Published On: Wed, Sep 16th, 2015

Review BQ Aquaris E5 HD



Ubuntu Touch natively, the Aquaris 4.5 (A4.5), continues its collaboration with Canonical and offers us the Aquaris 5 HD (A5HD), available for sale since late June. Like its elder, the A5HD is a device—initially available in Android—that BQ ported to Ubuntu Touch.

In this review, I will present my impressions of using this new device that BQ France kindly made available to me and compare it to the A4.5 that I bought right when it was released.

This device is a slight material upgrade. Here is a list of its specifications:

  • 5-inch Capacitive IPS multi-touch HD display with a resolution of 720

 x 1280 pixels, 294 HDMI, Dragontrail Protection Glass

  • CPU: MediaTek quad-core Cortex A7 CPU at 1.3 GHz
  • GPU: Mali 400-MP2 up to 500 MHz
  • 1GB of RAM


  • 16GB eMMC storage
  • Expandable memory Via microSD card (up to 32 GB)
  • Rear camera: 13 Mp(f/2.2) BSI sensor with autofocus and Dual flash
  • Front camera: 5 Mp (f/2.0)
  • Full HD video recording (1080p)
  • Dual-sim
  • 3G: 3G + (HSPA+/UMTS/GSM)
  • Bands supported: GSM (850, 900,

1800 and 1900) and UMTS (900, 2100)

  • Connectivity: BlueTooth 4.0, GPS,

Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, micro-USB, jack 3.5mm

  • Lipo 2500 mAh battery
  • Weight: 0.1340
  • Dimensions: 71 x 142 x 8,65 mm.

We can see that the A5HD shares some specifications with A4.5, which is not necessarily to delight us: CPU and GPU are the same, same RAM, only WiFi b/g/n, no 4G or NFC, and always restricted to Europe market—therefore, no support for US LTE Bands.

In terms of improvement, there is an internal memory that goes from 8 to 16GB, and a more powerful battery. I’m not addicted to my smartphone, and with my A4.5, I have an autonomy of about 24H; with the A5HD I can stand 48 hours before needing to recharge.While remaining as thin as theA4.5, the A5HD becomes a bit wider and longer, allowing it to offer a 5” screen.

It is this larger screen, HD in addition, that really makes this model interesting. The resolution is much higher and makes it more pleasant to use, whether to read the displayed information, videos or photos. This device holds another upgrade compared to A4.5, the rear camera (based on specifications, it does not seem to me that the front camera had an upgrade, and to be honest, it is only now as I write the article that I realize I have not tested the front camera before returning the A5HD: sorry not to be addicted to selfies!). The camera is more pleasant to use than its predecessor. It is more responsive, with better focus, better resolution, and an HDR mode that I found most effective. Nevertheless, the A5HD remains a mid-range device and do not expect to make a beautiful picture. (or videos, for which I have not noticed real improvements compared to A4.5) out of it, the results are still noisy and predominantly white, particularly in HDR mode.

(or videos, for which I have not noticed real improvements compared to A4.5) out of it, the results are still noisy and predominantly white, particularly in HDR mode.


+ better battery life

+ better video

+ better camera

+ HD display


– no 4G

– photos/video noisy, especially in

low light

– no NFC

– only Wifi b/g/n

The Aquaris 5, 4G, or 6 would have been a better new flagship device running Ubuntu Touch from BQ, but I can live without 4G, fast WiFi, NFC, and be content with a mid-range camera. The screen of the A5HD is really its strong selling.

The point, and I would see myself trying it if I did not already own an A4.5. If you have not yet taken the step of Ubuntu Touch, the little extra price difference for a better screen should convince you to try this OS that gets better gradually.


About the Author