Packaging and accessories
In the package, along with the smartphone, we can find a rather typical set of accessories. There is a charger, flat USB-USB-C cable, some papers, needle for opening the SIM tray… and a cover for the phone made out of a transparent plastic. Some sources say that in the set we can find an adapter from USB-C to a 3.5mm minijack – but the one that I received along with C10 did not have this element.
Housing and display
In the AQUOS C10 model the Japanese manufacturer decided to use the FreeForm technology in order to achieve the thinnest bezel around the display – the 5.5-inch LCD display takes up 87.5% of the front panel’s surface. It is a pity that the aesthetics is distorted by a big notch, and the lower bezel is pretty solid as well. On the other hand the device is handy, rather compact and light – we can even use it with one hand. The front panel is covered in glass, around the device we have a metal frame with antennas’ bars, while the back is a plastic finished with a high polish (and susceptible to fingerprints and dirt). I will add that the smartphone does not look like a model that costs around 300 euro – its dimensions, lightness and plastic finish makes it look like C10 could have been a cheaper device.
The 5.5-inch IGZO display has a 2040x1080 pixels resolution. The pixel density is on the level of 420 ppi, and the display is relatively not stretched (for today’s standards) – its ratio is 17:9. This is an unusual format in the world of smartphones, that is why the device is slightly wider and shorter than modern phones. The display takes 87.5% of the front panel. Its brightness is high enough to be used in the full sunlight (though it is slightly difficult to use it due to reflexes), there are no reasons to complain about the sharpness, contrast and colour. It is worth adding that in settings we can change the display mode (standard or dynamic), and the colours temperature (cold, natural and warm). It is worth adding that upper corners are not arced, but cut down – the curvature is generated by the software.
Above the display – but basically in its vicinity – there is the front camera placed in a rather large and an unattractive notch, similar to Essential Phone or a few new models from Wiko. Slightly higher, basically on the edge of connecting the display and the housing, there is a cavity of the receiver – it gathers dirt easily. There is the notifications LED, placed into the bezel above the display, a bit closer to the right corner of the phone. Below the display we can see a large bezel, on which the manufacturer has placed its logo and an oblong fingerprint scanner. It works fast and precise, contrary to the second security measure, that is the facial recognition, which simply works slow. For some the presence of the scanner at the front can be an advantage, however due to the fact that it influences the thickness of the lower frame it would have been better if it had been placed on the lower panel. The front panel is covered by a layer of glass, but we do not know its brand – this is not Gorilla Glass 3, as in the D10 model. I will add that the smartphone can be easily used while wearing glasses with a polarizing filter. But only in the vertical orientation, in the horizontal one the display is too dark and we cannot see the displayed image.
The backs of the device are in the black colour. They are made out of a plastic and they have a shiny finish, which attracts all dirt and fingerprints. Besides this there is a dual camera on a module that stands out a bit, accompanied by the additional microphone and a dual-tone LED flash. Unfortunately, the border between the plastic backs and the metal frame is not smooth or unnoticeable – on the contrary, we can clearly see and feel the cavity, in which the dirt gathers. After putting in the plastic cover from the set the problem with keeping the housing clean and the standing out camera disappears.
On the top edge we will not find any sockets, connectors or switches. On the right side of the smartphone there are volume control and power/lock buttons. Buttons are easily noticeable, clickable and placed on such a height that it is easy to use them with a thumb, while holding the phone in our hand. On the lower edge the central place is occupied by the USB-C socket, surrounded by two rows of holes – the left one hides the microphone, and the right the phone’s external speaker. On the left side there is the tray for placing two SIM cards and a memory card.