Infinix Smart 3 Plus Review

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Introduction

Infinix is yet another smartphone maker which has recently joined the growing Indian budget smartphone race. The Hong Kong-based brand has recently introduced its most affordable triple-camera toting smartphone called Infinix Smart 3 Plus. For those who’re unaware, Infnix and Tecno both are backed by the same Transsion Holdings. With Smart 3 Plus, Infinix is trying to get a hold of the budget segment market. 

At a cheap price tag, Infinix Smart 3 Plus comes with attractive features such as triple-rear cameras, drop notch screen, 3500mAh battery capacity and the latest version of Android. On paper, the device has the ability to give a tough competition to its competitors. We’ve been using this device for about a week now and here is what we think of it. 

Price in India, Variants, Availability

Inifinix Smart 3 Plus comes in a single storage variant featuring 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Speaking of colours, the device is available in two options namely Mocha Brown and Sapphire Cyan. You can buy the smartphone exclusively via Flipkart for a price tag of INR 6,999. At the time of writing this review, there is no special discount or offer available on the device. 

Box Contents

Infinix Smart 3 Plus comes packed in a premium and minimal bright neon green box. After opening the lid, the first thing which you’ll come across is the device itself covered in a protective film. Underneath the device, you’ll find the rest of the accessories of the device. Although it doesn’t matter, It is worth noting that the representation of the in-box content could have been better. 

 

Moving on, there is a 6W wall charger, micro-USB cable and a SIM ejector tool. As expected, there are no earphones bundled with this device. For added protection, the brand has included a hard transparent case. The case a graffiti design on the back and for some reasons, don’t have the sides. This results in less overall protection and in our daily usage, we noticed that the device slips easily from the hand even though it has a cover on. 

 

Here is a quick overview of what you’ll be getting inside the box: 

  – Infinix Smart 3 Plus 

  – Wall charger 

  – Micro-USB cable 

  – Protective back case 

  – SIM ejector tool 

  – Manuals and documentation

Specs at a glance

Before we jump right into our comprehensive review, let’s have a look at the specs which this device brings to the table. 

  – Display: 6.21-inch IPS LCD, 720×1520 pixels, 271ppi

  – Processor: MediaTek Helio A22, 12nm 

  – RAM & ROM: 2GB and 32GB 

  – Rear cameras: 13MP+2MP+QVGA

  – Selfie camera: 8MP

  – Battery: 3500mAh battery, no fast charging support 

  – Software: Android Pie

  – Weight: 148g 

  – Dimensions: 157x76x7.8mm

 

With specifications cleared out of the way, let’s jump right into the first aspect of the Infinix Smart 3 Plus.

Design and Build

At first, the Smart 3 Plus looks premium to some extent largely due to the fact that it has a glossy finish at the back. As you hold the device, you can easily feel that it is an entry-level smartphone. The entire smartphone is made up of plastic with no metal whatsoever. Even though the edges are rounded to offer comfort, the device still slips right out of the hand very easily. Adding the bundled case is also not the solution to this problem. 

At the back, there is a vertically aligned triple camera module accompanied by an LED flash. Thankfully, the brand has included a rear fingerprint sensor which is something that various growing smartphone makers tend to ignore. Also, it is worth noting that the back of the device is a fingerprint magnet. 

 

Moving on to the buttons, you will find the volume rocker and power button on the right while the SIM card tray is located on the left. The power button has some kind of dotted texture on it which looks neat. At the bottom, there is a 3.5-mm audio jack, Micro-USB port for charging, speaker grille and a microphone. The device weighs around 148g and is 7.8mm thick. 

 

The front is dominated by a decent 6.21-inch display panel featuring dewdrop notch and relatively thick bezels on the side. Overall, the smartphone is compact enough and those who are used to smaller devices will definitely like it. No doubt, the device feels entry-level in the hand but it surely looks premium due to a glossy finish. 

Display

As mentioned earlier, Infinix Smart 3 Plus features a 6.21-inch IPS LCD display with a dewdrop notch housing the selfie camera. With HD+ resolution having 720×1520 pixels, the device offers good colour reproduction, accuracy and sharpness. The overall display experience is on the average side because of the low-res display with 271ppi pixel density. Thanks to the dewdrop notch, the brand is able to hit a screen-to-body-ratio of 80.7 per cent. A relatively thinner chin would have been a great addition in my opinion.

The brightness level of this device is pretty low meaning you’re going to face some tough time using it under the direct sunlight conditions. Apart from this, Infinix has added various display specific features in the software such as eye care mode, read mode and inadvertent mode to prevent accidental touches. If you don’t like the notch for some reason, you also get an option to hide it inside the software. 

 

In conclusion, the Infinix Smart 3 Plus display is not the best one out there in this price segment. But, it still manages to provide a decent user experience. Of course, consuming content is not going to be the joyful experience due to the low-res display. One thing which the brand could have focused more on is the brightness. At this price tag, the thick bezels and big chin is something which we can personally ignore but the sunlight legibility is a deal-breaker for many. 

Performance

Under the hood, Infinix Smart 3 Plus is powered by a MediaTek Helio A22 chipset coupled with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. For graphics, the device makes use of PowerVR GE8320. The Helio A22 is a popular entry-level chipset which we have already seen on devices like Tecno Camon i4, Honor 8S and Redmi 6A. The processor is manufactured on a 12nm fabrication process consisting of four cores namely Cortex-A53 clocked at 2.0GHz. 

 

When it comes to performance, there is nothing to write home about in this device. The Helio A22 is a decent processor which can handle low-level to moderate tasks with ease. Apps open up with the decent speed and remain in memory for a good amount of time. The device might be a perfect option for an average user who is not planning to do much on this device. In terms of games, we tried playing Pubg Mobile on this device at low settings. We noticed tons of stutter and lag with heavy frame drops every now and then. With that said, Infinix Smart 3 Plus is not a gaming smartphone definitely. 

 

The entire performance largely boils down to the processor which only has four cores. Thankfully, the brand decided to pair it with 2GB of RAM at least which results in a acceptable experience. In my opinion, Infinix Smart 3 Plus is a perfect smartphone for those who’re either switching from featured phones or planning to use it for basic day-to-day tasks. For internal storage, the device comes with 32GB of memory. If that’s not enough, you can expand the storage using the MicroSD card of up to 256GB simultaneously with two Nano-SIM cards. 

Software

Infinix Smart 3 Plus runs on the latest version of Android i.e. Android Pie based on the company’s own XOS 5.0. Honestly, I was not expecting much from this smartphone in the software department but the device manages to impress me with its nifty features. Before we talk about, let’s discuss the visual appearance of the software. 

 

The UI pretty much resembles with most of the smartphones out there today with drag down notification panel, swipe-up app drawer and various home screens to play around with. Oddly, there is no app drawer button and to access it, you just have to swipe up on the screen. The icon packs look pretty good although it could have been better in my opinion. In various scenarios, the icon packs look a bit dull or maybe that’s just me. 

 

The fewer memory and storage didn’t stop the brand from adding bloatware apps. The device comes pre-loaded with Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Flipkart, Car Care and Danger Dash. Apart from all these, there are few in-house apps like XTheme, XClub and XShare. When compared with the previous version of XOS, this one has some neat and small features that can actually be useful in various scenarios. 

 

For instance, the WhatsApp mode restricts background data of all the app except WhatsApp. This mode can be very helpful during the time when you’re low on mobile data and still want to receive important texts. The Smart Panel, on the other hand, gives you shortcuts of your popular apps and tools. It can be accessed by swiping on the horizontal bar from the right edge of the screen. Coming to the navigation, the brand has included three different options. You can choose between traditional navigation keys, gesture-navigation and pill navigation. 

 

There are a few features which are very annoying and you might want to disable it. For one, the Intelligent Broadcast which is designed to give you weather details, news headlines and various online content is painfully annoying. The app sends a ton of notification and in the end, I ended up disabling it. Overall, Infinix Smart 3 Plus has very decent software with a lot to offer at this price. It still needs various improvements. For a brand who is in the early stages, the software aspect seems to be on track. 

Cameras

In terms of optics, Infinix Smart 3 Plus is equipped with a triple camera module at the back consisting of 13MP primary sensor (f/1.8 aperture), a 2MP depth sensor and a low-light sensor. For selfies, the device comes with an 8MP front-facing shooter having f/2.0 aperture and AI scene enhancement. The camera app is very basic and comes with modes like AI HDR, Portrait mode, AR stickers, Video Cam, Bokeh and much more. Surprisingly, there is no Panorama and Pro mode on the phone. 

Talking about the rear camera, the clicked photos turn out to be very good having a good amount of details, natural colours and a good level of exposure. AI scene detection seems to work pretty well on this smartphone. On top of this, the phone is very quick when it comes to autofocus. Switching between modes is pretty easy and you will not find any tough time with it. The edge detection is on point in the portrait mode which is something I was not expecting at all. Overall, the clicked photos look natural and appealing to the eyes with no over-saturation or washed out colours. 

 

For low-light photography, the device has a dedicated low-light sensor which is something we haven’t seen in other devices at this price segment. The low light photography is not that impressive on this device and frankly, that’s the case with every other budget phone nowadays. The clicked photos have a low level of details, too much noise and a lot of fuzziness. 

 

In daylight conditions, the selfie taken from the front 8MP sensor turned out to be very well. The selfies have a good level of details, punchy colours and perfect saturation. In short, the selfies taken from this device are social media-friendly. I like the fact that the front camera didn’t over smoothen my face which is something many budget phone tends to do. On the other hand, the selfies which are taken indoors or in low-light conditions are not that great and generally has lots of grain and noises with a poor level of details. 

Battery Life

Infinix Smart 3 Plus is fueled by a decent 3,500mAh battery packed inside with no support of fast charging. Thanks to the low-res display and not so powerful processor, the device is able to run throughout the day on moderate usage. Our daily usage during the testing looked something like this – constant text messaging, few calls, long music playback, browsing, few sessions of gaming and content streaming. If your usage resembles us, then you will be able to get one-day battery life on a single charge. 

 

Speaking of charging, the device takes around two hours in order to charge completely from zero to 100%. Expecting fast charging at this price range would be a little unfair to the brand so we’re going to let that slide.

Audio, Biometrics, Connectivity

For audio, the Smart 3 Plus comes with a bottom-mounted single speaker which has a decent level of output. At full volume, the audio output tends to distort which is not good. The speaker could have been louder but it seems like the brand forgot to look at it. There is a 3.5-mm headphone jack present at the bottom which surprisingly delivers excellent output. 

 

There is a physical fingerprint sensor at the back which seems to work pretty well without a hitch. The sensor is pretty decent, reliable and accurate in almost all the scenarios. The phone also touts the AI face unlock which is just a gimmicky name of regular Face Unlock feature. It is painfully slow and doesn’t work most of the time. 

 

For connectivity, Infinix Smart 3 Plus has a single-band WiFI, Bluetooth 5.0 with A2DP and LE, GPS, FM Radio and a Micro-USB port for charging.

Pros & Cons

Pros: 

 – Attractive design 

 – Capable cameras for this price point 

 – All-day battery life 

Cons: 

 – Laggy performance 

 – Pre-installed bloatware 

 

Verdict

Infinix Smart 3 Plus manages to live a good impression on us because of its attractive design, capable cameras and XOS 5.0 software which brings nifty tools to the table. Surprisingly, Infinix managed to deliver more than the expected in terms of cameras. The aspect in which the device lays flat on the back is its performance. The 2GB of RAM and not so powerful Helio A22 results in unresponsive experience and next to no gaming performance. If you’re someone who's willing to cope up with the stutter and lag during even moderate usage, then you can add this device to your list. No doubt, the device is a perfect smartphone at this price range for a camera-centric person. Adding a little bit more to the budget, you can go for Redmi 7 or Realme C2 both of which offers exceptional value for money with much more polished software. In the end, it all comes down to your personal performance. If you’re tight on budget and the camera is your only concern, then you can consider this device. Otherwise, it’s worth spending more on some other popular devices out there.