As our everyday tasks shrink down to the ubiquitous smartphone, the need for the devices to last longer goes up. As a result of this extreme reliability on the personal, hand-held device, manufacturers are moving towards offering battery-centric smartphones. US-based InFocus recently launched its Turbo 5 smartphone with a massive 5,000mAh battery in India. But is it enough to be a big battery smartphone in an aggressive market like today? Read our review to find out. Also Read - InFocus launches phone with 'dualfie' capability in India
Design & Display
A general problem with budget smartphones (or even flagships these days) is design. That’s an aspect that seems to have taken a back seat. The InFocus Turbo 5 is a unibody smartphone which has a premium appearance due to its metal finish-plastic body. Thin antenna lines run on the top and bottom. There’s a dedicated rear fingerprint sensor which is quite reminiscent of the Xiaomi Redmi 4. Also Read - InFocus Vision 3 Pro launched in India, priced at Rs 10,999
Despite being a familiar design, the InFocus Turbo 5 comes across as a well-crafted smartphone. It’s easy to grip and light to hold. Also Read - InFocus Vision 3 Pro with face unlock feature expected to launch on April 18
The 2.5D curved glass layered above the 5.2-inch display enhances the device’s presence. While the sheer size of the display makes it a comfortable-to-use device, the prominent bezels snatch away the screen real estate. The display offers 1280X720 pixel resolution. During my use, I found that the auto-brightness feature takes a little while to adapt to the change in lighting conditions. While watching a video, I had to manually adjust brightness levels. However, under a controlled environment, the display offers a good viewing experience with natural color reproduction and sound touch response.
Among the key features of the smartphone, the fingerprint sensor also makes its presence felt. Located on the rear panel, it makes the InFocus Turbo 5 among the few ‘budget’ smartphones to offer biometric security. Registering my fingerprints as well as authenticating was a smooth process. InFocus promises ‘less than one second unlock’ and in most cases, it does hold true. During a few instances, it felt like I was in too much of a hurry, or simply didn’t place the finger ‘the right way.’
The device I reviewed was the base model with quad-core MediaTek MT6737 SoC clocked at 1.25GHz, paired with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. Now, for many who are constantly exposed to the ‘more RAM, more performance’ buzz phrase, this configuration might come across as too basic in comparison to the current standards. If you don’t subject your smartphone to intensive use cases, RAM isn’t such a concern. If you’re one of those who watch movies during your daily commute, or play casual a couple of casual games during your break, and mostly while away time with social media then 3GB or 4GB of RAM should be sufficient.
The InFocus Turbo 5 also comes with 3GB RAM and double the storage. For those looking at more built-in storage, then the InFocus Turbo 5 might turn out to be a deal breaker as storage expansion over 16GB/32GB is through a hybrid slot and only up to a further of 32GB. As for the base model, I did witness the device heating up particularly in the top of the rear panel. The heating was in patterns of crests and troughs, depending on whether I was watching a video, capturing images or while on a call.
Keeping the heating issue aside, the overall performance of the smartphone was okay. There were no glitches while carrying out the usual tasks, barring a few instances while placing and receiving calls. It appeared to be a problem with the microphone.
On one hand, InFocus appears to have compromised on nuanced features, but on the other hand, what stands as a compensation is the use of Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box. The latest Android distribution figures may indicate that Android Marshmallow continues to be the widely running OS version, but as newer versions come in, consumers are always on the lookout for the latest experience that ensures a steady performance of the device.
At a price of Rs 6,999, the InFocus Turbo 5 offers the newest OS. While a lot of manufacturers aim to choke Android by layering it with their own custom UI and resultant bloatware, InFocus Turbo 5 delivers stock Android which eases up the user experience.
The InFocus Turbo 5 packs a 13-megapixel rear camera which delivers decent results in well-lit conditions. There are a few modes, including HDR, you can choose from and these are tucked under the camera settings. As you can see in the camera samples below, some of the images captured in daylight appear rich in color. However, once zoomed in, the detailing is lost. I particularly like to capture evening skies and the InFocus Turbo 5 did reproduce some true-to-life color of the skies, albeit with lesser details. In addition to that, motion shots require great stability of the hands.
When it comes to the 5-megapixel front camera, the results were average. There is a screen flash, a FaceBeauty mode and HDR mode for selfies as well. In well-lit conditions, the selfies may turn out well, but that’s not the case for every kind of lighting. Similar to how the rear camera misses out on detailing, the front camera also disappoints on this aspect. The shortcoming is forgivable given the price of the smartphone.
Considering its price, the camera performance of the InFocus Turbo 5 is average. However, the Yu Yureka Black and the Coolpad Note 5 Lite offer a dedicated LED flash for the front camera and also boast a higher megapixel count for more detailed selfies.
The clear USP of the smartphone is its 5,000mAh battery. This significant offering made me overlook all other aspects of the phone. If you’re someone like me who spends hours each day commuting for work, a smartphone that lets you survive the ordeal is a must have. The battery performance of the InFocus Turbo 5 is truly commendable. The company promises that it can last up to 2 days.
During my use of the device, which I’d consider light to medium, the smartphone survived over a day and a half on a single charge. If you are a light user, then the battery can easily last up to the promised two days. For today’s ‘always connected’ generation, if a phone survives even the amount of time spent outside house, then it is nothing short of a miracle. The InFocus Turbo 5 ensures that you don’t need to carry charging cables or a separate power bank. Another perk of the big battery phone is that it supports reverse charging, which means you can use it as a powerbank for a second smartphone.
However, it is not supported by any fast charging technology, which basically means charging the mammoth 5,000mAh battery is a task. For the battery level to reach from 0 to 37 percent, it consumes one hour of charging. The battery might take longer to charge, but it does not drain out that rapidly.
If you’re looking for a smartphone that survives over a day, allows multitasking and has a decent appearance, then the InFocus Turbo 5 will turn out to be a good choice. In addition to a compelling price, the smartphone delivers what it promises as its key highlight. However, if you need better camera or performance then there are other smartphones such as the Xiaomi Redmi 4, which is a tested performer, or the Moto E4 Plus which offers a decent camera output. As for the InFocus Turbo 5, the company appears to be gradually getting the equation right by combining the latest Android with an indispensable feature to stay relevant in the market.