By Vivek Singh Chauhan
There have been quite a few smarphones launches in the sub-Rs 10,000 price category in the recent past, playing on one USP or the other.
When it comes to selfie-focused smartphones, Chinese players like Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi are already ruling their respective segments.
In this competitive selfie market, Infinix, which is an online smartphone brand from China-based Transsion Holdings, has launched the "HOT S3" device that sports a massive 20MP front camera.
The smartphone is available in two variants -- a 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage variant which costs Rs 8,999, and a 4GB RAM and 64GB on-board storage version priced at Rs 10,999.
Let us see what the device has to offer.
The HOT S3 has a 5.65 inch HD+ "Full View" display (18:9 aspect ratio) with a 2.5D curved display glass atop. The 18:9 format offers more viewing space and a better immersive experience while streaming videos and playing games.
It has a fingerprint sensor at the back, power and volume rocker on the right, dual-SIM card slot on the left (storage can be expanded up to 128GB) and a 3.5mm headphone jack on top.
The fingerprint sensor was impressive and unlocked the device quickly.
Infinix "Hot S3" now has the new "Face Unlock" feature which is another USP in the device. The feature worked fine.
The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor, coupled with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. It runs Android Oreo Operating System (OS) and its custom "Hummingbird XOS 3.0 UI" on top.
In the price segment, Smartron's t.phone and Redmi 4 use similar configurations.
While using the device, there was were no hiccups. The performance was at par with the competitors and the device did not lag even during multi-tasking.
The device sports a 4,000mAh battery and on a general usage that included light gaming, all-day 4G/Wi-fi connectivity, frequent camera usage and video consumption, the battery lasted for more than a day.
The highlight of the device is its 20MP selfie camera that comes with an f/2 aperture with LED flash and 13MP rear camera -- also with f/2 aperture -- PDAF and dual LED flash on the back.
The 13MP rear camera gave satisfactory results in daylight conditions.
The pictures captured from the selfie shooter were excellent. The images were sharp with the right balance of colour and detail even in low-light conditions.
The camera app has beauty, time-lapse and professional modes along with a few filters that can be applied while clicking pictures.
Once applied, the beauty feature softens the skin texture and removes spots from the face.
What does not work: The colour reproduction of the display was a put-off. Further updates might smoothen the "Face Unlock" feature as it was difficult to unlock the device in low-light conditions.
Conclusion: The Infinix HOT S3 is a good choice for those who love selfies as well as for those interested in basic photography. The device is a decent alternative to Xiaomi Redmi 4 (3GB RAM+32GB variant) and t.phone in the similar price range.
(Vivek Singh Chauhan can be contacted at email@example.com)