Infinix Hot S3 Review: a decent and affordable midranger
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Infinix Hot S3 Review: a decent and affordable midranger

Introduction

In case you still don’t know, Infinix is a smartphone brand that has been around for a while in PH. Their presence is online. The Hot S3 has been announced to be available in PH market in February. The Hot S3 that we obtained as a review unit is the Indian version (4GB/64GB). The PH market will get the 3GB/32GB variant.

There was an initial promotion held on February 28, 2018. It was sold exclusively on Shopee and sold only for P5,999 instead of its announced SRP of P7,999.

The promotion was a great success selling 500 units within 39 minutes.

Infinix Hot S3 specs

5.65-inch HD+ 720 x 1440 IPS 18:9 display
Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 1.4GHz octa-core processor
Adreno 505
3GB RAM
32GB storage
microSD up to 128GB (dedicated slot)
13MP rear camera w/ LED flash
20MP front camera w/ LED flash
Dual-SIM (nano)
4G LTE Cat4
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.2
GPS, A-GPS
USB OTG
4,000mAh battery
XOS 3 (Android 8.0 Oreo)
153 x 72.85 x 8.4 mm
150 g

Unboxing video: Infinix Hot S3

Build Quality

The Hot S3 is a well-built device. It has a unibody design with rounded corners. The gold/white look even better when held in the hands. Most of all it does not slip off your hands easily.

At the back, you’ll find the single shooter with dual LED flash on the upper left of the phone. The round fingerprint scanner is correctly positioned at the back as well.

You’ll find the one-piece volume control and the textured power button on the right. On the opposite side is the SIM tray, which in this case, has three slots – one for the microSD support and two (2) nano-SIM.

On top of the device is the 3.5mm audio jack while at the bottom is the micro USB port, speaker grille, and a noise-canceling mic.

Flip the device and you’ll be greeted with a simple font layout. Up top is the loudspeaker, a single LED flash, plus it has a LED notification. It blinks green when you have unattended messages and notifications. It blinks red when your battery reaches 15% charge.

The Infinix Hot S3 has also 2.5D glass on top of the display for added aesthetics. We’d like to mention too that there is no glass protection, either a Gorilla Glass or Dragontrail. It would have been better to at least minimize scratches.

Again, Infinix Hot S3 is a well-built smartphone. very neat design and it is nice to hold in the hands.

Software, UI & Apps

The Hot S3 ships with Android 8.0 Oreo with XOS 3.0 running the show. Here’s the UI looks like.

Form the home screen you can swipe up to reveal the apps which are displayed in most recently used and in alphabetical order.

Swipe down from the top of the screen and you’ll access the settings of the device.

You can also swipe to the right to reveal the apps you recently installed.

Unfortunately, the Hot S3 is housed to apps that you don’t need. And a few of them can’t be uninstalled. The Xtheme and the XClub are included in that.

You can forgive Infinix though because the Hot S3 has enough storage. The one that is shipping to PH has 32GB internal storage plus you have microSD slot for more.

Display & Media

This device now sports the 18:9 aspect ratio that is used to be a feature for high-end phones only. The Hot S3 has 5.65-inch HD+ IPS 1440 x 720 resolution with 285PPI.

The display is bright and clear. There have no viewing angle display issues.

Having an 18:9 aspect ratio adds more real estate to the device. It is most enjoyable when viewing photos.

But even having an “infinity display” (18:9 ratio), the Hot S3 still has a little black border. Bezels on the side are thin, but the ones on top and bottom are considerably big.

And for the record, the Hot S3 has 5-point multi-touch.

However . . .

We’ve found a couple of annoying issues with our review unit.

One, when mobile data is turned on, a notification pops up saying that you sign in to the network. It will always pop up every time you turn on your data.

Second, very recently, when we are about to conclude our review, another issue came up.

Another super annoying notification pops up without ceasing.

It says “Device is not certified by Google”.

We reached out to the Infinix Mobile group on Facebook. See it here. We got a private message from their staff justifying that our review unit may really encounter such issues because it is a demo unit or a commercial unit.

Performance & Benchmarks

The Hot S3 is armed with Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 1.4GHz octa-core processor, Adreno 505 plus 3GB RAM. For a price tag of only P7,999, the device’s performance is commendable. Lags are manageable even on multiple apps open.

 

Geekbench 1941
Antutu 59009

The contemporaries of this device, in terms of CPU, are the Nokia 5 and Huawei’s Y7 Prime. These opponents are priced way higher than the Infinix Hot S3.

Camera

The shooters of the Infinix Hot S3 include a 13MP rear camera with dual LED flash and 20MP front camera with LED flash as well.

Both cameras gave us an “average” result.

Aside from the auto mode, there is a beauty mode which does not create natural photos. There are other features like panorama, night mode, time lapse and a professional mode that only works on photos.

Here are few of the samples we took out of the 13MP rear camera.

Auto setting with good lighting.

Auto setting under a low light condition.

Broad daylight shot.

Indoor selfie shot using beauty option (level 4)

Overall the camera gave us good photos but not as outstanding.

Connectivity, Audio Quality & Battery life

Connectivity-wise, the Hot S3 packs with everything that you need. Good 4G/LTE connectivity experience. WiFi experience is superb, including Bluetooth.

In terms of audio playback, the Hot S3 delivers a balanced audio. Not so loud, not so low either.

Call quality is crisp and clear as well.

Battery life is one of the most outstanding features the Hot S3 have.

If you belong to the working class that leaves the house before 6AM and then consumes the time going to the office enjoying social media, the Hot S3 will not fail you. Expect that you still have more than 40% when it is time to go home.

Here’s our battery test using PC Mark:

On real-life usage, I was able to extend the battery life to more than 2 days. This condition only includes at least 2 hours of mobile data and the rest are on WiFi connection.

Verdict

I enjoyed using the review unit we had from Infinix Philippines. I also like the white/gold version. At the price of only P7,999, it is a no-brainer.

The only thing that we haven’t tried yet is the customer service of the brand. Considering that they don’t have physical stores.

Pros

  • Good build
  • Affordable price tag
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • No fast charging
  • Software issues

  • Build Quality4.0
  • Camera3.0
  • Battery life5.0
  • Performance3.5
  • Price5.0
4.1Overall Score

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