Infinix Hot S3 Pro Review

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What we liked:
  • Respectable Performance
  • Excellent Display
  • Lots of features and shortcuts
  • Android Oreo out of the box
  • Fingerprint and Smudge resistant
What we didn’t like:
  • Average battery life
  • Sub-par set of cameras
  • Simple design

Infinix greeted 2018 with a new smartphone aimed at budget-conscious, selfie-loving consumers. The brand plan’s on invading the sub-10k price point is with a device that features a 20MP front camera, 18:9 display, and Android 8.0 Oreo. Can they do it? Let’s find out in our full review of the Infinix Hot S3 Pro.

Author’s Note: Infinix sent us a unit with a Snapdragon 435, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage. Apparently, this is the Infinix Hot S3 Pro and it won’t be sold locally. What we have instead, is the Infinix Hot S3 which has a Snapdragon 430, a lower 3GB of RAM and a smaller 32GB internal storage.

Before all that you can check out our unboxing and first impressions of the device below.

Design and Construction

The Infinix Hot S3 Pro is not a device that will “wow” any passerby with its looks and design. The phone has no noticeable unique design features, intricate linings, or even antenna bands. Instead, it goes for a more subtle and simplistic all around vibe. That simplicity though might be a turn off to some but for those who prefer the old-school smartphone looks, it feels right at home.

Up front, we’ll be greeted by the 5.65-inch HD+ 18:9 aspect ratio display, 20MP front camera, speakerphone, notification light, and LED flash. The bottom part is all bezel as the device uses on-screen navigation.

Left Side

Left Side

Right Side

Right Side

Moving on to the sides, the left houses the dual SIM card and dedicated microSD slot, while on the right we have the power/lock and volume buttons. It’s nice to see that you have the option of using two SIM cards without sacrificing storage expansion.

Up top, we have a 3.5mm audio port, which can no longer be taken for granted.

Down below is the microphone, microUSB port, and mono speaker. It would’ve been a lot nicer if it had a Type-C port instead.

Flipping it on it’s back reveals the unconventionally positioned 13MP rear camera and LED flash, the fingerprint scanner, and Infinix logo.

The phone itself is thin, light and feels solid. Although, the thick top and bottom bezels actually make it seem like it’s equipped with a 16:9 aspect ratio display rather than 18:9. Not to mention, it has a boxy screen instead of the usual circular design we’ve seen in most 18:9 devices. Once the screen lights up though, you’ll notice the taller aspect ratio.

We do have to give Infinix credit for making the back panel resistant to fingerprints and smudges. If it does attract any, it will take a microfiber cloth to properly wipe off. Your handkerchief or shirt won’t cut it. Thankfully, Infinix included a silicone case in the package to address this problem.

Display and Multimedia

One thing that really surprised us was the Infinix Hot S3 Pro’s display. This may be the most beautiful HD+ displays we’ve ever seen — the icons are crisp, vibrant, and colorful. Sharpness is also on point and color reproduction, accuracy, and viewing angles are excellent. This is only the case when compared to screens of the same resolution. Once you put the Hot S3 Pro side by side with a device that has a 1080p screen you will immediately notice the difference in quality. Nevertheless, upon firing up the device, we were impressed by how clear and crisp the display was.

Audio quality is good, as we have above average mids and highs but, as expected, non-existent lows. Volume can go pretty high without that much of a loss in clarity, though audio cracks are present at times. Either way, audio is good enough for general listening and gaming.

Camera

The Infinix Hot S3 Pro is equipped with two single-camera setups — a 13MP rear and a 20MP front. Quite an odd setup nowadays, especially when we’re already accustomed to dual camera setups, even at this price point. As for features, the rear has Auto, HDR, Panorama, Night, Time Lapse, Professional, Beauty, Aspect ratio adjustment, and a set of filters. The front, on the other hand, has Auto, Beauty, Time Lapse, Wide Selfie, Aspect ratio adjustment, and a set of filters.

Image quality for the rear is just average, as sharpness and accuracy aren’t up to par. Not to mention, even at brightly lit conditions, shots tend to be a little washed out. Macro shots though are nice and crisp, details are good and color reproduction and accuracy is on point. The rear may not be that impressive but it’s enough for quick shots and everyday normal use.

Infinix-Hot-S3-auto
Infinix-Hot-S3-auto_2
Infinix-Hot-S3-auto_3
Infinix-Hot-S3-auto_4
Infinix-Hot-S3-chocolate-hills
Infinix-Hot-S3-chocolate-hills_2
Infinix-Hot-S3-tarsier

auto

MacroMacro

macro

Now moving on to the supposed star of the show, the 20MP front camera. Despite the high resolution, image quality is actually not as exceptional as you would expect. Selfies taken in well-lit conditions are good at best but with noticeable noise and grain. Not to mention, subjects tend to get a little too overexposed and some facial details are a bit off. Nonetheless, it can still produce usable selfies, and beautification is a simple 9 level toggle.

Infinix Hot S3 beauty selfie

selfie

selfie

Beauty level 9/beatuy max real

Beauty level 5

Beauty level 0/ No beauty

As for video recording, it maxes out at 1080p, 30fps in MP4 format. Quality is average although autofocus is a bit jittery. Check out the sample video below.

OS, UI, Apps, and Storage

Handling the software department for the Infinix Hot S3 Pro is the company’s very own XOS 3.0 on top of Android Oreo. We do appreciate that the device comes equipped with Android’s latest iteration out of the box. As for the UI, we get our standard home screen affair where apps are accessed just by swiping left or right. If you’re not a fan of that then you can easily download your preferred launcher from the Play Store. The UI itself is clean, easy to use, and has a bit of a circular feel and design. Notifications and shortcuts are easily accessible by swiping downwards.

The phone has quite a few pre-installed apps and bloatware such as PHX Browser, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, a few homebrew (X apps), Carlcare, and Magic Movie. Thankfully, most of these can be uninstalled, even a few of the homebrew ones. Combine this with Google’s own set of apps and the OS and we’re left with 53.93GB out of the initial 64GB (Again, do take note that the retail variant we have is only equipped with 32GB of storage).

We have plenty of additional features to tinker with, which is actually quite nice. The device has One-hand operation, Screen recording, Scrollshot, Night light, a set of different gestures and shortcuts like double tap to wake, and a Freezer app (Freezes apps to prevent automatic startups or continuous background operation).

Performance and Benchmarks

Powering the Infinix Hot S3 Pro is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 octa-core processor paired an Adreno 505 GPU and 4GB of RAM. Mundane tasks like general browsing, texting, and phone navigation pose no problems. Heavier tasks, however, like gaming can be quite the challenge. Multitasking is a breeze thanks to the 4GB of RAM. Check out the benchmark scores below

  • AnTuTu Benchmark — 59,721
  • Geekbench 4 — 675 (Single), 2555 (Multi)
  • PCMark — 3552 (Work 2.0)
  • Androbench– 284.62 MB/s (Sequential Read), 212.16 MB/s (Sequential Write)
  • 3DMark — 596 (Slingshot), 307/297 (Sling Shot Extreme OpenGL/Vulkan)

Speaking of gaming, the device can handle light to moderate games quite well. Titles such as Candy Crush, Zombie Tsunami, Mobile Legends, and Rules of Survival run smoothly with minimal lag. Heavier games, however, like Tekken, Asphalt 8: Airborne, and Iron Blade: Monster Hunter RPG suffer from a few frame drops and stutters unless graphical settings are lowered.

Heat is also one thing to watch out for as the device warms up quickly. In just a few minutes of gameplay, we immediately felt the entire top part of the device heat up. It’s not dangerous, but in prolonged sessions, it will make your hands sweat.

Call Quality, Connectivity, and Battery Life

The Infinix Hot S3 Pro has basic connectivity covered, as we have Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, and OTG. Mobile data is even at 4G LTE Cat4, thanks to the Snapdragon 435 chipset. Signal reception is good as long as you are in supported areas, and calls are crisp and clear. GPS works like a charm and is quite accurate.

Battery life is only average despite the large capacity. In light to moderate tasks, the device lasts about a day or two on a single charge while heavier usage brings it down to half of that. During our standard video loop test (Playing a 1080p video on loop at airplane mode with 50% brightness and volume with earphones plugged in) the device only lasted for 11 hours and 6 minutes. Sadly, PC Mark battery test crashes midway through the benchmark.

Conclusion

The Infinix Hot S3 Pro is an interesting device indeed. Underneath that unappealing and unassuming design is a device with respectable performance, beautiful display, and plenty of customizations. Although it did not live up to its promise of a budget-friendly selfie smartphone with long battery life due to its sub-par front camera and battery. Sadly, even with its strong suits, the device doesn’t really bring anything special to the table to be a strong contender at this price point.

The only reason you may consider the Hot S3 Pro, or even the Hot S3 since it is almost the same device except for the lower RAM and storage, is for the beautiful HD+ display and nothing else.

Infinix Hot S3 Pro specs:

5.65-inch HD+ 720 x 1440 IPS 18:9 display
Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 1.4GHz octa-core processor
Adreno 505 GPU
4GB RAM
64GB 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

Infinix Hot S3 specs: (Variant sold locally)

5.65-inch HD+ 720 x 1440 IPS 18:9 display
Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 1.4GHz octa-core processor
Adreno 505 GPU
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
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

(yugatech.com, https://goo.gl/XJJ4KE)

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