
318 Points ∼22%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
231 Points ∼16% -27%
Nokia 5
298 Points ∼21% -6%
Motorola Moto G5s
295 Points ∼21% -7%
BQ Aquaris V
317 Points ∼22% 0%
Nubia Z17 mini
965 Points ∼67% +203%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (284 - 330, n=18)
303 Points ∼21% -5%
Average of class Smartphone (68 - 6319, n=484)
1436 Points ∼100% +352%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
1145 Points ∼51%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
1685 Points ∼76% +47%
Nokia 5
1268 Points ∼57% +11%
Motorola Moto G5s
1158 Points ∼52% +1%
BQ Aquaris V
1146 Points ∼51% 0%
Nubia Z17 mini
2229 Points ∼100% +95%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (1002 - 1339, n=18)
1182 Points ∼53% +3%
Average of class Smartphone (293 - 4540, n=524)
1759 Points ∼79% +54%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
533 Points ∼27%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
277 Points ∼14% -48%
Nokia 5
503 Points ∼26% -6%
Motorola Moto G5s
483 Points ∼25% -9%
BQ Aquaris V
532 Points ∼27% 0%
Nubia Z17 mini
1379 Points ∼70% +159%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (483 - 535, n=18)
509 Points ∼26% -5%
Average of class Smartphone (43 - 11302, n=523)
1959 Points ∼100% +268%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
605 Points ∼36%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
340 Points ∼20% -44%
Nokia 5
581 Points ∼34% -4%
Motorola Moto G5s
555 Points ∼33% -8%
BQ Aquaris V
604 Points ∼36% 0%
Nubia Z17 mini
1507 Points ∼89% +149%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (554 - 613, n=18)
583 Points ∼35% -4%
Average of class Smartphone (55 - 8338, n=526)
1689 Points ∼100% +179%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
9067 Points ∼63%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
12605 Points ∼88% +39%
Nokia 5
9023 Points ∼63% 0%
Motorola Moto G5s
9045 Points ∼63% 0%
BQ Aquaris V
9039 Points ∼63% 0%
Nubia Z17 mini
10942 Points ∼77% +21%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (8253 - 10364, n=17)
9093 Points ∼64% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (735 - 45072, n=684)
14281 Points ∼100% +58%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
10271 Points ∼44%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
7484 Points ∼32% -27%
Nokia 5
9684 Points ∼42% -6%
Motorola Moto G5s
9626 Points ∼42% -6%
BQ Aquaris V
10252 Points ∼44% 0%
Nubia Z17 mini
23175 Points ∼100% +126%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (9342 - 10271, n=17)
9707 Points ∼42% -5%
Average of class Smartphone (536 - 209204, n=682)
22374 Points ∼97% +118%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
9977 Points ∼54%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
8227 Points ∼44% -18%
Nokia 5
9529 Points ∼51% -4%
Motorola Moto G5s
9491 Points ∼51% -5%
BQ Aquaris V
9955 Points ∼54% 0%
Nubia Z17 mini
18563 Points ∼100% +86%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (9213 - 9977, n=18)
9559 Points ∼51% -4%
Average of class Smartphone (662 - 97276, n=682)
18053 Points ∼97% +81%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
18 fps ∼47%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
12 fps ∼31% -33%
Nokia 5
17 fps ∼44% -6%
Motorola Moto G5s
16 fps ∼42% -11%
BQ Aquaris V
17 fps ∼44% -6%
Nubia Z17 mini
36 fps ∼94% +100%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (15 - 18, n=17)
16.3 fps ∼43% -9%
Average of class Smartphone (0.5 - 322, n=702)
38.3 fps ∼100% +113%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
21 fps ∼57%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
20 fps ∼54% -5%
Nokia 5
27 fps ∼73% +29%
Motorola Moto G5s
16 fps ∼43% -24%
BQ Aquaris V
27 fps ∼73% +29%
Nubia Z17 mini
37 fps ∼100% +76%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (14 - 27, n=17)
20.6 fps ∼56% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (1 - 120, n=711)
28.2 fps ∼76% +34%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
7.7 fps ∼35%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
5.1 fps ∼23% -34%
Nokia 5
7.2 fps ∼33% -6%
Motorola Moto G5s
7.1 fps ∼32% -8%
BQ Aquaris V
4.9 fps ∼22% -36%
Nubia Z17 mini
17 fps ∼77% +121%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (6.7 - 7.7, n=17)
7.14 fps ∼32% -7%
Average of class Smartphone (0.8 - 175, n=607)
22.1 fps ∼100% +187%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
15 fps ∼77%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
10 fps ∼51% -33%
Nokia 5
14 fps ∼72% -7%
Motorola Moto G5s
7.4 fps ∼38% -51%
BQ Aquaris V
15 fps ∼77% 0%
Nubia Z17 mini
17 fps ∼87% +13%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (6.6 - 15, n=17)
10.8 fps ∼55% -28%
Average of class Smartphone (1.2 - 115, n=616)
19.5 fps ∼100% +30%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
4.9 fps ∼27%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
3.2 fps ∼18% -35%
Nokia 5
4.6 fps ∼26% -6%
Motorola Moto G5s
4.6 fps ∼26% -6%
BQ Aquaris V
2.4 fps ∼13% -51%
Nubia Z17 mini
10 fps ∼56% +104%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (2.2 - 4.9, n=17)
4.19 fps ∼23% -14%
Average of class Smartphone (0.87 - 117, n=472)
18 fps ∼100% +267%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
11 fps ∼65%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
7.4 fps ∼44% -33%
Nokia 5
10 fps ∼60% -9%
Motorola Moto G5s
5 fps ∼30% -55%
BQ Aquaris V
11 fps ∼65% 0%
Nubia Z17 mini
11 fps ∼65% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (4.3 - 11, n=17)
7.58 fps ∼45% -31%
Average of class Smartphone (1.2 - 110, n=474)
16.8 fps ∼100% +53%
GFXBench
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
2.7 fps ∼22%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
1.9 fps ∼15% -30%
Nokia 5
2.5 fps ∼20% -7%
Motorola Moto G5s
2.5 fps ∼20% -7%
BQ Aquaris V
2.7 fps ∼22% 0%
Nubia Z17 mini
6 fps ∼49% +122%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (2.4 - 2.7, n=17)
2.55 fps ∼21% -6%
Average of class Smartphone (0.6 - 73, n=397)
12.3 fps ∼100% +356%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
BQ Aquaris VS
5.9 fps ∼54%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
3.7 fps ∼34% -37%
Nokia 5
5.2 fps ∼47% -12%
Motorola Moto G5s
2.7 fps ∼25% -54%
BQ Aquaris V
5.5 fps ∼50% -7%
Nubia Z17 mini
6 fps ∼55% +2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (2.4 - 5.9, n=17)
4.05 fps ∼37% -31%
Average of class Smartphone (1.1 - 60, n=401)
11 fps ∼100% +86%

Legend

 
BQ Aquaris VS Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937), Qualcomm Adreno 505, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos Samsung Exynos 7870 Octa, ARM Mali-T830 MP1, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Nokia 5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937), Qualcomm Adreno 505, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Motorola Moto G5s Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937), Qualcomm Adreno 505, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
BQ Aquaris V Qualcomm Snapdragon 435, Qualcomm Adreno 505, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Nubia Z17 mini Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 MSM8976, Qualcomm Adreno 510, 128 GB eMMC Flash

Our browser benchmark results highlight the huge performance gap between the Aquaris VS and the Nubia Z17 Mini. The Aquaris VS matches the Aquaris V’s performance in this respect, which is to say that it is again just slightly behind those powered by the same SoC. Google’s Interland and other complex HTML 5 pages are smooth, but they take a little longer to load on the Aquaris VS than on, for example, the Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos.

JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Nubia Z17 mini (Chrome 63)
45.1 Points ∼100% +149%
Average of class Smartphone (10 - 302, n=537)
42.2 Points ∼94% +133%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos (Samsung Browser 5.4)
26.37 Points ∼58% +45%
Nokia 5 (Chrome 56.0.2924.87)
21.48 Points ∼48% +19%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (17.6 - 21.5, n=16)
19.1 Points ∼42% +5%
Motorola Moto G5s (Chrome 62)
18.661 Points ∼41% +3%
BQ Aquaris V (Chrome 63)
18.2 Points ∼40% 0%
BQ Aquaris VS (Chrome 65)
18.125 Points ∼40%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Nubia Z17 mini (Chrome 63)
9187 Points ∼100% +179%
Average of class Smartphone (894 - 49388, n=698)
6865 Points ∼75% +108%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos (Samsung Browser 5.4)
4968 Points ∼54% +51%
BQ Aquaris V (Chrome 63)
3305 Points ∼36% 0%
BQ Aquaris VS (Chrome 65)
3296 Points ∼36%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (2604 - 3438, n=18)
3194 Points ∼35% -3%
Nokia 5 (Chrome 56.0.2924.87)
3138 Points ∼34% -5%
Motorola Moto G5s (Chrome 62)
3035 Points ∼33% -8%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
BQ Aquaris VS (Chrome 65)
13612 ms * ∼100%
Motorola Moto G5s (Chrome 62)
13057 ms * ∼96% +4%
BQ Aquaris V (Chrome 63)
12750 ms * ∼94% +6%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) (10396 - 14709, n=18)
12677 ms * ∼93% +7%
Average of class Smartphone (571 - 59466, n=723)
10475 ms * ∼77% +23%
Nokia 5 (Chrome 56.0.2924.87)
10396 ms * ∼76% +24%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos (Samsung Browser 5.4)
6784.4 ms * ∼50% +50%
Nubia Z17 mini (Chrome 63)
4411 ms * ∼32% +68%

* ... smaller is better

The Aquaris VS, at least the 64 GB version that we tested, outperformed the Aquaris V in terms of internal read and write speeds. The differences are minor except for sequential write speeds, where the Aquaris VS is significantly faster than its sibling. We used our reference Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSD card to benchmark microSD card performance. The Aquaris VS and the Aquaris V performed equally well here. Overall, the Aquaris VS’s memory performance is on par for a device at this price.

BQ Aquaris VSSamsung Galaxy J5 (2017) DuosNokia 5Motorola Moto G5sBQ Aquaris VNubia Z17 miniAverage 64 GB eMMC FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
-21%
-6%
93%
-2%
25%
49%
31%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
59.41 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
44.21 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-26%
62
4%
62.32 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
5%
60.82 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
2%
58.78 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-1%
57.4 (11.2 - 74.7, n=104)
-3%
49.5 (1.7 - 87.1, n=436)
-17%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
83.32 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
72.22 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-13%
83.9
1%
84.11 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
1%
83.6 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
0%
78 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-6%
76.5 (21.1 - 87.2, n=104)
-8%
67.7 (8.1 - 96.5, n=436)
-19%
Random Write 4KB
6.4
9.9
55%
8.39
31%
46.2
622%
10.9
70%
15.9
148%
24.8 (3.4 - 125, n=118)
288%
22.8 (0.14 - 250, n=760)
256%
Random Read 4KB
47.2
24.07
-49%
40.54
-14%
40.6
-14%
33.7
-29%
60
27%
55 (11.4 - 149, n=118)
17%
48.3 (1.59 - 196, n=760)
2%
Sequential Write 256KB
185.9
51.96
-72%
74.86
-60%
77.5
-58%
76.7
-59%
143.8
-23%
171 (40 - 246, n=118)
-8%
99.1 (2.99 - 590, n=760)
-47%
Sequential Read 256KB
254.4
204.45
-20%
255.56
0%
259
2%
266.3
5%
267
5%
273 (95.6 - 704, n=118)
7%
278 (12.1 - 1504, n=760)
9%

Games

The Aquaris VS struggles to play games at 60 FPS because of its Qualcomm Adreno 505 GPU. We found that games either do not offer 60 FPS, like “Arena of Valor”, or frame rates jump around but always remain below 60 FPS as in “Shadow Fight 3”. Playing complex games at reduced graphics settings does not boost frame rates to about 60 FPS either. On the plus side, games were always played at above 30 FPS.

The touchscreen and positional sensor worked reliably during testing.

Shadow Fight 3
Shadow Fight 3
Arena of Valor
Arena of Valor
Arena of Valor
 SettingsValue
 min31 fps
 high HD30 fps
  Your browser does not support the canvas element!
Shadow Fight 3
 SettingsValue
 high58 fps
 minimal58 fps
  Your browser does not support the canvas element!

Emissions

Temperature

Interestingly, the Aquaris VS gets slightly warmer than its sibling. We measured a maximum surface temperature of 36.1 °C (~97 °F) under load, which is low enough to still use the device. Curiously, the maximum surface temperature at idle is only marginally cooler at 35.4 °C (~96 °F).

Max. Load
 35.4 °C
96 F
35.2 °C
95 F
35.5 °C
96 F
 
 36.1 °C
97 F
34.7 °C
94 F
35.8 °C
96 F
 
 35.7 °C
96 F
34.8 °C
95 F
34.4 °C
94 F
 
Maximum: 36.1 °C = 97 F
Average: 35.3 °C = 96 F
33.3 °C
92 F
33.7 °C
93 F
34 °C
93 F
33.3 °C
92 F
34.1 °C
93 F
34 °C
93 F
33.2 °C
92 F
33.2 °C
92 F
33.1 °C
92 F
Maximum: 34.1 °C = 93 F
Average: 33.5 °C = 92 F
Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 35.3 °C / 96 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 36.1 °C / 97 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 34.1 °C / 93 F, compared to the average of 34 °C / 93 F
(±) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 33.5 °C / 92 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
Thermal imaging of the front of the device under load
Thermal imaging of the front of the device under load
Thermal imaging of the rear of the device under load
Thermal imaging of the rear of the device under load

Speakers

There is a mono-speaker on the bottom edge of the device, which by design lacks any stereo or surround sound effects. Overall, sound quality is relatively warm for a lower mid-range device. While the speaker gets loud, it does so at the expense of highs, which sound shrill at higher volumes. Bass performance could be better too, with deep mid-tones more likely to be heard than actual bass.

The 3.5 mm headphone jack or Bluetooth send clean audio to external speakers and headphones.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2028.633.12524.921.63124.622.24026.422.45030.828.56323.622.78020.220.410019.921.912517.620.516019.125.720019.129.625017.44231516.952.440016.860.350015.162.463016.564.880015.665.410001564.5125015.564.3160015.365.7200015.765.7250015.566.4315015.569.5400015.473.4500015.879.563001679.1800015.876.51000016.1711250016.168.31600017.360.6SPL27.985.2N155.5median 16median 64.8Delta0.69.331.63225.438.425.33432.93033.629.631.628.528.429.32731.820.834.92243.421.349.120.855.521.260.719.463.719.567.417.770.217.971.417.868.917.37017.472.616.775.117.277.418.278.117.981.417.676.717.775.417.874.517.970.518.161.818.258.43086.81.370median 17.9median 701.39.5hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseBQ Aquaris VSSamsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
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
» 51% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 38% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 70% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 23% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (86.8 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.2% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (4.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (19% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 10% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 84% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 36% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 57% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (Checkboxes are de/selectable)

Battery Life

Power Consumption

The Aquaris VS is power efficient, consuming a maximum of 5.31 W under load and an average of 1.7 W at idle. This places the Aquaris VS in the middle of our comparison devices, with only the Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos being significantly more power efficient than the Aquaris VS.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.61 / 1.7 / 1.71 Watt
Load midlight 3.02 / 5.31 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
BQ Aquaris VS
3100 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
3000 mAh
Nokia 5
3000 mAh
Motorola Moto G5s
3000 mAh
BQ Aquaris V
3100 mAh
Nubia Z17 mini
2950 mAh
Power Consumption
33%
-1%
-13%
-6%
-50%
Idle Minimum *
0.61
0.52
15%
0.52
15%
0.67
-10%
0.71
-16%
0.83
-36%
Idle Average *
1.7
1.17
31%
1.78
-5%
1.4
18%
1.82
-7%
2.01
-18%
Idle Maximum *
1.71
1.24
27%
1.96
-15%
1.52
11%
1.84
-8%
2.02
-18%
Load Average *
3.02
1.66
45%
3.23
-7%
4.56
-51%
3.12
-3%
5.95
-97%
Load Maximum *
5.31
2.94
45%
4.88
8%
7.05
-33%
5.13
3%
9.65
-82%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The Aquaris VS has a 3,100 mAh battery and lasted eleven hours and twenty-one minutes in our Wi-Fi test. During this test, we run a script that simulates the load required to load and render websites. In practical terms, this means that the Aquaris VS should last at least two working days with moderate use. The Nokia 5 and Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos have better runtimes than the Aquaris VS, lasting thirty-two and fifty-seven minutes longer respectively.

The Aquaris VS supports QuickCharge 3. As previously mentioned, BQ only includes a USB cable, so you will have to supply your own charger.

The Aquaris VS can be charged in under two hours with a QuickCharge 3 rated charger. This increases to three hours if charged with a standard USB charger.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
11h 21min
BQ Aquaris VS
3100 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
3000 mAh
Nokia 5
3000 mAh
Motorola Moto G5s
3000 mAh
BQ Aquaris V
3100 mAh
Nubia Z17 mini
2950 mAh
Battery Runtime
8%
5%
-24%
1%
-27%
Reader / Idle
1564
1772
1233
WiFi v1.3
681
738
8%
713
5%
518
-24%
687
1%
497
-27%
Load
449
323
225
302
H.264
917
790
645

Pros

+ QuickCharge and NFC
+ expandable storage
+ fast WiFi
+ good battery life
+ good cameras compared with comparable devices
+ reasonably priced

Cons

- no charger included
- microphone distorts loud voices
- performance could be better
- limited LTE bands

Verdict

The BQ Aquaris VS in review. Test device courtesy of BQ Germany.
The BQ Aquaris VS in review. Test device courtesy of BQ Germany.

It is possible to give practically the same verdict for the BQ Aquaris VS as the Aquaris V because of their similarities. The BQ Aquaris VS is a pleasant surprise with its decent battery life, good cameras, bright display and fast Wi-Fi. We would have liked stronger performance though, and the microphone distortion for loud voices is frustrating.

The BQ Aquaris VS is a good lower mid-range smartphone. We cannot recommend it more than the Aquaris VS as there are compromises with both devices. 64 GB of internal storage is only available with the Aquaris VS, with the 64 GB variant priced equally with the cheapest variant of the Aquaris V, which comes with only 16 GB of storage. However, the Aquaris VS lacks a charger and has neither the dust and water protection or the LTE band support that the Aquaris V does.

The BQ Aquaris VS is a cheaper Aquaris V without the extra connectivity, but with almost all the advantages and larger internal storage.

The BQ Aquaris VS is an interesting alternative to the Aquaris V. Since BQ sells a QuickCharge 3 charger for only €15 (~$18) and the lack of LTE bands only matters if you regularly travel outside of Europe, the BQ Aquaris VS is basically a cheaper Aquaris V with more internal storage.

BQ Aquaris VS - 04/12/2018 v6(old)
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
81%
Keyboard
65 / 75 → 87%
Pointing Device
93%
Connectivity
44 / 60 → 74%
Weight
91%
Battery
94%
Display
85%
Games Performance
21 / 63 → 33%
Application Performance
42 / 70 → 59%
Temperature
90%
Noise
100%
Audio
61 / 91 → 67%
Camera
67%
Average
72%
82%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > BQ Aquaris VS Smartphone Review
Florian Wimmer, 2018-04-16 (Update: 2019-03-20)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.