InFocus, the US-based smartphone company launched the Epic 1 smartphone last month for Rs. 12,999. The phone is powered by a 10-core Helio X20 chipset and also comes with a 16MP camera. Let us check out in the review if the phone is worth the price.
Display, Design and Hardware
The Epic 1 has a 5.5-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels) Full HD LTPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass protection. The display is bright and offers good viewing angles. Sunlight legibility of the phone is average. The display is a bit glossy, but is not a fingerprint magnet.
Epic 1 offers a display customization option under a Bluefilter option that lets you control and minimize the stress caused by blue light. You can choose the level of Bluefilter from 10%, 30%, 50% and 75% options. With a Color temperature option you can select from Cool, Natural and Warm mode.
There is a round speaker grill at the front similar to Nexus 5 or the Nextbit Robin. Also present at the front is a notification LED light and usual set of proximity and ambient light sensors. There is a 8MP camera at the front which. We will check out in detail later in the review.
There are three on-screen buttons on the display. The bezels at top and the bottom are huge, which makes it uncomfortable to use especially for users with small hands.
The phone has rounded edges that complements its thin profile. The power button and volume rockers are also present on the right side. On the left you have the hybrid SIM slot that can house one nano and nano/microSD. The phone measures 153 x 76 x 8.4mm and weighs 160 grams. A 3.5mm audio jack and IR blaster are present on the top. While the bottom houses loudspeakers, USB Type-C port and primary microphone.
The back of the phone sports a brushed metallic look which gives it a premium look. However, the phone is prone to slipping off the hands and it would be better if you use a case for the phone. There is a 16MP rear camera with dual-tone LED Flash at the back which is followed by a circular fingerprint sensor. The InFocus branding is present jut below the fingerprint sensor.
The Epic 1 has a 16MP rear camera with dual-tone LED Flash, f/2.0 aperture, PDAF. It comes with a Picture in Picture mode which is available on one tap, which uses the front and the rear camera. The camera UI is simple with usual setting options. It offers live camera filters which lets you choose from various filters at the time of taking a photo. You can enable options such as zero shutter display, anti shake, voice capture, face detection, gesture shot and more.
Macro and daylight shots are clear and bring out good color. However, the HDR mode makes the images look too bright in compare to the original photos and these is also noise. Also, the photos turned out to be dull and a bit grainy in case of cloudy conditions with minimum sunlight. The camera is quick in focusing objects and also we did not experience any shutter lag while taking photos. Low light performance was not that great but images with flash turned out good thanks to the dual tone LED flash.
Check out some samples below (Click the image to view full resolution sample.)
Th 8MP front camera does a great job and is good for selfies. It also has a beauty mode which improves your selfie quality.
It can record videos at 1080p full HD resolution at 30 fps.
Software, UI and Apps
The Epic 1 runs on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) with InLife UI 2.0 on top. The UI looks average and is not attractive in terms of visual appeal. InFocus has removed the app drawer and now all the apps are present on the homescreen. The home screen has a new folder for frequently used apps which keeps a tab on all the apps that have been used recently. You can add widgets, change wallpapers and arrange apps. The notification panel has all the usual shortcuts and you can rearrange them as per your choice. There is a Screenshot button which takes a screenshot of the phone’s display with single tap.
You can change the order of the three capacitive touch buttons and there is also a handy option which brings the notification panel.
The phone has a lot of bloatware and some of these apps cannot be uninstalled. Besides the usual lot of Google apps, the phone comes pre-installed with Flipkart, Amazon, Facebook, Opera Mini, Xploree and BeautyPlusMe.
The phone has a 360-degree fingerprint sensor on the back for unlocking. You can add up to 5 fingerprints and the setup process was smooth without any hiccups. However, the fingerprint scanner is not that fast and does not recognize the finger if it is a bit sweaty or wet.
Calling and Messaging
The dialer app is simple nothing much to say here. However, the default messaging app has the Xploree Smart keyboard that comes with Yahoo search.
Music and Radio
The phone has its own music player which comes with equalizer that can be enabled from setting. There are other features like shake to next song, desk lyrics and sleep mode. The FM Radio has a simple UI and lets you add over 12 radio stations. Audio output through the stereo speakers is loud and clear.
Hybrid SIM and Connectivity
The Epic 1 comes with a hybrid SIM slot which can house one nano and nano/microSD. It has 4G connectivity with support a lot of bands and also has Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) support for Reliance Jio. Both the SIMs support 4G, but you can enable 4G only in one SIM at a time, while the other goes to 3G. Other connectivity features include Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0, Cat 6 LTE, GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS. You can set preferred SIM for voice call, text and data from the SIM card manager.
Out of 3GB RAM you get 2.7GB of usable RAM of which about 2GB of RAM is free when the default apps running in the background. Out of 32GB of internal storage 22GB is usable.
Performance and Benchmarks
The Epic 1 is powered by deca-Core MediaTek Helio X20 (MT6797) processor (Dual-A72 2.0GHz + Quad-A53 1.9GHz + Quad-A53 1.4GHz) with Mali-T880MP4 GPU. The performance is decent barring occasional lags. We did not face any heating issues during 4G usage or gaming. Check out some synthetic benchmark scores below.
AnTuTu Benchmark 6
It scored 84586 points on AnTuTu benchmark.
It scored 3269 in Vellamo 3.1 multi core benchmark.
It scored 2657 in Vellamo 3.1 Metal benchmark.
It scored 19603 in Basemark X 1.1 benchmark.
It scored 14111 points in the 3Dmark Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark.
The phone comes with a 3000mAh non-removable battery that lasts through the day with medium to heavy usage. There is a Power Saver mode which when enabled uses lower brightness, turns off data connection and other options. It also comes with standby intelligent power saving.
In our battery test the smartphone achieved a One Charge Rating of 11 hours and 37 minutes.
The InFocus Epic 1 is a good phone that scores point when it comes to bright and colorful display along with premium design look. The touch quality and fluidity of the screen is great and offers smooth navigation. The large screen is ideal for watching movies or playing games. The UI is a let down and fails to impress with its look. Coming to the rear and front camera, both offer decent performance. However, the fingerprint sensor is not the best and needs more than one attempt before it recognizes the finger. To sum up, the InFocus Epic 1 is an average phone that is priced slightly on the higher side compared to other smartphones in the similar price range.
- Nice Display
- Good performance
- Good camera
- Slow Fingerprint recognition
- Slippery and uncomfortable to hold
- Hybrid dual SIM might not be preferred by everyone
- UI is not visually impressive
Images by Sandeep Sarma