InFocus M812

InFocus M812 review: a dependable daily driver you can flaunt as well

|October 15, 2015 |Android Phones, Reviews, 4G, 4G LTE, Infocus

“The InFocus M812 is an eye candy which packs in a powerful chipset, a good display, a capable camera and long battery life”

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Gone are the days when you had to wait for the price of your favourite smartphone to drop to a point where it seemed like a value-for-money buy. When brands like Xiaomi, Motorola and ASUS marched into the Indian smartphone market with their pocket friendly warriors, not only did they they change the scene in the budget segment, but the idea of pricing devices basis the brand value behind them started blurring as well. While you still can find devices from top-tier brands that feel overpriced, people have changed the way they look at smartphone brands and manufacturers. The open-mindedness has encouraged new smartphone makers to experiment in all ways possible and the result has been a wide range of loaded devices you can get across varying price segments. Smartphones now, come with enough features to justify their asking price, and the trend is not limited to just the budget segment. The mid-rangers seem to be following the same lead. InFocus is a brand known to offer interesting smartphones at extremely affordable prices. The company’s flagship device, dubbed the M812 ships with a price tag of Rs 19,999. Considering the specs on paper, the device checks almost all the boxes. But is it worth every penny you spend on it? We reviewed the smartphone to find out.

Dimensions: 157.6 x 77.1 x 7.3 mm
Weight: 120 grams
Operating System: Android
OS Version: 5.0, Lollipop

If Looks Could Kill

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The InFocus M812 is a looker when we talk about its design. What might look like the Apple iPhone 6 to you from a distance, is the M812’s metallic unibody design along with little accents that add to the overall aesthetics. While the majority of the silver-hued smartphone's exterior is anodised aluminium, the chamfered edges towards the back of the M812 and the buttons have been polished to a shinier finish for them to stand out. You will also find thin plastic inlays running alongside the display as well as on the back panel. You will find that the plastic inlay which lies towards the top on the back panel is interrupted by a noise cancellation microphone, the primary camera module and a dual-LED flash. Then there’s InFocus branding etched vertically in the centre of the back panel and a logo to make sure you don’t forget that the M812 supports 4G. Thanks to its unibody design, the back panel of the smartphone is not removable and hence the battery remains sealed, far from user access.

Now, the front of the InFocus M812 is dominated by its display which spans 5.5 inches. Below it, the brand has etched its name, and above the screen you’ll find an earpiece, the front camera and a few sensors. The navigation keys come as part of the software. The vertical bezels around the display are thin making the phone easy to handle.

CPU: Quad core, 2.5 GHz, Snapdragon 801
GPU: Adreno 330
RAM: 3 GB
Memory: 16 GB + Up to 64 GB
SIM Slots: Dual SIM , GSM+GSM

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The edges of the InFocus M812 are a treat to the eyes, the vertical ones being bevelled towards the rear. While the right spine gets a hybrid slot and a micro-SIM slot, the left features a power button, and two volume keys. The top edge sports a rubberised thin panel with the audio jack placed on one corner, whereas the bottom one is crowded with a micro-USB port, which is sandwiched between two mesh grilles. The right grille hides the loudspeaker while the left has the primary microphone concealed inside. Between each of the mesh grilles and the micro-USB port, there are tiny screw like accents which ramp up the design.

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The brand has not cut any corners in the design ethos of the InFocus M812 and has made sure the device looks and feels like a flagship. The rear panel isn’t essentially matte, but the phone doesn’t feel slippery. Even though it weighs merely 120 grams, the M812 doesn’t feel flimsy to hold and feels rather sturdy. The smartphone is quite thin, with 7.3mm of girth, fitting in the hands snugly. The power and volume keys can be comfortably accessed. While you're unlikely to reach the top corners, the M812 can be operated with one hand easily when you want to make calls or launch any apps. The InFocus M812 surely takes it away in the design department.

Everything in Full HD

The InFocus M812 rocks a fairly large 5.5-inch IPS LCD display which bears a resolution of 1,080 x 1,920 pixels, which roughly translates to a pixel density of about 400ppi. The colours looked extremely vibrant and vivid. The M812 has a sharp screen and we couldn’t discern any pixels whatsoever. The images didn’t blur and the text and icons appeared crisp. The viewing angles, however, are just average. You will find a slight hint of blue when looking at the screen from extreme angles. Coming to the brightness of the screen, it was not an issue while we were indoors. The screen looks bright enough and doesn’t reflect at all. However, sunlight legibility is only average and could be an issue. The display settings come with a Bluelight Filter. You can also choose between Standard screen mode or Dynamic screen mode. While the difference is minute, the Dynamic screen mode looks more vivid. The Color Temperature setting lets you change the tones to warmer or cooler hues, if you wish.

Size: 5.5 Inch
Resolution: Full HD (1080 x 1920 pixels)
Display Type: IPS LCD
Pixel Density: 401 ppi

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The InFocus M812’s display comes protected by a layer of Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3. The screen of any device contributes a major chunk to usage experience, and we must say we weren’t disappointed with this one. Gaming and watching videos was a delight on the InFocus M812, all thanks its sharp and clear display.

An Interface You Might or Might not Like

The InFocus M812 runs the brand’s proprietary In Life UI which is based on Android 5.0 Lollipop. The experience you get is almost stock but there quite some tweaks and a few preloaded apps that come along with the In Life UI. For instance the first thing you will notice are the modified icons. The quick settings menu can be rearranged and customised as per need. When you open the settings in the M812, there’s an option to choose between the Tab mode and the List mode. While the former segregates all the settings under different tabs, the latter, as the name suggests, simply lists them one after the other.

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By default, the InFocus M812 runs the Launcher+, which is clean and customisable, but you can also go for the EZ Launcher, which is a simpler interface with larger fonts, meant for beginners and the elderly.

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The other customisation options on the M812 include changing the background colour of the soft navigation keys and reorganising the Back and Recent keys. There’s also motion and gesture support. While the gestures are limited to pinching in on the homescreen to edit it, motion control options include turning over the device to reject calls, directly making calls or answering them by bringing the phone to the ear, shaking the phone to shuffle songs and more.

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The Task Manager comes with a Memory Notify setting wherein you can set the minimum available RAM limit after which the backgrounds apps need to be killed and the device notifies you when the threshold is reached. You can also list some apps under the White list, which stops the Task Manager from controlling them.

In terms of preloaded content, the InFocus M812 doesn’t come with a lot. There’s WPS Office and Snapdeal, along with all apps from Google. However, there are some tools from InFocus itself. You will find One key clear, which is the brand’s own version of Clean Master and four others named Mobile Assistant, Power Detective, Backup Tool and App Traffic Control clubbed together in a folder called Manager. The Mobile Assistant is just a fancier version of One key clear, which kills the apps that have been not used for a while and clear cache. The Power Detective provides you a statistical analysis of the the power usage over a certain time bracket along with the battery usage log. You can use the Backup Tool to back up your data and restore it with one touch, while the App Traffic Control lets you decide and preset what apps you want running on just the network data, Wi-Fi or both. 

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Overall, the user interface of the InFocus M812 is nice and intuitive, with a decent amount of customisation options. There’s some bloatware on the smartphone but it’s not something you can’t ignore.

Camera Capabilities Which Impress

The InFocus M812 rocks a 13-megapixel shooter on its back along with a dual-tone LED flash. On the front, the smartphone comes equipped with an 8MP snapper with an 80-degree wide angle lens.

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The default camera app is pretty simple to use. The viewfinder is flanked on the left with a series of settings and options to customise your shooting experience. However, the options unveil when you press the settings button on the corner. On the right you will find the virtual shutter button, a record button and an option to choose from a bunch of camera modes you can shoot in.

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The camera modes on the InFocus M812 include Beauty shot, Burst shot, HDR, Panorama, Object erase, Low light, Motion photo and Dynamic lighting. The shooter on the M812 is capable of detecting ambient lighting and hence switches to Low light mode and turns on the Night scene when your surroundings are going pinchpenny on the lighting. However, we found it annoying when the device kept switching modes according to the lighting conditions, more so, because the images taken in the normal mode were better and less grainy than the ones taken in the Low light mode. 

The HDR mode works impressively for the output and looked anything but artificial. The Dynamic lighting mode works pretty much like HDR but is centred more on the object in focus rather than improving the contrast in the whole image. Other camera settings include control over the ISO, white balance, exposure and saturation, along with other standard settings.

The long shots we took with the M812’s shooter turned out decently sharp, however, you’re likely to see blurred edges and muddy textures when you zoom in. Colour reproduction was close to natural. Close-up shots were a delight and night time photography turned out great too, with very usable images. The front camera of the M812 works just fine as well. A couple of the selfies that we took in abundant lighting looked similar to pictures taken by primary cams of some budget segment devices. Here are a few pictures taken by the primary snapper of the phone.

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With a pretty standard camera configuration for its price segment, the M812 delivered some impressive results.

Good Performance, Better Battery

All the action in the InFocus M812 takes place with the help of a Snapdragon 801 CPU with four cores clocked at 2.5GHz. There’s an Adreno TM 330 GPU handling graphics. The processor of the InFocus M812 is coupled with an abundant 3GB of RAM, and it did reflect in our usage. We pretty much ran all the apps that were there on our demo device and the M812 handled them all with only minor stutters and negligible lag. But we didn’t let the smartphone go that easily.

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Fairly long gaming sessions with heavy games like Riptide GP2 and Dead Trigger 2 made sure the engines of the InFocus M812 were tested in extreme conditions. We played Dead Trigger 2 for about an hour on maximum graphics quality. There were just a couple of jitters while the game loaded and everything ran pretty smoothly afterwards. Graphics rendering was beautiful on the device. The water leaking effects from the roof top while playing Dead Trigger 2 was very detailed and didn’t look gimmicky. The same goes for the experience we had while playing Riptide GP2. The device did heat up a bit, and temperatures rose up to 40 degrees but didn’t rise further. So the heating was noticeable but not uncomfortable.

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The InFocus M812 comes with 16 gigabytes of inbuilt storage. While the software takes up about 6GB of it, approximately 10GB is left for your use. If you choose to put in a microSD card in the hybrid slot of the device, you can expand the storage up to 128GB. A 2,900mAh battery backs this flagship. While that not sound like much, the M812 managed to cruise through the day smoothly with regular usage including 3G data, using Whatsapp and Facebook and playing games for some time. Another one-hour long session of Dead Trigger 2 with 3G data working caused the battery to drop by 10 percent.

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However, the phone notifies you immediately as soon as it detects abnormal battery consumption. There is a Power Saver mode which you can customise as well, to optimise the battery life. On our standard battery tests where we play an HD video on loop, with brightness and volume set to 50 percent, the InFocus M812 lasted a whopping twelve and a half hours, which is an impressive output. The InFocus M812 features NXP Smart AMP acoustics technology. We watched ‘The Hobbit’ on the device on loudspeaker and the audio output was decently loud and deep.

Apart from the 4G support for both TDD and FDD bands, connectivity options on the InFocus M812 include standard Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.

Verdict

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The InFocus M812 is an all-rounder. Combining good looks, a sharp display, powerful processor and capable snappers, the InFocus M812 comes as a value-for-money deal. The Moto X Play (full review | camera review) is a tough rival for the M812 in that sense, since it offers a pure Android experience, along with a brilliant display and great battery life. But the Moto X Play isn’t much of  looker as compared to the InFocus M812. The Meizu MX5 (review | camera review) is another competitor the M812 needs to look out for. While the MX5 rocks a fingerprint scanner and loaded specs, it lacks in terms of software and battery life. If you’re going to spend about Rs 20,000, we think that the InFocus M812 should be among the top five devices on your list, especially if stylish design is something you can’t ignore.

Price: Rs 19,999

Editor’s Rating: 8/10

Pros

  • Nice design and build quality
  • Good display
  • Great battery life
  • Decent camera

Cons

  • Heating while heavy usage
  • Poor sunlight legibility

Photos by Raj Rout

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Rs. 19,999.00
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Rs. 20,900.00
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