InFocus, the Oregon headquartered company, is quiet focused at offering budget Android Smartphones in India for few years now, having entered the Indian market in 2015. It’s Epic 1 priced at Rs 12,999 is currently its most expensive phone and comes in a segment that is fiercely competitive but also where big volumes are. The company claims the Epic 1 to be the most affordable deca-core processor Smartphone.
Design & Display
- Metal casing
- 8.4 mm thickness at the middle and 7.6mm at the sides.
- 160 grams
- 5.5 inch LTPS display
- 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution
- Corning Gorilla glass
Clad in metal body, the Epic 1 sticks faithfully to the current trend. The back is curved tapering towards the edges, giving a good ergonomic feel while holding it. While it is good to hold, when placed on desk, I find the curved rear wobbling while using it flat on the surface. While the antenna cut out is absent, it is replaced by two plastic caps on top and bottom. The brushed metal finish at the read reminds of the Honor 5X and 5C devices. The body is slightly tall and the finger can hug around the rear easily without any discomfort in spit of it being a 5.5-inch phone. The build quality is good.
The rear has the rear camera, microphone, dual LED flash, finger print sensor all placed in a symmetry one after another vertically. The Infocus branding too follows suit.
The bottom has the USB-Type C port, speaker grille and a secondary microphone.
The top has the audio jack and IR blaster. Yes, the Epic 1 can be your universal remote.
The Epic 1 supports hybrid dual-SIM and so can accomodate a microSD card. The SIM tray is on the left side, with the power button and volume rocker occupies the right side.
The front side has one refreshing design addition in the form of earpiece grille which is in a circular shape with perforations. The 5.5-inch displays is strengthened by Corning Gorilla glass, the black strip on the sides of the display try to mask the bezels and give a thin frame impression. Coming to the quality of the display, the colors are neutral. The display is fairly bright but does not pop out with life. The blacks are not very intense either. The screen is kind of glossy too, which is bit distracting on direct light. Overall, the display is acceptable but not super impressive.
The bluefilter in the display settings lets you choose the level of bluefilter to be applied with 10%, 10%, 30%, 50% and 75% options. The bluefilter reduces the blue light emission on the screen, thus reducing the eye fatigue on prolonged reading or browsing. The color temperature option can be changed to Cool, Natural and Warm mode. The display has on-screen buttons.
Software and InLife UI
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow
- InLife UI 2.0
Every phone is differentiated by its UI, while the puritans might frown upon the layer of UI the companies add on the stock android, there is no denying the consumers might like certain ease of things these UI offers. InFocus call their UI, InLife and version 2.0 is in action here.
The settings are color-coded and offers a single coloumn list mode with headers and a tab mode. The UI does not offer many extra features and customization. You can change the position of the menu and back buttons on the softkeys, there are few motion gesture options like draw certain gesture to open an app.
Here are the list of important features Epic 1 offers.
Hardware and Performance
- MediaTel Helio X20
- Deca-core processor
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB storage
- microSD card that can be expanded up to 128GB
By bringing the MediaTek Helio X20 chipset, Infocus brings a degree of respect to the Epic 1. The deca-core processor are arranged in a tri-cluster formation. Of the 10 cores, you have two high performance Cortex A72 cores running at 2.1GHz, one cluster of quad-core Cortex A53 running at 1.85GHz for medium loads and another quad-core Cortex A53 cluster running at 1.4GHz for low power tasks. This allows for better allocation of the resources for various tasks. How does it translate into real world usage?
Equipped with a very capable hardware setup in this segment, the Epic 1 proves to be an able performer. It handles gaming smoothly with good graphics. It plays Asphalt 8: Extreme without any noticeable hiccups. It handles multi-tasking really well and 4G VoLTE works neat. The Epic 1 has hybrid Dual-SIMs, both the SIMs support 4G, but you can enable 4G only in one SIM at a time, while the other goes to 3G. In my period of usage, it never hanged once. Call quality is decent, but could have been better. The loud speaker is just passable.
The default keyboard Xploree that comes with yahoo search and some auto suggestions is quiet annoying and I have to immediately change to Google indic keyboard.
The phone has its own music player complete with equalizer. There are also features like shake to next song, desk lyrics and sleep mode. The FM Radio app lets you to add over 12 radio stations.
The phone also comes with a IR blaster so the Epic 1 can be used as an universal remote to control your home appliances like TV, set-top boxes and air conditioners. The phone comes with a KooKong remote app and it recognized my TV and setup boxes quickly.
The fingerprint sensor is a bit of disappointment. It’s not accurate and failed many a times and is a bit slow too. Plus, though the fingerprint management talks about app lock, I could not see the settings anywhere except for securing with PIN or password. The fingerprint sensor can be used to take pictures.
The Epic 1 comes with a 3000mAh battery, a 30 minute charge took the reading from 0% to 40% and it took close to 2 hours for full charge. The battery life is decent, I was able to sail through a day with two SIM and WiFi constantly on.
- 16MP rear camera
- dual-LED flash
- F/1.8 aperture
- 8MP front camera
We don’t see many phones that too in mid-segment featuring a F/1.8 aperture, which theoretically should give a good low-light pictures. The camera setup of Epic 1 promises to be great but let’s see if it really is.
Like most phones in this range, under good natural light, the pictures are good. The colors are natural but images are not very sharp. The focus is good and latches on to the subject at ease. The low light images could not escape noise and is not very exceptional inspite of the f/1.8 aperture. In spite of the noise, it does manage to retain the mood of the low lights. In short, the camera is good considering the segment it is in but not the best in the league.
The camera app is outdated and does not belong to the Marshmallow world.
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- Good performance, especially gaming.
- Decent battery life.
- Above average camera
- Fingerprint sensor is not very accurate
- UI needs an overhaul
The InFocus Epic 1 undoubtedly is a good phone offering a decent mix of everything a consumer would expect a phone in this category to do.