After two weeks of usage with the Infinix Hot S3X, we have our full review. Notably, the handset was unveiled early of August to the Uganda market following its major announcement on 13th, August 2018. It then became the successor of the Infinix Hot S3 that was launched last year. And being the newest handset in Infinix’s S-series, the Infinix Hot S3X had one of its major highlights – being the first in infinix mobiles to come with a display notch. The Notch has been seen on handsets like the iPhone X, Huawei’s P20 and P20 Pro, LG G7 ThinQ and LG G7+ ThinQ, Asus Zenfone 5Z, Nokia 6.1 Plus, to mention a few.

One its (Infinix Hot S3X) reveal, the handset looked much like Apple’s iPhone X. Because of the notch, display, and design.

Priced at UGX715,000, the handset is available in Blue, Black, and Gold variants. At PC Tech Magazine, we received a black unit from the company for our thoughts. The Infinix Hot S3X is so much upgraded from its predecessor, but then borrowed a few from the recently launched Infinix Note 5.

Design and Display
Like I mentioned before, the Infinix Hot S3X isn’t much different from the Infinix Note 5. On the other hand, it has a resemblance to Apple’s iPhone X. It fits in ones grip, and it is fairly light, smooth, and slick. The S3X comes with a Poly-carbonate plastic and glossy finish just like the Note 5, one of the biggest advantages of this, is that it doesn’t attract fingerprints too much, as well as scratches if held well. If one doesn’t use the rubber casing that comes with the handset, the phone can be kept in a good perfect condition of cleaning it to dust off fingerprints or dust or water. This is all thanks to the Poly-carbonate plastic finish. With its screen aspect ratio of 19:9, the company had to really trying cut of the sides to achieve the aspect. However, looking at the chin of the handset, the space left was too much. Infinix should have really reduced on that considering the fact that its key navigation buttons appear inside the display once powered on.

The smartphone features a 6.2-Inch notch display. The notch houses alongside the A.I 16MP front camera, phone speaker, and the LED-flash light. Biggest disappointment is that, the display doesn’t support full HD+ because of its 720 resolution. In our thoughts, we thought Infinix should at least given it a 1080p resolution. Quite a few people discard the notch as ungainly and unnatural, but others view it as a distinguishing design element.

The power and volume buttons, appeared on the right. The simcard and microSD card tray appeared on the left while the 3.5mm standard headphones socket appear on top, and a microUSB port, and a mono speaker appeared on the bottom.

The back is the glossy Poly-carbonate plastic cover with a non-removable 4,000mAh battery underneath the hood. Wrapping up the design, the magnetic fingerprint sensor is setup at the top bottom will the dual rear camera is placed at the side left in vertical setting.

Performance, Storage, and Battery Life
The performance was awesome even though the battery was drained so quickly on a multi usage, and over usage by the handset holder, letting one to charge more than 2 twice in a day. However, for an average user, the would go for a single charge the whole day, and 2 days on a single charge for a minimal user.

While playing games such as FIFA 18, Need for Speed, and Mortal Combat, the phone slowed a bit and begun heating up which prompted to close the game and give it a rest for a about 30 to 45 minutes. We also noticed some frames skipping while playing Mortal Combat, but all in all the performance was good. Its the 3GB RAM and the power of the 430 Qualcomm Snapdragon Octa-Core processor played a big role in its performance. However, 3GB RAM, almost half of it is taken up with the system including the XOS UI. So about a half of the RAM is left for the user performance.

The smartphone comes with an internal storage of 32GB but it is expandable with a microSD card of up to 128GB. So it would better if users saved their data on the SD card and let the ROM for installing apps to better optimize the performance of the phone.

Meaning that the performance wasn’t bad at all, the interface ran smoothly, even with various transition animations as well as on multi tasking. It’s only when it starts heating up, that you have to let it cool for about 45 minutes. We didn’t notice any lagging while switching between apps, or scrolling through heavy webpages.

With the 4,000mAh non-removable Li-lon battery to handle the whole performance of the phone, once drained out, the handset supports a 2A quick charge. This can be in position to give you at least half of battery power in about 45 minutes. To fully charge would take up to 2 hours.

Software
The Infinix Hot S3X comes with Android 8.1 Oreo mobile operating system with the company’s Hummingbird XOS skin version v3.3 lite laid on top. The downside is that it comes with pre-installed Infinix apps that are not necessary – and making it worse is  that they can’t be uninstalled. However, some might find the useful. Like the XClub app that is more of like a social network platform for Infinix users globally.

Front and Rear Cameras
Camera on a smartphone is a very big concern. Smartphone manufacturers do put a lot of time in developing new technologies for their cameras. Infinix”s sister company Tecno Mobiles is mastering in this part as the company puts a lot in making its cameras the best. Meanwhile Infinix is still picking up. Its front, and rear cameras gave quite good shots. The front was downgraded from 20MP to 16MP and the photos taken with it appearred sharp and detailed but also some came out over exposed, losing details in some shots. The dual rear camera comes with 13MP+2MP sensors, and the photos did appear some how sharp and crystal compared to its predecessor. However, some images appeared over saturated. Most of Infinix’s rear camera give over saturated photos which tend to kill the natural colors of the subject.

What we liked
  1. The increase in the aspect ratio.
  2. Dual camera.
  3. Notch display.
What we didn’t like
    1. The Infinix Hot S3X doesn’t come with a Pro Mode as an added feature to its camera. To some people who love photography, this will require them to download a third party app.
    2. The vertical rear camera setting. I am not a big fan of vertical settings, I would have preferred a horizontal setting for a high end device like this.
    3. Specs are not much different from its predecessor. Asides from the notch, aspect ratio, and dual rear camera, Infinix should have done more than that.
    4. The handset is HD+ resolution.