Infocus Vision 3 Price starts at Rs. 8,999. This phone is available in 16 GB, 32 GB storage variants.
by Awad Ballaith
InFocus has come out with a fairly inexpensive device with a far-reaching 'vision'. The company hasn't really tried to go after the premium, or even the mid-range segment of the market and has been focussed on offering smartphones around the Rs.10,000 price range. With the emerging trend of smartphones with bezel-less displays, the Foxconn backed company wants to one-up its competitors with providing such a device at a highly affordable price. With a price-tag of just Rs.6,999, a phone like this must have come with many sacrifices right? That is precisely what we are here to find out.
Design and Build Quality
Although the official website claims the device to have a 'Sleek Metallic Body', the InFocus Vision 3 seems to be encased in a plastic body. However, most of the phone's look and feel is quite decent as the body does feel quite sturdy. The 2.5D front glass curves and blends in with the curved unibody design of the phone. The device is pretty light and sits comfortably in one hand. InFocus is very proud of the 18:9 aspect ratio display on the Vision 3 which is surprisingly easy to manage in one-handed operations. The phone is a bit slippery though, so be mindful as it loves to slide all over the place. There have been quite a few times when I almost dropped the phone while removing it from my pocket, or just accidentally hit it across a wooden desk and watched it glide like a hockey puck on ice.
The top and bottom bezels on the phone are very slim of course, with the front 8MP camera and other sensors sitting under the top bezel. We get a micro USB port at the bottom of the phone, with a slightly textured power button at the right and textured volume rockers at the left. The hybrid dual sim-card/ micro SD card tray sits at the right of the device. On the top, we have a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The rear panel houses the primary 13MP + 5MP dual camera setup which is slightly raised from the rest of the back. The rear-mounted fingerprint sensor sits at the top centre of the phone, which again helps with the ergonomics of the device. The hybrid dual sim-card/ micro SD card tray sits at the right of the device.
Overall, I would say that the device has a great feel to it. Even though it has a plastic body, the device doesn't feel cheap or tacky. With that said, I am not confident about the protection used for the front glass as I was able to get a few tiny, and two deep scratches on the display without ever dropping the device. For those who would rather not tip-toe around the device, a case and/or screen protector is advised.
Coming to the most appealing aspect of the device, here we have a 5.7-inch HD+ Full Vision display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and 1440 x 720 pixels resolution. I suppose it would be too much to ask for a better resolution on a device that is priced as low as the Vision 3, but a FullHD+ panel would have been much better. Nevertheless, the attempt is commendable as the display is vibrant enough for a fun visual experience. Using the YouTube app for wide videos was delightful, while regular videos such as those with 16:9 aspect ratios could be zoomed in to fill up the entire screen.
The brightness of this display was admirable as well, which performed favourably in bright sunlight. The LCD panel could not reproduce very accurate colours, but the inclusion of a 'dynamic screen mode' provided vibrant outputs. For the price you pay for this phone, it is hard to complain about the display as the only real issue I had with it was its lower resolution.
For many people, cameras are usually a deciding factor when getting a smartphone. On paper, the Vision 3's camera looked promising with a dual 13+5 megapixels camera setup at the back, an 8-megapixel shooter at the front and a bunch of fancy effects and choices. The primary 13MP camera has aperture of f2.0 while the secondary 5 MP wide-angle lens has an aperture of f2.2. It is possible to take good photos from the cameras under the right lighting conditions. There is a 'Dualfi' mode that lets you take a single photo with both cameras at the same time.
Unfortunately, the camera performs very inconsistently. It was a hit-and-miss when it came to capturing accurate colours with the rear cameras of this device. There is significant softness in the edges of the image. There is a portrait mode which has a gimmicky implementation that ends up blaring out parts of the face as well. Images lack detail most of the time, and the low-light situations are even worse. The rear camera lets you switch from the regular 4:3 shooting ratio to a full 18:9 shot, but that will significantly reduce the resolution, and the loss of detail is impossible to miss.
Hardware and Performance
To power the InFocus Vision 3, we have a quad-core MediaTek MT6737H SoC (System on Chip) with 2GB RAM. This was where the first problem with the phone started. The weak processor did a decent job of powering most apps and games, but could not perform heavy tasks. Multitasking on the phone was a problem because the lower powered processor and lower RAM meant that background apps would constantly be killed to accommodate for what was currently running at the forefront. Trying to open YouTube and Asphalt 8 in multi-window mode crashed the device entirely.
For lower workloads, however, the device works well without any major issues. Social media apps and regular web browsing is not a challenge for the device as it will perform adequately. But then we are faced with the storage problems of this phone. Having just 16GB of onboard storage is a let-down. There is the option of using a microSD card and expanding the storage up to 128GB, but that comes at the cost of the second SIM card because of the hybrid SIM/microSD card approach InFocus has opted for. If you don't use two SIM cards, then this would not be an issue for you.
The touchscreen input lag was apparent when scrolling, and there was some keyboard inaccuracy from time to time. Fortunately, the fingerprint scanner performed very well. Even though it might not be the fastest out there, it did a decent job of recognising my fingerprint most of the time. Slightest presence of moisture would render it useless though, and I would have to resort to using a pin/pattern to unlock the device.
The speakers on the device were unexceptional as well. The rear-firing speaker of the Vision 3 makes even less sense when compared to bottom firing ones. The speaker was very loud though and compensated for its annoying orientation. The headphone jack on top performs as expected so at-least that was a plus. The front speaker was good enough for calls.
Software and UI
I was surprised at how many features InFocus was able to cram into the custom OS of the Vision 3. The phone runs Android 7.0 Nougat-based 'Smile UX' ROM. The custom software does not mess around with stock Android too much, but simply builds upon it with added customisations and interface options. There is not a lot of bloatware either as the only addition apps it had out of the box were the Amazon's shopping and Prime app, and the UC browser and News app.
The Smile UX has a bunch of nifty tweaks to play around with. There is an included 'Theme' app which basically lets you change the icons style and wallpapers. There is the option for screen record straight from the quick launch icon in the notification bar. 'AppTwins' lets you create two copies of a few different apps on the phone. There are a bunch of motion and gestures support along with defragmentation, background and auto-start app management, and the ability to create a private space for personal files that you may want to keep hidden on the device.
There was one amusing feature called the 'Suspension ball' which is essentially a clone of the 'Assistive Touch' feature found on iPhones. Although not as customisable as the latter, this (ahem) 'suspended ball' icon floats on top of the screen and offers all three navigation option along with the ability to take screenshots and lock the screen. Another feature is called 'Intelligent Acceleration'. To be honest, I have no idea what this one does; I'm assuming it clears the RAM from time to time. The device has 'Kika' keyboard set as default for some reason. I personally was not a fan of this keyboard as it was horrible at registering the correct keys pressed. There is the ability to disable it and use the stock keyboard which was much better.
One glaring issue that I discovered while using the InFocus Vision 3 was the inability to hear any audio when I made outbound calls. Whether it was regular calls or even an online call using WhatsApp, I found that I could not hear anything through both the regular and the loudspeaker. Speaking with the team at InFocus revealed that this was a software bug and that disabling 'Ok Google' on the Google app was the solution to this weird bug. I have no idea how exactly Google Assistant and outbound calls are connected, but the team over at InFocus is aware of it and have assured its customers that they are 'working on it'.
The InFocus Vision 3 packs a 4000mAh battery that performed exceptionally well in the time I used the phone. Charging the device from 0 to 100% took agonisingly long as it does not support any Quick Charge like features. But the device lasted well over a full day's worth of use. Its sort of a tradeoff as the processor is weak and the display isn't that demanding with its low resolution anyway. What you end up getting is roughly 5-6 hours of screen-on time with around 2-3 days of backup. The battery did drain more than expected when on idle, but it performed very well in daily use.
Coming in at just Rs.6,999, the InFocus Vision 3 is a good option for someone who merely wants to flaunt a bezel-less display. It offers excellent battery life and subjectively decent aesthetics. The software was reasonably clean with many customisation options. With that said, the performance was lacking and the 16GB of onboard storage was deeply concerning. Android 8.0 Oreo is expected to come out sometime this year, but we don't think a software update is enough to fix the major camera issues this phone has. If you really want an affordable device that has an 18:9 display, we would suggest you wait until the Redmi 5 launches in India as we are expecting it to arrive close to the same price range.
|Display||5.7 inches (14.48 cm)|
|Rear Camera||Dual (13MP + 5MP)|
|Launch Date||20 December 2017|
|Dimensions||5.9 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches (152 x 72 x 9mm)|
|No of Cores||4 (Quad Core)|
|CPU||1.3 GHz, Cortex A53|
|Graphics||ARM Mali T720|
|Operating System||Android v7.0 (Nougat)|
|Expandable||microSD, Upto 128GB (Hybrid Slot)|
|Display Type||IPS LCD|
|Screen Size||5.7 inches (14.48 cm)|
|Color Reproduction||16M Colors|
|Screen to body percentage||76.61 %|
|Pixel Density||282 pixels per inch (ppi)|
|Rear||Dual (13MP + 5MP)|
|Rear Camera Features||LED Flash, Digital Zoom, Auto Flash, Face detection, Touch to focus|
|Physical Aperture||Rear (f/2.0), Front (f/2.2)|
|Standby Time||Upto 582 Hours(2G)|
|Talk time||Upto 20 Hours(2G)|
|Wi-Fi||Yes with hotspot|
|SIM Configuration||Dual SIM, Nano-SIM (Hybrid Slot)|
|Network||4G VoLTE, 4G|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS|
|Voice Over LTE (VoLTE)||Yes|
|Fingerprint sensor||Yes, Rear- mounted|
|Other Sensors||Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor|