The recent run of ‘powerful specs at a low cost’ smartphones followed by lucrative deal and discounts during the recently concluded online festive sales by Chinese phonemakers, has overshadowed almost every major brand in the budget segment. US based InFocus’ latest phone Epic 1 is an attempt to get back a share of the limelight. Priced at Rs.12,999, and available exclusively on Amazon.in, the new phone poses serious challenge to the likes of Xiaomi Redmi 3s (Rs.9,999 onwards), LeEco Le 2 (Rs.11,999) and Lenovo’s Moto G4 Plus (Rs.12,499 onwards).
Design: Handy and premium design
The Epic 1’s full metal finish evokes premiumness and solidity. The slightly curved back design gives the phone a handy feel that phones with glossy back or flat back can never match. The metal chassis covering the side and back panel also features a finger print sensor and the InFocus brand name engraved vertically. The finger-print sensor isn’t the quickest in terms of response, but is very accurate. The smartphone weighs 160g and is 8.4mm thick which puts it in the same league as most rivals. The volume keys are placed higher up on the side panel and they are not clubbed together as most budget phones tend to do. The USB Type-C means faster data transfer and you don’t have to worry about the orientation of the USB port while plugging the phone in charge anymore.
Display: Big screen looks bright
The phone’s 5.5-inch display has a resolution of 1,920x1,020 pixels. It is a bright-looking display which looks good with HD movies and high end games. Legibility under bright light is good. The display offers some interesting customisation options such as the option to switch on Bluelight filter and minimise stress caused by bright light on the eyes. The Color Temperature mode allows user to switch between the more natural looking Cool mode and the slightly creamish but easy-on-the-eyes Warm mode. It is protected with a layer of scratch resistant Gorilla Glass 3.
Software: Plenty to play around with
The Epic 1 runs Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) with a custom UI on top. While it offers plenty of optimisations on similar lines as Zen UI or MiUi, it doesn’t have the visual sophistication that one gets in Asus or Xiaomi phones. Some of the features we liked includes the dual interface mode where you can switch between an interface with app drawer and one without it.
The option to change the position of the on-screen navigation keys is another handy feature. There are very few third party apps which mean less app clutter.
Performance: Fast and future proof
Thus is one of the first smartphones to run on MediaTek’s latest MT6797 deca-core processor. Combined with 3GB RAM, this processor can handle graphical and resource intensive tasks with ease. We didn’t notice any signs of sluggishness or heating issues during multi-tasking or playing HD games. The smartphone offers 32GB of internal storage and can take in 128GB a microSD card which is not a bad deal at this price. It’s a dual SIM device where both SIM slots support 4G networks and other related features like VoLTE calling. The phone has a 3,000MAh battery which can barely muster a single day’s backup on single charge.
Camera: Impresses in all conditions
The 16-megapixel snapper on the Epic 1 is perfect for night owls, and that isn’t something we can say for a lot of its rivals. While it handles colours and detailing in daytime shots very well, its ability to handle colours with the same accuracy in artificial indoor lighting is impressive. It struggles a bit with close-up shots though when it comes to getting the focus right. The phone offers a few interesting camera modes such as Picture in picture and multiple live filters.
InFocus Epic 1 poses serious competition to the likes of Moto G4 and Yu Yunicorn. Its good looks, software customisations and camera quality make it a better bet than the Moto G4. Comparison with the LeEco Le 2 is a bit tilted in the favour of the Chinese phone, though. The Le2 has a clear edge in terms of audio quality in headphones and freebies from Eros Now and Yupp TV.