The Infinix HOT S3 has launched about a month ago. The device was first unveiled in January but never saw its way into the Kenyan market until recently. Infinix decided to launch it just a few days before the launch of the Infinix about which I will also be telling you about in my next review.
I have spent a few weeks with the Infinix HOT S3 which was sent to us by Infinix Mobile. I already did the unboxing article so in case you missed it you can check it out here. I have also covered the specs in previous articles I have done about the device so you can also check them below.
So a few weeks after spending my time with the device as my primary phone, did I like it? Compared to its predecessor the Infinix HOT 3, did Infinix do better this time round? Is the Infinix HOT S3 a device I would recommend to anyone? Well, the device is quite similar in some areas with the Infinix HOT S especially in terms of design. The HOT S3, however, comes with a bigger battery, better cameras and also quite a sleek body. The question that came up during the launch of this device is why Infinix decided to sell the HOT S3 as a Safaricom exclusive with a single sim considering its target market. Well, that’s a debate for another day. Here are my thoughts:
Design and Display
First, the Infinix HOT S3 comes with a 5.65 inch HD+ ‘’Full View’’ display with an 18.9 screen aspect ratio and a 2.5D curved display at the top. I like the 18.9 format because it offers you more viewing space and also a better immersive experience especially of you’re the kind of person who loves streaming videos or even playing games. As I mentioned in previous review articles I have done, the 18:9 screen aspect ratio is going to be big this year and I am glad that Infinix is part of that trend.
The HOT S3 display is also adequately bright and the viewing angles are pretty good as well.
The back and body of the Infinix HOT S3 is plastic but it will take long before you notice it. I like the rounded edges as well and the fact that the device is pretty light, probably due to the plastic body. The fingerprint sensor is at the back while the power and volume rocker are on the right. The dual-SIM card slot is on the left and the 3.5mm headphone jack is at the top.
- Read >> Infinix HOT 6 Pro review: Good pricing with an amazing battery life
- Read >> Unboxing the Android One Infinix Note 5
For camera lovers, the HOT S3 comes with a 20-megapixels Sony IMX376 selfie image sensor with dedicated dual-LED flash and f/2.0 aperture. This is actually one of the key highlights of this device. The rear camera, on the other hand, is 13-megapixels, and also with f/2 aperture — PDAF and dual LED flash. This is an improvement from its predecessor which came with 13 megapixels rear camera with dual LED flash and an 8 megapixels wide-angle camera with a soft LED flash at the front. Did I love these cameras?
Well, the two cameras are really good and take some quality images. The front camera takes some really good selfies with the dual LED flash, even in low light. It also layers the selfie with beautification to give you really good selfies. Should you want to add more people into the frame, the selfie camera also uses a wider 82-degree lens. Check sample selfies below:
For the rear camera, you might be disappointed. As mentioned earlier, it is 13-megapixels and uses f/2.0 aperture. The images produced cannot really be described as sharp. The images might look good but at some point appear off focus or either underexposed or overexposed.
I also need to mention that I had expected the dual front camera to feature the Bokeh effect, but oops! Infinix did not implement that. Bokeh is basically a feature that allows you to blur the areas of an image that is not in focus.
More images are available on our Instagram page.
Performance and other features
In terms of performance, I would give the HOT S3 a 7/10. The device can easily handle basic tasks like calling, social networking and also running multiple apps.
It runs on Android Oreo 8.0 out of the box. Infinix has also customized the operating system with a light skin, XOS 3.0 which brings a tweaked icon a launcher. It comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 combined with 3GB of RAM ensuring smooth operations. The device as we have told you before is actually the company’s first smartphone to come with a Snapdragon processor.
The HOT S3 comes with a 4,000 mAh battery capacity and topped up by quick charge technology. I will give Infinix a plus here because the battery could take me an entire day without having to worry about running out of juice. One thing with Infinix is that they never disappoint when it comes to the battery. The HOT S3 also comes with a number of battery optimization features thanks to the XOS.
Below is a breakdown of the specs:
- Screen Size : 5.65 Inches HD IPS Touchscreen
- Screen Resolution: 720 x 1440 pixels (~285 PPI)
- Processor Type: Octa-core 1.40 GHz, Snapdragon 430 chipset
- RAM: 3GB
- Internal Storage: 32GB
- External Storage: microSD, up to 128GB
- Back / Rear Camera: 13MP camera & LED Flash
- Front Camera: 20MP with LED flash
- OS: Android 8.0 Oreo with XOS v3.0
- SIM Type: Dual SIM (Nano)
- 4G LTE: YES, LTE
- Battery: 4000 mAh (non-removable)
Price and Verdict
The HOT S3 is available exclusive at Safaricom and its selling price is Ksh. 18.999. Well, is it overpriced? Some consumers will argue that yes, it is overpriced, considering the market is already flooded with so many other options. One of the reasons could be because of the single-SIM device.
Overall, the HOT S3 is a good budget phone and I would choose it over the Infinix 6 Pro anytime.
Have anything to add to this review? Drop us a comment in the comments section below.