BQ Aquaris X5 review

A great budget phone, if you don't need a great camera

BQ Aquaris X5 review

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You may not be familiar with the BQ brand, but don't let that put you off as the Aquaris X5 is an accomplished smartphone with just a few small compromises.

We liked

The BQ Aquaris X5 offers great battery life, its 2900mAh unit being not just large for the spec, but large for the phone's stature too.

This is also a nicer-feeling phone than most in its class. Anodised aluminium sides and a flex-free backplate mean it feels at least a bit pricier than it is.

All the core hardware is solid too. A high-quality camera sensor, bang up-to-date CPU and decent (and expandable) storage make the BQ Aquaris X5 feel like a good-value buy.

We disliked

If the BQ Aquaris X5 really wanted to wipe the floor with the competition it could have included a 1080p screen like that on the OnePlus X. There's a noticeable difference at five inches.

The display is a little oversaturated, although some users will see that as a plus.

BQ's execution of the camera lets the hardware down a little too. You can get better shots, and more easily, from the Moto G, which uses very similar hardware.

Final verdict

It's not hard to see why O2 chose to stock the BQ Aquaris X5. It's a phone that looks nice, feels good, doesn't cost the earth and packs in some capable hardware.

The cherry on top is excellent battery life, with no sense of design being sacrificed to that end. This isn't a OnePlus-style device that sets new standards for the price, but it is a phone that performs well in almost every area.

Only the camera software is disappointing, with a messy dual-app setup and not enough photo genius juice being squeezed out of the great (for the price) hardware underneath.

  • Thanks to O2 for providing the review unit.
Andrew Williams

Andrew is a freelance journalist and has been writing and editing for some of the UK's top tech and lifestyle publications including TrustedReviews, Stuff, T3, TechRadar, Lifehacker and others.