This was one of the important slides in the launch of Infinix Hot S3. The slide not only shows what people are clicking with the cameras of their smartphones but exhibits the general behavior of an average smartphone user. Following the behavior of the smartphone of an average smartphone user is not a difficult task.
An average smartphone user would be doing the following: send and receive messages on WhatsApp (what I do), post photos on Instagram (what I do), check the friends feed on Facebook (which I do), talk with other friends in Messenger (which I do). Yes, I’m an average smartphone user here, but there’s something I do not do that often: take selfies.
According to the data analysis, not only are there 6 out of 10 selfies photos, but smartphone users are not happy with the first result and often end up clicking on more selfies until they get one that is absolutely the best. These statistics are supported by the success of Oppo and Vivo in India, which sell smartphones specially modified to take good selfies. Infinix, one of the smartphone brands of the Chinese player Transmission Holdings, does not want to miss that great trend and is trying to reduce the offers of Oppo and Vivo with their budget prices.
The business model of smartphones in India has mainly focused on offering a distinctive attribute. This led to the launch of smartphones with high-resolution front cameras, devices with a large battery or something that adheres to the segment of the price-quality ratio. With Hot S3, Infinix is trying to offer a good front camera and a large battery without compromising general specifications. In my first impressions, I wrote that Infinix is a disadvantaged player in the space of smartphone selfies, but the real question is: can it compete? Having used the phone for a while, I think I found the answer in this review.
Design and visualization
By 2018, all other smartphones have to grow, not by packaging a large screen, but by trimming the frames around that screen. With the Hot S3, Infinix does exactly that and reduces the angles so that the smartphone looks modern and on the point with the trend this year. Infinix is not the first, we’ve already seen InFocus achieve that design language with its Vision 3 but not billing you in five digits. However, that phone had problems and Infinix seems to have overcome those problems.
In addition to those thinner angles, the overall design is quite simple. We’re still looking at a smartphone with a rectangular screen, front camera combined with an LED flash, microphone and some sensors that decorate the front. On the back is the rear camera module, the quad LED flash, the fingerprint sensor and the Infinix logo. There is a volume control on the right side while the textured feed button resides below it. Add texture to the power button is used while taking the phone out of your pocket and you know exactly what button to press.
The 3.5 mm audio connector is on the top while the microUSB charging port is on the bottom. The SIM card slot is on the left and supports two Nano SIM cards and a microSD card slot, which is a versatile option. The smartphone uses a one-piece metal housing, but its subsequent texture makes it feel plastic and less bulky than smartphones with similar prices. To put it simply, Infinix has created a practical smartphone and not necessarily one that wins praise for outstanding design.
The Infinix Hot S3 features a 5.65-inch IPS LCD screen with a Full HD + resolution of 1440 x 1080 pixels. The screen is compatible with the new higher aspect ratio 18: 9, as some of the most premium smartphones on the market and has led to more screen space than is possible in this format. The screen of the Hot S3 is bright enough with adaptive brightness on and can be further illuminated by raising the brightness to the maximum level. The viewing angles are pretty right, with no visible signs of image distortion, but there seems to be a lack of contrast, especially for my eyes that are used to an AMOLED panel.
For an initial price of $141, Infinix has managed to include a good quality screen in a package that will be practical for most smartphone users. The smartphone is about the size of a typical smartphone with a 6.3-inch 16.3-inch screen, which makes it compact and easy to transport.
Before reaching the performance and the software bit of the Infinix Hot S3, it is important to talk first about the camera. The Hot S3 is aimed directly at those people who click on many images (selfies to be specific) with their mobile phones. The Hot S3 has a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 20-megapixel front camera. First, let’s talk about that great front camera.
The Hot S3 uses a Sony IMX376 20 megapixel image sensor with dedicated dual LED flash and f / 2.0 aperture. As I wrote before, I am not addicted to selfies, but the front camera of this phone could end up convincing me to take selfies more often. The first and most important thing is that the front camera focuses quickly on the subject (most humans) and then places the image with elements of beautification to give it a sharp and embellished selfie. It should be noted that the embellishment seems natural and some of my friends quickly added that it is not as aggressive as that of its Chinese rivals.
Most smartphones focused on selfies tend to embellish an effect that the final result can be detached from the real subject. The embellishment features often try to brighten the face, cut the jawline and some other things, and I think Infinix Hot S3 does all that, but it does not ruin the final result. It also uses a wider lens of 82 degrees, in case you plan to attract more people to the frame.
If you’re looking for the best selfie smartphone under Rs 10,000, I think you’ll find the right one in Hot S3. There I said it, Infinix was in a search to make a good selfies camera within budget and has achieved without much commitment.
However, if you are that individual who gives more prominence to the camera on the back, then you will not be very impressed. The 13-megapixel rear camera also uses an aperture f / 2.0 and the images click with that which is not described as the sharpest. In broad daylight, take good photos, which is no longer a great feat for any smartphone camera. However, the result can sometimes seem out of focus or underexposed or overexposed.
For example, I was trying to click on the image of a red rose with little white flowers in the background; the infinix Hot S3 did not reproduce either of the two flowers correctly. The final result seems weak in the exhibition without an adequate definition of the subject, since the lighting conditions were quite competitive.
There are times when the infinix Hot S3 excels with your photos and that is when you feel that it is worth every penny you pay for the device. Its slow-focus system can probably be solved with a software update, while the color profile can be easily adjusted by switching to manual mode. In recent years, I have only learned one thing about the smartphone camera; It must be fast and reliable and I do not want to go through those DSLR controls to get the best result.
If I have to do that, I would prefer to do it on my DSLR, which will provide me with a larger image sensor and extensive ISO, diaphragm and shutter speed settings to get the best result. Readers should bear in mind that the rear camera of the Hot S3 is not bad, but it is very far from being as good as its front camera. The software of the camera lowers it mainly, what Infinix should update to obtain better results and profiles of color.
Performance and battery life
A design without a bezel and an 18: 9 screen is not hard to achieve, as evidenced by the InFocus Vision 3, which costs only $110. But that smartphone suffered problems like a slow camera and mediocre performance. The Infinix Hot S3 does not suffer from these problems and has a decent performance in its price thanks to the Snapdragon 430 SoC. Our review unit included 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, but I would recommend disbursing a little more and getting that variant of 4 GB of RAM instead.
The Infinix Hot S3 can easily handle basic tasks such as calls, social networks, clicking on images and running multiple applications. It can also handle demanding applications such as Asphalt 8: Airborne or Need For Speed: No limits, but you will see a slight drop in frame rates. Also, while playing NFS: No Limits, I noticed that the device was getting very hot, which is fine for an Android device powered by a processor based on a 28nm architecture.
In addition to the front camera, if the Hot S3 excels in one more thing, then it has to be the battery life. The Infinix Hot S3 can last two full days of extensive use. I loaded the phone for the last time on Friday and I still have some juice left with all those games, browsing, photography and streaming on the web at the time of writing this on Sunday. I will use this as my hotspot every time the home broadband begins to exhibit strange behavior.
The Infinix Hot S3 runs Android 8.0 Oreo out-of-the-box with the security patch for November. It is one of the low budget devices to run the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system and only that can be counted as one of its unique selling points. Infinix has customized the operating system with a lightweight mask called XOS 3.0, which comes with a modified icon and an initiator system.
With Hot S3, the smartphone has basic application screens, but it also has an application drawer. Honestly, I do not like it and I downloaded Nova launcher for a softer design. However, I like some things about this XOS Hummingbird interface: it includes an application called Freezer that allows users to freeze the memory of applications they do not use frequently and take control of them whenever they need it. It’s a great concept, but I would have loved to see it distributed through Play Store instead of building a separate version of Android.
In an interaction with Tech Updates, Anish Kapoor, CEO of Infinix India, made it clear that the infinix wants to continue investing in its custom ROM and will not switch to Android stock. Therefore, you will have to love the operating system and offer features such as dual accounts that are not even available in Android stock, a dedicated browser, default keyboard similar to Gboard and file sharing service similar to ShareIt. You also get Android Oreo features such as PiP mode, notification points and quick access to frequently used functions within applications, to name a few.
I just hope that Infinix will push new security patches for the device and try to launch newer versions of Android within 90 days of its release. If the company does that, then we look for a winner in this price segment.
There is a biometric sensor on the rear side that is easy to reach and unlocks the device almost instantaneously. There is a double LED flash on the front to capture selfies in low light conditions, which is a great additional feature, but the flash should have been programmed to slow down the synchronization to highlight the foreground first and then the background.
The Infinix Hot S3 is nice for voice calls, but the speaker placed on the bottom isn’t ideal. It is easy to cover the speaker and the general sound profile is somewhat flat. Also, the Hot S3 does not come with headphones, so you’ll have to spend more money to get a good set of audio accessories.
Infinix has added an option to activate the camera by pressing the button twice to lower the volume, which means it will not work when playing music in the background. Infinix could have configured the power button as a shortcut for the camera like everyone else.
Like i said at the beginning of this review, I am not someone who takes many selfies, but in the end, I thought I could become one of them very easily. I clicked on a lot of selfies with Hot S3 and I have the point of having a phone with an exceptional front camera. But I would like to thank you for not being at the expense of the performance or design of the old school.
The Infinix Hot S3 is modern and has a combination of processor and memory that is fully suitable for this price segment. Your rear camera is not great, but it’s not bad for the price you pay. Most people should also consider this for its huge battery that works so well with battery optimization techniques that it will last easily for two full days.
The company is launching a transparent box to protect the device in the box, and the phone will run the Android Oreo at least during the coming months. If you are searching for a smartphone with less than $190 with a great selfie camera, the latest version of Android and two days of battery life, look at the Hot S3 but I’m afraid we will have a better device on February 14 when Xiaomi premieres Your first telephone product of 2018.