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Infinix Smart 3 Plus review: Offers decent daylight camera performance, average battery life is a drawback

For Rs 6,999, Infinix Smart 3 Plus struggles hard to play the value for money card.

, ET Bureau|
Jun 24, 2019, 05.34 PM IST
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Agencies
Inifnix Smart 3 Plus - front copy
Being a budget phone, it comes with entry-level hardware.
Price: Rs 6,999
Rating: ***1/2

Specifications: 6.2-inch IPS LCD with drop notch (1520 x 720 pixels), MediaTek A22 quad core processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, dedicated microSD expansion slot, rear fingerprint scanner, triple rear camera, 8MP front camera, 3,500mAh battery, XOS 5.0 based on Android 9.0

Pros: Lightweight, stylish finish, large display, cheapest phone with triple rear camera, good quality front camera, fast fingerprint scanner

Cons: Glossy back prone to smudges, tends to get sluggish, screen brightness could be better, annoying shutter lag in camera, weak low light camera performance, preloaded bloatware

Infinix has been rather consistent in their efforts to being premium features to the sub-Rs 10k segment. The latest from them is the Infinix Smart 3 Plus and it’s the first phone at this price to come with a triple rear camera setup.

The triple camera consists of a 13MP primary sensor, a 2MP depth sensor and a low light sensor (the company has not provided any other details for this third sensor/camera). The camera is AI driven and has HDR support as well. While all this sounds incredible on paper at this price, the real-world performance was a mixed bag. Daylight photos looked great on phone with vibrant colours, but if you start pixel peeping, the details are not very well defined. Portrait mode has passable edge detection and the bokeh effect is good. Low light photography was a complete washout though – poor details and lots of noise. We could have looked over some of these issues considering the price but the camera also has a lot of shutter lag. The shutter lag of 1 second in daylight extends to about 3-4 seconds in lowlight. Half of the time, we got blurry photos because of the shutter lag. And you’ll face this issue on both front and rear cameras. Up front is an 8MP AI shooter which does a great job in daylight – rich colours, good details and even gives excellent portrait photos. However, in low-light, the front camera also fares the same as the rear camera.

INfinix 2
The Smart 3 Plus runs a custom UI called X OS 5.0, based on Android 9.0.


The design is the strong point on the phone. It is surprisingly lightweight and looks great with the glossy finish – almost looks like it’s a glass back. It is plastic though so it tends to pick up a lot of smudges and scratches. Even the sides have a glossy finish due which makes it slippery. Luckily they include a case in the box. There is a fingerprint scanner on the back which works well and you get a dedicated microSD slot plus dual SIM slots - always good to have. The Smart 3 Plus is also one of the few phones in this price to offer a large 6.2-inch display. It has an HD (720p) resolution as expected and you get a drop notch on top. Viewing angles are great and so are the colours. However, we did feel the brightness levels could have been better – it’s sometimes hard to see outdoors in sunlight.

Being a budget phone, it comes with entry-level hardware. You get a quad core MediaTek A22 processor with 2GB RAM and 32GB storage. After setting up the basic apps for social media, email and multimedia, we noticed that the phone becomes sluggish. At times, it would take 3 to 4 seconds to launch an app if there are too many apps in the background. If you keep clearing background tasks, you can get by for basic tasks. Gamers will be disappointed - don’t even think about gaming apart from the most basic games like Candy Crush. Battery life is as expected from a 3,500mAh unit – it lasts from 9 am to 6pm regularly so many users will need a top up charge by the evening. The box includes a 5 watt charger only.

The Smart 3 Plus runs a custom UI called X OS 5.0, based on Android 9.0. We liked the feature set on offer especially the custom icons and floating sidebar with easy access to tools and preferred apps. Heavy Whatsapp users will appreciate the dedicated WhatsApp battery mode wherein other apps get shut down (data access for them is revoked). You also get a reading mode, notch control, face unlock, intelligent notification management and a dedicated left panel at the home screen with customisable cards. Trouble is, you also get a lot of preloaded bloatware but thankfully, most of them can be removed.

For Rs 6,999, Infinix Smart 3 Plus struggles hard to play the value for money card. You get a good-looking phone with a large screen, decent daylight camera performance and a rich user interface. However, the sluggishness in the interface, average battery life and shutter lag in camera are problems that are hard to ignore. If you can, increase your budget by another Rs 1k and get the Realme C2 (Rs 7,999) with MediaTek P22 processor, larger 4,000mAh battery, better performing cameras and 3GB RAM. You can also look at the Redmi 7 (Rs 7,999) that has a glass body, Snapdragon 632 processor, 4,000mAh battery, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage and excellent dual rear cameras.



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