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Hyundai Aero Plus Review - The Manly Premium Phone!

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As a quick recap, the Hyundai Aero Plus is the second smartphone by the popular South Korean car manufacturer that was offered for the Philippine market. It is also known as the "Gentleman's phone" due to its elegant manly design and the promise of performance that anyone would desire.
Hyundai Aero Plus Review - The Manly Premium Phone!
Here's our Hyundai Aero Plus review!

After taking the phone for a spin for almost 1 month, we'll share with you the rest of the things we discovered about this handset. Now, checkout if it is the right one for you.

Display Quality

5.5 inch screen with full HD resolution
5.5 inch screen with full HD resolution

This handset is equipped with a 5.5 inch FHD IPS screen with a sharp enough 401 pixels per inch. The color reproduction is decent with a slightly cooler type of tone. It is slightly under-saturated as a result with less contrast. Levels of black are decent and viewing angles are great.
Level of sharpness are fine, but sunlight legibility should be better.
However, even if it has an accurate adaptive type of display, sunlight legibility isn't great. Images and text are still legible on max brightness levels, but it is simply not bright enough.
5 points of multitouch for your basic touch response
5 points of multitouch for your basic touch response

Audio Quality

The single yet loud speaker below
The single yet loud speaker below

This phone boast a single speaker located below. The sound quality coming from it is decent for a device at this price point. It has a bright type of audio signature with fine mids and highs. It could be just tinny sounding peaky, but fortunately the speaker it is using isn't distorted on max volume.

Checking how it sounds using your favorite headphones or earphones, Hyundai did a fine job again. This time, it delivered a warmer type of clean and fuller sound with more depth. Bass response up to the sub-bass region are highlighted, vocals are lovely smooth, details are mostly audible, and highs aren't peaky. It has an enjoyable and relaxing output as a whole.

Microphone quality is pretty clean and clear!
What surprised us with this handset is how clear its single microphone is. It is enjoyable for calls and usable for audio recordings. Most of our recorded videos with voice has clear voices and not that annoying background noise.

Battery Life

Battery test
Battery test

One of the areas where Hyundai should improve next time is battery life. In our PC Mark battery test, it only recorded 6 hours and 11 mins of usage. In actual screen on time, it is even lesser at around 5 hours. As a heavy smartphone user, using the Aero Plus as a main phone might need you to charge up to 2x a day.
Wireless charging feature is nifty, but slower.
Charging time is around 2 hours and 20 mins. Using the wireless charger is cool, but slower. Zero to 100 percent using the wireless charging pad is roughly around 4 hours.

Camera

21 MP camera!
21 MP camera!

The Aero Plus highlights a 21 MP Sony IMX230 sensor w/ f/2.2 lens, PDAF focus, and dual LED flash. It has basic camera modes with HDR, panorama, and some filters.

The good type of pro mode
The good type of pro mode

The pleasant surprise there is the camera software includes an easy to to use pro camera mode. It has a complete up to 1/2 to 32 seconds shutter speed, 100 to 1,600 ISO, manual focus, exposure, and white balance adjustments.
It has a good type of pro mode that's useful for night photography.
On point and shoot mode, focus speed is good on well lit scenes. In low-light, struggles on focus are visible, but still faster than expected. Taking close-up shots up to 3 inches near w/ nice background blur is possible. Shutter speed is fast too. On HDR, there's a 2 second delay so steadying your hand is required on that mode.

Picture quality is tricky, there are times where it take "wow worthy" photos with decent punch and accuracy. Unfortunately, here are times where colors are soft and underexposed or w/ blown-out highlights and shadows.

In lowlight, images retained its acceptable dynamic range. In some indoor shots, there's no need for the use of manual mode. Understandably, the small sensor size of this device has limitations where it'll show great loss of detail on very dark places. Use the flash or manual mode on those scenes.

Rear Camera Samples

Close-up shot in daylight
Close-up shot in daylight
Normal vs HDR
Normal vs HDR
Indoor lowlight
Indoor lowlight
ISO 100, 6 seconds
ISO 100, 4 seconds
ISO 100, 2 seconds
ISO 100, 2 seconds
ISO 100, 8 seconds, cloudy white balance
ISO 100, 8 seconds, cloudy white balance
Flash test
Flash test

For selfies, the phone boast an 8 MP f/2.4 OV8858 sensor w/ wide angle lens. It HDR mode, filters, and beautify mode w/ wrinkle removal and whitening. It doesn't have autofocus, but it can recognize your face easily. Shutter speed isn't just the quickest around. In lowlight, it has an on-screen flash that you may use.

Quality-wise, it generally performed decent on areas with proper lighting. Details are fine and not as grainy as expected. However, like the main camera, it has inconsistencies in quality.

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight 1
Daylight 1
Daylight 2
Daylight 2
Indoor w/ grains
Indoor w/ grains
Screen flash test
Screen flash test

The 21 MP main camera can record up to 1080p in 30 frames per second. It mainly has the same colors in photography mode, but what we liked here is it is decent in overall quality. There's even EIS (for stabilization) that lessens shakiness.

In front, it is quite weird that the 8 MP camera only supports up to 640 x 480. Fortunately, like the main camera, the quality is decent and it isn't as shaky as expected even with the lack of stabilization.

Video Samples


Performance

Benchmark scores
Benchmark scores

Loaded with a 2.0 GHz 64 Bit Helio P10 octa core processor w/ Mali T860 graphics, the Aero Plus doesn't have the fastest processor around, but it is enough for casual use and gaming. Pair it with either 3 GB / 4 GB of RAM, multitasking performance is mostly snappy.
Handling multiple apps in the background is easy!
In our case, the unit we have is the higher-end mode with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of ROM. We got an Antutu score of 47K and 2.5K of multitasking score at Geekbench. Most of you won't have a problem using Facebook, Instagram, and other light apps.


For gaming, running the likes of Asphalt 8 on all high settings is playable with almost no frame drops on maps that doesn't have so much animations. For heavier games like the NBA 2K17, it is decent in performance on mostly medium and low settings.
The UI
The UI

On the software part, the phone boots with Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS w/ a close to stock type of skin. There are few tweaks found where Hyundai pre-installed the device with several uninstallable bloats. My personal favorite there is the Gentleman's app where it'll teach you how a "proper man" should dress and behave.

It is also loaded with smart gestures and actions for unlocking and shortcuts. The fingerprint scanner is accurate and very fast as well.

We also barely had problems with connectivity for calls, WiFi, and Bluetooth. LTE signal is okay, but it isn't as strong compared with other devices with higher category level. OTG is also fine and we like the fact that it has gyroscope for VR and AR.

Pros - Manly build / style, 4 GB of RAM is nice, LED notification is cool, main camera has manual mode, accurate fingerprint scanner, good microphone quality, OTG ready, gyroscope is present
Cons - Sunlight legibility isn't great, camera software is inconsistent, battery life could be better, wireless charging is nice to have but gimmicky

Verdict

The design looks great, the build quality is tough, and the overall performance is decent. We also liked the fact it has large 4 GB of RAM for multitasking and 64 GB of expandable storage for your files. Then if you know how to use the manual mode, the 21 MP main camera can also produce great results.

While it isn't the fastest device at this price point and the battery life isn't that great, the Hyundai Aero Plus did a fine job on its main purpose. This is a very manly looking smartphone with great style and decent performance.

Build / Design - 4.25
Display - 3.75
Audio - 4
Battery - 3.5
Camera - 4
Performance - 4
Average - 3.91
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