When US-based InFocus entered the Indian smartphone market, it had the attention of consumers and investors alike because of the brand value it brings in with its projectors. In 2015, when it introduced its humbly-priced InFocus M2, it was seen as another attempt by a foreign manufacturer to hit the bull s eye with a low-priced smartphone. While the Rs 4,999-smartphone was able to get most of the features right, the kind of smartphones that followed from InFocus kitty were mostly a mixed bag of either features or looks but never a heady combination of both. After a number of hits and misses, InFocus has now introduced its all-new Epic 1 smartphone that is powered by a deca-core processor. With the little time I spent with the InFocus Epic 1, here are the first impressions of the Rs 12,999-priced device. Also Read - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 reportedly starts receiving MIUI 10.2 final software updateAlso Read - Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 MIUI 10 update rolling out; brings many changes
A lot of Android smartphones today look and feel the same, and that’s the case with the latest InFocus smartphone as well. However, with the InFocus Epic 1, the American company seems to have further improved on the looks department. With a very thin profile and a rear panel in metal-finish, the InFocus Epic 1 can be safely called as one of the good-looking smartphones coming from the company. Having said that, the design language of the InFocus Epic 1 will remind you of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 which also features a circular rear fingerprint scanner, rear camera module and flash, all symmetrically designed. The 360-degree fingerprint scanner on the device easily registered my fingerprint and given the intuitive placement, the unlocking process was smooth. InFocus does not keep its logo s position standard across its devices and on the Epic 1, the logo has been kept vertically positioned on the rear panel. Unlike its InFocus M680, the company has not experimented with the position of volume rocker and power button and has kept them on the right. The left side is reserved for the hybrid card slot that lets you either use two SIM cards or one SIM and one microSD card. Also Read - Xiaomi Mi 5, Redmi Note 3 software update support comes to an end
Given the thin profile and metallic finish, the smartphone is prone to slipping off the hands and for people with smaller hands or a history of using small-screen devices, it might take a while to get used to the smartphone. The display on the InFocus Epic 1 is at 5.5-inches offering full HD resolution with narrow bezels on the top and bottom. The bezels are a tad uneven on all sides making the display appear asymmetric. The lower end of the smartphone does not have Android controllers layered beneath. They are instead displayed on the screen, making it seem like an unnecessary deduction to what could have been a larger display. Interacting with the InFocus Epic 1 is a smooth ride with a responsive touch and good viewing angles. Given the full-high definition resolution of the display, the smartphone offers a rich user experience especially if you are watching a video.
Coming to finer details of the Epic 1, and the smartphone features a circular speaker on the front in between an LED indicator and the front camera. The unusual-looking speaker at the top is not to be confused with the loudspeaker, which still sits in the lower end next to the charging port. Following the latest trend in charging ports, InFocus has included a USB Type-C port in its InFocus Epic 1. ALSO READ: InFocus Epic 1 to launch in India on October 25, priced at Rs 12,999: Price, specifications, features
A lot of manufacturers are now moving from octa-core to deca-core processors and InFocus too has jumped the bandwagon with its Epic 1 that comes with a Media Tek Helio X20 deca-core processor that is coupled with 3GB of RAM. While we have used the device only for a short bit, we will reserve our verdict till we experience how well the new-age 10-core processor fairs during prolonged usage.
In the past, the Zoppo Speed 8 has been launched in India with the same chipset but coupled with 4GB of RAM. While that phone was priced at a premium of Rs 31,500, InFocus is offering the same configuration with slightly less RAM at less than half the price.
The InFocus Epic 1 comes with 32GB of internal storage. On one hand, Epic 1 is allowing expandable storage up to 128GB via microSD card, but on the other hand, the hybrid tray can either let you house a second SIM or get more memory. It has been a constant downer with a lot of smartphones which are being introduced these days. What manufacturers intend to do is pump in as many features as possible on paper, but in practical usage, only some truly make sense. ALSO READ: Meizu Pro 6s with MediaTek deca-core SoC, 4GB RAM leaked: Specifications, features
In terms of camera, the smartphone features a 16-megpaixel rear camera with PDAF, Auto Image Stabilization, Object Tracking, and is complemented with a rear flash. For selfies, it comes with an 8-megapixel front camera with f/1.8 aperture. As is the new trend of inserting front flash, the InFocus Epic 1 does not come with a front flash for selfies. The minimal testing of the camera indoors resulted in high-on-contrast images albeit slightly blurred of you zoom-in for details. The flash, however, bleaches out the images. The front camera delivers average results indoors. As there is no front flash or even screen flash, we doubt if the smartphone will be a decent choice for low-light indoor selfies. We will nonetheless reserve our full verdict on the camera quality till our extended usage and full review.
The Epic 1 comes with a 3,000mAh battery and the USB Type-C port is said to come with fast-charging capabilities. Whether it proves true to its words is something we will again have to hold our opinion about.
The smartphone is 4G VoLTE -enabled and also comes with the Reliance Jio Welcome Offer that is valid till December 2016. Running on Android Marshmallow, the Epic 1 comes with connectivity options such as OTG support, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and standard 3.5mm headphone jack. ALSO READ: Coolpad Note 5 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 vs LeEco Le 2 vs Lenovo Vibe K5 Note: Price, specifications and features compared
InFocus Epic 1 is priced at Rs 12,999 and will be competing with the host of Android smartphones in the same segment including the Coolpad Note 5, Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and LeEco Le 2. Although it holds a striking resemblance to the Redmi Note 3, the latter is one of the most selling smartphones in this category and has proved its mettle in terms of performance as well as features. At Rs 1,000 less, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 offers 4,050mAh battery but comes with a lower 5-megapixel front camera.
The Coolpad Note 5 is priced a little less at Rs 10,999 but is offering a selfie flash, so if you are into more of selfies and want a better deal, then the InFocus Epic 1 might seem like a downer. The Le 2, on the other hand, is also priced at Rs 11,999 but doesn t offer storage expansion. Also a USB Type-C based smartphone, the Le 2 comes with a 16-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture with PDAF and dual-tone LED flash. In the front is an 8-megapixel camera similar to the InFocus Epic 1, but the latter is offering users storage expansion which the Le 2 is not.
Based on the first impressions of the InFocus Epic 1, the smartphone holds a lot of promise in terms of looks and features but whether it proves to be a worthy contender in the affordable segment is yet to be seen. Stay tuned for our detailed review of the InFocus Epic 1.