Infinix just beat Tecno in the Snapdragon race, especially in Nigeria!
Before now, the company had launched a Snapdragon device — the Hot 3 LTE, but the Snapdragon variant wasn’t readily available in Nigieria. Now, in comes the S3:
The first Snapdragon device from Infinix for the Nigerian market.
INFINIX HOT S3 REVIEW
As far as the package design is concerned, this is similar to previous S- series devices
Accessories are also similar:
Albeit with a silicon case
And an extra screen protector.
The specs, though, that has seen a slight upgrade, especially with regards to processor and battery:
DESIGN AND DISPLAY
The specs aren’t the only thing that has witnessed a major upgrade! The S3 is the first phone from Infinix to sport a full view display. So, you are getting a near bezel-less display —it still comes with minimal bezel at the sizes and on the top and bottom.
The back is made of plastic, which is like a step down from the metallic build on the Hot S2, but at first glance, you might have a hard time believing it’s plastic and yeah the plastic back is prone to scratching, but using the boxed case should solve this problem.
The device is also a lightweight.
Now, there is a big chance you are going to be like this dude after reading this bit:
The S3 uses HD+ display, and just like the Camon CM, you are stuck at 720p when watching YouTube videos. While it may not be as crisp as I want it to be, the overall quality —color, contrast, viewing angles and brightness— is good, but I would’ve liked a little more vividness.
The taller aspect ratio also makes for a more immersive viewing experience.
Now, there are some apps that don’t support the 18:9 aspect ratio like FZ9, one of my favorite FPS games, these types of apps usually leave a black bar at the bottom, which can be quite distracting so I would have loved if there was a feature to force apps to go full screen.
Like you already noticed you get on-screen navigation buttons that can be hidden with just a tap of a button.
I like! (You’d find out why in another review).
Moving to the overall user experience, the S3 uses Android 8.0 out of the box, you also get Infinix UI, the XOS 3.0, the same as the Zero 5, and as far as that is concerned, nothing new.
You still have all your apps living on the home screen.
With an alphabetically arranged app drawer.
What is new though, is the inclusion of bloatware apps that can’t be uninstalled.
So you have the Eaglee app, which is like an app for the football lovers out there.Then there is the PHX browser, the Magic Movie, X Account, X club and X Theme.
Like I said, these can’t be uninstalled but you can disable it, though.
As far as other bloatware apps are concerned, you get the Carlcare, Messenger, XShare and the likes of Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram—all of which can be uninstalled to save storage. Speaking about that, you get the usual drill, which is, 32GB on paper, but the system has used about 27%, so you have about 23GB of available storage.
But that shouldn’t be a problem since you have a dedicated micro SD Card slot expandable up to 128GB
With regards to that, you also get the opportunity to use 2 nano-SIM cards, both of which support 4G LTE.
Still on the software experience, I was able to get a software update that integrated the Face ID feature!
Yes! The Hot S3 comes with Face ID!
Although this isn’t as secure or fast as the fingerprint sensor, it’s a cool feature to have all the same.
Plus, it has a feature that lets you use it at night.
I did notice that the Face ID didn’t work so well when the phone’s battery is below 15%.
Like I said, not a bad addition.
So, how does this thing sound?
I noticed that the audio from the mono speaker sounded tinny, not enough bass, especially when compared with other devices.
Now, moving to one of the major highlights of the S3, the processor! The shift from a MediaTek processor to a Snapdragon processor gives it a clear performance advantage.
… And just like the Nokia 6, the S3 uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, a lower mainstream SoC, but paired with 3GBs of RAM. Now, figures are one thing, but how it performs is the key thing and the S3 does a good job. It’s fairly adept at opening apps and appears to be much smoother for everyday operation. However, if you push it to a point, and by that I mean, running more than 10 games at the same time, the phone’s limitations are apparent. That said, the gaming performance is all okay and there is no stutter while playing graphics intensive games.
Overall the Snapdragon CPU might be low-end, but it’s a lot more reliable than MediaTek’s competing silicon, it also offers a reasonable amount of performance, and the best part is that it does that while saving battery life.
And about that one, the 4000mAh is:
On medium to light usage, the phone can eke out two days of usage and the heavy users could get 7 hours screen on time when using this device. I also like the fact that the phone manages to have that large battery while still retaining a standard size form factor.
Now during my time with the device, I noticed that the battery icon doesn’t change to red when the battery hits 15% or below:
As insane as the battery is, the charging rate of the S3 is slightly opposite, the phone comes with a 5V/2A charger in the box that is paired with a micro USB port which is so 2016ish.
So, charging with the provided box charger consistently took approximately 3 hours. But on the good side, the external temperature while charging and using this device wasn’t bad.
Moving to the camera, the S series is known to be a camera-centric device, especially the front camera, and the S3 is no different with the 20MP front camera, and yeah it comes with the bokeh effect which you might have a hard time finding.
To use the bokeh effect, you need to switch to the front camera, then head over to beauty mode, and you can click on the blur icon on the right.
The only problem with placing the bokeh effect under the beauty mode is the fact that your pictures may look “beautified,” but you can always reduce the intensity of the beauty filter. Quality wise, the front camera is where the phone shines, with detailed selfies in both bright and dim environments — it can look over exposed, though, but hopefully this can be fixed in the software update.
low-light shot with no front flas:
As for the back camera, well, it was able to capture pleasing images, especially when I compared it with other devices with similar specs:
The professional mode is still there and you get the option of utilizing the digital zoom on both the front and the back of the camera:
With just a tap of the button:
Surprisingly, you can record FHD videos using the rear and front cameras.
Other features like the fact that this supports virtually all the sensor you can think of, yes, it’s VR ready, and the fact that the fingerprint is incredibly fast:
Not forgetting features like the face ID, to name a few, all make the S3 a good phone, especially considering the price tag of N62,000
Yes, it isn’t without a few shortcoming, but the Infinix S3 manages to strike a nice balance between features and cost while going in on the current trend.
So, over to you, are the shortcomings deal breakers?
Let me know in the comment box. Don’t forget to share!