Infinix Hot S3 Review

infinix s3 review

Budget smartphone manufacturers are getting more ambitious this year. Almost every manufacturer is releasing a device with a full-view display.

Infinix Mobility joins the race with the Infinix Hot S3 as its first device to feature the 18:9 Aspect ratio with a good attempt at going less bezel.

About Infinix Hot S3

The Infinix Hot S3 is powered by 1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor and it comes with 3GB of RAM with an internal storage of 32GB that can be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD card.

In the area of the camera,  the Hot S3 packs a 13-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 20-megapixel front camera for selfies with dual LED flash.

The Infinix Hot S3 runs Android 8.0 and is powered by a 4000mAh non-removable battery. It measures 152.30 x 72.80 x 8.40 (height x width x thickness) and weigh 150.00 grams.

The Infinix Hot S3 is a dual SIM (GSM and GSM) smartphone that accepts Nano-SIM and Nano-SIM. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, USB OTG, FM, 3G and 4G (with support for Band 40 used by some LTE networks in Ghana). Sensors on the phone include Compass Magnetometer, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor and Gyroscope.

And it has Face Unlock feature.

The device is in Ghana and is selling at GHS 780.  These are quite impressive specs for a budget device. Is the Infinix Hot S3 worthy its price? Let’s find out in the review.

Infinix Hot S3 Design

Polycarbonate plastic build with matte finishing, full view display, Rear Fingerprint, Face unlock and Light sensor, available in Sandstone Black and Brush Gold.

Outwardly, the Infinix Hot S3 looks stunning with the matte finishing of the plastic build and with curved edges that help grip it quite well. It fits just right into the hand and very ideal for one-hand usage.

You can easily mistake the Hot S3 as a premium flagship judging by the looks although it is slightly heavy for my liking.

We got the Sandstone Black unit for our review and we found that its matte finish picks up fingerprints quite easily. Infinix provides a case in the box which you can use to keep fingerprints off the back panel.

The phone sports a 5.65-inch display with the 18:9 aspect ratio which makes the phone tall and narrow. The corners of the display are hard to reach and you will need to stretch a little depending on the length of your fingers. Infinix has opted for on-screen navigation buttons which is common on most smartphones these days. On the front, Infinix has placed a metallic speaker grille, a 20-megapixel selfie camera, and a dual-LED flash slight above the display.

The 3.5mm audio jack-where you plug in the headset.
The 3.5mm audio jack-where you plug in the headset.

Along the top is the 3.5mm headphone jack (Some reviewers believe this should be at the bottom). The bottom houses the microUSB port for charging, a standard speaker to the right and a microphone to the left.

SIM card tray

On the sides, we have the sim-tray, which now pops in a microSD slot too on the left, and the power switch on and separated volume keys on the right. The power button has a metallic texture which makes it easy to distinguish from the others. The rear-mounted fingerprint scanner is placed a little higher, however, it is still easily accessible.

 The volume controller and power button
The volume controller and power button.

The back is almost completely clean, with a flush camera, rear fingerprint scanner and the Infinix logo.

infinix hot 3 design
Infinix Hot S3 back

Infinix Hot S3 comes with 13-megapixel at the back with dual LED flashlight. The fingerprint scanner that functions as the camera button to take pictures, receive calls, record calls and helps to secure the phone against unauthorised access.

The rear fingerprint scanner is positioned at the back to provide additional security for the device and can be enabled to take selfies conveniently. fingerprint scanners are my personal favourite on most devices. It is so convenient to use.

Infinix Hot S3 Display

5.65-inch HD+ panel, full view display

The Hot S3 comes with a 5.65-inch Full Vision display screen dishing out an 18:9 aspect ratio with 720 x 1440 pixels resolution and has NEG Glass for protection. It has good viewing angles, a vivid output, and is viewable under direct sunlight.

With 285 Pixels Per-square Inch, every moment spent watching Shatta Wale’s HD video was exciting.  The resolution may not be the best but for a phone of this price, it is perfectly okay, and you also get an option to stretch the content on the screen when watching videos on apps such as YouTube to fit the 18:9 display at 720p quality.

watching a YouTube video on full display on Infinix Hot S3
watching a YouTube HD video on full display on Infinix Hot S3

watching a YouTube video on full display on Infinix Hot S3

Infinix Hot S3 Camera

The Infinix Hot S3 has a 13-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, and a 20-megapixel fixed-focus selfie camera.

Photos with the 13MP rear Infinix Hot S3

The camera app is quite basic and has beauty, time-lapse, and professional modes to choose from apart from the usual photo, video and panorama modes. The professional mode gives you control over the ISO, white balance, exposure, shutter speed, and focus. Infinix also offers a few filters that you can apply before taking shots. There are quick toggles for HDR and the flash.

Selfies taken with Infinix Hot S3

Selfie with Infinix Hot S3
Selfie with Infinix Hot S3
Selfie with Infinix Hot S3 with Bokeh effect
Selfie with Infinix Hot S3 with Bokeh effect

 

Infinix Hot S3 Battery

The Hot S3 has a 4000mAh non-removable battery which helped the phone clock  ….. in our HD video loop test.

At minimal usage, the 4000 mAh’s battery was able to last for 2-days. However, if one should spend more time using the Hot S3 actively this should be charge night of the first day to sustain it for another days usage.

In order to extend the lifespan of your battery, try to keep it between 30% to 80%. Don’t overcharge it above 80% and don’t also allow it to run down below 30%. Thank us later.

Infinix Hot S3 Software

infinis hot s3 software

Infinix ships the Hot S3 with Android Oreo, which is a pleasant surprise, and its custom Hummingbird XOS 3.0 UI on top. The UI is functionally similar to stock Android but has a few pleasant visual enhancements. You can double-tap to wake the device or draw alphabets on the screen to quickly launch apps when the phone is in standby. The one-handed mode is also available to shrink the display so that it is comfortable to use with one hand. This can be quickly activated by swiping across the on-screen buttons, just like in Huawei’s EMUI interface.

There are also quite a few apps that come preinstalled on the phone. The entire suite of Google apps is present, along with Inifinix’s own apps called XClub, XShare and XTheme. XClub is a forum for Infinix; Xshare is a file sharing app, and XTheme lets you apply different themes. There’s also Phoenix Browser; Magic Movie, a social networking app for sharing videos made by Transsion Mobile; Cleaner which kills apps in the background to free up RAM; and a Freezer app which hibernates apps that you drag into it.

Infinix Hot S3 Performance

On the inside sits a  Snapdragon 430 chipset, which is an octa-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz. The Hot S3 sports a 3GB RAM which is enough to give you a lag-free multi-tasking experience especially in its first year, there 4GB RAM version of the device but that not available in Ghana as of this writing.

Once the phone was powered on. I was greeted with a battery level 63%. My initial experience with the phone honestly fluid.

The specs are pretty decent except for the increase in bloatware on the phone. This account for 65% of the internal memory stage as shown in the image provided.  Infinix should make it an option for users to choose whether to install or not.

The fingerprint scanner works quickly most of the time but the new Face ID did not impress me as it did not work under low-light conditions.

 Our Verdict

Overall, this is a good selfie smartphone for the price that comes with Android 8.0 (Oreo), but the company could have gone with FHD+ display although the display is the strongest aspect of the Infinix Hot S3. Camera performance is okay for the price and the battery should last you one day and a half. It may not be the best budget smartphone out there but obviously has hardware that gets the job done.

At GHS 780, the Infinix Hot S3 checks almost all boxes for a good budget smartphone, however, it will be interesting to see how it fares against TECNO X and Huawei Y7 Prime 2018 which is expected to be launch this weekend.

To summarize, here are the pros and cons of the smartphone.

Pros

+ Good battery life

+ Excellent display

+ Fast fingerprint scanner

+ Good selfie camera

Cons

+Plastic body with matte finish

+ FACE ID not smart

Is there a better alternative?

Yes, but that will cost more and has more processing power than the Infinix Hot S3. If you still prefer an Infinix phone, then, you can wait for the next Zero or Note series device.

How long will it last?

This entirely depends on how you handle it but the average lifespan of a phone is one and half years.

Who should buy this?

Is ideal for selfie lovers with a minimal budget.

Should you buy it?

Yes, good for the price of GHS 780 but it will be interesting to know how it will perform against TECNO’s X.

What are your thoughts on the device after reading this review? …

Kindly comment your views below and do follow Us on Twitter and Instagram @JBKlutseblog  for more.

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