The US-based smartphone brand InFocus is not very old in the Indian market and it had entered the market not more than two years back. Since its entry, it isn’t only the smartphones that the company has launched, but devices like TVs and projectors too have shown an appearance, though InFocus has focused quite well on the smartphone category and the latest entrant is the InFocus Epic 1.
The Epic 1 boasts a deca-core processor, a strong build and a lot more to boast about for the price of Rs. 12999. But, does that processor actually perform as much as advertised? Let’s check out in the review below, where we talk about the highlights of the device and the things that we were impressed with, and things that we didn’t like.
Design and Form Factor
A strong build quality and a great design – The InFocus Epic 1 has a metallic unibody design with the brushed metallic look and it isn’t a flat back but a curvy one that you’d usually see on the Motorola devices, having a thicker center and sloping down on the either sides. A little cue from the HTC designs, there are plastic plates on the top and bottom of the back, which probably are for the antennas. The front largely has the display that is covered by the Corning Gorilla Glass protection, and the circular earpiece on the top looks similar to that on the Nextbit Robin. On the left frame are the volume rocker buttons as well as the power button, and on the right is the SIM tray to hold the cards.
To keep up with the recent developments, InFocus has made sure to have the latest features, so you can see the IR blaster on the top and the USB Type-C port in the bottom. While the headset jack is placed next to the IR blaster, the speaker is located inside a single grille on the bottom of the device. Some of the screen space in the bottom is taken by the navigation buttons that don’t get a place outside the display area.
On the back, everything is in place. The camera part, secondary microphone, LED flash, the fingerprint sensor and the InFocus branding in a straight vertical line at the thickest area of the phone, which could one point of worry because the lens cover could be easily scratched whenever the phone is placed carelessly on any surface. The device weighs about 160 gm, and that is understandable with the metal back plate, and it doesn’t seem a lot holding it in one hand.
The 5.5-inch display on the front has a good color output and brightness levels to show up content even in bright conditions. Reaching every corner of the screen with the same hand is hard, because of this size. The sunlight legibility as well as the viewing angles are good and the phone has a Bluelight filter option to keep the display easy to view and not distracting to the eyes. There are levels of 10%, 30%, 50%, and 75% for the level of blue color to be taken off.
You can also change the color temperature, with the options of Cool, Warm, and Natural, while there are Standard and Dynamic screen modes to choose from.
OS and Interface
The InFocus Epic 1 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS with a custom interface that even though doesn’t have a lot of customized settings, it is enough to keep the user interested. The phone has a set of pre-installed apps, which include Kookong, Note, Backup tool, Facebook, Amazon Shopping, Opera Mini, Flipkart, Xplorer, and BeautyPlus Me apart from the set of Google Play apps that come in the Android package.
The device also has the following motion gestures.
- Turn over to reject call
- Volume quiet on pickup
- Direct call & answer
- Shake to next song
The Settings also has the options to choose the default app for several functions. One can choose the default launcher, messaging apps, browser, camera, audio, video, pictures, voice input and assist app.
Even though this is no where close to stock Android interface, InFocus has managed not to keep it confusing and deeply dug. The options are easy to reach and or someone who might be considering an Android phone for the first time, it is not going to take your time to get used to the interface.
Since you see the navigation buttons (Softkey panel) in the display itself, there are options to switch between the positions of Recent and Back buttons, or have either the black or white navigation panel background. Also, if reaching the notification panel in the top is hard using the same hand, there’s an option to have one in the softkey panel.
The InFocus Epic 1 has a 16-megapixel rear camera assisted by a Dual LED flash. The app launches quickly, and the capture speed is super quick. The app offers Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode that uses the two cameras (rear and front) together and you can switch between the front and back to have one large image and one in the inset.
Focusing is quick enough and you won’t have to wait or manually tap to focus as the focus sets in whenever the subject moves or you move the phone. While the capturing was fast, HDR mode too didn’t take long while enhancing the picture but even a minimal shake made the picture blurry in this mode. The pictures are appreciable in quality when taken in bright light, but the condition still stays that you don’t have to subject it to objects with bright background, as the exposure gets disturbed and off the line.
Check Camera Samples: Link
Talk of the low light conditions, the camera does struggle to focus quickly and there is a delay noticed, though if there is some light source on the subject, there is a difference. The capture quality is not so good in low light conditions. The phone supports 1080p video recording and even in this area, you cannot expect the phone to do any good, because the little shakes show up as proper disturbances in the final output, and the video exposure while moving around goes haywire, otherwise taking a video at a single place in proper light gives decent videos.
Performance and others
Impressive with the performance, no questions asked. The Helio X20 chipset present in the phone takes about anything from the basic multitasking to the heavy game play and rarely was there a stutter that we noticed while using the phone for a couple of weeks. Of course we cannot say how things should shape up as the storage starts getting filled and the usage gets higher, but for a smartphone in this price range, the performance is good.
A Deca-core processor. This is the first deca-core chipset in India, and the InFocus Epic 1 is powered by that, and to be fair, it isn’t only the numbers that are good here but the performance too is swift and good. The interface loads quick and so do the apps that don’t make the device stutter. Along with it, the 3GB RAM is quite helpful in multitasking.
A fingerprint scanner in this price range is now a common feature, and it does help in additional security, rather than having to enter a password or pattern to unlock the screen. The fingerprint sensor here is located on the back of the phone, just below the camera. It is quick in registering the fingerprint and then even in recognizing it the next time to unlock the screen even when the device is locked.
Turbo download – For larger files to be downloaded, there’s an option of taking advantage of both Wi-Fi and Data network together and get the download done faster. This feature is one native for Android but not many phones support it, but in case of the InFocus Epic 1, it does take advantage of the Turbo download feature.
Support for VoLTE connectivity – Voice-over-LTE is the need of the hour, thanks to the Jio 4G network that requires it for HD calls without any third party app to do so. Absence of VoLTE is would not be a big con but having it is an added advantage for those looking to use the Reliance Jio SIM and take advantage of it. The connectivity is good, and the Jio network reception had no hiccups anytime.
The 3000 mAh battery on the InFocus Epic 1 offers about 4 hours and 20 minutes of average screen-on time, and while using the 4G LTE connectivity, that gets a bit lower. There is support for quick charging and it works well only with the charger provided in the box, and it won’t do on any other charger, as we’ve tried using a Quick Charging supported adapter and it didn’t help in charging the battery faster.
The Epic 1 is an epic one, when it comes to performance. But the sweetness gets a bit lost due to the average cameras that are not able to do well with the picture quality, even though you are using one of the quick camera apps in the price range. InFocus has maintained the build quality so well and the interface is simple enough to not eat up the resources, but the hardship that the company faces here is that it isn’t the lone ranger in this price point, as smartphones like Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, LeEco Le 2, Moto G4 Plus are doing well already, and InFocus is a relatively lesser-known brand in the market.
So, where does the InFocus Epic 1 stand? It is a solid phone with solid performance, and there is nothing taking away from it if you are someone looking for a phone with good performance for regular gaming, and don’t mind compromising a little with the camera.