Infinix, the online arm of Transsion Holding in India, recently launched Hot S3 – an affordable phone with big selfie sensor. The Hot S3 starts at an aggressive price of Rs. 8,999 and shall play its role as a more economical alternative to phones like Redmi Note 5 and Honor 9 Lite.
As you’d notice from its spec-sheet, the phone does have a few aces but how does the practical experience chalk out? We have been testing the phone for the last week trying to figure out if this is the phone we could recommend. Read on our Infinix Hot S3 review to know more.
Key specifications of Infinix Hot S3:
|Model||Infinix Hot S3|
|Display||5.65-inch HD+ full view display with 2.5D curved glass display|
|Processor||1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor|
|Camera||13 MP rear and 20MP front cameras|
|RAM||3GB / 4GB|
|Internal Memory||32GB / 64GB|
|Software||Android 8.0 Oreo-based XOS|
|Price||8,999 / 10,999 INR|
Design and Build
The Infinix Hot S3 Pro combines a plastic rear and a 2.5D Glass laden fascia. On the rear, the phone flaunts a full-metal finish. Even though the back is actually plastic, the design choice works better for us than the three-layer semi metal-unibody structure where metal back is flanked by plastic caps on top and bottom.
Overall, the Infinix Hot S3 is an elegant looking phone. The phone is also reasonably compact and comfortable to handle. Infinix also bundles a good quality protective in the box. The audio jack is present up top and the mono speaker and regular micro USB port are present at the bottom. The fingerprint sensor is mounted on the rear. The phone has a dedicated card slot as well.
The Hot S3 comes with an 18:9 IPS LCD display 5.65-inches in size. The display is shielded by dragon trail glass and has HD+ resolution. In comparison, phones like Redmi Note 5 and Honor 9 Lite offer better display quality, but the Hot S3 display shouldn’t be a deal breaker either.
Contrast is high and colors feel a little oversaturated. The software doesn’t have the option to manually adjust color hues, though. Outdoor visibility is good and auto brightness is supported.
Performance and Software
The Infinix Hot S3 is powered by Snapdragon 430 paired with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. There is a 4GN RAM variant as well but the base variant is the one that’s more relevant. The phone comes with a dedicated card slot that you can use to augment storage.
The Snapdragon 430 chipset isn’t particularly snappy but it’s reliable and consistent. We didn’t face any stutters or lag during our time with the phone. High-end games run surprisingly well too. Overall performance is pretty good.
The software used on the phone is Android Oreo-based XOS. With the latest Android flavor, you get to avail features like picture-in-picture mode, Notification channels, auto fill through apps, and more. The XOS is a heavily customized interface and adds several features of its own.
The interface has an app drawer and extensive gesture support. XOS doesn’t feel like a halfhearted effort. Clearly, a lot of work has gone into the interface and it shows. Having said that, the interface design and layout might not be in line with your individual taste. The Hot S3 also comes preloaded with several apps, some of which can be uninstalled.
The audio output quality is strictly average (the mono speaker is loud, though) and the fingerprint sensor is fairly responsive. We didn’t face any issue with call quality.
On the front, the Hot S3 has a 20MP IMX376 sensor (The same one as on Redmi Note 5 Pro and Vivo V5s) paired with f/2.0 aperture lens and dual LED flash. If you are looking for a selfie phone and are restricted by a tight budget, the Hot S3 should be a good option.
Selfie quality is pretty good outdoors and the beautification mode works subtly and effectively. Indoors, there is some shutter lag and you will have to keep your hands steady.
The rear 13MP camera left us wanting for more, though. The colors in the images clicked from the rear camera feel oversaturated and, more often than not, the pictures turned out overexposed. We did manage to click a few good shots, but the results were often inconsistent.
Battery, price, and verdict
The Hot S3 has a 4000mAh battery that easily lasts for more than a day. Fast charging isn’t supported though and it takes around 3 hours to completely charge the battery using the bundled charger.
The Hot S3 make a few compromises, but that’s something expected and acceptable at this price point. The base variant of Hot S3 costs Rs. 8,999.
The rear camera is average, the interface could use some refinement, and the audio quality isn’t anything to write home about. But for the price, you get a good selfie snapper, 18:9 display, long-lasting battery, and consistent performance.