The Infinix Hot S3 smartphone recently launched in the Philippines February 21, 2018. It is the latest iteration in the S series, Infinix’s product line which targets selfie lovers. This means that the front camera is the primary camera with the better specs instead of the rear camera. This is more than just a selfie smartphone however. As the successor to the Hot S2, it comes with a better processor, larger screen, and other upgrades.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX
The Infinix Hot S3 comes with the following out of the box:
Infinix Hot S3
Warranty Card, Language, Getting Started inserts
SIM slot ejector pin
Flat micro-USB cable
The Hot S3 comes at 153 x 72.85 x 8.4 mm (6.02 x 2.87 x 0.33 in.) making it easy to hold and carry in your pocket. It has a 14.35cm / 5.65 in. IPS LCD screen with a 720×1440 resolution. What is noticable about the screen is its 18:9 aspect ratio which is a nice step up from the Hot S2’s 16:9 display.
The 20 megapixel dual-flash camera and microphone are located at the front.
The 13 megapixel dual-flash camera and fingerprint sensor are situated at the rear.
The 3-part SIM and microSD card slot can be accessed at the left side, while the volume rocker and power button are situated at the right.
Only the 3.5mm headphone jack is at the top. The speaker and micro-USB interface are at the bottom.
All in all, the unibody smartphone has all the common design features everyone expects.
What is eye-catching about the unit is its screen. Its 18:9 aspect ratio makes it look very modern, stylish, and therefore attractive. This sets it apart from other budget selfie phones in the market. However, it does have a downside. If you are a gamer, you might find that not a lot of your games will be rendered taking up the entire display’s real estate. Not to worry though since game developers will soon catch up to the latest trend like they always do.
SELFIE CAMERA + BOKEH EFFECT
The Infinix Hot S3 boasts of its low-light selfie camera. Not only that, it has the added feature of letting you apply the bokeh effect every Infinix fan has been asking for. The bokeh effect is a photography feature that highlights the main subject of a picture while blurring the background. The front camera achieves this effect quite well though there are times when it fails to blur some areas. In our tests, there was even a time when the background was the one highlighted and the subject was the one that was blurred. Then again these are exceptions and would no doubt be addressed by a future update.
Under the hood, the Hot S3 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 430 (SD430) processor. This is an octa-core processor that can reach clock speeds up to 1.4GHz. It also includes the Adreno 505 GPU engineered to cater to mid-range mobile phones and devices.
4000 mAh BATTERY
The battery has been upgraded as well. This is 1000mAh more compared to the Hot S2. The only thing that we wanted to see in this release is a quick charge feature to complement its hefty battery. However, the charger is not built for fast charging as evidenced by the absence of the Infinix X-Charge app not bundled with the package.
Android Oreo and XOS 3.0
Android 8.0 is the Hot S3’s operating system running with Infinix’s XOS 3.0 customizations.
INFINIX HOT S3 PERFORMANCE
Many have been waiting for Infinix to go with Snapdragon processors instead of Mediatek CPUs. Infinix did just that and so far, during our daily use of the unit, it hasn’t disappointed. We even compared its responsiveness against the Note 4 and the Zero 4 Plus and the Hot S3 was slightly faster. Granted the former phones are older and already have more apps installed, the SD430 fared undeniably better.
As for the battery, we found that it could last for more than a day, averaging at around 24 – 28 hours before it gets low enough (10-15% left) that it requires charging.
These were the daily activities it was subjected to:
0.5 to 1 hour taking photos
2 hours listening to music and podcasts
2 hours watching YouTube videos (no we did not actually watch most of the videos. We just left it running on autoplay for 2 hours.)
2 hours playing games
30 minutes texting and calling combined
Facebook and Messenger always on whether connected to WiFi or 4G.
This smartphone was never meant for gaming but with its 8-core CPU and mid-range GPU, we just had to find out the S3’s limits. We were able to play 5 hours of Mobile Legends, with 5-10 minute break intervals, before we called it a day. This consumed around 50-70% of the battery.
We also played Tekken and Need for Speed: No Limits for 1 hour each at maximum screen brightness. This greatly ate the battery reserves much quicker. In addition, the battery heated up quite a bit. We do not recommend this unit for heavy gamers.
Note that the gaming tests were done outside of the 3-day daily routine mentioned above.
The rear camera is not the most outstanding feature, but as can be seen below, it did well. While we have seen better, the 13MP back camera is good enough for most users who simply want to capture a photo they could share on social media. So we took the phone to the streets and took some pictures of pets.
In contrast, the front camera will satisfy “selfie-ers” who want a selfie phone that does not break the bank.
Here are a couple of sample videos:
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE INFINIX HOT S3 AND THE HOT S3 PRO
The Hot S3 comes in 2 variants: the regular Hot S3 with 3GB RAM and the Hot S3 Pro that comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. All other handset features remain the same. The unit we have been testing is the Hot S3 Pro edition. Aside from the RAM and storage, both phones are virtually identical. These being selfie phones, it is our opinion that the 1GB RAM difference should not affect camera performance. If 32GB storage is not enough for your media, you can insert a microSD card and expand your storage capacity. Both Hot S3 editions support 128GB microSD cards.
Before concluding, we asked someone to spend a few minutes to test the phone. Here is what he had to say:
The Infinix Hot S3 is an affordable mid-range selfie phone good for daily use. At this price range, the Hot S3 can be considered an all around phone provided you are aware of its strengths and limitations. Again, we remind our readers that it is designed primarily for taking selfies. While you can indeed play games, even high-graphics intensive games, we do not recommend it to help you prolong battery life. Our last word: the Infinix Hot S3 comes with great features selfie phones cannot give you at its price point.