The Sub 10k market for smartphones is bustling more and more due to new launches. Xiaomi is known to be the king of this market and it seems like different manufacturers wants to disrupt that position. Infinix with its Hot S3 entered in the market to do the same. Infinix is a Chinese smartphone brand owned by Transsion Holdings. The smartphone looks good on paper with it’s 20MP selfie camera, aggressive pricing and big battery. But will it be able to compete against Xiaomi? Did it has what it takes? Let’s find out.
Design & Display
In the year 2018, every other smartphone offers a big display, not by increasing the size of the device but by minimizing bezels. With the Hot S3, Infinix is doing just that and reducing the bezels so the smartphone looks really modern and on point with the trend of this year. Apart from those thinner bezels, the overall design is pretty simple. The device has curved edges that offers a great grip. We got a black review unit, and we found that its matte finish picks up fingerprints quite easily. Infinix provides a silicon case in the box which you can use to keep fingerprints off the back along with the protection.
The smartphone sports a 5.65-inch IPS LCD display with a Full HD+ resolution of 1440 x 1080 pixels. The screen has 18:9 aspect ratio and makes the phone tall and narrow. Infinix has opted for on-screen navigation buttons which is quite common these days. Above the display, Infinix has placed a metallic speaker grille, a selfie camera, and a dual-LED flash. The loudspeaker, Micro-USB port, and primary microphone are at the bottom, while the 3.5mm headphone jack is at the top.
The power button and volume rockers are on the right while the SIM tray is on the left of the device. The power button has a metallic texture which adds a nice feel. The rear-mounted fingerprint scanner is placed a little higher but you’ll get used to of it.
The Hot S3’s display is adequately bright with adaptive brightness turned on and can get even brighter if you crank up the brightness to maximum level. The viewing angles are pretty good with no visible signs of image distortion, however, the contrast seems lacking to us.
Specifications and Software
The Infinix hot S3 is powered by the Snapdragon 430 SoC, which is an octa-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz. There are two variants of this smartphone, one comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, and the other has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. We had the lower RAM variant for review, and had over 22GB of free space available. Storage is expandable via a microSD card of up to 128GB in the dedicated slot.
The device has a 4000 mAh non-removable battery and the box includes a 10W charger. It does have support for Bluetooth 4.2, USB-OTG, GPS, and Wi-Fi. This is a-dual SIM device and has two Nano-SIM slots with support for 4G and VoLTE along with a microSD card slot.
The Hot S3 ships with Android Oreo out of the box along with its custom Hummingbird XOS 3.0 UI on top. The UI is pretty much similar to stock android with some configurations. The device also offers gestures like, you can double-tap to wake the device or draw alphabets on screen to quickly launch apps when the phone is in standby. The device also offers one-handed mode to shrink the display so that it is comfortable to use with one hand.
Performance and Battery Life
The Hot S3 offers good performance thanks to the Snapdragon 430 SoC. With 3GB RAM it manages to multitask quite well. Usage is smooth, and we did not observe any type of lag. The fingerprint scanner works well but sometimes it takes about a second to unlock the phone. After 2 updates, the device received face unlock and it also works well, but only in good lighting conditions. The display panel is good too and we have to say that the Hot S3 offers one of the best displays in its price range. The display is crisp and you’ll definitely love to play games and watching videos on this device.
Talking about benchmarks, the Infinix Hot S3 scores 59,249 in AnTuTu, and 665 and 2,573 respectively in the single-core and multi-core tests in Geekbench. GFXBench gave us 26fps.
Loading big apps and games take a little time but we can neglect that at this price point. We played Mini Militia and Shadow Fight 3 to test how the phone performs. Mini Militia being a light game loaded in no time and runs quite easily. Shadow Fight 3, being heavier one takes slightly longer time to load however, we don’t saw any stutter during our gameplay.
The Hot S3 has a humongous 4000mAh non-removable battery which lit the screen of the phone till 13 hours in our HD video loop test. The phone can easily last one and a half day with normal usage.
The Infinix Hot S3 sports a 13MP rear camera with autofocus, and a 20MP selfie camera. The Hot S3 uses a 20-megapixel Sony IMX376 image sensor with dedicated dual-LED flash and f/2.0 aperture. The camera interface is basic and has various modes like beauty, time-lapse, pro mode, video and panorama mode. The pro or should i say professional mode gives you control over the ISO, white balance, exposure, shutter speed, and focus. The device has quick toggles for flash and HDR Mode
The photos managed to surprise us because they look good. It does takes good selfies and is really quick to focus on the subject. It does offer you a really crisp and beautified selfie. It’s worth mentioning here that the beautification seems natural. It does not do what most selfie-centric smartphones does. I’ll not disclose names here but there are some smartphones that beautify your selfie to an effect that the final result can come off from the real subject. The Hot S3 can also click bokeh selfies and in our test we found that the bokeh is decent but occasionally blurs out edges.
If you are that kind of a person who gives more prominence to the camera at the back, then you won’t be extremely impressed. In daylight, it takes good pictures, which is not a big deal for any smartphone camera now. However, the end result can sometimes look off focus or either underexposed or overexposed.
I have to say that the rear camera is quite mix of good and bad. Sometimes Hot S3 excels with its photos but sometimes you feel awkward. The focusing speed is normal too, probably infinix fixed it with the software update, because at the launch event i found it to be slow.
Video recording maxes out at 1080p for both the cameras (front and rear). Colour reproduction is good but there is no stabilisation (OIS & EIS) so you will need a steady hand while recording.
Photos taken in low light were also decent, and the smartphone managed to keep noise low.
I have to say that the Hot S3’s rear camera is not bad but is not as good as its front camera. It is primarily being let down by the camera software which Infinix should update to get better results and color profiles.
Should i buy one?
Well, if you takes a lot of selfies and want a budget oriented device, then this smartphone is for you. However, if you click a lot of pictures with the rear camera then this will disappoint you guys.
If battery is your prime priority then go for it. But if you play demanding games like PUBG or Asphalt 8, then it is not a sort of thing for you. Infinix priced Hot S3 at Rs. 8,999 for the 3/32GB variant and Rs. 10,999 for the 4/64GB variant. You can buy the same from Flipkart.
PC & CC- Drishty Singh & Rajat Rana.
Also Read – Inifnix Quiet 2 earphones Review