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InFocus EPIC 1 first impressions: tempting specs, tempting price

|October 24, 2016 |Android Phones, Mobiles, First impressions, Infocus

"The InFocus EPIC 1 packs in the world's first tri-cluster chip in the form of MediaTek Helio X20"

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US-based InFocus is known to offer features that are trending in its affordably-priced smartphones. The latest offering from the company packs in a deca-core processor making it the second smartphone in India to do so. The only other smartphone that packs the same processor is the ZOPO Speed 8 (first impressions), but is a slightly pricey affair at Rs 29,999. In comparison, the newly-launched InFocus EPIC 1 has been priced at Rs 12,999, which does make it a tempting proposal. We played with the new phone from InFocus and here are our first impressions of the device.

The manufacturers have been on a spree to test our writing prowess by making every other device look the same. The EPIC 1 reminds us of the Honor 5X with its slightly curved back panel which sports a brushed metal finish. The device, like most smartphones these days, has been crafted out of metal and offers standard button and port placement.

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There's a fingerprint reader on the back, right below the primary camera module. Due to the slim edges and the slight curve of the back, the EPIC 1 offers great grip. Despite the smooth finish on the back, the phone does not feel slippery in the hands. One-handed use, for the most part, was easy. However, one thing we did not like was the thick bottom bezel. Since the phone uses software navigation keys, the space on the bottom is completely wasted.

The 5.5-inch FHD display on the phone looks rather sharp, though we encountered an extra tint of blue in the overall colour reproduction. The screen brightness was adequate indoors, and the non-reflective display should ensure good sunlight legibility. We found the viewing angles to be good, as well. The screen gets a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass on top for protection against minor scratches.

The InFocus EPIC 1 gets its grunt from a MediaTek Helio X20 chip which utilises a dual-core and two quad-core clusters, working in tandem with 3 gigs of RAM. This was the world's first tri-cluster chip. While overall our short usage session was definitely snappy, surprisingly enough, we did encounter some lags while switching between screens. We'll tell you how the chipset holds up against heavy usage in our full review. The storage on the phone is rated at 32GB, out of which you get around 25.5 gigs for your personal use. Along with supporting microSD card expansion by up to 128GB, the EPIC 1 supports USB OTG as well. The device runs Android Marshmallow out of the box, with the company's own custom UI on top.

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There's no dedicated app drawer. The icons are slightly tweaked as well. In terms of pre-loaded third-party apps, apart from the usual Google suite, the phone gets Amazon Shopping, Flipkart, Facebook, Opera Mini, Exploree, and Beauty Plus Me. The UI does not allow one to tweak the screen brightness to their preference from the quick settings bar, which might come across as a shortcoming to many. The presets which include low, medium, full, and auto brightness might not serve well for everyone. The phone supports some basic motion controls as well.

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Coming to the cameras, the InFocus EPIC 1 sports a 16MP primary camera with hybrid phase detection autofocus, and aided by a dual-tone LED flash. On the front, the device gets an 8MP shooter with f/1.8 aperture and a wide 80.2 degrees field of view.

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The default camera app is not heavily loaded but does come with a few filters and shooting modes , along with the standard camera settings. We clicked a couple of pictures with the EPIC 1 and found the shutter speed and the focussing speed to be good, if not impressive. However, we'd like to reserve our final say on the shooting prowess of the phone until we review it.

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The EPIC 1 is fuelled by 3,000mAh battery, which should help you use the smartphone easily for a day. The phone offers a customisable Power Saver mode, wherein you can choose as to what services you'd like to stop in order to extend the battery life, should you run into a crisis.

The EPIC 1 is a dual-SIM smartphone and supports Cat 6 LTE. The phone comes with a USB Type-C port, while the other connectivity options remain standard.

At its price, the InFocus EPIC 1 competes right against the likes of the 2GB RAM variant of the Lenovo Moto G4 Plus (review), and the 64GB storage variant of the LeEco Le 2 (review). The former has a great camera and is a dependable daily driver. However, the EPIC 1 sports a similar camera configuration, along with a more powerful processor than the G4 Plus, at least on paper. The LeEco Le 2 is a decent phone overall but struggles in the camera department, which is where the EPIC 1 could take an edge. Our full review will be out in no time to give you a better perspective on how the new InFocus EPIC 1 stands against its rivals, and if its worth your money.



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